'An absolute tragedy:' Solider who died during Ft. Campbell training ID'd as Utah National Guardsman – The Leaf-Chronicle
The Ft. Campbell solider who died Sept. 21 during a diver training exercise has been identified as a Utah National Guard Soldier who was assigned to 19th Special Forces Group, Airborne.
Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead, 29, was a husband and a father to two young children, according to a statement released Thursday by the Utah National Guard.
Olmstead went under water while conducting training at the Joe Swing Park Reservoir and did not resurface, officials said.
His body was recovered the next day following a lengthy search that included personnel from Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Montgomery County Emergency Medical Services.
An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the soldier’s death is continuing, as of Thursday.
Olmstead was pronounced dead by Fort Campbell emergency medical services then taken to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, according to the Utah release.
“This is an absolute tragedy, especially when we lose someone as capable and promising as Lincoln,” Col. Paul Peters, commander of the 19th Special Forces Group, Airborne, said in the release.
“Sometimes, we expect this sort of thing in combat, but not during training, which makes this difficult for the unit and especially the family. 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 National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael Turley also expressed condolences to Lincoln’s family, friends and teammates.
“While training accidents like this are rare, it is a reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by our service members and their families every day,” Turley said in the release.
Olmstead joined the Utah Army National Guard in 2016 and served as a Special Forces engineer sergeant since Oct. 2019. Some of Olmstead’s awards and badges include the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal and Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, according to the release.
A GoFundMe account was created to support Olmstead’s family, surpassing more than $55,000 just within a week.
Details regarding Olmstead’s dignified transfer from Kentucky to Utah were still being finalized Thursday, and funeral services are pending.
Alexis Clark can be reached at [email protected] or 931-217-8519.