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 is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.

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