ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Naval Academy has identified the midshipman who died while on leave as 22-year-old Michael Myles James of Hiram, Georgia.

“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.”

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James was born in New Jersey but was raised in Georgia by his uncle. After graduating high school, he attended the Naval Academy Prep School before being selected for admission in the Naval Academy.

James was set to graduate with the Class of 2022. He was a member of the 9th company, 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.”

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“I’ve known Myles James since NAPS. He was the ‘class clown’ with the infectious personality and smile you could easily find yourself gravitating towards. But he was also so much more than that; Myles was your brother, someone who always had your back and made sure that you knew it. He would remind you to celebrate every aspect of life and to look good while you did it,” said Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Yenuel Ortiz Rodriguez. “Early on into our friendship I told Myles my family lived in Puerto Rico and I was not able to visit them often. Without hesitation Myles welcomed me into his home, and into his family with open arms. He touched my heart and I am forever grateful for meeting him.”

“Myles James was endearing and had an infectious personality,” said Pamela Schmitt, Dean of Student Academic Development and James’s academic advisor. “I’m not ashamed to say that I loved every moment I spent with him. He was as kind hearted a soul as I’ve ever met, and he will be missed by everyone who knew him. I wish I’d had the opportunity to give him a big ol’ hug, because when I heard the news, every bone in my body hurt.”

Funeral arrangements are pending, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

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A cause of death is still being investigated but foul play is not suspected.

CBS Baltimore Staff