Sergeant Studying at Marine Corps University Found Dead in Vehicle Identified by Service

An aerial photo of Marine Corps University, situated near the Potomac River aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.
An aerial photo of Marine Corps University, situated near the Potomac River aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. (Eve A. Baker/U.S. Marine Corps)

The Marine Corps has identified a student who was found dead in his vehicle Saturday while assigned to the Marine Corps University at Quantico, Virginia.

The Marine -- who was studying at the university that houses the service's War College and College of Enlisted Military Education, among other programs -- was Sgt. Jaen Deshun Davis, 24, of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, a reserve unit out of Michigan.

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene by responding officials, according to a Marine Corps press release Thursday. A Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation was opened and remains ongoing. The cause of death was not listed in the statement.

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"His family, loved ones and peers have our deepest sympathies as we continue to provide support during this difficult time," said Maj. Joshua Pena, a spokesperson for Training and Education Command.

Davis was a member of the active-duty, inspector-instructor staff assigned to the Michigan reserve unit, a position that entails liaising between its active-duty and reserve elements, including other duties that ensure continuity between the two.

Prior to attending the Marine Corps University, Davis was assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and 1st Marine Logistics Group out of Camp Pendleton, California, according to the press release. He earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, among other awards.

"There is no additional information available at this time," Pena said in the statement. Davis was studying as part of a resident program at the university.

The Marine Corps has had a tragic summer with a string of deadly incidents and losses. In July, three Marines were found dead in their vehicle outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from what local police say was carbon monoxide poisoning.

Last month, Lance Cpl. Joseph Whaley was killed during nighttime live-fire training at Camp Pendleton, California. August also saw two separate aircraft incidents that resulted in the deaths of four Marines -- one was a single-pilot F/A-18 Hornet and the other was a V-22 Osprey carrying nearly two dozen personnel.

The latter incident triggered the implementation of a service-wide safety review that was originally scheduled for a later date.

Last year, after another deadly Osprey crash included in a string of "six Class-A mishaps since January 2022, resulting in nine fatalities and the destruction of four aircraft," the service enacted a similar stand-down, according to the Marine Corps' website.

-- Drew F. Lawrence can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @df_lawrence.

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