18-Year-Old Marine Infantryman Dies After PT at Camp Lejeune

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms
Marines conduct a hike during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Nov. 2, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Patrick King)

Multiple agencies are investigating the death of a Marine machine gunner who collapsed after a recent training event in North Carolina.

Pfc. Ethan M. Moores, 18, assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, was pronounced dead at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on May 27. The Marine Corps did not disclose his death at the time. It was listed on a recent mishap report from the Naval Safety Center, which tracks Navy and Marine Corps deaths and major accidents.

The circumstances surrounding Moores' death remain under investigation with his parent command, 2nd Marine Division and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, 1st Lt. Dan Linfante, a spokesman for the division, told Military.com. Linfante declined to answer several questions about the incident, including what type of physical training the unit was completing when Moores collapsed and the time of day it happened.

He did say there was no elevated heat advisory on the day Moores died. Emergency medical services arrived on the scene, Linfante said, and administered lifesaving aid before transporting the Marine to the naval medical center.

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Lt. Col. Christopher Richardella, Moores' battalion commander, said the loss was felt by the entire unit.

"Pfc. Moores was a part of the 1/8 family and all of the Marines and Sailors deeply feel the loss of a fellow warrior," Richardella said. "He was a valued member of our team and will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Pfc. Moores' family, friends, and loved ones. We extend our full support to them during this trying time."

A member of Moores' family did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Moores, who graduated last year from Shead High School in Eastport, Maine, had from a young age dreamed of joining the Marine Corps, according to his obituary.

Moores graduated from boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, in November 2019. He later finished training at School of Infantry-East before reporting to 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, his service records state.

He enjoyed mudding, four-wheeling, and target shooting, according to his obituary. In place of flowers, Moores' family suggested donations in the Marine's memory be made to a veterans' charity of choice.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, last week ordered all U.S. and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff in Moores' honor.

"As a show of respect, individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the duration of time indicated," the notice states.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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