Army Golden Knight killed in parachute training jump in Florida
Stars and Stripes March 15, 2023
A member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute demonstration team was killed during a training jump at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida on Monday, Army officials said Wednesday.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael "Ty" Kettenhofen, who had served with the elite parachute team since 2020, died of injuries sustained during the routine jump, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command said in a statement. It was unclear what went wrong, and officials said the incident remained under investigation and declined to provide further details.
Kettenhofen was a highly experienced parachutist with more than 1,000 career jumps with the Army, and he was a graduate of the Army’s Jumpmaster School. An infantryman, he enlisted in the Army in 2006 and served multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Golden Knights video posted online last year.
Lt. Col. Andy Moffit, the Golden Knights' commander, described Kettenhofen as “loved, admired and respected” among his Army peers, who valued his “sense of humor, joy of life” and impressive parachute skills.
“The U.S. Army Parachute Team is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” Moffit said in a statement. “Our hearts and faith are with his family and friends as we grieve and heal with them. Ty will be honored and remembered as a Golden Knight, soldier, and friend.”
The Golden Knights are based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but the unit spends much of the winter training at Homestead in south Florida.
The unit is part of the Army’s recruiting command, aimed at stirring up interest in Army service among those who witness its soldiers perform highly technical parachute maneuvers at air shows and other events across the nation each year.