A senior field artillery NCO assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s headquarters battalion was found dead Monday morning in his Fort Bragg, North Carolina on-post apartment, Army officials announced.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Hamilton was 35 years old and hailed from Plano, Texas, according to a division press release. He participated in the unit’s snap deployment to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier this year amid a frenzied noncombatant evacuation operation.

Emergency responders pronounced the senior NCO dead upon arrival at his residence.

“Michael was a dedicated Paratrooper, passionate leader, and a loyal friend,” said Lt. Col. Todd Sunday, who was Hamilton’s battalion commander. “He dedicated his life to serving his country and did so with great distinction. His loss will be felt by many in the Army and especially within the All American family.”

According to the release, Hamilton’s awards included the Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, and service awards and badges that indicate previous combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror.

He graduated from basic training in 2006, the release said. Hamilton served in Germany, Texas, Alaska, Korea, and Oklahoma during the course of his career, in addition to Fort Bragg.

The incident remains under investigation, the release said.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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