An Army National Guard soldier assigned to Joint Task Force-North at the nation’s southern border died Saturday in an off-duty pedestrian incident, Army Times has learned.
“We are aware of the recent death of a Soldier that occurred while off-duty in McAllen, Texas, July 10, 2021” said Nicole Wieman, a spokesperson for U.S. Army North, in an email to Army Times.
The soldier was attempting to cross a McAllen street at approximately 3:30 a.m. local time when he was struck by “multiple civilian vehicles,” according to a source with knowledge of the incident.
Wieman confirmed that a soldier died in McAllen, but declined to provide any further details. The incident, she said, remains under investigation and referred further queries to the McAllen Police Department.
A McAllen Police Department spokesperson did not immediately return a phone call from Army Times.
Approximately 3,600 National Guard troops are currently assigned to JTF-North at the U.S./Mexico border on Title 10 orders to assist federal authorities with logistics and surveillance.
The Guard’s federal border mission will soon reduce to 3,000 troops who will continue through fiscal year 2022, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in a Tuesday press briefing.
The soldier who died Saturday was participating in the federally-funded mission.
Additional Guard troops are currently at the border in a State Active Duty status, including 50 troops from the South Dakota National Guard who made headlines when their deployment was revealed to be privately funded by a GOP megadonor.
This is a developing story. Stay with Army Times for updates.
Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army. He focuses on investigations, personnel concerns and military justice. Davis, also a Guard veteran, was a finalist in the 2023 Livingston Awards for his work with The Texas Tribune investigating the National Guard's border missions. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill.