One of the two men found dead in a training area of a North Carolina base this week had spent about a dozen of his 19 years in the service assigned to Special Forces and U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, with the command's headquarters and headquarters company, was found dead Wednesday afternoon in the training area on Fort Bragg, along with a veteran previously assigned to the base, the military said in a statement.
"The loss of a soldier is always tragic," Lt. Col. Justin Duvall, commander of USASOC's headquarters and headquarters company, said in a statement Friday.
Timothy Dumas, a 44-year-old Army veteran from Pinehurst, N.C., was the other man whose body was found, Fort Bragg officials said in a separate statement. The statement did not give further details about his service, and an Army Human Resources Command spokesman reached by phone said additional information was not immediately available.
Fort Bragg, located near Fayetteville, is home to USASOC, as well as the XVIII Airborne Corps, Army Forces Command, 82nd Airborne Division and the Army Reserve Command. More than 30 soldiers assigned to the base have died this year, about half by suicide.
No further information about the two deaths this week will be released while the Army Criminal Investigation Command investigates the incident, USASOC said.
The deaths were unrelated to official training, base officials said in an earlier statement.
"Master Sgt. Lavigne dedicated himself to the Army for 19 years and deployed multiple times in the defense of our nation," Duvall said.
Lavigne enlisted in the Army in 2001 and graduate the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2007, after which he was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), then to USASOC.
He deployed several times to Afghanistan and Iraq, the command said, though it did not provide an exact number.
A graduate of the Army Airborne and jump master courses, and the Military Free Fall Parachutist and jump master course, Lavigne had also completed the Special Forces Intelligence Course; survival, evasion, resistance and escape school; and a special operations language course in Tagalog, which is spoken in the Philippines.
His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star medals, one with a "V" device for valor, the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation medals, three Army Achievement medals, a Joint Service Achievement Medal and five Army Good Conduct medals. He had also earned a Combat Infantry Badge and Combat Action Badge.
"Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time," Duvall said.