Marine Corps Identifies Sergeant Killed in California Amphibious Vehicle Rollover

Amphibious Combat Vehicle at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
U.S. Marines, students with the Assault Amphibious school, prepare an Amphibious Combat Vehicle to be driven during a basic land driving course at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Nov. 29, 2023. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mary Jenni)

The Marine Corps on Thursday identified the Marine who died in a vehicle rollover at Camp Pendleton, California, earlier this week.

Sgt. Matthew K. Bylski, a native of Royal Oak, Michigan, was killed when his amphibious combat vehicle, or ACV, rolled over Tuesday at the Southern California base.

Fourteen other Marines were injured. One remained in the hospital in good condition on Thursday, while the others had been treated and released, according to a service press release Thursday. Bylski was part of 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, in the Corps' 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU.

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"He absolutely loved being in the Marine Corps," Ken Bylski, Matthew's father, told on Thursday.

When asked what Matthew was like growing up, Ken said, "He didn't follow anybody. He did what he wanted to do. It didn't matter to him. He did his own thing no matter what. … He was just a great kid. I say kid. … He grew into a great man."

The rollover is under investigation, according to the press release. The specific cause of the incident is unknown, but rollovers are one of the top causes of deaths for service members while they are on duty.

Bylski was an ACV crewman and joined the Marine Corps in 2019. His awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, according to the press release.

The Hazel Park Schools, the district from which Bylski graduated in 2018, released a statement Wednesday mourning the loss of its former student, referring to the Marine as "a true hero."

"He was always willing to help anyone out," his brother Josh said, according to Hazel Park Schools. "He was so compassionate. He was always upbeat and would do anything he could to bring you out of a bad situation and put you in a better mindset."

Bylski's MEU commander, Col. Sean Dynan, also mourned the loss from the "Vanguard" family.

"Words fail to express our sorrow at the tragic loss of Sgt. Bylski, an outstanding Marine and a leader within his platoon," Dynan said in the Corps' press release. "The MEU -- the Marines who lived, trained and learned from Sgt. Bylski -- mourn alongside his family and friends. The entire 15th MEU 'Vanguard' family is affected by his absence."

The ACV replaced the aging and troubled amphibious assault vehicle after a 2020 incident that killed eight Marines and a Navy corpsman in California. Since then, the ACV has experienced its own issues, including the fleet being grounded for about two months after two of the landing craft became disabled in heavy surf off California in 2022.

Earlier this year, the Corps relieved the commander of the Assault Amphibian School as part of the service's investigation into a non-lethal ACV mishap that happened months earlier.

Related: Marines Fire Commander of Assault Amphibian School After Vehicle Mishap

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