Silver Star-winning Navy SEAL reportedly dies after Arizona parachute accident

Feb 24, 2023, 10:47 AM
(Flickr File Photo/Official U.S. Navy Page)...
(Flickr File Photo/Official U.S. Navy Page)
(Flickr File Photo/Official U.S. Navy Page)

PHOENIX — A decorated U.S. Navy SEAL reportedly was killed last weekend in a parachute accident while training in Arizona.

Chief Special Warfare Operator Michael Ernst was pronounced dead at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix after the free-fall incident Sunday in Marana, northwest of Tucson, the Navy Times reported Tuesday.

“Mike was an exceptional teammate. He was a dedicated NSW Sailor who applied his talents and skills towards some of our nation’s hardest challenges, while selflessly mentoring his teammates,” Rear Adm. Keith Davids of the Naval Special Warfare Command said in a statement provided to the media.

“Mike and his family will always be part of the NSW family, and he will never be forgotten.”

The Navy isn’t releasing details about the incident until the investigation is complete.

Ernst enlisted in 2009 and was most recently assigned to a Naval Special Warfare unit based in the East Coast, the Navy Times reported.

The Massachusetts native earned multiple awards during his career, including a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest military combat decoration, according to USNI News.

Ernst leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 5 and 2, according to a Navy SEAL Foundation fundraising page.

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Silver Star-winning Navy SEAL reportedly dies after Arizona parachute accident