Army officials announced that a soldier died Saturday during a training incident at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana.

1st Lt. Zachary Galli, who was assigned to the 749th Ordnance Company, 242nd Explosive Ordnance Battalion, 71st EOD Group at Fort Carson, Colorado, died in a noncombat-related training accident, base officials said in a release Monday.

Galli, 23, was an explosive ordnance disposal officer from Williamsburg, Virginia.

An Army preliminary loss report posted Tuesday noted that at 5:50 a.m. Saturday, Galli was participating in combat skills training when the incident occurred.

“While conducting defensive operations in an urban training environment, [Galli] fell approximately 43 feet from the roof to the basement in a simulated elevator shaft located in a training structure,” according to the report.

Since fiscal year 2019, an average of four soldiers each year to combat skills/military unique mishaps, according to the loss report. This was the first fatality in that category in fiscal year 2024. Combat skills and military unique mishaps are defined by Army regulations as those that occur “while conducting combat operations or military training activities/exercises designed to develop or maintain individual or collective combat or peacekeeping skills.”

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of 1st Lt. Zachary Galli,” said Col. Brennan Fitzgerald, commander of the 71st EOD Group, in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the Galli family, the 749th EOD Co., and the greater EOD community.”

The unit was at the Fort Johnson, Louisiana center for a training rotation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldier’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time,” said the Commanding General of JRTC and Fort Johnson, Maj. Gen. David W. Gardner, in a separate statement.

The training center is one of two major combat training centers used by soldiers for unit certification and pre-deployment training. The other is the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

The accident is under investigation.

Editor’s note: This story was updated May 15, 2024, at 2:09 p.m. Eastern Time to include the nature of the fatal incident at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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