Fort Hood officials said Tuesday that Pfc. Gregory Ellis, an active duty soldier assigned to the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command who drowned Saturday evening at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, will be missed.
Pfc. Ellis, 21, who joined the Army in 2019, had been assigned to Fort Hood since February 2020 and served as a petroleum laboratory specialist, Fort Hood officials said.
His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
“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.
Ellis’ body was recovered at about 11 a.m. Monday at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Lt. Bob Reinhard of the Bell County Sheriff’s Department said.
There are no signs of foul play, Reinhard said.
Authorities were called to the lake at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when the man did not resurface while swimming at Dana Peak Park, 3800 Comanche Gap Road in Harker Heights.
Reinhard said the man reportedly swam into the water to retrieve a floatation device that had drifted away, but began to struggle in the water. He then went under and never resurfaced.
The search for Ellis’ body began Saturday night, continued all of Sunday and ended at 11 a.m. Monday morning, when the body was recovered in the same area that he went under, Reinhard said.
The recovery effort included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens and the Morgan’s Point Resort dive team.
Bell County Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman was called to the scene to initiate the inquest. At this time, an autopsy has not been ordered by Coleman.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate this incident with the assistance of U.S. Army officials on Fort Hood, Reinhard said.