FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - The name of a Fort Benning soldier who died while on post has been released on the military installation's Facebook page Wednesday morning.
Fort Benning says Pfc. Hank L. Brown, 19, was off-duty when he was found dead during a recreational swim time on Aug. 3 at a pool on post.
Pfc. Brown was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade as a rifleman, the post states.
In a Facebook post Tuesday night, Benning officials said, "a thorough investigation is underway into the soldier's death, as is the policy in the event of an accident, injury or tragedy of this nature. "
The posting goes on to say "the thoughts and prayers of the ARTB and the entire Fort Benning community are with the Brown family during this exceptionally challenging time."
Brown, of McAlester, OK, joined the Army in June 2014 and was an Infantryman who went through Basic Training, Advanced Infantry Training and Basic Airborne Training at Fort Benning. In October 2014, Brown was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.
Brown worked as an Opposing Force Specialist with 4th Battalion, supporting the Ranger School Program of Instruction. He provided an OPFOR signature on Ranger Objectives - consisting of reconnaissance and ambushes - and attacked the Ranger patrols, testing their ability to react to contact.
"Brown helped provide Ranger students with tough, realistic training under adverse conditions in order to develop them into better leaders," CPT Micah Pawlata, HHC Commander said. "In order to accomplish these tasks, Brown had to be excellent at land navigation and have a solid understanding of small unit tactics. He far surpassed expectations in all aspects of his duties and set a very high standard for others to follow."
"Brown was the epitome of a "hard charger," Pawlata said. "In addition to professionally executing each of his duties, he was frequently pursuing opportunities to better himself and become a better asset to the Army. A testament to his determination to achieve, he was selected to attend the United States Army Ranger School in September 2015, an opportunity rarely afforded to someone with such little time in the Army."
"Brown was the type of Soldier who could brighten your day just by being around him and witnessing his tenacity and grit," Pawlata said. "He truly embodied the concepts we live by in the Ranger community such as intestinal fortitude, placing the mission first, and never accepting defeat."
During his personal time, Brown was an avid video gamer, blade collector and amateur mechanic, who enjoyed rebuilding his Mustang and an old Camaro.
"The thoughts and prayers of the ARTB and the entire Fort Benning community are with the Brown family during this exceptionally challenging time," Col. David Fivecoat, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade commander said.
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