Arkansas National Guard Soldier Dies


FORT CHAFFEE JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. (News release) – An Arkansas National Guard soldier who died yesterday at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Arkansas was an Iraq War Veteran.

Sergeant Sylvester B. Cline, 32, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas died at approximately 6:15 p.m., Tuesday June 14th at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith. The cause of death has not been determined and an investigation is ongoing.

Cline enlisted in the Arkansas National Guard in 2002 and was assigned as a Heavy Vehicle Driver in the Guard’s Company A, 39th Brigade Support Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The unit was at Fort Chaffee yesterday as part of the brigade’s annual training.

Cline, a veteran of a combat deployment to Iraq with the 39th Infantry Brigade in 2008, was awarded the Iraq Campaign medal and a Global War on Terror Service medal in addition to other awards and decorations.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Cline,” said Maj. Gen. Mark H. Berry, adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the soldiers in his unit. He will be remembered as a defender of freedom.”

Cline, who as a civilian was a maintenance worker in Pine Bluff, is survived by four children and other family members.

Over 1,300 soldiers from Arkansas’ 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are currently training at Fort Chaffee. The brigade has been conducting its Annual Training at Fort Chaffee since arriving at the installation on June 4..

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