The Corps identified Pfc. Tyrell J. Audain as the Marine who died April 15 after collapsing during fitness training aboard the Twentynine Palms, California, Marine base.
A Navy safety brief listed that the Marine collapsed while performing a Physical Fitness Test, or PFT, aboard the sprawling Marine training base. His death was not caused by COVID-19, Marine officials said.
Audain, 19 from Orange, New York, was assigned to the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School at Twentynine Palms, according to releasable information in his service record book.
He entered the Marine Corps in Sept. 2019 and had just been promoted to private first class in March, his releasable service record information detailed.
Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, the commander of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, posted to Facebook on the evening of April 15 that a Marine was rushed to the hospital after collapsing during fitness training.
Turner said in the post “immediate life saving measures were performed” but the Marine was pronounced dead on the morning of April 15.
“On behalf of the command team, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the Marine’s family, friends, and unit. The cause of death is currently under investigation,” Turner posted to Facebook.
While COVID-19 has caused major disruptions across the Corps infecting numerous Marines including dozens of recruits across both boot camp depots, COVID-19 does not appear to be a factor in Audain’s death.
Marine Corps Combat Development Command told Marine Corps Times that prior to this “tragic event," there were no indications that Audain was symptomatic and, “therefore, no COVID-19 test was conducted.”
“In the investigation of his death, it was confirmed that this was not COVID related,” MCCDC said.
On April 21, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger decided to cancel the current semi-annual period for the PFT over COVID-19 concerns.
“Marines, the PFT requirement for this semi-annual period is cancelled in accordance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines,” Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger announced via Twitter.
“Our fitness to fight remains a priority, and I expect each of us to continue to maintain our fighting condition,” Berger tweeted.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.