U.S. Navy SEAL Identified In Skydiving Accident Near Perris

PERRIS, Calif. (AP) -- A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed when his parachute malfunctioned during training in Southern California on Wednesday, Navy officials said.

Special Warfare Operator 3rd Class Jason Kortz, 29, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado died from injuries sustained during an accident while conducting parachute jump training operations in Perris, California, March 18." Jason distinguished himselfconsistently 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.

"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 uncertaintimes."

Kortz enlisted in the Navy Oct. 2, 2012 and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois on November 20, 2012.

On Sept.22 2014, Kortz completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL and SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado, California, with Class 303. He

was subsequently assigned to a West Coast based SEAL Team.

His awards and decorations include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Kortz is survived by his wife, his parents and brother.

An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the accident.

For further information related to this release, please contact

Naval Special Warfare

Group ONE Public Affairs

at: (619) 537-3184


Naval Special Warfare Group ONE

Public Affairs

3632 Guadalcanal


Coronado, CA 92155

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details beyond a brief statement issued by Naval Special Warfare Group One, which is the Coronado, California-based SEALs group to which the sailor was assigned.

An American flag was draped over the body after the accident as emergency responders stood nearby.

The skydiver was reported down shortly after 9 a.m. near state Route 74 in an unincorporated area near Perris, where much of Southern California's skydiving -- and many of its accidents -- take place.

The sailor died of injuries sustained in the parachute jump, and his name would be released after next of kin were notified, the Naval Special Warfare Group statement said.

The Riverside County Fire Department responded to the scene, but a spokeswoman referred all questions to the military. The facility, Skydive Perris, also deferred to the military and had no comment.