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Navy SEAL killed in parachute training identified

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SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Navy SEAL who died Wednesday from injuries sustained during an accident while conducting parachute jump training operations in Riverside County has been identified as Special Warfare Operator 3rd Class Jason Kortz, 29, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Firefighters received an emergency call at about 9 a.m. Wednesday and found a body in a dry riverbed near Richard Street and Highway 74 in Perris.

“Jason distinguished himself consistently throughout his career. He was the epitome of the quiet professional in all facets of his life, and he leaves an inspiring legacy of natural tenacity and focused commitment for posterity,” said Capt. Todd Seniff, Commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group One.

“Losing such a promising special operator is a tragedy, not just for his family and the Naval Special Warfare community, but also for this Nation who needs men of such uncompromising character in these uncertain times.”

Kortz enlisted in the Navy Oct. 2, 2012 and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois on Nov. 20, 2012, according to a news release from Naval Special Warfare Group One in Coronado. On Sept. 22, 2014, Kortz completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL and SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado with Class 303. He was then assigned to a West Coast-based SEAL Team.

Kortz was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Kortz is survived by his wife, parents and brother.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.

A 36-year-old man died at the Perris facility on Nov. 29, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. Two skydivers had died there in 2013, when the Press-Enterprise reported that 18 people had died in skydiving incidents in the Perris-Lake Elsinore area since 2000.

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  • George

    He and I enlisted the same day and went through the program together. This man is a true symbol of courage and unbreakable will. A true patriot. He was a brother and a friend…and he will be deeply missed..

    • Rick Schlueter

      Skydive Perris and Skydive Elsinore are primarily sport skydiving drop zones that I have been Skydiving at for almost 34 years. Both DZ’s operate under the strict rules and guidelines of the United States Parachute Association, most importantly they pay very close attention to Safety but sometimes that’s not enough. My Condolences to the friends and family of our fallen brother. RIP

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