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Pvt. Courtney Shields, 18, a signal support systems specialist from Bryans Road, Md., was found unresponsive while on leave in her home state, Friday, April 26, 2019.
Pvt. Courtney Shields, 18, a signal support systems specialist from Bryans Road, Md., was found unresponsive while on leave in her home state, Friday, April 26, 2019. (U.S. Army)

SEOUL, South Korea — An 18-year-old soldier serving with the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea died while on leave in Maryland, the Army said Monday, adding the circumstances surrounding her death are under investigation.

Pvt. Courtney Shields, a signal support systems specialist from Bryans Road, Md., was found unresponsive Friday while on leave in her home state. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to a press release.

Shields, who joined the Army at age 17 in October 2017, was assigned to the 229th Signal Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade.

“During her short time with us, Pvt. Shields had a positive impact on all the soldiers within the 2ID Sustainment Brigade, Special Troops Battalion and will be dearly missed,” said battalion commander Lt. Col. Jeremiah Pope.

“She was a valued member of the Dragon team that could brighten up any room with her infectious smile,” he added.

Her awards included the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon.

gamel.kim@stripes.comTwitter: @kimgamel

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