Green Beret NCO dies during physical fitness training at Fort Bragg

First Lt. Kitty Terry, a nurse from the Hawaii Army National Guard's medical detachment, displays a prepared syringe filled with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Oct. 1, 2021, at the Hawaii Army Readiness Center, Kalaeloa, Hawaii. (1st Lt. Anyah Peatross/Army National Guard)


A Special Forces soldier died Wednesday after a “sudden, unexpected medical event” during physical fitness training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 1st Special Forces Command said in a statement Friday morning.

Sgt. 1st Class Calvin T. Rockward, 38, was attending the Special Forces Warrant Officer Technical and Tactical Certification Course at the time of his death.

Officials did not elaborate on the cause of the medical incident.

There have been two other training deaths involving Green Berets in recent months. One soldier died in July at the Army’s combat diver course on Naval Air Station Key West, in Florida, and another died in September during a water training event at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

At the time of his death, Rockward was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington state. He was from Jacksonville, Florida, and enlisted in the Army in December 2004 as a Special Forces candidate through the 18X program.

Rockward attended Infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, before he attended the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg. He first served as a communications sergeant and later became an intelligence sergeant.

Rockward served in Iraq and Afghanistan during his military career.

“Sgt. 1st Class Rockward was a warrior,” said Col. Ryan Ehrler, commander of 1st Group, in a prepared statement.

“An accomplished, respected, and loved Special Forces soldier and teammate, Cal was also kind-hearted and cared deeply about his family,” Ehrler added. “He always put a smile on the face of every person he encountered. We collectively mourn the loss of our brother and honor his service to the nation, and our deepest condolences go to Sgt. 1st Class Rockward’s family.”

Rockward is survived by his wife and daughter.

Rockward’s military education includes the Special Forces Qualification Course, Airborne School, Pathfinder School, Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant Course, Special Forces Jumpmaster Course, Special Operations Combatives Program, Special Forces Advanced Reconnaissance Target Analysis Exploitation Course and several additional operator-maintainer courses, the Army stated.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.



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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.