Home News MARSOC Marine KIA in Afghanistan was Marine’s best operator

MARSOC Marine KIA in Afghanistan was Marine’s best operator


A Colorado native who leaves behind a wife and two children, Koppenhafer was an accomplished warfighter who earned two Bronze Stars for heroic action in Afghanistan and anti-ISIS operations elsewhere.

In 2018, he was named the best Critial Skills Operator in the Marine Corps.

According to WNCT9, Koppenhafer was known for being a “quiet professional,” and was given the following praise by 2nd Marine Raider Battalion commander Lt. Col. James Rose:

“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.”

Koppenhafer served as a Marine Raider for nearly 10 years, according to the Marine Corps Times. Before becoming a Raider, he was a machine gunner and a sniper.

Koppenhafer is survived by his wife and two children.

“MARSOC [Marine Forces Special Operations Command] 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, a MARSOC spokeswoman, said in a command

Koppenhafer is the third U.S. service member to die this year in combat supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

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