The Army Reserve has identified Sgt. 1st Class Mike Markins, 48, as the most recent U.S. service member to die from complications of COVID-19.
Markins is the 5th Army Reserve soldier and 8th service member to die as a result of the pandemic. He served for 27 years, including 7 years on active duty in the Air Force. At the time of his death, he worked as a mechanical maintenance technician with the 100th Training Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
As a civilian, Markins worked as a heavy mobile equipment repairer for the 81st Readiness Division’s Equipment Concentration Site 63, also at Fort Knox.
His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, according to an Army Reserve release.
The first cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. military community were detected during the last week of February in South Korea. Since then, the Department of Defense has logged 66,375 cases, including 45,759 military personnel, 6,092 dependents, 10,210 civilians and 4,314 contractors.
The first death of a U.S. service member was recorded on March 28, when Army National Guard Capt. Douglas Hickok, a physician assistant, passed away as his unit prepared for pandemic response.
Since then, a Navy sailor, a member of the California Army National Guard and four other Army Reserve members have died, as well as seven dependents, 59 civilian employees and 22 contractors.
Military personnel who have tested positive include 17,032 Army soldiers, 5,742 Marines, 10,260 Navy sailors and 7,136 Air Force airmen. More than 5,240 National Guard members and 347 personnel assigned to DoD agencies also have been diagnosed since the start of the outbreak.
The Coast Guard, which is not a part of the Department of Defense and does not regularly release its case count, had 626 cases as of Sept. 4 and no coronavirus-related deaths, according to Lt. Cmdr. Brittany Panetta.
More than 7.1 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including more than 1 million since the beginning of September. More than 205,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Worldwide, nearly 34 million people have tested positive and 1 million have died.
— Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Monster.com. Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.