Marine Corps Active-Duty Non-Combat Deaths On The Rise Again

Bullet Points
U.S. Marine Corps photo

The Marine Corps has suffered the highest number of non-combat related active-duty deaths in three years, branch officials told Task & Purpose on Monday.

  • So far, 123 active-duty Marines have been killed off the battlefield in fiscal 2018, which ends on Sept. 30, according to Manpower & Reserve Affairs. No Marines have been killed in combat so far this fiscal year, according to data from the Defense Manpower Data Center.
  • The latest fatality was Sgt. Christopher Truax Jr., a food specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, who was shot in Lemon Grove, California, on Sept. 7, according to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
  • The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has ruled the Traux's death as a homicide, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is assisting the investigation into the Marines' death.
  • Active-duty non-combat deaths fell from 123 in fiscal 2015 to 104 in fiscal 2016, a decrease of 15.4%, according to Manpower & Reserve Affairs. But those deaths jumped back up to 121 during fiscal 2017. To put these numbers in context, fiscal 2016 was the only year when non-combat deaths were not above 120, indicating that the numbers could have been unusually low that year.
  • In November 2016, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller ordered a one-day pause in operations after a total of 152 Marines were killed in the prior fiscal year – only one of whom was killed in combat.


Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are disagreeing with President Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite)

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