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New details emerge in lightning strike that killed one soldier and injured nine soldiers at Fort Gordon

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U.S. Army Reserve officials from Fort Bragg, N.C. sent out an email Thursday to provide new details regarding a lightning strike that killed one and injured nine others at Fort Gordon July 20.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael D. Clark, an operating room specialist assigned to 933rd Forward
Resuscitative Surgical Company, 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support), died from
injuries he sustained from the lightning strike.

Clark, 41, a native of Springfield, Mass., served in the Army and U.S. Army Reserve for more than 22 years, deploying four times in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The 933rd FRSD family is devastated by the loss of our brother, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Clark.
Sgt. 1st Clark was a loving husband, father, and a Patriot who deeply loved our country. His
leadership, knowledge, experience, and love for his fellow Soldiers was immeasurable. Sgt. 1st
Clark’s smile and laughter were infectious and always brought joy to everyone around him. Words
will never be able to describe how much he will be missed, but his influence on our unit and
Soldiers will remain forever. This especially hurts because not only was Sgt. 1st Clark one of my
Soldiers, but he was my friend and brother. Our prayers are with his family,” said Maj. Stephen W. Rhinehart, commander, 933rd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Company, in the email.

Reserve units were at Fort Gordon when lightning struck in Training Area 26.

The 933th, 936th and 946th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachments were attending annual
training in support of Regional Medic, a “training exercise for medical units to
refine their processes and medical skills in field and stressful environments. It’s a training platform
that can emulate and help units become successful in executing everything from basic warrior
tasks to the full operation of medical support and performance in aspect of what that unit can do
both on the battlefield and on the move,” it said.

Fort Gordon’s Department of Emergency Services and Emergency Medical Services responded to
the scene immediately, and the soldiers were transported to Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical
Center for follow-on medical care, the email continued. Ten soldiers were injured; nine with the 3rd Medical Command and one with the 748th Medical Operations Readiness Unit, Army Reserve Medical Command.

Of the eight other Army Reserve soldiers assigned to 3rd Medical Command (Deployment
Support), seven remain in good condition, and one has been treated and released.

The soldier assigned to 7458th Medical Operational Readiness Unit, Army Reserve Medical
Command, was also serving with the Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachments, and is said to be in good condition.

“We extend our sincere sympathies to Sgt.1st Class Clark’s unit and his family during this difficult
time,” said Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General of U.S. Army
Reserve Command. “People are our most important asset. Sgt. 1st Class Clark was a valuable
member of our Army Reserve team and we are all deeply saddened by his loss.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very sad but it points out the need for situational awareness and the proper tools needed.

    Hopefully cell phones had decent weather apps, radars, lightning detectors.

    25 years in Scouting with many of those including camp management sometimes things just happen.

    • The center of the weather “disturbance” was southwest of the strike. Lighting detectors recorded just two hits in the area, one of which hit that tent. This, according to news reports.

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