Marine Raider Killed on Saturday Identified
A Marine Raider killed in Iraq on Saturday was identified as Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado. He was on what the Pentagon listed as an “advise and assist” mission with Iraqi forces in Nineveh province (Ninewah) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The incident is under investigation.
GySgt Koppenhafer was with the Marine Corps for 14 years, 10 of which were as a Marine Raider. He enlisted in 2005. He was with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command out of Camp Lejeune when he was killed.
GySgt Koppenhafer was a seasoned MARSOC Marine. His MOS was for Critical Skills Operator.
While in that role, he earned numerous valor decorations, as well as the distinction of being named honor graduate of the arduous MARSOC individual training course in 2009, and MARSOC Critical Skills Operator of the Year in 2018.
Prior to joining the command, Koppenhafer was a machine gunner with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines and then a scout sniper, deploying aboard the 31st and 11th Marine Expeditionary Units.
He deployed four times as a MARSOC Raider, earning a meritorious promotion to staff sergeant on his first deployment to Afghanistan, officials said.
His other awards include two Bronze Star Medals with combat distinguishing device, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat Distinguishing Device, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and two Combat Action Ribbons.
The Marine Raider was a valued member of his battalion. He is survived by his wife and two children.
“MARSOC is providing care and support to Gunnery Sergeant Koppenhafer’s family; we urge respect for their privacy as they grieve this incredible loss.” Maj. Kristin Tortorici, MARSOC spokeswoman
Since ISIS lost its territory, they have returned to their old habit of insurgency. The mission in (Ninewah) Nineveh province was a planned one and part of the fight against ISIS.
Semper Fi, Gunnery Sergeant, rest in peace.
Photo via US Marine Corps