A Royal Regiment of Scotland soldier has died while taking part in a night live-firing exercise in Northumberland.
Mike Penning said the incident happened at the Otterburn Training Area.
The soldier is believed to be from the Black Watch, stationed at Fort George, and police and the Ministry of Defence are investigating.
Mr Penning said: “My thoughts are with the soldier’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.
“The safety of our personnel is our absolute priority and, while deaths in training don’t happen often, any death is a tragedy.
“As well as a police investigation, MoD accident investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”
The MoD said the soldier who died was male and he was shot during a training exercise on Monday night.
A spokesman said the Defence Safety Authority is investigating, but added that there were no details on whether any other personnel were involved.
The accident happened on a firing range at the training area, and Northumbria Police said the soldier died after suffering a “serious head wound”.
A spokesman said: “At around 11.15pm last night police received a report that a soldier had been shot on the military ranges in Otterburn during a live-firing exercise.
“Emergency services attended and found the male soldier had received a serious head wound. Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
“Police will be working with the Ministry of Defence to establish the exact circumstances of the incident and a cordon is currently in place. Military officials have informed the soldier’s next of kin.”
The MoD has not yet released the soldier’s identity.
The death comes little more than a month after another soldier died while on a training exercise in Brecon, Wales, on the hottest day of the year.
Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, died on July 19 while on a pre-course training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course, taken by infantry soldiers who want to progress to the rank of sergeant.