West Point cadet dies during training

July 22, 2011 - 9:13 AM

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Military Academy officials were investigating Friday how an 18-year-old West Point cadet died during a land navigation exercise.

Cadet Jacob D. Bower of Fairmont, W.Va., was found unresponsive Thursday by fellow cadets in a largely wooded area used for training. Attempts to revive Bower were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m.

The incident and cause of death are under investigation. Temperatures in the Hudson Valley were in the 90s Thursday, but West Point's Lt. Col. Sherri Reed said it was not clear if high temperatures were a factor.

Bower's brother, Mark Bower of Fairmont, told The Associated Press that the cadet wanted to become a doctor.

"He wanted to help people," Mark Bower said Friday morning.

His brother excelled at any sport he played and graduated from East Fairmont High School with the highest honors.

"He was a very high role model," Mark Bower said.

The land navigation exercise requires cadets carrying a compass to find points in the wooded area around West Point. The exercise does not require a full pack and it was not clear what kind of pace Bower was keeping, Reed said.

Bower entered the academy this summer. He had completed the first three weeks of cadet basic training, the six-week summer shakedown sometimes called "beast barracks" that all incoming cadets go through. The land navigation exercise was part of the second half of basic training.

Cadet Bower was a three-sport athlete and a member of the National Honor Society while attending East Fairmont High School.

___ Associated Press reporter Pam Ramsey contributed to this report from Charleston, W. Va.