The Defense Department on Wednesday released the name of an Army Reserve soldier who died Monday in Kuwait while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Pantos, 55, “died...at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, as the result of a non-combat related incident,” according to the DoD release. “The incident is under investigation.” Pantos was a heavy wheeled vehicle operator from Richmond, Virginia, assigned to the 55th Sustainment Brigade at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
His commanders reflected on his loss in a press release provided by the 377th Theater Sustainment Command.
“We lost a valued member of our team,” said Brig. Gen. Justin M. Swanson, commandeer of the 310th Sustainment Command. “[Pantos] served with distinction as a Citizen Soldier and is an inspiration to everyone around him.”
“Just last month I had the opportunity to meet with Christopher, and he spoke with me about his passion for life and his mission overseas,” said Swanson. “Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends during their time of loss and grief.”
His company commander, Capt. Joshua Cameron, described him as “a knowledgable and dedicated noncommissioned officer who volunteered to deploy in service to this nation.”
A Tuesday press release from U.S. Army Central stated that Pantos was found dead in his living quarters on Monday morning.
An Army official told Military Times the soldier “was supporting joint operations including air logistics.”
Service records show that Pantos enlisted in March 2007. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.
Pantos, who was posthumously promoted, worked for the United States Postal Service in his civilian career. He also volunteered regularly as a tour guide at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.
His individual decorations include the Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal, in addition to numerous service medals.
Ali Al Salem Air Base is home to the Air Force’s 386th Air Expeditionary Wing and serves as “the primary airlift hub and gateway for delivering combat power to joint and coalition forces” in the Middle East, according to the unit’s website.
The is a developing story. Stay with Army Times for updates.