Naval cadet from Pleasant View dies at U.S. Naval Academy

Naval cadet Taylor Connors, from Pleasant View, Utah, died in Philadelphia. Photo: US Naval Academy; image: Google Maps

PHILADELPHIA, Penn., June 8, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — U.S. Naval Academy cadet Taylor Connors, of Pleasant View, died Tuesday in Philadelphia, an Academy statement says.

He died in the morning, “with this family at his bedside,” it says. “The circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation; foul play is not suspected.”

Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted the following statement:

“Heartbroken to hear about the passing of Midshipman 1st Class Taylor Connors. We are all profoundly grateful for his service. Please keep his family, loved ones, and fellow service members in your prayers during this most difficult time.”

Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Connors was 24, the statement says.

“Our Naval Academy community is mourning a tragic loss this week of a life taken far too soon – Midshipman Taylor Connors honorably served his nation as a Marine and as a midshipman,” said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, 63rd Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy.

“Through the grieving process, I encourage members of the Brigade, faculty, and staff to reach out and offer support to one another from near and far this summer. My wife, Joanne, and I, and the entire Naval Academy community have Taylor’s family, friends, and fellow Marines and midshipmen in our thoughts during this difficult time.”

Connors attended Utah Military Academy where he attained the rank of group commander, responsible for over 250 cadets, the released statement says. He played varsity soccer and wrestled, was a member of the National Honor Society and a Boy Scout.

Connors enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2016, achieving the rank of corporal before receiving a Secretary of the Navy nomination for an appointment to the Naval Academy. Connors reported to Annapolis with the class of 2023 in June of 2019.

He was a member of the 23rd, 2nd, and 16th Companies, a physics major, and was on the Jiu-jitsu team. He was a member of the Semper Fi Society and competed with his companymates as an intramural sports athlete.

“Connors was a leader amongst his peers,” the statement says. “Last summer, Connors served as a Plebe Summer squad leader, a fundamental leadership role responsible for transitioning newly reported midshipman candidates from civilians to basically trained midshipmen prepared to join the Brigade.”

During the fall 2021 semester, Connors served as the 2nd Company First Sergeant, working alongside the company commander and executive officer, responsible for ensuring accountability during day-to-day company operations.

“Taylor Connors was the best of us. He was a true mentor and leader among his peers but I know he saw himself as a Marine infantryman first and foremost,” said Marine Corps Maj. David R. Emison II, the Naval Academy’s training officer and a mentor to Connors.

“There is something to be said about an ethos like the one he exemplified. Taylor was intensely bright, thoughtful, and a man of faith…. Men like him make this way of life meaningful — I am honored that I had the pleasure to know him and learn from him.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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