The incident, involving Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Samantha Rose Whitehead, was on July 16, according to Marine 1st Lt. Phillip Parker. She later died on July 29, according to people close to her.
Whitehead was a student at the Field Medical Training Battalion–East on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a requirement for Navy corpsman to serve alongside Marines in the fleet.
“Our heartfelt condolences to the family of HM1 Samantha R. Whitehead,” Navy Capt. Brian Tolbert, the schoolhouse’s commander, told Marine Corps Times in a Wednesday statement. “HM1 Whitehead proved herself to be a motivated sailor, excited for the opportunities associated with her future service alongside United States Marines.”
Originally from Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Whitehead joined the Navy in 2015 and initially became qualified as an aerospace medical technician at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute.
Whitehead had served at the Navy Operational Support Center in Houston and with Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1, based out of Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, according to Parker.
Her awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal awarded four times, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Navy Good Conduct Medal with one gold star, the National Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
“HM1 Whitehead’s courage and dedication exemplified the best of what we are looking for in the United States Navy and the Fleet Marine Force,” Tolbert said in the statement.
“She will be missed by all those who were impacted by her service.”
An investigation into the incident remains ongoing, according to Parker.
Marine Corps Times has updated Whitehead’s birth date, date of death and hometown, following corrected information sent by the Marine Corps.