Marine Sergeant Colin Arslanbas Loses Life in Training Accident

A United States Marine Sergeant assigned to a specialized Reconnaissance unit tragically lost his life during a training exercise late Thursday night near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in eastern North Carolina, according to a statement released by the Marine Corps. Sgt. Colin Arslanbas, a Reconnaissance Marine with the Maritime Special Purpose Force, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), was participating in a training exercise in Carteret County just after 11 p.m. on April 18 when the accident occurred.

Tragic Loss of a Dedicated Marine

Sgt. Colin Arslanbas, a native of Missouri, enlisted in the Marine Corps on March 16, 2020. During his four years of service, he was awarded the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. Just days before the accident, on April 1, he had been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

The details surrounding the incident have not been disclosed, as an investigation is currently underway. Col. Todd Mahar, commander of the 24th MEU, expressed his profound sorrow, stating, “Words cannot convey our sorrow for the tragic loss of one of our MEU family members. The 24th MEU family mourns the loss of an outstanding Marine and leader. We offer our deepest condolences and unwavering support to his family during this most difficult time.”

The Marine Corps community is deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Arslanbas, was known for his dedication and leadership within his unit. His untimely death serves as a sobering reminder of the risks that Marines face, even during training exercises, as they prepare to serve and protect their country.

24th MEU's Rigorous Training Exercise

The 24th MEU is currently conducting its composite unit training exercise, which is set to continue through mid-May. This exercise involves practicing various scenarios in preparation for the unit’s upcoming overseas deployment. The training includes offshore drills with helicopters, MV-22 Ospreys, and Landing Craft, Air Cushion well deck operations with the amphibious assault ship Wasp, which is part of the amphibious ready group.

The composite unit training exercise is a crucial part of the MEU’s preparation for their future missions, ensuring that the Marines are well-equipped and ready to handle a variety of situations. The exercise also serves to strengthen the bond between the various units within the MEU, fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

The accident that claimed the life of Sgt. Arslanbas occurred during this demanding training period, underlining the inherent dangers associated with the rigorous preparation required of Marines. As the investigation into the incident unfolds, the Marine Corps will undoubtedly review its training procedures and safety protocols to minimize the risk of future tragedies.

Honoring the Fallen, Supporting the Bereaved

The loss of Sgt. Colin Arslanbas has deeply affected the Marine Corps community, particularly those who served alongside him in the 24th MEU. Marines across the country have expressed their condolences and support for Arslanbas’ family and friends during this difficult time.

The Marine Corps has a strong tradition of honoring its fallen members and supporting their loved ones. In the coming days and weeks, the community will likely come together to pay tribute to Sgt. Arslanbas and celebrate his life and service to the nation.

As the investigation into the training accident continues, the Marine Corps remains committed to uncovering the facts surrounding the incident and providing answers to the bereaved family. The findings of the investigation will be crucial in identifying any potential issues or areas for improvement in the training procedures and safety protocols, ensuring that the sacrifice of Sgt. Arslanbas was not in vain.

Looking Ahead

The tragic loss of Sgt. Colin Arslanbas has cast a somber shadow over the 24th MEU and the entire Marine Corps community. As the unit continues its training exercise and prepares for future deployments, the memory of their fallen comrade will undoubtedly serve as a source of motivation and inspiration.

The Marine Corps remains committed to providing its personnel with the best possible training and equipment to ensure their safety and effectiveness in carrying out their duties. By learning from this tragic incident and implementing any necessary changes, the Marine Corps aims to honor the memory of Sgt. Arslanbas and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

As the Marine Corps community mourns the loss of one of its own, it is essential to remember the bravery, dedication, and sacrifice that Sgt. Colin Arslanbas embodied. His legacy will live on through the continued service and commitment of his fellow Marines, who will carry his memory with them as they work to protect and defend the nation he served so faithfully.