The death of a U.S. Marine over
the weekend in northern Iraq underscores the dangers faced by service members
in the country, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said today.
"I'd like to start off on a somber note by offering our
condolences to the family, friends [and] fellow Marines of Staff Sgt. Louis F.
Cardin of Temecula, California, who was tragically killed on March 19,"
Army Col. Steve Warren said in opening his regular news conference with
Pentagon reporters via video teleconference from Baghdad.
"Staff Sergeant Cardin was part of a U.S. Marine Corps
detachment located near Makhmur, Iraq. His death reminds us of the risks that
we all face here," Warren said.
Cardin, who was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine
Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was killed in an enemy rocket attack
on his base.
Warren said Marines
are at a new firebase providing force protection to Iraqi and coalition forces
who are occupying a tactical assembly area in Makhmur as part of the force
generation associated with the liberation of Mosul. A small contingent of
Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit began moving into position at
the newly constructed firebase about two weeks ago, he added.
Separately, the commander of U.S. Central Command paid
tribute to Cardin.
"Cardin’s service and his many important contributions
will long be remembered by his fellow Marines, his teammates at United States
Central Command, and a grateful nation," Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III
said in a statement yesterday. "Our gratitude and heartfelt condolences go
out to this young man’s family and friends.”
The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller,
took to Twitter yesterday to say there are heavy hearts across the Marines
Corps and to express his condolences to Cardin’s family. “God bless the family
of SSgt Louis F. Cardin – killed in Iraq 19 Mar. Semper Fidelis,” the general
In a March 19 statement announcing that a Marine had been
killed and others had been wounded, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook noted
that this marked the second combat death since Operation Inherent Resolve
began, adding that it reminds us of the risks our men and women in uniform face
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the service members
involved, their families and their coalition teammates who will continue the
fight against ISIL with resolve and determination,” Cook said.
(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)