A Special Forces engineer sergeant has died during a swimming exercise at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 

SSG Paul Lincoln Olmstead died while participating in the 5th Special Forces Group Maritime Assessment Course, which prepares soldiers for the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC). This is the second death involving a Green Beret during scuba training in the past few months.

SSG Olmstead was conducting a surface swim at the Joe Swing Park Reservoir at Fort Campbell when he went underwater and never resurfaced. A search began for him immediately, according to a press release by the Army. Olmstead was assigned to B Co. 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group.  

“This is an absolute tragedy, especially when we lose someone as capable and promising as Lincoln,” said Colonel Paul Peters, commander of 19th Special Forces Group. “Sometimes we expect this sort of thing in combat, but not during training, which makes this difficult for the unit and especially the family.”

“We are committed to ensuring the family is supported over the coming days, weeks, and months,” Peters added.

Olmstead leaves behind a wife and two children. 

subsurface swim MAC pre-scuba Green Berets
Soldiers from the 10th SFG conduct a subsurface swim in the MAC or pre-scuba course prior to attending the CDQC in Key West, Florida. (DVIDS)

Olmstead joined the Utah Army National Guard in 2016 and graduated from John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School’s Special Forces Engineer Sergeants Course in 2019. He was an honor graduate of the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course; a graduate of the Special Forces Sniper Course; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Course; and Military Freefall Course.

Olmstead’s body was recovered Wednesday morning with the help of Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Montgomery County Emergency Services. He was pronounced dead by Fort Campbell emergency personnel and taken to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.