Fort Bragg-based Special Forces soldier dies during training

Staff Sgt. David J. Whitcher, 30, of Bradford, New Hampshire

Staff Sgt. David J. Whitcher, 30, of Bradford, New Hampshire

KEY WEST, Florida – A Fort Bragg-based Special Forces soldier has died during a dive training exercise off the coast of Key West, Florida.

Staff Sgt. David J. Whitcher, 30, of Bradford, New Hampshire, died Wednesday, according to the Army. The cause of his death is under investigation.

Whitcher was a student in the Combat Diver Qualification Course assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

“Our primary focus right now is to care for his loved ones. As always, we will take care of our own and help his family in their time of need,” said 7th Special Forces Group Commander Col. Michael A. Ball, according to the Army.

Whitcher enlisted in the New Hampshire National Guard in 2008 as a carpentry and masonry specialist. He was a veteran of two deployments to Afghanistan as a member of the National Guard in his home state.