Investigation: US Army Ranger soldier killed in tactical vehicle accident with few details released

An Army ranger based out of Fort Benning recently died in an accident involving a single tactical vehicle.

1st Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, 25, was a platoon leader in the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, and he was killed during a vehicle accident on Sept. 7, according to a statement by the Army Special Operations Command.

No additional details were provided about the accident. The statement says the incident is currently under investigation.

“First Lieutenant Connor Bednarzyk was an amazing Ranger, leader, and friend.” said Lt. Col. Michael Klopper, Commander 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. “He was known throughout the Battalion for his caring and positive attitude. He will be missed by all.”

Bednarzyk, a Virginia native, was an infantry officer with the Distribution Platoon, Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Before his final assignment, he served as a platoon leader in 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.

He served just three years in the Army with extensive accomplishments.

Bednarzyk completed a deployment to Kosovo where he “led U.S. troops on a peace keeping mission working with NATO forces and local military to ensure a safe and secure environment” and “actively conducted training exercises to sustain border control operations to combat potential resistance from outside forces,” according to his obituary in the Boston Globe.

In 2015, he completed Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Benning. He also completed Basic Airborne School, Air Assault School, Army Ranger School, and Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 2.

The Army’s statement outlines Bednarzyk’s numerous awards, including “the coveted Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, the Army Parachutist Badge, and the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. He has also been awarded the Army Achievement Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Custer, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.”

Bednarzyk was a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a degree in Security Risk Analysis and graduated in the top 10 percent of all ROTC graduates.

Penn State spokesperson Lisa Powers said, “This is sad news for the Penn State community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends as they mourn the tragic death of Connor, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. He was respected and admired, and his loss is deeply felt. We offer our heartfelt sympathy,” according to Onward State, PSU’s student blog.

“He truly valued the freedoms of the United States and was honored to serve as an active member of our U.S. military,” his obituary said.

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