Fort Bliss officials investigating officer’s death, 2nd on-post death in 2 weeks

El Paso News

FORT BLISS, Texas (KTSM) — A 27-year-old noncommissioned officer who was assigned to the 1st Armored Division died Jan. 14 in an on-post residence on Fort Bliss.

According to a news release from Fort Bliss, Staff Sgt. John D.S. Bailey was pronounced dead by Fort Bliss Department of Emergency Services personnel. Officials said the circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation.

Staff Sgt. John D.S. Bailey. Photo courtesy of 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Public Affairs.

Bailey was from Haiku, Hawaii, and joined the U.S. Army from Honolulu, Hawaii, in January 2013. He was an 11C, Indirect Fire Infantryman and Fort Bliss was his third duty station, arriving in March 2019. He was assigned as the Fire Direction Chief, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team.

“We are deeply saddened about the loss of such a bright and talented NCO,” said Capt. Kristopher
Italiano, Headquarters Company Commander, 4th Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment. “Staff Sgt. Bailey was above all else, a genuine and incredibly caring person. He was a member of our Family. His kindness and compassion toward his fellow Soldiers extended well beyond the scope of his daily duties as a mortar platoon sergeant.”

Bailey is the second soldier at Fort Bliss to die on post in the last three weeks. As KTSM 9 News previously reported, 19-year-old Pfc. Asia Graham was found unresponsive in her barracks on New Year’s Eve and was later pronounced dead by the Fort Bliss Department of Emergency Services personnel.

According to special agents with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, “foul play is not suspected at this point in the investigation” in Graham’s death.

Before her death, Graham alleged that fellow Fort Bliss soldier, 21-year-old Pfc. Christian Alvarado sexually assaulted her in 2019. He has been charged with sexual assault, aggravated assault and lying during an official statement. He was arraigned on Thursday during a court-martial hearing.

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