SFC Ritz was my platoon sergeant at Ft.Myer before I left the Army. One of the best platoon sergeants and mentors a guy could ever have. He will be sorely missed. The following is a press release from Fort Benning's public affairs office: A 33-year old airborne student died at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday at The Medical Center following an airborne accident Tuesday. Sgt. 1 st Class Matthew A. Ritz, operations sergeant for the 289 th Military Police Company, 3 rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) Fort Myer , Va. , was in his third and final week of Airborne school. ~sd Sgt. 1 st Class Ritz was making his fifth jump of the week when the accident occurred at approximately 2:25 p.m Tuesday on the Fryar Drop Zone in Alabama. A preliminary investigation indicates that the Soldiers parachute properly deployed. SFC Ritz suffered head trauma upon landing. The actual cause of death is under investigation. All other jumpers landed safely and reported no problems. The accident is being investigated by Fort Benning officials and safety inspectors from the Armys Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.