Marine Raider Killed in Action in Iraq

Gunnery Sergeant Scott Koppenhafer (Photo: Gunnery Sgt. Lynn Kinney).

Another sad day for the United States and entire military community as Gunnery Sergeant Scott A. Koppenhafer was killed in action during combat operations in Iraq. He suffered fatal wounds on Saturday, August 10, during combat operations while supporting Iraqi Security Forces. Koppenhafer, 35, was assigned to  2nd Marine Raider Battalion. He was originally from Mancos, Colorado.

Koppenhafer, who joined the Marine Corps in 2005, spent the last 10 years as a highly revered MARSOC Critical Skills Operator (CSO). Before joining MARSOC, he served as a machine gunner with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, and later as a scout sniper, completing deployments with both the 31st and 11th Marine Expeditionary Units. Koppenhafer completed MARSOC’s arduous training pipeline as a critical skills operator in 2009, graduating as the Individual Training Course honor graduate. During his first MARSOC deployment to Afghanistan, he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He completed three additional deployments as a member of 2nd Marine Raider Battalion and was selected as MARSOC’s 2018 Critical Skills Operator of the Year. His personal decorations 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, one Humanitarian Service Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, four Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and six Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

Gunnery Sergeant Koppenhafer was a graduate of the School of Infantry, Mountain Survival Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE), Scout Sniper Course, MARSOC’s Individual Training Course, MARSOF Advanced Sniper Course, Basic Airborne Course, Military Freefall, MARSOF Heliborne Insertion/Extraction Techniques Master, and Military Combatant Diver Course. He graduated from Adams State College in 2005 with a B.S. in Business Marketing.

He is survived by his wife and two children.