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Staff Sgt. Timothy Luke Manchester
Staff Sgt. Timothy Luke Manchester (texas.gov)

A soldier who died in Kuwait this week was a member of the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division and a Marine Corps veteran, the military said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Timothy Luke Manchester, 34, died Wednesday in a noncombat incident at Camp Arifjan, the Defense Department said in a statement.

Manchester had been found unresponsive, and the cause of death was being investigated, U.S. Army Central said in an earlier statement.

“We are devastated by the loss of one of our own,” Texas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris said in a separate statement. “In this profession, we always know in the back of our mind that this is a possibility, but we hope it never comes to pass.”

Manchester, of Austin, was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, out of Camp Mabry, Texas. He joined the National Guard in 2018 after serving nearly a decade as a Middle East cryptologic linguist in the Marines.

After enlisting in 2005, Manchester attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., his address history shows. While military records provided to Stars and Stripes don’t indicate the language he studied, Marines in that job field typically learn Arabic.

He served on two deployments to Iraq, first in 2008 and again in 2009. During his time with the Marines, he earned several medals and decorations including a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and two Joint Service Commendation Medals, as well as two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

His last duty assignment before separating from the Marine Corps in 2014 was back to DLI, said the records provided by Yvonne Reed-Carlock, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Manpower & Reserve Affairs in Quantico, Va.

Manchester had also earned an Army Commendation Medal, the Texas Military Department said in its statement, which did not say more about the circumstances of his death or about what his duties had been with the 36th Infantry Division.

Some 600 of the division’s soldiers are deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Spartan Shield, which supports military cooperation, logistics and humanitarian assistance efforts in the Middle East. Their 10-month rotation began late last year.

Manchester is the second soldier from Texas to die in a noncombat incident in the country this year. Staff Sgt. Anthony Bermudez, a native of a Dallas suburb, was killed in a vehicle accident near Camp Buehring on Jan. 11. Two other soldiers were injured in the accident and treated at a military hospital in the country.

Bermudez had been assigned to Area Support Group – Kuwait and was on his first deployment. His remains were returned to the U.S. in a dignified transfer ceremony Jan. 13 at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Manchester’s death remained under investigation on Friday, Texas officials said.

“The entire Texas Military Department sends our deepest condolences to Staff Sgt. Manchester’s family and loved ones he leaves behind,” Norris said.

garland.chad@stripes.com Twitter: @chadgarland

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Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.
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