Staff Sgt. Christopher F. Pantos, 55, was found dead in his living quarters at Ali Al Salem Air Base, according to a Pentagon news release.
The noncombat-related incident is under investigation.
Pantos, a native of Richmond, Virginia, was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 55th Sustainment Brigade at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was serving with the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, according to the release.
The heavy wheeled vehicle operator was a sergeant at the time of his death but has been posthumously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant, according to Angele Ringo, a spokeswoman for the 377th Theater Sustainment Command.
“Today, we lost a valued member of our team. Staff Sgt. Christopher Pantos served with distinction as a citizen soldier and is an inspiration to everyone around him,” Brig. Gen. Justin Swanson, commander of the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said in a statement. The 310th falls under the command of the 377th.
“Just last month, I had the opportunity to meet with Christopher, and he spoke to me about his passion for life and his mission overseas,” Swanson added. “Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends during their time of loss and grief.”
Pantos had served since 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan for 11 months in 2011, according to a news release from the 377th.
His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
In civilian life, Pantos worked for the United States Postal Service.
Cpt. Joshua Cameron, commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 55th Sustainment Brigade, said Pantos will be missed.
“[Staff] Sgt. Pantos was a knowledgeable and dedicated noncommissioned officer who volunteered to deploy in service to this nation,” Cameron said. “Our hearts are with his family who lost a loving father and his fellow soldiers who lost a beloved friend, mentor and teammate.”
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