Two Marines and a Navy corpsman are under investigation in the death of a Lockheed Martin contractor in northern Iraq.
The New York Times reported the American contractor was severely wounded in a scuffle on New Year’s Eve in Erbil, Iraq, and was transported to Landstuhl, Germany, where he was pronounced dead Friday.
The Daily Beast identified the Lockheed contractor as Rick Rodriguez, a former Green Beret with nearly 20 years of service in the Army.
“Lockheed Martin 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 non-combat related incident,” a Lockheed Martin spokesperson told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
“We are supporting the Naval Criminal Investigative 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 Lockheed spokesperson said.
The former Army special operator’s death follows last year’s death of Green Beret Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Bamako, Mali. Two Marine Raiders and two Navy SEALs have been charged with murder in that incident.
According to the New York Times, the Marines and sailor under investigation for the contractor’s death were assigned to a Marine special operations unit in Iraq.
“MARSOC [Marine Forces Special Operations Command] is providing all requested support to investigators as they look into this incident,” Maj. Nicholas Mannweiler told ABC News.
The Daily Beast reported that the two Marines under investigation are both enlisted.
The former Green Beret’s death is the latest in a series of misconduct to hit the special operations community.
Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward “Eddie” Gallagher recently was arraigned in early January at Naval Base San Diego on numerous charges including the killing of a wounded ISIS prisoner.
A Defense Department review of ethics and standards within the special operations community is currently underway.
“A survey of allegations of serious misconduct across our formations over the last year indicate that USSOCOM faces a deeper challenge of a disordered view of the team and the individual in our SOF culture,” Army Gen. Tony Thomas, the top special operations commander wrote to the force in an email sent in December.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.