The Department of Defense (DOD) identified on Sunday, Aug. 11 the U.S. service member who died during an Iraqi Security Force (IFS) mission as Gunnery Sergeant Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado.
Koppenhafer was killed on Saturday by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ninewah province, the DOD said in a statement late on Sunday.
Honor the Fallen
Gunnery Sergeant Scott Koppenhafer died Saturday while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Semper Fidelis, Marine. pic.twitter.com/GXRoSbRnId
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) August 12, 2019
Koppenhafer was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
A statement from Operation Inherent Resolve said the service member was advising and accompanying the ISF during a planned operation. It gave no other details.
According to MARSOC officials, Koppenhafer joined the Marines in 2005 and served a decade as a critical skills operator, the website Military.com said. In that role, he earned numerous valor decorations.
US Service Member Killed in Iraq on Joint Mission https://t.co/LvRbvdNpCp
— Military.com (@Militarydotcom) August 10, 2019
Officials said he earned a meritorious promotion to staff sergeant on his first deployment to Afghanistan.
“He also got awarded with 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,” according to the website.
“Our most sincere thoughts are with the family and teammates of Gunnery Sergeant Koppenhafer during this difficult time,” MARSOC officials said in a statement.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
By Rich McKay
NTD staff contributed to this report.