‘We are heartbroken:’ Naval Academy identifies midshipman who died while on leave

The U.S. Naval Academy has identified a midshipman who died Wednesday while on leave.

Michael Myles James, 22, of Hiram, Georgia, was found unresponsive, the Naval Academy said in a news release.

The cause of death is being investigated and foul play is not suspected, the Naval Academy said.

“We are incredibly saddened by the death of Midshipman Myles James,” said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, 63rd Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy. “My wife, Joanne, and I, on behalf of our Naval Academy family here in Annapolis including the many midshipmen, faculty, and staff who had formed close bonds with James, offer our deepest condolences to his family.”

James was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, but grew up in Hiram, Georgia, where he was raised by his uncle, the release said.

He graduated from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, where he played football and was part of the wrestling team.

Upon high school graduation, James attended the Naval Academy Prep School before being selected for admission to the Naval Academy, the release said. He reported to Annapolis with the class of 2022 in June of 2018. He was an English major and played football his plebe year.

“We are heartbroken to hear of Myles’ passing,” said Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach at the Naval Academy. “Myles was a great young man and was beloved by his brothers/teammates. He was fun to be around and was a real jokester. Our deepest condolences go out to his family. Rest in peace, Brother Myles.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Counseling services were made available to midshipmen, faculty, and staff.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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