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Citadel News Service

Office of Public Affairs



CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 17.--Officials at The Citadel have learned that one of the four soldiers who died of exposure this week at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida during Army Ranger training was a 1990 alumnus of The Citadel, Captain Milton Palmer.

     According to Associated Press the deaths occurred during the final days of an intense two-month training period in the swampy grounds at the air base. The soldiers had already undergone stressful testing in the forest, desert and mountains to prepare them for extreme conditions. Eight of the soldiers began suffering hypothermia on Wednesday. Three died at a clinic and the body of the fourth was found in the swamp early Thursday. AP quoted a spokesman at Ranger Headquarters in Georgia as saying that the "whole course is designed to push the individual. There is very little sleep involved, a lot of stress. Its not unusual for the individual to keep going on sheer guts."

     Flags at the military college are flying at half-mast and echo taps will be played at todays dress parade of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Funeral arrangements are pending.

     Citadel President, Lt. Gen. Claudius E. Watts III, expressed deep sadness on hearing the news of the four deaths. "This is indeed a great tragedy. Milton Palmer was a model cadet at The Citadel. He was an outstanding young man and was obviously on his way to a very successful Army career."

     During his senior year Palmer was one of the six highest ranking cadets in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. He held the rank of lieutenant colonel and was commander of the Third Battalion. He was a Deans List student, a Distinguished Military Student, a member of the Junior Sword Drill--a precision saber unit, and during his last three years he was a cheerleader for the Bulldogs. He was the recipient of several scholarships and military awards, and he was named to the 1990 Edition of Whos Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. A psychology major, he was awarded a bachelor of science degree and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army on 12 May 1990.

     Palmer was born in Hampton, Va., and was graduated from high school in Fayetteville, N.C..


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