They ranged in rank from corporal to major. Some were just beginning their military careers, while others were on the verge of qualifying for retirement. The youngest was just 20 years old.
Several troops had returned just months earlier from deployments in support of the fight against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. One had joined the Marine Corps just days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and had gone on to make the military his career.
Friday morning, four days after a KC-130T transport aircraft crashed over LeFlore County, Mississippi, the Corps announced the identities of all 15 Marines and one sailor who perished in the tragic crash.
Seven of the troops belonged to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s 2nd Raider Battalion and were traveling from North Carolina to the West Coast for pre-deployment training. The other nine were KC-130 air crew belonging to Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron (VMGR)-452, a reserve unit out of Newburgh, New York.