Digger ‘dies in a training session’
A young soldier died after collapsing from heat exhaustion during a physical training session, army sources have claimed.
The 20-year-old man collapsed earlier this week during training at 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and reportedly died in hospital on Thursday night.
It's the second death within 5RAR this month.
"A soldier from 5RAR died in hospital after being in a coma for three days. He was 20 years old and his family had to say goodbye to him," a source, who asked not to be named, said.
"He was forced to do a PT session in extreme heat … he went down with exhaustion and has died," another source said.
"In what world should this happen, to be forced to exercise to the point of death?"
Sources claimed after the soldier collapsed, at least 30 minutes passed before an ambulance was called.
The Department of Defence has been contacted for comment.
The death follows the sudden passing of 35-year-old Blake Hann, who also served in 5RAR, on March 12.
The father of four died in his sleep and the cause of death is unknown.
Loved ones described Mr Hann as a lad, a larrikin, a Digger and a mate.
"His sudden, unexpected and still unexplained death has left his whole family in shock," a family friend said.
"We are shattered beyond words as we struggle to comprehend how this happened. His boys don't understand why daddy is never coming home."
The deaths at the Darwin base come as pressure mounts on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to call a royal commission into veteran suicides and the handling of veteran claims by the departments of defence and veteran affairs.
On Friday the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) threw their weight behind the call for a royal commission, acknowledging the "depth of feeling within the veteran community regarding the tragedy of veteran suicide".
"ADSO is aware and conscious of the views of both houses of the parliament," national spokesman Kel Ryan said.
"If the Prime Minister decides to establish a Royal Commission into veteran suicide, ADSO commits to fully supporting the ensuing inquiry.
"Suicide impacts all sections of the Australian community. It rips families apart. It is a national issue that demands an answer."
The Returned & Services League on Friday said it fully supported the establishment of "whatever body is approved" by the Australian parliament to deal with the scourge of veterans' suicides.
RSL National President Greg Melick said while the majority of the RSL favoured a standing commission into veterans' suicide, which in effect would be a standing Royal Commission with powers to follow up its own recommendations, rather than a "one off" Royal Commission, all members would fully support any like body approved by parliament.
Originally published as Digger 'dies in a training session'