Skip to comments.West Point cadet from W. Va. dies during training
Posted on 07/24/2011 4:50:45 PM PDT by chargers fan
WEST POINT, N.Y. U.S. Military Academy officials were investigating Friday how an apparently healthy, athletic 18-year-old West Point cadet died during a land navigation exercise. Cadet Jacob D. Bower of Fairmont, W.Va., was found unresponsive Thursday by fellow cadets in a largely wooded area used for training. Attempts to revive Bower were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m. The incident and cause of death are under investigation. Temperatures in the Hudson Valley were in the 90s Thursday, but West Point's Lt. Col. Sherri Reed said it was not clear if high temperatures were a factor.
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i’m about 30 minutes from West Point and can tell you the weather (heat/humidity) has been unbearable since Thursday- i run daily and pride myself on running every day in all sorts of weather but i was even becoming concerned it was so bad...
Tragic. But let this child’s life remind us, none of us are guarenteed even one minute more, no matter what our physical shape.
Heat stroke; someone’s career is in jeopardy for not monitoring his fluid intake.
Compared to the other training, I found the land nav course to be relatively low on the exertion scale. However, it was one of the few instances in which you would spend extensive periods of time alone. Anything could have happened...but I wouldn’t instantly blame the heat.
When going through Airborne training as an ROTC cadet in August, a long, long time ago, the Black Hats made sure everyone was hydraded and run through the showers 2-3 times per day. When you are soaking wet from a cold shower, 95 degrees is actually comfortable.
Last night I was trying to figure out when I went to Jump School, I came up with July, but had forgotten some courses and now think it was closer to the end of August, I thought it was pretty hot then, but I had already been spending all my time at Ft.Polk and then Fort Sill, so it was nothing new.
Yeah, one of the problems with heat exhaustion/stroke is that at some point a person doesn’t feel thirsty, and if they are not experienced with heat or don’t have someone to nag them into drinking more water, they can get into real trouble.
It's dangerous. God bless the men that choose to train themselves to protect the country.
We lose more fighter pilots in training than in combat.
War, even training for war, is dangerous and not for sissies.
Hand salute for the Cadet.
IIRC, during Beast the New Cadets were paired up. There wasn't seperate land nav until Buckner (sophmore year training for the non USMA guys here).
What does this have to do anything? So, this kid deserved to die because Obama appointed a lesbian to the WP oversight group? Go trash another school.
She may be involved in the investigation in the Cadet Bowers death.
She would have lied on her application to enter the military and the paperwork prior to her initial physical. Now she may be involved in the investigation.
No intent to trash the school. Obama is trashing it by making her appointment.
So sad for his family.
One of his classmates was with us at Church today, Sad story. The young man with us completed the course but had heat stroke himself.
Sadly, despite all precautions, there are a number of military personnel who die each year in training accidents. Back in 1991, General (then Lt. Colonel) David Petraeus was nearly killed when a soldier tripped during a live-fire exercise and accidentally shot him in the chest.
Back during WW2, thousands of airmen perished in flight training accidents. The Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville contains dozens of mass graves from the transport aircraft crashes that occurred in the region. Bowman Field was one of the primary transport pilot training facilities in the country, as well as the site of the main production plant for the Curtiss C-46 Commando. They would take young pilots, some with less than twenty hours of flight time, and place them behind the wheel of a brand new C-46. Unfortunately, some of these aircraft had construction flaws (due to the hasty assembly times necessitated by the war) and would suffer severe problems while in flight. If they had an experienced pilot with a couple hundred hours of flight time, they might have recovered; but with a rookie pilot who usually only has a few dozen hours, the results were often catastrophic.
As an old West Point mom, I guarantee you that the fluid intakes are monitored constantly, with the speakers calling out the heat index every 15 minutes or so.
My son explained to us that the upperclassmen stopped them during exercise, and made them drink until they “sloshed” when the heat index indicated it was necessary.
My guess is that this cadet was out in the field, maybe alone?, had plenty of water with him, and just neglected to do it. I hope this isn’t the case, because he seemed like he had enough prior training in high school sports to understand the importance of hydration.
But, we do not really know yet if heat/dehydration was the cause. There are deaths on the sports playing field every year, caused by undiagnosed rare heart defects that have not been picked up on the standard tests.
You would not believe how much care is taken to keep the cadets safe at West Point. My son lost a lot of weight during “beast barracks”, and the upperclassmen in charge would weigh him daily, and bring him additional food outside of the regular meals to try to help him keep from losing any more.
They do feed the cadets a humongeous amount of calories a day, but some of them lose weight at the beginning anyway, until they begin to put on some muscle.
They take it very seriously, and this is a tragedy. I weep for his parents, who have lost so much!