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Army Drill Sergeant Dies During APFT

02 August 2016 — A senior non-commissioned officer at Fort Jackson, identified
Friday as Sgt. 1st Class Clayton Z. Hughes, 35, collapsed and died after finishing
a two-mile run last Thursday morning.

The drill sergeant from Delta Company, 120th Adjutant General Battalion, had just
completed the final event of a semi-annual Army physical fitness test. He was taken to
Providence Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:56 a.m., they said.

The drill sergeant worked in the reception area of the fort, where recruits are inducted
prior to basic training, according to Fort Jackson spokesman Pat Jones.

He is the third soldier to die at the fort since 2009, he said. A recruit died in 2009 and
another in 2012 during physical training.

“It’s a very rare occurrence for two reasons,” Jones told The State. “One, it’s very
routine for soldiers to do physical training and they are accustomed to it. And two, we
initiate physical training for future soldiers very slowly.”

The death is under investigation.

A Fort Riley Soldier also died last week while running. Officials say Pfc. Luis Ortiz
passed away Saturday at Salina Regional Health Center. The 24-year-old lost
consciousness while running July 27 in Junction City and had been hospitalized
since then.

“It’s never easy to lose a member of your family,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds,
commander of the 3rd AHB, 1st Avn. Regt. “Our Soldiers are our family, and we
extend our deepest sympathies and support to the family and friends of Pfc. Ortiz.”

Ortiz was a Black Hawk helicopter repairer with Company D, 3rd Assault Helicopter
Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Inf. Div.

He joined the Army in June of last year and arrived at Fort Riley in January.