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UPDATE:Fort Rucker Soldier Found Dead Identified

By: News Release
By: News Release
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This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. with additional information from Fort Rucker.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. – Warrant Officer Candidate Darrell R. McNealy, 40, a student going through the Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS), was found deceased Thursday morning after having been missing since a routine land navigation training event here Wednesday.

Fort Rucker officials are deeply saddened by the loss of this outstanding Soldier. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. A casualty assistance team is currently providing assistance to the family.

McNealy started a three-hour land navigation course at approximately 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. When he did not report at the checkpoint, they began a search party. The search continued throughout the day using all assets available to include using OH-58 and Apache helicopters to search by air until grounded by weather. A team of Soldiers, first responders, Coffee County Mounted Posse on horseback and EMS personnel continued the search by ground. At approximately 7 p.m. the Houston County Sheriff’s Office brought in blood hounds that searched until 10 p.m. However, the search continued through the night. At 6:30 a.m. today, approximately 100 more Soldiers were added to the search team. That team found the missing Soldier at approximately 7:50 a.m. Thursday, deceased.

McNealy served as a platoon sergeant with 4-58th Airfield Operations Battalion at Camp Humphrey, South Korea, and was training here to become an Air Traffic and Air Space Manager. He held the rank of Sgt. 1st Class before entering WOCS.

After entering the Army in 2001, he served in multiple deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. McNealy previously served at Fort Rucker with B Co., 1-13th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade.

The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, a tenant unit at Fort Rucker has deployed a Centralized Accident Investigation team to lead the inquiry into the Soldier’s death. The CAI team is comprised of experts in safety, maintenance, operations and training. The investigation report will be used within the Department of Defense for incident prevention purposes only.

Fort Rucker officials are also investigating the incident. The cause of death is currently unknown pending an autopsy; however, no foul play is expected. We will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
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This story was updated at 3:25 p.m. on Friday, July 12.

The Fort Rucker soldier found dead yesterday has been identified as Darrell McNealy. He had served multiple tours in Iraq prior to his passing.

We will have more information during our 6 p.m. newscast.
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FORT RUCKER, Ala. – A Fort Rucker Soldier, going through the Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS), was found deceased this morning after missing a routine land navigation training event yesterday.

The soldier, a male warrant officer candidate, started a three-hour land navigation course at approximately 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. When he did not report at the checkpoint a search party was organized. The search continued throughout the day, using all assets available to include using OH-58 and Apache helicopters to search by air until grounded by weather.

A team of soldiers, first responders and EMS personnel continued the search by ground. At approximately 7 p.m. the Houston County Sheriff’s Office brought in blood hounds that searched until 10 p.m. The search continued through the night and at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, approximately 100 more soldiers were added to the search team.

That team found the missing soldier at approximately 7:50 a.m. on Thursday, deceased.

The soldier’s name is being withheld until next of kin have been notified.

The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, a tenant unit at Fort Rucker has deployed a Centralized Accident Investigation team to lead the inquiry into the Soldier’s death. The CAI team is comprised of experts in safety, maintenance, operations and training. Its mission is to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident and make recommendations to prevent future incidents. The investigation report will be used within the Department of Defense for incident prevention purposes only.

Fort Rucker officials are also investigating the incident. The cause of death is currently unknown pending an autopsy; however, no foul play is expected. We will continue to provide information as it becomes available.


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