A soldier assigned to 97th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was killed, and 12 others were wounded, during a training incident yesterday morning. Staff Sgt. Jacob A. Hess, 34, of Belton, Missouri, died of wounds sustained during training at the Joint Readiness Training Center. The wounded soldiers sustained non-life threatening injuries, and are assigned to 95th CA Bde., 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and 72nd Military Police Company, Nevada Army National Guard, in Las Vegas. All service members involved were evaluated and screened for injuries.
Staff Sgt Jacob A. Hess attended Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first assignment was with 129th Transportation Company in New Century, Kansas.
After a year in the Army Reserves, he reclassified and enlisted in the Active Army and was assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as a heavy equipment operator and later as a squad leader. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2008, and again from 2009-2010.
His next assignment was with 561st Engineer Company at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he served as a squad leader and company operations sergeant. In 2013, Hess completed the Civil Affairs Qualification Course and was assigned to 97th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th CA Bde., as a Civil Affairs noncommissioned officer.
While assigned to 97th CA Bn., Hess participated in Joint Combined Exchange Training in South Korea and Indonesia. He also served as a member of the Civil Military Support Element in Cambodia.
Hess is a graduate of Airborne School, Combat Life Savers Course, Route Reconnaissance and Clearance Course, Basic Leader Course, Master Driver Trainer Course, Advanced Leader Course, Airload Planner Course, Automated Airload Planner Course, Army Combatives Course Level 1, Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection, Senior Leader Course, Chinese-Mandarin Special Operations Language Course, Civil Affairs Qualification Course, Mobile Force Protection Course, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (fourth award), Army Achievement Medal (sixth award), Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal (fourth award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star (second award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (third award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (third award), Parachutist Badge, and Italian Airborne Wings.
He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.