A Marine unit that made headlines after two of its rifles went missing in 2019 has lost another weapon, a Marine spokesman confirmed to Marine Corps Times Friday.
The 2nd Marine Division infantry unit of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, discovered Thursday that one M18 service pistol and two pistol magazines were unaccounted for, according to 1st Lt. Mark Grill, a 2nd Marine Division spokesman.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the disappearance, Grill told Marine Corps Times in an email on Friday.
“3/6 and 2d Marine Division will continue to work with NCIS throughout the investigation,” Grill said.
“3/6 losing shit again,” Uriarte remarked in the tweet.
The missing firearms saga of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, shortly began before Christmas 2019, with the disappearance of two rifles during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. NCIS soon opened an investigation and Marines were “actively searching” for the weapons, a 2nd Marine Division spokesman, 1st Lt. Dan Linfante, told Marine Corps Times at the time.
Speaking with Marine Corps Times a few weeks later, Linfante also dismissed online rumors that Marines had been denied holiday leave because of the missing rifles.
The battalion’s commander and sergeant major were fired for “loss of trust and confidence” in March 2020.
Meanwhile, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines — whose name is often shortened to “3/6″ — became the butt of memes about the missing rifles.
A year after the rifles disappeared, NCIS was still investigating with no culprit identified, Military.com reported at the time.
NCIS didn’t immediately provide an answer to a Marine Corps Times inquiry Friday about the status of the investigation into the missing rifles.
In the 2010s, 204 Marine firearms were lost or stolen, and only 14 were later recovered, a 2021 Associated Press investigation found. Some of those stolen military guns ended up being used in street crime, AP reported.
Sig Sauer announced in 2019 that the Marine Corps was adopting the M18, the compact variant of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System, as its official duty pistol, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.