Marine from Maryland killed in Iraq during mission to eliminate ISIS stronghold

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Posted at 11:17 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 11:17:13-04

Two United States Marines died during a mission to eliminate an ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

Gunnery Sgt. Diego Pongo from Simi Valley, California and Capt. Moises A. Navas from Germantown, Md. were working with Iraqi Special Forces in a mountainous area of north central Iraq on Sunday. Both men were 34 years old and assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion.

Navas enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2004, according to Marine Forces Special Operations Command. After achieving the rank of sergeant, he entered the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program in July 2010 and received his commission. He spent the last four years assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve before this current deployment.

Capt. Navas is survived by his wife, daughter, three sons, parents and brother.

"In addition to being a phenomenal Marine officer and Raider, he truly was a family man, and cherished his time watching his children play sports," said Marine Raider Regiment Commanding Officer, Col. John Lynch. "He was also a scout sniper, a martial arts instructor, combat diver, and was recently selected for promotion to the rank of Major. The hearts of the entire Marine Raider community are with the Pongo and Navas families as we mourn this tremendous loss."