Special Forces Raider killed in training at Camp Pendleton is identified
CAMP PENDLETON — Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica was just weeks away from a deployment to the Indo-Pacific Command region when he was fatally injured in a training exercise at Camp Pendleton over the weekend.
Officials from the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command released his name Tuesday, April 16. Braica, 29, enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2010.
Braica was injured when the tactical vehicle he was driving experienced a rollover on Saturday. He was evaluated at the base, then transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla where he died Sunday evening.
Two other Raiders were injured in the incident. The Marine Corps is investigating what led to the crash of the Polaris MRZR.
Most recently, Braica was part of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion headquartered at Camp Pendleton. His battalion, one of three on the West Coast, was in the final weeks of training before a scheduled deployment in late May, said Major Nick Manwweiler, with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command.
“Marine Raiders are tasked with dealing with some of the most sensitive national security challenges that our country faces,” Mannweiler said.
The vehicle Braica was driving is built to go into some of the most rugged terrain. It has been used by the Marine Raiders for a few years, Mannweiler said.
“It can go long distances at high speeds,” he said.
Braica, who leaves behind a wife and young son, was originally from Sacramento.
He had deployed twice, first in 2011 as an intelligence specialist with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Pacific Command.
He completed training to become a critical skills operator in 2015 and deployed with the 1st Marine Raider Battalion to the Indo-Pacific Command region from July 2017 to January 2018.
His personal decorations include: the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star; two Good Conduct Medals; the National Defense Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.
“Our thoughts are with the family and teammates of Staff Sgt. Braica during this difficult time,” Mannweiler said.