Army Specialist Dies During 'Swamp Phase' of Ranger School

Spc. James A. Requenez.
Spc. James A. Requenez, 28, was a student in the swamp phase of Ranger School at 6th Ranger Training Battalion, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Army)

A 28-year-old soldier died Thursday while participating in the "Swamp Phase" of the Army's grueling Ranger school, officials announced Friday afternoon.

Spc. James A. Requenez, of San Antonio, Texas, died during an unspecified training incident at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, officials with Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, out of Fort Benning, Georgia, said.

Requenez was transported to Eglin AFB hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release, which added the incident was under investigation.

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Task and Purpose was first to report Requenez' death.

A Benning spokesman told he could not immediately provide details on when the incident took place, when Requenez was pronounced dead or what kind of training was taking place at the time.

"The Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, and the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade offers our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Spc. James A. Requenez," officials said in a statement.

Requenez was assigned to Benning's A Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as an assistant machine gunner. He enlisted in April 2018, and his awards include the Army Achievement Medal and Parachutist Badge.

The Swamp Phase is the third and final phase of the 62-day Ranger school and takes place at Camp Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. It focuses on coastal operations, including small boat maneuvers and stream crossings, and tests how students perform under "conditions of extreme mental and physical stress."

"This training further develops the students' ability to plan and lead small units during independent and coordinated airborne, air assault, small boat and dismounted patrol operations in a combat environment against a determined and well-equipped hybrid threat-based opposing force," information released by Fort Benning states.

Deaths at Ranger school are relatively rare. But in 1995, four officers died from hypothermia during Swamp Phase -- an incident that resulted in discipline for nine instructors and the firing of the 6th Ranger Training Battalion commander.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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