A Marine killed Saturday in northern Iraq as a decorated veteran Marine from an elite unit and father of two who was lauded for helping to defeat ISIS.
Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, who was advising Iraqi security forces conducting combat operations in Nineveh province, died from enemy small arms fire, according to the Defense Department,according cbslocal reports.
Koppenhafer is survived by his wife and two children.
Koppenhafer was part of the elite 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
He was named the Marine Special Operator of the Year in 2018 for his role leading Marine Special Operations Team 8223 "to a ‘masterfully orchestrated success’ of guiding elite Iraqi Special Operations Forces that ‘directly contributed to the defeat of ISIS forces in northern Iraq,’” according to the Marine Corps Times.
Koppenhafer joined the Marine Corps in 2005 and has spent the last 10 years as a "highly revered" Marine Corps Special Operations Command Critical Skills Operator, according to the Marine Corps.