Soldier dead after simulated battle exercise at Fort Irwin in Mojave Desert

FORT IRWIN, Calif. (KABC) -- A 23-year-old soldier died last week in a training incident at Fort Irwin, according to the Army.

Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr. died during a simulated battle exercise at Fort Irwin's National Training Center in the Mojave Desert on March 10.

The 23-year-old and 1st Cavalry Division Trooper had enlisted in 2020, and was based out of Texas' Fort Hood, where he was an armored cannon crewmember with several awards to his name.

"Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr. was a valuable member of our Steel Dragon team. We are deeply saddened by the loss of an incredible Trooper and teammate," Lt. Col. Christopher Carpenter, commander, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, said in a statement. "We extend our deepest sympathies to his spouse, family, and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of mourning and reflection."

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Meitl participated in the brigade's collective training at NTC over the past weekend. He had been awarded an Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

His death is under investigation.
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