COLUMBIA, S.C. – Another tragic loss has occurred at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, as 30-year-old Staff Sergeant Zachary Melton, a U.S. Army drill sergeant, was found dead in his vehicle on Saturday after failing to report to work. Melton’s death comes just 10 days after another drill sergeant was found deceased at the same training base.
According to Fort Jackson officials, emergency medical services personnel pronounced Melton dead at the scene. His next of kin have been notified, and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
This marks the second death of a drill sergeant in the past two weeks within Fort Jackson. On December 8, 34-year-old Staff Sergeant Allen Burtram, from the 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, was also found dead after failing to report for duty. The Army Criminal Investigation Division stated that there is no evidence of foul play in Burtram’s death.
Additionally, in a tragic turn of events, three drill sergeants have now died at Fort Jackson in 2023. These incidents have sparked concerns and highlighted the need for further investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of these servicemen.
Fort Jackson is a significant training center for the Army, responsible for the basic combat training of a large percentage of new U.S. soldiers each year. The latest deaths raise questions about the safety and well-being of military personnel at the training base.
As the Army continues to investigate these heartbreaking losses, the families and fellow soldiers of the fallen drill sergeants are grieving the sudden and tragic deaths of their loved ones. The entire Fort Jackson community, as well as the broader military community, are deeply affected by these recent events.
The deaths of Staff Sergeant Zachary Melton and Staff Sergeant Allen Burtram at Fort Jackson have raised concerns and prompted a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths. These incidents have shed light on the need for further scrutiny and action to ensure the safety and well-being of military personnel at the training base.