FORT KNOX, Ky., May 9, 2019 —
A Soldier assigned to the Columbus Army Recruiting Battalion died at University of Cincinnati Health Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5.
Army recruiter Staff Sgt. Joshua Crupper, 28, sustained the injury from an accident during a family celebration at his home in Independence, Kentucky.
Crupper worked at the Florence Army Recruiting Station, and, according to 1st Sgt. Richard Conerly, Cincinnati Army Recruiting Company, Crupper had a special talent as an Army recruiter and was recently selected to become a recruiting station commander.
“He had a huge heart and made a difference in so many lives,” Conerly said. “He was a loving husband, devoted father, loyal friend and selfless Soldier.”
Crupper helped many Soldiers through the process of enlistment. Conerly said several of those Soldiers reached out to him after Crupper died to share how Crupper was their inspiration for joining the Army or that he gave them a chance after being denied elsewhere.
“He’d often ask, ‘first sergeant, is there anything we can do to help this person enlist?’ The answer to that question is often discouraging for recruiters -- not Staff Sgt. Crupper,” Conerly said. “If there was any way to help someone become a Soldier, he wanted to make it happen.”
Because of his can-do attitude and motivation to help others, Crupper earned top recruiter honors for Cincinnati Recruiting Company in 2018.
Crupper’s service to others continued even to the end. As an organ donor, he saved the lives of at least four people.
“He turned it into an opportunity to give life to four strangers,” Conerly said. “Put in that context, I suppose it is not that shocking after all. He always put others first.”
Conerly feels the recipient of Crupper’s heart hit the transplant lottery in more ways than can be imagined; and because of Crupper’s gift to others, Conerly was inspired to become an organ donor himself. Crupper was an inspiration to so many.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Staff Sgt. Crupper’s family and friends,” said Maj. Gen Frank Muth, commanding general of U.S. Army Recruiting Command. “The tragic loss of our teammate impacts all of us and his memory and commitment to our nation and this command will never be forgotten.”
Crupper joined the Army in February 2010 as an infantryman. He attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first duty station was at Fort Drum, New York, with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, where he held the position of automatic rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. He also deployed for a year with his battalion to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
His awards and decorations include four Army Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and NATO Medal. He also earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge and graduated from the Basic and Advanced Leadership Course.
Crupper will be buried with full military honors on May 11, at Williamstown Cemetery in Williamstown, Kentucky.
The incident is currently under investigation.