Being an elite soldier bears some danger, but that danger shouldn’t be from the friendlies. The case of the contractor Rick Rodrigeuz, a former U.S. Army Special Forces operator is under investigation. Rick Rodriguez was killed in Iraq, but not in combat. According to the preliminary investigation, he was killed by the hands of our own troops. Two senior NCOs (Gunnery Sergeants) from the Marines and a Navy Corpsman are under investigation in the incident.
The deadly incident occurred on New Year’s Eve in Erbil, Iraq, which is the center of the Kurdish-controlled territory. The incident started with a dispute in the post-gym. The Marines and Navy troops are assigned to Erbil as advisors from a Marine SOF unit operating in Northern Iraq working with the Kurds and Iraqi forces in the area, according to the SOFREP.
Rick Rodriguez was a 20-year retired Green Beret who was working as a contractor for Lockheed-Martin company and supposedly was beaten by the men and left unconscious. He was airlifted to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where he was taken off life support on January 4th after his wife and children flew from Ft. Bragg, NC and agreed to that. He was a very well-known and respected member of the Special Forces community and was always known as a peacemaker rather than a troublemaker or a hothead, according to his friends.
His posts on Social networks indicate that he loved to share pictures from his workouts as a place of refuge and for his peace of mind. One recent post had this: “This makes sense to me. This right here. This place. This sanctuary. This quiets the thoughts. Calms the nerves. Here I feel like my old self,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
Lockheed Martin released a statement where they said that the company “was saddened to learn of the loss of one of our employees, who was fatally injured while supporting Special Operations Forces within the Operation Inherent Resolve area of operations in a noncombat-related incident.”
They added, “We are supporting the Naval Criminal Investigation Service as they conduct an investigation into the circumstances of his death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and we are committed to supporting them during this difficult time.”
The further investigation is lead by NCIS and more details are not available to the public.