Staff Sgt. Kelly Richards

Kelly

Richards

A 32-year-old Fort Carson medic has died during training in South Korea, the Army said Thursday in a news release.

Staff Sgt. Kelly L. Richards, with the post’s 3rd Brigade Combat team, was competing for his Expert Field Medical Badge during an event at Camp Casey when he died Wednesday, Korean time. Competition for the badge includes tests of medical knowledge along with soldiers’ skills and physical fitness trials.

“Staff Sgt. Richards passed away while demonstrating his dedication to the nation and to the brigade as he earned his Expert Field Medical Badge,” said his brigade commander, Col. Grant Fawcett, in an email. “The loss of this exceptional ... leader will be felt by soldiers throughout the Iron Brigade.”

Richards, a native of Grayling, Mich., was a 14-year Army veteran who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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He earned the Army Commendation Medal five times and was assigned to Fort Carson in 2016.

His unit is deployed to Kuwait as part of an American effort to support allies in the Middle East. Richards had traveled from Kuwait to the American base 40 miles north of Seoul for the training.

Details on his death have not been released, but sources say it is not considered suspicious.

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240 Twitter: @xroederx

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

Senior Military Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's senior military editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak region. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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