A 1st Armored Division officer died early Tuesday during a training exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas, after a mine-resistant vehicle allegedly rolled over him in his cot while he slept, the base announced in a Wednesday news release.
Capt. Jonathan F. Wynkoop, 27, was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, Division Artillery, and was participating in Iron Focus 2015, a two-week, division-level training exercise that began March 23.
A mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle, or M-ATV, allegedly backed over the cot around 5 a.m., according to the release. Wynkoop was pronounced dead about an hour later; the incident is under investigation.
"Very few leaders in the U.S. Army are capable of matching his work ethic and potential," Maj. Gregory Tomlin, the battalion's executive officer, said of Wynkoop, per the release. "This tragedy has shorted the Army an excellent officer and a family of a husband and father."
Wynkoop is survived by his wife and three children. The Ohio native was commissioned in 2011 and arrived at Fort Bliss later that year, the release states. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.
He had been awarded the Army Commendation Medal and Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, among other honors and decorations, including a Combat Action Badge.
"He inspired and encouraged all those around him to become better," Capt. Christian Grams, the battalion's assistant operations officer, said in the release. "This tragedy is a shock to everyone, and we are doing everything in our power to assist and comfort his family."
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.