A paratrooper died on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, base officials said.

Spc. Jason Alexander Thomas, 23, was found unresponsive in his barracks by emergency responders who transported the soldier to the 673d Medical Group hospital on base. They continued life-saving efforts there until he was declared deceased at roughly 5:30 p.m.

The circumstances of Thomas’ death are under investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, Army Alaska officials said in a statement Tuesday.

Thomas was an infantryman assigned to the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment. He was from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and joined the Army in March 2016. He was previously assigned to Fort Benning and Fort Stewart, Georgia, before arriving in Alaska in April 2019.

His awards included the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Expert Infantry Badge, according to his service history.

“Jason was exactly what we wanted in a Paratrooper — tireless in his efforts, aggressive in his pursuits, and passionate about our business,” said Lt. Col. Josh Gaspard, 1st Squadron commander. “His untimely passing has created a ripple effect across the Denali Squadron. Our sincere condolences go out to Jason’s family, friends, and fellow Paratroopers.”

Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.

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