SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI — A soldier with the 25th Infantry Division was unable to pass the grenade range qualification Thursday, receiving an unqualified grade of dead, sources confirmed.
Private Ian McNeill, 18, of San Marcos, California, threw the grenade into the pit wall where it bounced back and hit him in the face, knocking him unconscious. Fortunately, the temporary pain of the 14 oz Composition B-filled grenade hitting his nose was relieved when it exploded and killed him.
"In order to pass the grenade range, you need to be not dead," said Capt. Alvin Miner, an Army spokesman. "Unfortunately, his failing score means he will not be able to receive a qualification badge for grenades."
Instructors near the pit where the grenade exploded told reporters they were saddened that McNeill was unable to pass the course.
"When a Private receives a score of dead, it reflects poorly on the entire unit," said Sgt. William Austin. "We try our best to teach these soldiers that they need to prep the grenade properly, throw it accurately, and not have it explode in their face."
At press time, McNeill was given a negative counseling for being unable to qualify at the grenade range and charged with destruction of U.S. government property.