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Naval Academy Identifies Deceased Midshipman As Utah Native Taylor Connors

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Naval Academy on Wednesday identified the enrollee who died on leave as Midshipman 1st Class Taylor Connors, a 24-year-old Utah native who died in Philadelphia with his family at his bedside.

Connors died on the morning of June 7, the academy said. The circumstances of his death are still under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.

"Our Naval Academy community is mourning a tragic loss this week of a life taken far too soon – Midshipman Taylor Connors honorably served his nation as a Marine and as a midshipman," said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, 63rd Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy. "Through the grieving process, I encourage members of the Brigade, faculty, and staff to reach out and offer support to one another from near and far this summer. My wife, Joanne, and I, and the entire Naval Academy community have Taylor's family, friends, and fellow Marines and midshipmen in our thoughts during this difficult time."

A resident of Pleasant View, Utah, Connors went to the Utah Military Academy, where he played varsity soccer and was a member of the wrestling team. He rose to the rank of group commander, responsible for over 250 cadets, the Naval Academy said.

In 2016, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of corporal. He was assigned to Yorktown, Virginia, and deployed to Bahrain and Rota, Spain. In both deployments, officers noted his volunteer work and critical thinking skills, calling him "a Blue Chip Marine," the academy said

After three years, he received a Secretary of the Navy nomination for an appointment to Annapolis.

The academy described Connors as a leader, pointing to his roles as a Plebe Summer squad leader and 2nd Company First Sergeant.

Midshipmen, faculty and staff can receive grief counseling and support services at the Midshipmen Development Center, at the Chaplain's Center and from the chain of command.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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