Army Sgt. Maj. Jeremy C. Sims, 44, was found dead on May 20 while he was assigned to Osan Air Base, South Korea. (U.S. Army photo).

A command sgt. major of air defense forces in South Korea died last month, just days before he was scheduled to fly home to attend his daughter’s high school graduation.

Sgt. Maj. Jeremy C. Sims served for close to two years as the command sergeant major of the Combined Task Force-Defender and the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade operations sergeant major, a spokesperson for the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade told Task & Purpose. Sims, 44, was assigned to Osan Air Base in South Korea when he was found dead at his home May 20, said Capt. Courtney J. Johnson. His death is under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

Sims’ wife, Harmony Sims, told Task & Purpose that Sims was a loving father to his three children: Kiley, 18; Leo, 16; and Connor, 12. He was scheduled to attend Kiley’s high school graduation.

“She’s going to go off to college,” said Harmony Sims. “She got into an aerospace engineer program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. And that was kind of her and her dad’s thing: They both loved space.”

Army Sgt. Maj. Jeremy C. Sims
Army Sgt. Maj. Jeremy C. Sims, 44, served as the command sergeant major of the Combined Task Force-Defender and the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade operations sergeant major for nearly two years. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)

Harmony said medical officials are trying to determine Sims’ cause of death while Army officials in Korea said Sims was a widely respected senior leader.

“He was a steadfast leader, dedicated soldier, and loyal friend,” Col. Kevin P. Stonerook, commander of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, said in a statement. “He mentored countless junior NCOs [noncommissioned officers] and soldiers, and his presence will be profoundly missed by everyone in this unit.”

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“He was a great man,” Harmony Sims said. “He loved his family, loved his kids. Even being gone, he was always involved. He always called them, texted them. He loved the outdoors. He loved being in the military, serving his country.”

Sims is the second soldier who died in South Korea last month. Spc. Jaggert Oakes was found unresponsive in his barracks at Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Wednesday, May 14. Foul play is not suspected in Oakes’ death.

During his Army career, Sims deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Joint Force, according to his biography at the end of an article he published last year about the Vietnam War. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Colorado and a certificate in business management and strategic leadership from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

“Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Sims began as my sergeant major but became a second father to me during our time together,” Cpl. Jae Loux, command group noncommissioned officer, said in a statement. “Witnessing him impact lives both professionally and personally exemplified how great senior leaders can influence young soldiers and NCOs through actions rather than words. His work and life stand as a testament to his mentors, peers, and the future path forward.”

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