SPC Calyn McLemore passes during training

| June 23, 2018

AW1Ed sends us a link to Fox News which reports the sad news that Army Reserve Specialist Calyn McLemore passed away while he was engaged in a Land Navigation Course in Alabama.

Searchers have discovered the body of an Alabama Army Reserves soldier who was reported missing during a training exercise at Camp Blanding in Florida.

The search began when Spc. Calyn McLemore failed to return from the exercise as scheduled Wednesday, according to reports.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday evening that the body was found in the woods and that the cause of death hadn’t been determined.

From the Florida Times;

McLemore was with about 70 other soldiers on a course designed to test their navigation skills through heavy vegetation. Participants are given a map, compass, protractor, pencil and coordinates, according to National Guard information about land navigation courses.

[Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Keith] Smith said the soldiers work the course individually, although they may come across each other as they navigate the grid. The terrain can be grueling, he said.

“And with all the rain that we have had, and it’s a kind of swampy area anyway … waist-high to chest-high swamp, mud and water,” Smith said. ”… It’s taken [our searchers] a lot to get through there and we have to make sure we keep our guys hydrated. It is a meticulous and methodical search.”

The Sheriff’s Office said “there’s nothing that gives us any indication” that McLemore might have just run away, nor that any foul play has occurred. It was still believed the Alabama soldier got off course. They were also concerned about some of the wildlife he might encounter, said Smith, who has trained at the camp himself.

A reminder that training for war can be as deadly as the war itself.

Category: Army News

Comments (25)

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  1. HMC Ret says:

    Rest in Peace, Warrior.

  2. Roh-Dog says:

    “A reminder that training for war can be as deadly as the war itself“, gets me every time.
    Rest well, Brother. We have your watch.

  3. AW1Ed says:

    Sad. Fair winds and following seas, Specialist McLemore.

    I’ve been to Camp Blanding way back when- a nasty, swampy scrub sort of place. Couple that with 100 degree temps and typical 90% humidity, and one can understand the dangers.

  4. Mason says:

    Rest easy, Specialist. Save a spot for me in Valhalla.

  5. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace young Brother.

  6. SaraSnipe says:

    Rest In Peace troop. People do not think land Navy can be deadly, but even seasoned troops can die out there. The factors that make land Navy deadly have a cumulative effect if one is not prepared.

  7. 5JC says:

    We stopped the night at Blanding on the way out from Andrew Relief. Miserable place even in late fall. I’ve seen motivated soldiers get heat injuries on the land nav course by trying to run it fast. It can get dangerous fast. I know the family will be heartbroken, looked like a good kid.

  8. OWB says:

    So, so sad. May the family find some peace in this, and comfort in knowing there are a lot of us out here who do not know them but are with them on this journey.

  9. Marine8151 says:

    This tradgedy could have been avoided if someone in the chain of command would have had the forethought to employ the “buddy system.” What comes to mind immediately is the tragic loss of a Marine LCPL Jason J. Rother in 29 Palms during a CAX exercise. https://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/11/us/marine-s-death-in-training-becomes-a-harsh-lesson-for-corps.html
    His loss was avoidable as well. It’s not armchair quarterbacking, there is more than enough information there in the form of after action reports and exercise debriefs to know the military at every level needs to concern itself with safety to the infinite degree. I hope they make every individual accountable for this tragedy up and down the chain. Rest In Peace soldier.

    • Grunt says:

      Yeah sorry nah, bro. There are always risks in training and realistic training can have an element of danger to it. Accomplishments of missions come first, not safety; as leaders, it’s our job to manage that risk and ensure that the benefits of training outweigh the potential risk to the persons training.

      Sucks that he died, but there’s not enough information to say whether or not the control measures or lack there of contributed to his death. I’m not about to go out on the limb you did and say that an entire chain of command should be fried because a Soldier died attempting a common skill task.

    • timactual says:

      There comes a time in every soldier’s life when he has to put on his big boys’ pants, let go of mommy’s apron strings, and learn to do things on his own. War is for grownups. I used to think the Marines taught the same thing.

      That “buddy system” would not have helped Rother.

    • Sgt Dooley says:

      I have served with spc mclemore for two years before leaving that company. No one will prob ever truly know who is to blame for this tragic event be it the ncos at the blc academy , the ncos who were suppose to ensure that a reserve soldier was prepared for all parts of the school or whomever it is just a tragedy it happened now we as leaders need to learn from it an try to ensure it isn’t repeated

  10. IDC SARC says:


  11. UpNorth says:

    Rest in Peace, soldier.

  12. M48DAT says:

    RIP brother

  13. A Terminal Lance Coolie says:

    Till Valhalla, brother.

  14. Thunderstixx says:

    So sad when another good one slips away from us.
    RIP Young Trooper, Mission Accomplished…

  15. A Terminal Lance Coolie says:

    Till Valhalla,brother.

  16. Ex-PH2 says:

    Rest in Peace, SPC McLemore.

  17. RGR 4-78 says:

    Rest in Peace.

  18. FatCircles0311 says:

    Damn what a way to go. That must be one hell of a land nav course. RIP.

  19. Deplorable B Woodman says:

    Died of dehydration and sun stroke???

  20. NHSparky says:

    Rest easy, and may your loved ones find peace and comfort in this difficult time.

    That’s all that matters.

  21. D H says:

    There are a lot of prepartory issues on both the soldier and NCO. That course isn’t crazy difficult but if the soldier chose not to eat & drink smartly or if an NCO didn’t ensure everyone had adequate resources on hand the results are the needless death of an individual.