Spc. Brandon Ricardo Diaz

Spc. Brandon Ricardo Diaz 

A 20-year-old soldier has been found dead at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), where he was stationed since 2020.

Spc. Brandon Ricardo Diaz's body was discovered Friday in his living quarters at the Anchorage base, U.S. Army Alaska reported.

"Diaz was well-known throughout the battalion for his technical and tactical competence,” said Lt. Col. Dustin Blair, 2-377th PFAR commander. “He had an upbeat personality and a keen ability to motivate and care for his fellow paratroopers. He will truly be missed.”

The cause of death is under investigation by the Army Criminal Investigation Division. 

John Pennell, media relations chief for U.S. Army Alaska, said Tuesday the investigation is not a criminal review.

"All Army deaths are investigated by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, but while the name includes 'criminal,' it is not meant to imply the death was a criminal matter," Pennell said in an email to the News-Miner.

Diaz, who is from Arizona, was a joint fire support specialist. He served with the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at JBER.

He had received numerous awards for his military service, including the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

He enlisted in the Army in 2019, and trained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, before reporting to Alaska in January 2020.

JBER has a recent history of untimely deaths among its service members. In spring 2020, three soldiers were found dead at JBER. In May 2021, a military police officer died by suicide at the base.

Editor's note: This article was updated on Oct. 12, 2021, with additional information from U.S. Army Alaska.

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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