The Army has identified the Green Beret killed in a water training exercise Tuesday afternoon at the Joe Swing Park Reservoir at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead died while participating in the 5th Special Forces Group Maritime Assessment Course, which prepares soldiers for Combat Diver Qualification Course.
Olmstead was conducting a surface swim when he went under the water and never resurfaced, Army officials said.
A search for the Special Forces soldier assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, began “immediately,” according to an Army press release.
Olmstead was recovered Wednesday morning with the help of Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Montgomery County Emergency Services.
He was pronounced dead by Fort Campbell emergency personnel and taken to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
The incident is still under investigation.
The Utah native was born April 24, 1992, and was a 2010 graduate of North Sanpete High School in Mount Pleasant, Utah.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
“This is an absolute tragedy, especially when we lose someone as capable and promising as Lincoln,” said Col. Paul Peters, commander of 19th Special Forces Group. “Sometimes we expect this sort of thing in combat, but not during training, which makes this difficult for the unit and especially the family.”
“We are committed to ensuring the family is supported over the coming days, weeks and months,” Peters added.
Olmstead enlisted in the Utah Army National Guard in February 2016.
In October 2019, he graduated as a Special Forces engineer from the Special Forces Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
Olmstead was also a graduate of the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Course, Military Free Fall Course, Special Forces Sniper Course, Basic Airborne Course and had also been the honor graduate for his cohort of the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course.
Olmstead’s awards and badges include the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon; Basic Parachutist Badge; and the Military Freefall Parachutist Badge.
Olmstead is the second Green Beret to die during water training in recent months.
Staff Sgt. Micah Walker, who was a member of 10th Special Forces Group, became unresponsive during a water treading exercise at the Army’s Special Forces Underwater Operations School on Naval Air Station Key West, in Florida. He died soon after.
Walker’s death remains under investigation.
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and Master's candidate at New York University. She's currently an Editorial Fellow for Military Times.