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)
Sen. Lindsey Graham essentially laid the deaths of the unknown number of U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg News reports.
Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)
An ISIS suicide bomber killed and wounded an unknown number of American soldiers in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.
The Pentagon believes that the Marine Corps' new CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter — which at, $144 million apiece, costs more than the notoriously expensive F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter, is "the most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded."
Unfortunately, the pricey helo may not see action downrange anytime soon due to a growing list of worrying technical problems.
The American-born ISIS member recently captured by a Kurdish militia has bizarrely claimed that the brutal executions carried out by the terrorist group were basically the same thing as what they do back in his home state of Texas.
"I think, with the beheadings, okay that's execution," Warren Christopher Clark told NBC News' Richard Engel during a recent interview in Syria. "I'm from the United States, from Texas. They like to execute people too. So I really don't see any different. Maybe they might do it off camera, but it's the same."