Soldier dies during training in California’s Mojave Desert

March 15, 2022 GMT

FORT IRWIN, Calif. (AP) — A soldier died last week during training in California’s Mojave Desert, the U.S. Army announced.

Spc. Joseph M. Meitl Jr., 23, died last Thursday at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, the Army said in a weekend statement.

Fort Irwin is in San Bernardino County, located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Meitl joined the Army in May 2020 and was an armored cannon crew member in the 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood, Texas, which was undergoing training, the Army said.

His death is under investigation.

“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 said in the statement. “We extend our deepest sympathies to his spouse, family, and friends.”

Meitl previously was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.