Army Identifies Soldier Who Died After Bear Attack During Training in Alaska

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The Army on Thursday identified an Afghanistan War veteran who died after being mauled by a bear at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant, 30, an infantryman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, died from injuries sustained from a bear attack Tuesday.

"He always had a smile on his face, he always went above and beyond what was asked of him, and he served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege to know him," Lt. Col. David J. Nelson, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment commander, said in a statement. "His loss is deeply felt within our organization and we offer our sincere condolences to friends and family."

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Another soldier was injured but has since been treated and released from the hospital.

It is unclear whether Plant and the other soldier were issued and carried any sort of protective gear, including bear mace.

The attack happened when Plant and two other soldiers encountered cubs while preparing a training area for land navigation, according to reporting from The New York Times.

Plant's awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal and Parachutist Badge.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

Related: Investigation Ongoing After Bear Kills Soldier, Injures Another in Remote Part of Alaskan Base

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