Army Reserve lieutenant colonel dies in noncombat incident in Israel

by Tommy Grant

The Pentagon has identified an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who died in a noncombat incident while supporting the U.S. security staff at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.

Lt. Col. Orlando Bandeira, 54, of Tampa, Florida, died March 4, according to an Army press release. He was discovered unresponsive in his residence. The incident is under investigation.

Bandeira was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 94th Training Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to a Linkedin webpage with Bandeira’s name and background he had been serving as the deputy chief of operations at the embassy for the past two months. The page also lists his civilian employment as a contracted Intel Analyst with Cyntel Technologies, LLC since January 2022.

Bandeira enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1997 as an administrative specialist. He joined the Army Reserve on Oct. 31, 2019 after a period in the Individual Ready Reserve, according to the release. Bandeira served assignments with the reserve elements of U.S. Central Command. He was assigned to the 94th Training Division in 2023.

In January, three Army Reserve soldiers died as a result of a one-way drone attack on their base in northeastern Jordan.

Military Times reported last week that 39 Missouri National Guardsmen received Combat Infantryman Badges for participating in active ground combat during their 2023 deployment to Syria.

Regular rotations to Iraq, Syria and Jordan, all along with Israel in the U.S. Central Command, have been conducted more frequently by Guard and Reserve soldiers as the active force has pivoted to support allies in Europe and the Pacific Region to counter Russian and Chinese military threats.

Bandeira’s awards and decorations include two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, an Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal w/2 Campaign Stars, an Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, an Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/“M” Device and 20-year Silver Hourglass, a Humanitarian Service Medal, two Army Service Ribbons, two Overseas Training Ribbons, a National Defense Service Medal, and a Korea Defense Service Medal.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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