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

Bullet Points
Marine Sgt. Christopher Truax Jr. getting promoted to sergeant.
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.

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