Guard solider from Owatonna dies at training
A Minnesota National Guard soldier from Owatonna in training at Fort Jackson has died. The circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear.
The National Guard identified the soldier as Pvt. Connor J. McGurran, 19. He was found unresponsive Jan. 8 following a training exercise at Fort Jackson, S.C.
McGurran was born May 3, 2000 in Owatonna. He obtained a GED in the fall of 2019, enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard on Sept. 12 and began training with the Arden Hills Recruit Sustainment program. He reported to Army Basic Combat training at Fort Jackson in October.
According to the National Guard, McGurran was on track to become a Bradly fighting vehicle system maintainer.
“I extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to the family and loved ones of Pct. Connor McGurran,” said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, of the Minnesota National Guard. “He was a soldier with a promising future in our organization. We will provide every comfort to his family and the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, who are devastated by his untimely death. This is a tragic loss for the Minnesota National Guard.”
The Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office said McGurran was immediately transported by EMS to Providence Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An investigation into the cause of his death continues.
State Representative John Petersburg offered his sympathy to McGurran’s family. “It is always tragic when a member of the military passes away, and I join the residents of Owatonna who are mourning the loss of Pvt. McGurran,” Petersburg said. “Our prayers are with his family and friends,” he added.
The National Guard has more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen who serve 61 communities across Minnesota. The guard, which was organized in 1856, is based in St. Paul.