Marine Raiders undergoing pre-deployment were in a training accident when a tactical vehicle rolled over. One Marine was killed and two others injured in an accident on Saturday at Camp Pendleton, CA. One Marine, identified by the Marine Special Operations Command as Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, 29 of Sacramento, CA was fatally injured in the accident.

Braica had been in the Marine Corps in July 2010. He was injured when the tactical vehicle he was driving, a Polaris MRZR off-road tactical vehicle experienced a rollover on Saturday. Briaca was seriously injured and after initial treatment at the base, was then transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla where he died on Sunday evening.

“Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, 29, a critical skills operator with 1st Marine Raider Battalion, suffered critical injuries when the MRZR tactical vehicle he was driving experienced a rollover,” was the official statement from MARSOC. “He was medically evacuated to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. He did not survive his injuries, passing away the evening of April 14.”

Two other Marine Raiders were injured in the accident. The Marine Corps is investigating into what led to the crash of their vehicle.  

The Polaris MRZR is a Special Operations vehicle is small (holds 4-6 passengers), diesel or gas-powered and extremely mobile. It has a 900 cc 4-stroke engine and can do upwards of 60 mph across country. It carries up to 1500 pounds and is easily air-transportable.

Polaris MRZR tactical vehicle.

Major Nick Manwweiler, a spokesman with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command said that the vehicle Braica was driving has been used by the Marine Raiders for a few years.

“It can go long distances at high speeds,” he said.

After joining the Marines in 2010, Briaca, originally an intelligence specialist, deployed to the Indo-Pacific region as part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, at Camp Pendleton in 2011. Briaca volunteered for and passed the course to become a Critical Skills Operator in 2015. At the time of his death,  he was a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion stationed at Camp Pendleton and deployed a second time in late 2017.

His unit was in training for another deployment scheduled in late May, Manweller said. “Marine Raiders are tasked with dealing with some of the most sensitive national security challenges that our country faces,” Mannweiler added.

Braica was a graduate of the Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center, Marksmanship Instructor Course, MARSOC’s Individual Training Course, MARSOC’s Basic Language Course, the MARSOF Technical Surveillance Course, the MARSOF Network Operators Course, the Basic Airborne Course, and Military Freefall School.

His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star; two Good Conduct Medals; the National Defense Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

“Our thoughts are with the family and teammates of Staff Sgt. Braica during this difficult time. MARSOC is providing care and support to them and we urge respect for their privacy as they grieve this loss,” MARSOC said in the statement. “He is survived by his wife and son.”

Photos: USMC/Polaris

 

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