Army Identifies Soldier Who Died During Parachute Training in Florida

U.S. military officials have released the identity of a soldier who died during a parachute training jump in Florida.

U.S. Special Operations Command on Friday identified the paratrooper as 46-year-old Col. James L. Merchant III.

Merchant landed in a Tampa-area retention pond Thursday. A police rescue diver found him about 45 minutes later. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Officials say Merchant's death remains under investigation.

Merchant was assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command in September 2005 as an information operations planner. He later served as the chief of the information operations division.

Merchant is survived by his wife, Terri, of Valrico, and his parents, who live in St. Augustine.