UTAH (ABC4) – The passing of a U.S. Naval Academy cadet on Tuesday has been identified as a man from Pleasant View, Utah.
The U.S. Naval Academy has announced that Midshipman 1st Class Taylor Connors, 24, has passed away in Philadelphia with his family by his side.
So far, the cause of his death is currently under investigation and has not yet been determined. Officials say “foul play is not suspected.”
“Our Naval Academy community is mourning a tragic loss this week of a life taken far too soon – Midshipman Taylor Connors honorably served his nation as a Marine and as a midshipman,” said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, 63rd Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy. “Through the grieving process, I encourage members of the Brigade, faculty, and staff to reach out and offer support to one another from near and far this summer. My wife, Joanne, and I, and the entire Naval Academy community have Taylor’s family, friends, and fellow Marines and midshipmen in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
Utah Governor Spencer Cox offered his condolences to the cadet’s family saying:
“Heartbroken to hear about the passing of Midshipman 1st Class Taylor Connors. We are all profoundly grateful for his service. Please keep his family, loved ones, and fellow service members in your prayers during this most difficult time.”
Naval Academy officials say Connors was a group commander who was responsible for over 250 cadets at the Utah Military Academy. He was a member of the National Honor Society, a Boy Scout and an athlete who participated in varsity soccer, wrestling and jiu-jitsu. He was also a physics major.
Connors enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2016 and achieved the rank of corporal before receiving a Secretary of the Navy nomination for an appointment to the Naval Academy. In June 2019, he reported to Annapolis with the class of 2023.
Connors was assigned to FAST Company Bravo, Marine Corps Security Forces out of Yorktown, Virginia and was deployed to Bahrain and Rota, Spain. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
“Taylor Connors was the best of us,” said Marine Corps Maj. David R. Emison II, the Naval Academy’s training officer and mentor to Connors. “He was a true mentor and leader among his peers, but I know he saw himself as a Marine infantryman first and foremost. There is something to be said about an ethos like the one he exemplified. Taylor was intensely bright, thoughtful, and a man of faith.”
“Although I am heartbroken for his family and those of us who were fortunate to have known him,” said Emison. “it doesn’t make me any less grateful that men like him are still called to serve. Men like him make this way of life meaningful. I am honored that I had the pleasure to know him and learn from him.”
Officials say funeral arrangements for Connors are currently pending.
“The Naval Academy will continue to support Connors’s family, friends, and loved ones during this time of grief,” officials say.