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22-Year-Old Recon Marine Killed in Parachute Accident

Marine Corps Cpl. Alejandro Romero. Photo courtesy family GoFundMe page.

A 22-year-old Marine was killed in a training accident Monday after a mishap at the Multi-Mission Parachute Course in Coolidge, Ariz., according to a Marine Corps statement.

Cpl. Alejandro Romero, 22, from Carson, Calif., was killed during a double-bag static line jump at the parachute training course. Romero served as a reconnaissance scout with Bravo Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) based in Okinawa, Japan. He earned the National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, according to the Marine Corps statement from Capt. Joshua Pena, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Training and Education Command.

“The Marine Corps has suspended all double-bag static line parachuting operations effective immediately until further notice. A preliminary investigation is underway which will be followed by a Safety Investigation Board with support from multiple subject matter experts,” the statement reads.

The Marine Corps did not respond to additional questions about the training mishap.

An April 2014 feature story on the Multi-Mission Parachute Course, though, describes the training regimen recon Marines go through at the Arizona course. The article describes one jump involving 24 Marines conducting a double-bag static line jump from a C-130 Hercules plane at about 6,000 feet in the air.

“A static line is a cord attached from one end of the aircraft to the other. When the Marine jumps from the plane, the line pulls the deployment bag out of the pack on the Marine’s back causing it to inflate,” reads the article.

The Marines conducted several days of training in a classroom before conducting the first parachute jump, spending time inspecting and packing the parachute equipment to ensure the gear was in good operating condition. They conducted the first jump with minimal gear, to familiarize themselves with the parachute and the process, before progressing to a jump while wearing full combat equipment. The training course included day and night jumps, with the Marines conducting 12 jumps to pass the course and being evaluated on their form during the jump, while in air and during their landing, according to the article.

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Categories: News & Analysis, U.S. Marine Corps
Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is a staff writer for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    God Bless him. My prayers go out to his family and friends and colleagues.

  • PRONESE

    Fair Winds And Following Seas Marine. Rest in Peace. Semper Fi.

  • DaSaint

    The Few. The Proud. The Marines.
    Prayers for this young man, his family and loved ones. A life cut short way too soon. We honor his sacrifice.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Rest in Peace, CPL Romero. Your countrymen mourn your loss.

    If the Army and the Navy
    Ever looks on Heaven’s scenes,
    They will find the streets are guarded
    By United States Marines.

  • Ctrot

    As the father of a Marine I can only imagine their grief, my prayers for their comfort.

  • William Jamieson

    My condolences to this Marines family but want to interject that since I served in 1969 Hispanics have always served this country in a distinguished manner and we need to recognize that more. The military whether in war or peace is not a safe employment as thats the nature of the beast. I have real remorse over any soldiers death and this young man will be fondly remembered by his buddies and of course his family.

  • Kenneth Millstein

    Gosh darn-it! Why do our best and brightest have to die this way. There is no excuse for this to happen, though I expect there will be one. I hope we get a full briefing on this sad event. Semper Fi! May he RIP!

    • hooligan6a

      It was an accident and accidents happen in combat training. I was in Recon and we had a few Marines die in Jump accidents. Not many but it does happen. Being a Marine is a very dangerous
      job.

      • Kenneth Millstein

        I completely agree that be a Marine is a very dangerous job. Sempir Fi!