Fort Riley comments on ‘tragic’ soldier drowning


Harden (Photo courtesy Fort Riley)

Fort Riley has confirmed the death of one its soldiers Tuesday.

As KMAN reported Monday, 23-year-old Xavier Harden was found dead Sunday at Milford Lake.

According to Fort Riley, Harden, a food service specialist with Forward Support Company D, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., entered the lake from a boat at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday and did not resurface. His body was recovered at 5:25 p.m. The Geary County Sheriff’s Department had indicated the incident was reported at 1:30 p.m. and involved Harden and his family on flotation devices.

“This is a tragic loss for the entire ‘Longknife’ family,” said Lt. Col. Dave Maxwell, commander of 5th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt. said in a press release from post.  “We are supporting and will continue to support Xavier’s family through this difficult time.”

Harden arrived at Fort Riley in June 2016.

His home of record is Tolleson, Arizona. His awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

According to the Geary County Sheriff’s Department, Harden was floating at the lake with his wife and 3-year-old child.

Harden’s body was located in about 16-feet of water by a Geary County Sheriff’s Office boat that was equipped with sonar. He was pronounced dead on the scene. An autopsy has been scheduled, and this case is still under investigation.


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Brady Bauman

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