The soldier who died in a live-fire training incident at the Canadian Forces Base in Wainwright, Alta., has been identified as Cpl. James Choi, a member of the Royal Westminster Regiment based in New Westminster, B.C.
Choi, 29, died following an incident at the Alberta base Friday around 10 p.m., participating in the exercise that led to him being shot.
A Sunday news release says Choi joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2016 and was a trained infantry soldier.
Choi had been training with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at CFB Wainwright, for an exercise that focuses on core light infantry skills.
Maj. Greg Chan with the Royal Westminster Regiment said Sunday that Choi was a well-liked soldier in the unit with many close relationships.
“Cpl. Choi was one of the most dedicated members of our unit, well-respected by all the soldiers,” Chan said. “Even though he was only in for four years, he made good friendships throughout our unit.
“He was a guy you could count on to take on any task, a natural leader in the field, and his loss will definitely be sorely felt throughout the unit.
“He could get along with anyone… Cpl. Choi was one of those soldiers that you don’t get very often.”
“The Canadian Armed Forces, the Defence Team and Canadians are mourning the loss of one of our own, Cpl. James Choi,” Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan said in a statement.
“My heartfelt condolences are with his family, his friends and his fellow soldiers in the Royal Westminster Regiment and 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will be there for his family during these difficult times as we grieve alongside you.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted out his condolences on Saturday.
“We grieve alongside his family, friends and comrades.”
The incident that led to Choi’s death is under investigation.