On Thursday, the U.S. Marines released a statement from one of the commanders of a Camp Lejeune Marine who was killed on August 10th during combat operations in Iraq.
Camp Lejeune officials said 35-year-old Marine Raider Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, who leaves behind a wife and two children, was from Mancos, Colorado, and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion with the Marine Forces Special Operations Command.
According to the Marine Corps Times, Koppenhafer earned two Bronze Stars for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, and for anti-ISIS operations.
The following statement on Koppenhafer’s life and military career was written by Lt. Col. James Rose, Commanding Officer, 2d Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command:
“2nd Marine Raider Battalion, and the whole of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, have suffered a great loss with the death of Gunnery Sgt. Scott Koppenhafer. Even more so, his family is now grieving the unfathomable loss of their husband, father, son, and brother. For those that had the honor of serving with Gunnery Sgt. Koppenhafer, they knew all too well of his incredible love for his family. In keeping true to his title of “Marine Raider,” Scott leaves behind a legacy of honor, devotion, loyalty, and selfless sacrifice. As the honor graduate for MARSOC’s Individual Training Course 08-2, it was evident he embodied all that it means to be a quiet professional with an unconquerable spirit. He was a proven leader, mentor, and combat-tested warrior, whose decisive actions saved lives and furthered MARSOC’s operational achievements. For his superior performance in combat, Scott was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals with valor. Always wanting to challenge and better himself, Scott followed a somewhat untraditional path and chose to enlist in the Marine Corps after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Adams State College in 2005. It was this same relentless pursuit of personal and professional excellence that earned him the 2018 Excalibur Award of Excellence, and the title of Critical Skills Operator of the Year. Our community as a whole joins the entire Koppenhafer family as we mourn this tremendous loss and honor the incredible life, service and ultimate sacrifice of Gunnery Sgt. Scott Koppenhafer.”