Tragedy befell the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Monday as one of the young students enrolled there unexpectedly passed away.
Cadet 3rd Class Hunter Brown, a member of the Academy's football team, collapsed and died while walking to class on Monday, Military.com reported.
Brown reportedly "experienced a medical emergency while leaving his dormitory for class," and though first responders arrived to render aid almost immediately, the "attempted life-saving measures" were "ultimately unsuccessful."
"Hunter was a standout offensive lineman on the Falcon football team and was well-respected in his squadron," Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark said in a news release. "The entire U.S. Air Force Academy mourns his loss, and our hearts and condolences are with his family, his squadron, and all who were touched by this incredible young man."
Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Paul Moga called for an assembly of the entire cadet wing and said, "It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness I share with you that we have lost one of our own. He leaves behind friends, grieving teammates, a grieving cadet wing, and a devastated family."
With heavy hearts we share the loss of a cadet.
C3C Hunter Brown died Monday after suffering a medical emergency while on his way to class.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends, teammates and fellow cadets.#NeverForgotten pic.twitter.com/amPlznZqTC
— U.S. Air Force Academy (@AF_Academy) January 10, 2023
The commandant proceeded to offer the cadets a variety of options for assistance to help deal with the loss, including access to chaplains and mental health professionals, not to mention faculty and staff, and allowed for the cadets to skip their morning classes in order to make use of those services if necessary.
The news release from the Academy noted that Brown had graduated in 2021 from the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School and had been assigned to Cadet Squadron 16 while pursuing a major in management with a minor in French. He was also a member of the Academy's winning football program for the past two seasons.
"Our players, staff, and entire Academy have been so blessed and fortunate to have Hunter as a part of our lives. He was a pure joy to coach and have as a teammate," Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun said in a statement.
"He was tough, a great worker, and no one unselfishly pulled harder for others than Hunter," the coach added. "His mom and dad, Candyce and Dustin, raised a wonderful son who made each of us a better person. We love our great brother, and our thoughts and prayers are with Hunter's incredible soul and his family."
According to the local newspaper The Gazette, the sophomore cadet Brown was a reserve offensive lineman for the Falcons football team who only saw action in two games in the 2022 season, and appeared against Northern Iowa and Nevada.
His death came on the first day of classes to begin the new semester following the Academy's winter break for the holidays.
Brown was born in 2001 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, graduated from Barbe High School there, and as noted, attended the 10-month prep school for the Academy before being admitted to the prestigious and exclusive military school itself in the fall of 2021.
A joint probe into the manner and cause of his death has been launched by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in coordination with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.