The U.S. Navy last week identified the SEAL killed over Memorial Day weekend as Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SO1) Remington J. Peters, 27, of Grand Junction, Colorado.  SO1 Peters was a member of the Navy’s parachute demonstration team, “The Leap Frogs,” and was jumping as part of Fleet Week in New York City when he was killed. 

Peters joined the U.S. Navy in 2008, and graduated with Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 276 on September 3, 2009.  He was awarded his SEAL Trident the following April, and went on to serve on two West Coast-based SEAL Teams prior to joining The Leap Frogs.  SO1 Peters completed two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  As a Leap Frog, he had completed more than 900 parachute jumps.

According to the New York Times, Peters grew up in western Colorado and attended Grand Junction High School, where he ran track and played football.  Peters also played the guitar, enjoyed snowboarding, and liked fast cars and motorcycles.  In other words, it sounds like he was your average Team Guy, who enjoyed life and the rush of adrenaline he no doubt received every time he performed a demonstration parachute jump.

In a statement provided to the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News, Peters’ family stated that “Although our time with him was cut short, we are so grateful that we were blessed with such a positive and principled loving man.”  The family went on to say that Peters is ‘painfully missed,’ and that “no words could do justice, but we are so grateful for all that he taught us, and all the love he gave us in his 27 wonderful years. Today, we honor our selfless, humble and quiet professional.”

In a May 29th statement, furthermore, the Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC) in Coronado, CA, home of BUD/S training, stated that it “mourns the death of one of our expert Naval parachutists. Our primary concern now is to provide support and care for his family in their time of need as they being to grieve Remi’s death.”

The NSWC also stated that “the accident was apparently caused by an equipment malfunction, though the specific nature and cause is currently unknown. An investigation into the accident is already underway.”  According to reports, Peters was forced to cut away from his primary chute during the jump, but then plunged into the Hudson River without deploying a reserve parachute.  He was pulled from the water and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

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Meanwhile, The Leap Frogs provided their own statement honoring their fallen brother on the team’s Facebook page.  The post reads,

The members of the United States Navy Parachute Team “The Leap Frogs” would like to honor our teammate and friend, Petty Officer First Class Remington “Remi” Peters. You will be sorely missed, brother.”

The SEAL community has lost so many over the last 16 years of war and it breaks the heart that we have lost yet another, this time in an accident as Remi Peters tried to provide entertainment and honor the fallen on Memorial Day weekend.   Now he will be added to that solemn list of fallen brothers to be honored each year.  RIP.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Brame.)