FORT HOOD — The Fort Hood soldier who drowned at Stillhouse Hollow Lake on Saturday had only been in the Army around two years, but was already a respected member of his unit, according to his commander.
Pfc. Gregory Ellis, 21, joined the Army in 2019 and had been assigned to Fort Hood’s 13th Sustainment Command as a petroleum laboratory specialist since February 2020.
“Private First Class Gregory Ellis will be missed by all of us. He was a highly respected soldier and will always be remembered as a brother-in-arms who was dedicated to defending the ideals of our nation. He will never be forgotten,” said Lt. Col. Paul W. Smith, commander of the 61st Quartermaster Battalion, which is part of 13th Sustainment Command.
Ellis had been swimming at Dana Peak Park on Stillhouse Hollow Lake Saturday when he went to try and retrieve a flotation device that had gotten away, began to struggle and went under water and did not resurface, according to a report by the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.
Resources from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Morgan’s Point Resort Dive Team were called in to assist in the search, which went on throughout the remainder of Saturday evening, all of Sunday and into Monday morning, when the Ellis’ body was located and recovered in the same area of the lake where witnesses had observed him go under water.
Ellis’ awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate this incident with the assistance of U.S. Army Officials on Fort Hood.