Green Beret dies at special forces dive school in Key West
A U.S. Army Special Forces soldier died earlier this week while training at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West.
Staff member Sgt. Micah E. Walker, 31, of Peyton, Colorado, died Tuesday. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Carson, Colorado, since March 2021.
The US Army's Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama said it would lead the investigation and initially called the death a "drowning accident" at Naval Air Station Key West.
The cause is still being investigated, said a spokesman for the 1st Special Operations Command on Thursday evening.
"The cause of death is currently unknown," said Major Dan Lessard. “There is evidence that it may have been something else like cardiac arrest or some other problem. They called it drowning at first, but that's kind of speculation. "
Walker, a student on the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course, took part in a poolside conditioning exercise that emphasizes students' cardiac, respiratory and muscular endurance when he was "submerged and not resurfaced," according to a statement by the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
He was taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, where he was pronounced dead.
"The Combat Diver Qualification Course is one of the most physically demanding courses in the Army," the school said. "In accordance with Army guidelines, this accident is being investigated to determine the cause of death and in hopes of preventing future accidents."
Walker was a medical sergeant who joined the Green Berets earlier this year, the Stars and Stripes reported.
He left a wife and three children.
"Our thoughts and prayers go with his wife and children, his parents and his teammates," said Col. Lucas VanAntwerp, Commander of the 10th Special Forces Group. “Micah was an extraordinary special forces operator, a loving husband and father. We grieve with the family and are ready to honor Micah's service and legacy. "
Walker joined the Army in April 2017 and completed entry-level training and flight school in Fort Benning, Georgia. In January 2021 he completed the Special Forces Qualification Course as a medic for the Special Forces.
His awards and accolades include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, and Army Basic Parachutist Badge.
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