HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – A U.S. Army Alaska soldier was found dead in his off-post home in Fairbanks, Dec. 30.
According to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers, first responders were notified of a CPR in progress in North Pole that afternoon. Troopers and North Pole Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, but after 35 minutes of life-saving efforts by EMS, Master Sgt. Wesley Woods, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, was declared dead at the scene.
Woods, 40, joined the Army in July 2001. The native of Horn Lake, Mississippi, had previous assignments at Fort Irwin, California; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Riley, Kansas; and in 2003 he was assigned to Fort Wainwright for the first time. He served combat tours in Djibouti from March 2006 to April 2007 and Iraq from August 2009 to August 2010. His current assignment to Fort Wainwright began in June 2018.
Woods awards and decorations include two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, four awards of the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, seven awards of the Army Achievement Medal, six awards of the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge and the Parachutist Badge.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Master Sgt. Woods,” said Lt. Col. Matthew B. Chase, 70th Brigade Engineer Battalion commander. “He was a dedicated, servant leader who made a tremendous impact during his time in the Arctic Wolf Brigade and through this career in the Army. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and all those that cared for him at this time.”
The cause of death is under investigation by the Alaska State Troopers and the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID).