Staff Sergeant David Whitcher, 30, of New Hampshire, died during a dive training exercise off the coast of Key West, Florida, November 2. The exact cause of his death remains under investigation.
Whitcher died during training at Fort Bragg's John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. He was a student in the Combat Diver Qualification Course.
Whitcher began his military career with the New Hampshire National Guard in 2008, and deployed twice to Afghanistan with them. He volunteered for Special Forces training in 2014 and had graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg in this year.
"The special operations community is a close-knit family. At the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS), we consider every student who enters our institution to be a part of our SWCS family. Staff Sgt. Whitcher's death is a sobering reminder of the dangerous training our soldiers undertake to prepare themselves for the rigors of Special Forces. Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Whitcher's family and friends," said Major General James B. Linder, commander of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, in a Facebook post.
The Special Warfare Center and School trains Special Forces, psychological operations and civil affairs soldiers.