On the morning of July 31 a Marine Corps recruiter was taking part in an official physical fitness function when he drowned in the Ocmulgee River near Macon, Georgia, the Marine Corps confirmed.

Sgt. Andre Armstrong, 27, from Jackson, Mississippi, was walking trails in the area when he and four others decided to swim in the river, a statement from the Bibb County Sheriff’s office said.

At some point Armstrong started “having trouble” in the river and despite the best efforts of the four others with him, he remained in the water, the statement said.

The Macon-Bibb Fire Department were soon called to the scene and a dive team with the department eventually was able to recover his body.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement.

“The Marines of Recruiting Station Columbia and Recruiting Substation Macon are deeply saddened by the loss of Sergeant Andre Armstrong,” Capt. Bryan McDonnell, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Marine Corps Times in an email. “We would like to thank the local authorities who responded to the call and aided in recovery efforts.”

Armstrong joined the Corps in September 2013 and his original job was a finance technician.

He deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2018 and his awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

He also received two Meritorious Masts and two Letters of Appreciation during his short Marine Corps career.

“Our thoughts remain with his loved ones during this time,” McDonnell said in the email.

This story has been updated to correct Sgt. Andre Armstrong’s age.

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