ST. GEORGE — A southern Utah soldier died while on a patrol mission in the Middle East.
The U.S. Army reported Thursday that Sgt. Bryan Mount, 25, of St. George, was fatally injured when his Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle rolled over during a reconnaissance mission in Syria. The incident is under investigation.
He is the second U.S. soldier killed in a vehicle rollover in Syria this year. The first was Spc. Antonio Moore, 22, of Wilmington, North Carolina, who died during route clearance operations in January. Mount was a cavalry scout assigned to 1st Squadron of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment as a member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Stars and Stripes reported that Mount enlisted in January 2016. The next year, he deployed to Iraq during the battle to drive the Islamic State out of Mosul — the country’s second-largest city.
“It was his second time serving in combat and we relied on his experience,” said Capt. Reid Jacobson, commander of 1-73 Cavalry’s Bravo Troop. “Bryan was just one of those dependable paratroopers everyone looked up to and relied upon.”
“He had the unique ability to make everyone laugh no matter who they were or how you were feeling,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Val Moro said in a statement. “If you had a problem, you could count on Bryan to help.”
During his military career, Mount received various awards, including the Army Commendation Medal with Combat device, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Badge and Army Parachutist Badge.
“Sgt. Bryan ‘Cooper’ Mount was a true American hero paratrooper who served honorably and gave his life defending his fellow citizens and our nation,” Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, commanding general for the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said. “Cooper was a three-time volunteer on his second combat deployment and his loss will be deeply felt across our entire formation.
“He was a husband, son, brother and leader who was adored by everyone who knew him. Our sole focus now is providing unyielding support to Cooper’s family. Our hearts are with his wife, his parents, his extended family and fellow paratroopers as they grieve through this incredibly tough time.”
Mount is the 10th coalition casualty in the Mideast in 2020. Four Americans and a British soldier died in combat-related incidents in Iraq, while five other individuals died in noncombat incidents.
According to Stars and Stripes, an estimated 5,200 American troops are currently in Iraq providing training and assistance to local military forces who are fighting ISIS, with a smaller contingent of several hundred U.S. soldiers stationed in Syria to provide comparable help to primarily Kurdish militia forces.