Penn State

Penn State alum, U.S. Army Ranger killed in accident

1st Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, 25, a U.S. Army Ranger and Penn State graduate, was killed in a single tactical vehicle accident Friday.
1st Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, 25, a U.S. Army Ranger and Penn State graduate, was killed in a single tactical vehicle accident Friday. U.S. Army

1st Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, a U.S. Army Ranger and Penn State alumnus, was killed in a single tactical vehicle accident Friday.

Bednarzyk, 25, was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, according to a press release from the U.S. Army. He was an infantry officer assigned as a platoon leader in 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

The accident is under investigation, the release said.

“(He) was an amazing Ranger, leader and friend.” Lt. Col. Michael Klopper said in the press release. “He was known throughout the Battalion for his caring and positive attitude. He will be missed by all.”

According to the release, Bednarzyk’s awards and decorations included the Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, the Army Parachutist Badge and the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. He has also been awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the NATO Medal.

He graduated from Penn State in 2015, with a degree in information sciences and technology, according to Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers.

“This is sad news for the Penn State community,” Powers said in an email. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends as they mourn the tragic death of Connor, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. He was respected and admired, and his loss is deeply felt. We offer our heartfelt sympathy.”

Bednarzyk is survived by his parents and siblings.

After Staff Sgt. Bryan Black died in an ambush in Niger last October, the Puyallup community raised money to build a chess table memorial in honor of him. The memorial was dedicated on July 5, 2018. 

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