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South Korea-based soldier dies while in Georgia for routine training

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Craig W. Mulder, 39, was found in the water at Tybee Island, Ga., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, and later pronounced dead by the Chatham County coroner, according to an Army press release.

U.S. ARMY

By KIM GAMEL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 21, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korea-based American soldier died after being found unresponsive in the water off a beach in Georgia where he was participating in routine aviation training, the military said Wednesday.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Craig W. Mulder, 39, was found in the water on Sunday at Tybee Island and later pronounced dead by the Chatham County coroner, according to a press release.

“The case remains under investigation, but all indications are that he drowned,” 2nd ID spokesman Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton told Stars and Stripes.

Mulder, an Apache Longbow pilot stationed at Camp Humphreys, had been with the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division since November 2018.

The Hubertus, Wis., native was in Georgia for routine training at Hunter Army Airfield, the 2nd ID said.

Brigade commander Col. Aaron Martin said the “Talon team is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and teammate” and expressed deepest condolences to his friends and loved ones.

“It was an honor to serve with a trusted professional like Craig. During his time here, he served with distinction. Craig’s ability to brighten someone’s day with a joke was unparalleled,” Martin said.

“He was an optimist who believed in constantly moving forward. His efforts will have a lasting impact on the soldiers he devotedly mentored and trained, and our operations in Korea,” Martin added.

Mulder enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in 2005, then became an unmanned aircraft systems repairer in 2008. He served in that capacity until 2013 when he was accepted as a warrant officer candidate.

He was assigned to the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, after graduating from warrant officer candidate school and completing flight training at Fort Rucker, Ala.

Mulder completed two deployments to Iraq. He also was awarded the Army parachutist badge, the combat infantryman badge, the Army achievement medal and the Army commendation medal, the press release said.

gamel.kim@stripes.com
Twitter: @kimgamel

The pier at Tybee Island, Ga., a barrier island about 18 miles east of Savannah.
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