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Soldier dies during training at Shilo

Pte. Kirby Tott, 25, died during training at CFB Shilo Saturday afternoon. According to military officials, Tott was learning how to build a trench when he suddenly collapsed. An autopsy is expected to be conducted this week. (Facebook photo)

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Pte. Kirby Tott, 25, died during training at CFB Shilo Saturday afternoon. According to military officials, Tott was learning how to build a trench when he suddenly collapsed. An autopsy is expected to be conducted this week. (Facebook photo)

Pte. Kirby Tott, 25, died during training at CFB Shilo Saturday afternoon. According to military officials, Tott was learning how to build a trench when he suddenly collapsed. An autopsy is expected to be conducted this week. (Facebook)

Enlarge Image

Pte. Kirby Tott, 25, died during training at CFB Shilo Saturday afternoon. According to military officials, Tott was learning how to build a trench when he suddenly collapsed. An autopsy is expected to be conducted this week. (Facebook)

A 25-year-old Canadian Forces Reserve soldier died during military training at CFB Shilo late Saturday afternoon during what a base spokeswoman called a "basic infantry qualification."

Pte. Kirby Tott had been training with the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre’s detachment at Shilo when he "died suddenly," according to a press release issued by the Department of National Defence on Sunday night.

"He had been here just a few weeks," Shilo public affairs officer Lori Truscott told The Sun.

No details regarding his death were released in the official statement. Truscott said she had no information regarding precisely what Tott was doing when he died.

"I don’t know what they were doing at the time," Truscott said.

When asked if the base’s military police or another police unit were taking part in the investigation, she would only say that the matter "is under investigation."

Tott joined the CAF as a reservist with the Rocky Mountain Rangers in Prince George, B.C., in 2012. He was taking his basic training on Saturday when his death occurred. Truscott said Tott was single, and that his family had been contacted.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of his death. Truscott did not know how long the autopsy would take, or where it was taking place.

The Shilo base is one of several locations in the country that conduct courses in basic infantry training for the Canadian Forces.

"(Recruits) could go elsewhere they could go here," Truscott said. "It just depends where the course is being offered."

Truscott expects more information on Tott’s death to be issued later this week.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences in a statement issued on Sunday night.

"I was saddened to learn today of the death of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. On behalf of all Canadians and of the Government of Canada, I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Private Kirby Tott who died yesterday following a training incident at CFB Shilo.

He also called Tott’s death "a sombre reminder of the sacrifices made (every day) by the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, both at home and abroad."

Lt.-Gen. Marquis Hainse, commander of the Canadian Army, said he is "deeply saddened" by Tott’s death.

"Private Kirby Tott was a member of the Rocky Mountain Rangers, a Reserve Regiment of 39 Canadian Brigade Group who was carrying out specialty training required to become an Infantry soldier," Hainse said in a statement.

"This tragic news reminds us of the dangers that the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces must face, whether reservists, regular force, participating in training or deployed on operations abroad. I extend my heartfelt condolences to Pte. Tott’s loved ones as they cope with this tragic loss."

Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, offered his condolences to the Tott’s family and friends, and "his immediate military family, the Rocky Mountain Rangers.

"This sad event reminds me that a loss of life can occur as easily at home as overseas. Regardless of the instance, I have always been proud of how we, as members of the CAF take care of one another in these difficult times. In the days and weeks ahead, my thoughts and prayers will be with those closest to Private Tott. I assure you that we will be here for you."

» mgoerzen@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @MattGoerzen

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 27, 2015

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A 25-year-old Canadian Forces Reserve soldier died during military training at CFB Shilo late Saturday afternoon during what a base spokeswoman called a "basic infantry qualification."

Pte. Kirby Tott had been training with the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre’s detachment at Shilo when he "died suddenly," according to a press release issued by the Department of National Defence on Sunday night.

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A 25-year-old Canadian Forces Reserve soldier died during military training at CFB Shilo late Saturday afternoon during what a base spokeswoman called a "basic infantry qualification."

Pte. Kirby Tott had been training with the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre’s detachment at Shilo when he "died suddenly," according to a press release issued by the Department of National Defence on Sunday night.

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