4 Marines Killed in Accident at Camp Pendleton

Camp-Pendleton

By Military Connection Staff Writer Joe Silva.

On November 13, 2013, four Marines were killed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. Their deaths were caused by the accidental detonation of unexploded ordinance. The four Marine bomb removal technicians were conducting range maintenance operations to dispose of unexploded ordnance in the Zulu impact area at the base. The Zulu impact area is used for the live firing of explosive munitions.

The Marines have been identified as:

  • Staff Sgt. Mathew R. Marsh, 28, of Long Beach, CA. Staff Sgt. Marsh joined the Marine Corps in July, 2003. He deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2008, and to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012. Marsh’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Miguel Ortiz, 27, of Vista, CA; Sgt. Ortiz joined the Marine Corps in March, 2006. He deployed to Iraq in 2007, to the Western Pacific in 2008, and to Afghanistan in 2012. Ortiz’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.
  • Gunnery Sgt. J. Mullins, 31,  of Bayou L’Ourse, Louisiana; Gunnery Sgt. Mullins joined the Marine Corps in March 2002. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012. Mullins’ awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers, 32,  of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Staff Sgt. Summers joined the Marine Corps in July, 2000. He deployed to Kuwait in 2003, Iraq in 2004 and to Afghanistan in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Summers’ awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.

All four Marines were Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians. Marine Corps officials said that one Navy Hospital Corpsman and two other Marines received minor injuries from the accident. The cause is still under investigation. Militaryconnection.com would like to send our deepest condolences to the families of the fallen Marines, the surviving members of their unit, and the Marine Corps for their losses. These brave men dedicated their lives to their country and their Corps. Please remember and honor, these fallen Marines.