The U.S. Navy identified the Coronado-based SEAL killed Wednesday in a parachute jump accident in Southern California.
Special Warfare Operator 3rd Class Jason Kortz, 29, died while training in Perris, about 20 miles southeast of Riverside, though officials did not release details about the accident.
Kortz has been assigned to the West Coast-based SEAL Team since October 2014 after he completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL and SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado. He graduated as the Honor Man of Class 303.
As he served, Kortz was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
“Jason distinguished himself consistently throughout his career. He was the epitome of the quiet professional in all facets of his life, and he leaves an inspiring legacy of natural tenacity and focused commitment for posterity,” said Capt. Todd Seniff, Commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group One, in a statement. “Losing such a promising special operator is a tragedy, not just for his family and the Naval Special Warfare community, but also for this Nation who needs men of such uncompromising character in these uncertain times.”
Hailing from Highlands Ranch in Colorado, Kortz got a Bachelor of Science in accounting and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver.
Navy officials say he exemplified the SEAL ethos and embodied a true, silent professional.
After the training accident, people draped a U.S. flag over Kortz’s remains as they carried him away from the Perris scene.