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Utah National Guard soldier dies during training exercise

Paul Lincoln Olmstead.jpg
Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 00:04:08-04

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — A Utah National Guard soldier died while participating in a training exercise Tuesday.

Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead, a soldier with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, was taking part in a surface swim at Fort Campbell, Kentucky when he failed to resurface. Although a search for Olmstead began immediately, his body was not recovered until Wednesday.

Officials say the incident is currently under investigation.

Olmstead joined the Utah Army National Guard in 2016, serving since 2019 as a Special Forces engineer sergeant. Throughout his military career, Olmstead earned countless awards and badges.

The National Guard says Olmstead is survived by his wife and two children.

“This is an absolute tragedy, especially when we lose someone as capable and promising as Lincoln. Sometimes we expect this sort of thing in combat, but not during training, which makes this difficult for the unit and especially the family,” said Col. Paul Peters. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and everyone affected. We are committed to ensuring the family is supported over the coming days, weeks and months."

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox issued a statement in response to Olmstead's death, saying:

“We are devastated to hear of the passing of Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead. Staff Sgt. Olmstead served with valor and courage as a Special Forces Soldier for the Utah National Guard. We honor his sacrifice and commitment to his country. Abby and I pray for Staff Sgt. Olmstead, his family and loved ones during this most difficult time.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Olmstead's family with funeral, burial and any other expenses.