Iraq -Two Marines and a Navy Corpsman Under Investigation, Contractor Killed

By Faye Higbee

A Lockheed-Martin Contractor who was once a Green Beret was killed in an altercation with active duty service members in Iraq. The Contractor was identified as Rick Rodriguez. He served for nearly 20 years in the US Army, then became a contractor for the aerospace giant/defense contractor. Two Marines and a Navy Corpsman are under investigation regarding the death.

The men suspected in this death are assigned to a Marine Special Operations Unit (MARSOC) in Iraq, and are still on duty. On New Year’s eve, an altercation took place between the three men and Rodriguez.

Rick Rodriguez was transported to Landstuhl, Germany where he passed away on January 4.  The fight left Rodriguez unconscious. He is survived by his wife and four children.

“An employee was fatally injured while supporting Special Operations Forces within the Operation Inherent Resolve area of operations in a non-combat related incident,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.” Lockheed- Martin statement

Stars and Stripes reported,

The Marines were gunnery sergeants, The Daily Beast reported, citing unnamed sources. The altercation may have been spurred by events at a gym or in a shooting competition, in which bravado and trash-talking turned into a brawl that left Rodriguez beaten into unconsciousness. One unnamed military official told the outlet there were “lots of witnesses.”

On Facebook, Rodriguez regularly posted photos or videos of his gym sessions. About 11 days before the fatal incident in Irbil, he posted a video of himself lifting weights.

“This makes sense to me. This right here. This place. This sanctuary. This quiets the thoughts. Calms the nerves. In here I feel like my old self,” he wrote in the post.

The Special Forces community has been under intense scrutiny after several high profile incidents of alleged misconduct.


Featured photo via Facebook