A U.S. Army paratrooper stationed in Alaska has died in a vehicle rollover accident just days after the next sergeant major of the Army stressed that soldiers need proper training before operating military vehicles.
Spc. Marquise Gabriel Elliott, who was driving an armored Humvee when it crashed at 3 p.m. on June 14 in the Yukon Training Area, was pronounced dead at 3:23 p.m. after being transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, according to a news release from U.S. Army Alaska.
Another soldier suffered injuries "to his lower extremities" but was treated by medics at the scene and returned to duty, the release states.
Elliott's death occurred shortly after Army Sgt. Major Michael Grinston, who was recently named as the service's next sergeant major of the Army, released a video message stressing that soldiers demand that all vehicle operators receive the proper training on military vehicles.
Grinston, who is currently the command sergeant major for Army Forces Command, released the video after a series of vehicle accidents that have killed or injured more than 50 troops and military cadets since April.
It's still unclear what happened in the June 14 accident that killed Elliott, a 25-year-old field artilleryman from Charlotte, North Carolina, according to the release. Officials said that the accident is under investigation.
Elliott and the injured soldier were both assigned to B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, the release states.
"Spc. Elliott was a gifted and intelligent paratrooper," Lt. Col. Tobias Bennett, commander of 2-377th, said in the release. "His reserved and thoughtful demeanor, disciplined work ethic, and commitment to his fellow paratroopers endeared him to all fortunate enough to share time with him."
He deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division from September 2017 to May 2018.
His awards include two Army Commendation Medals, one with "C" device to denote it was awarded for his actions in a combat situation; the Army Achievement Medal; Meritorious Unit Citation; the Army Good Conduct Medal; and Army parachutist badge, according to the release.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.