Fort Wainwright soldier found dead on base
A Fort Wainwright soldier was found dead last week in an armory on base, U.S. Army Alaska officials said Tuesday, with his death still under investigation.
Spc. Ashvin James Slaughter, assigned to Fort Wainwright’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, was discovered Friday in a company arms room.
“According to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, at this point in the investigation they do not suspect foul play, although they have not completely ruled it out while they conduct a thorough death investigation,” Army officials wrote in a statement.
Slaughter, 24, joined the Army from Texas in September 2016 and was assigned to Fort Wainwright in January 2017.
Slaughter’s service as a rifleman, automatic rifleman and Stryker personnel carrier driver was remembered in the statement by Lt. Col. Jimmy Howell, the commander of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry regiment in which he served. His unit has been “devastated” by his loss, according to Howell.
“Ashvin was bright, funny, endearing to all who knew him and not only a terrific soldier but a kind and good man who would selflessly take on more to help his friends or be there for them in their time of need,” Howell said. “He was loved and valued by his military family here in Alaska. We express our deepest condolences to his family back home in Houston."
U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said Tuesday that the Army was “not going any further” in discussing details of Slaughter’s death during the investigation, including whether his death involved a firearm. The arms room in which he died has been temporarily sealed.
“It's the area of an ongoing investigation, so access will be limited for the duration of the ongoing investigation,” Pennell said.
Slaughter is the second Fort Wainwright soldier to die this year, after the Jan. 2 death of 25-year-old Sgt. Jorden Thomas Williams at his home. The death of Williams, a military working dog handler, is also under investigation but Pennell said no conclusions have been reached in that case either.
In the meantime, Pennell said, any soldiers affected by this month’s deaths should feel free to seek help through base medical staff, chaplains or their chain of command.
“We have a very robust program for soldiers who feel they need assistance at any time,” Pennell said.
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