NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Former Fort Sill commander found dead Sunday in Alabama

Maj. Gen. John Rossi, the former commanding general at Fort Sill, died Sunday at a U.S. Army installation in Alabama, officials said.

Rossi, 55, was found dead Sunday at Redstone Arsenal, an Army installation near Huntsville, Ala., officials at the post said.

Rossi left Fort Sill last month to head up the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command at Redstone Arsenal. John Cummings, a Redstone Arsenal spokesman, said Rossi arrived on post about a week before his death, but hadn't taken command of the missile defense command.

Rossi's cause of death remains under investigation, officials said.

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Rossi graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1983 and was commissioned as an air defense artillery officer.

He served in South Korea, Germany, Iraq and southwest Asia, as well as several assignments in the United States, before coming to Fort Sill in 2014. He remained at the southwest Oklahoma post until he relinquished command at a ceremony last month.

In 2009, Rossi served as effects coordinator at Fort Hood, Texas, when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others in a shooting rampage. In the days after the shooting, Rossi acted as the post's spokesman, briefing journalists at a number of news conferences as details about the incident came to light.

Rossi's survivors include his wife, Liz, their three children and one grandchild. In a statement, Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche, Redstone Arsenal senior commander, said the post leadership's thoughts and prayers are with Rossi's family.

“We share their grief during this time of loss,” Wyche said. “Our priority right now is to take care of the family, ensuring they have all the resources they need during this critical time.”

Silas Allen

Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri. Read more ›

NewsOK has disabled the comments for this article.