Foul play not suspected in death of drill sergeant found at Fort Jackson, US Army says

A drill sergeant at Fort Jackson was found dead at the military base on Friday, the U.S. Army said.

Staff Sgt. Allen M. Burtram, a 34-year-old with 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, was identified as the soldier who died, Army officials said in a news release.

Burtram’s death is being investigated by the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, but there is “no apparent evidence of foul play,” Army officials said Tuesday.

On Friday, unit members found Burtram’s body shortly after he failed to report for work, according to the release. Fort Jackson Emergency Medical Services pronounced him dead after they arrived on the South Carolina base in the Columbia area, Army officials said.

Staff Sgt. Allen M. Burtram was found dead on Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army said.
Staff Sgt. Allen M. Burtram was found dead on Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army said.

Information about Burtram’s cause of death was not available.

“Our hearts are with the family of Staff Sgt. Burtram during this extremely difficult time,” Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson commanding general, said in the release. “We are deeply saddened at the loss of one of our own.”

Fort Jackson personnel are providing support to the family and colleagues of Burtram, according to the release.

“He was the definition of discipline and an amazing drill sergeant. RIP,” one person said on Facebook.

Burtram was a 12 year veteran of the Army, and he spent the last 18 months as a drill sergeant on Fort Jackson, according to the release.

The Cleveland, Alabama resident was deployed to Kuwait for eight months and served in Korea for 12 months, Army officials said.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (five times); Army Achievement Medal (four times); Army Good Conduct Medal (three times); National Defense Service Medal, Global War of Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korea Defense Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon (two times), according to the release.

Burtram was not the first soldier to have died at the base this year.

In June, Army Sgt. Jaime Contreras died during a training exercise at Fort Jackson.

Fort Jackson is the nation’s largest military basic training base, with more than 50,000 recruits assigned there each year.

Fort Jackson main gate
Fort Jackson main gate