Second Army Drill Sergeant Found Dead at Fort Jackson in 8 Days - Conservative Nation
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Second Army Drill Sergeant Found Dead at Fort Jackson in 8 Days



A second drill sergeant has been found dead at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in a little over a week.

Staff Sgt. Zachary L. Melton, 30, was found unresponsive in his car on Saturday after he failed to report to his assigned duty, military officials revealed Monday.

No cause of death was immediately provided.

“We are extremely saddened by the loss of Staff Sgt. Melton,” said Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, the Fort Jackson commanding general.

“Our thoughts are with his family and the soldiers of the Always Forward battalion during this very emotional time.”

Melton’s unit graduated its last basic training cycle on Thursday.

The Huntsville, Alabama native had been in the Army for more than 10 years — with the past three as a drill sergeant.

Melton, who was attached to 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, is now the second drill sergeant found dead at Fort Jackson within eight days.

On Dec. 8, Staff Sgt. Allen M. Burtram, 34, a drill sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, was found dead after he didn’t report for work, the Army said.

The US Army Criminal Investigation Division is investigating both soldier’s deaths, the branch shared.

Burtram, from Cleveland, Alabama, spent the last 12 years in the Army and had been at Fort Jackson for the last 18 months.

There was no evidence of foul play in either death, the Army told

This is now the third death at the Army installation this year.

In June, Staff Sgt. Jaime Contreras was found dead after taking place in a training exercise.

Contreras, 40, was a drill sergeant candidate and had been with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

The soldier had just begun week eight of 10 of his training and went missing for nearly 11 hours after failing to return from a solo land navigation course at the base, WSPA reported.

The course was supposed to last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but when Contreras didn’t return by 2 p.m., a massive search was launched.

He was found unresponsive around 11 p.m. on June 12 and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Las Vegas native was only about 164 feet off the course when his body was found, Maj. John Farrell, the director of Emergency Services at Fort Jackson, told the outlet.

A cause of death for Contreras has not been released by Fort Jackson officials.

Fort Jackson is home to more than 3,500 active-duty soldiers and is the premier installation for Army basic training, graduating around 45,000 new trainees annually, according to the military.

Read the full story here.

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