Honor our Fallen KIA 8 March 2020

Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo, a critical skills operator from Simi Valley, Calif., and Capt. Moises A. Navas, a special operations officer from Germantown, Md., suffered fatal wounds while accompanying Iraqi Security Forces during a mission to eliminate an ISIS stronghold in a mountainous area of north central Iraq.

Both were 34 years old and assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion.

Pongo enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2004 and spent his initial years as a rifleman, deploying once with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit before completing the Scout Sniper Basic Course in 2008. He then deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment as a Sniper Team Leader. Gunnery Sgt. Pongo was then selected to attend the grueling 9-month Individual Training Course to become a Critical Skills Operator and earned the coveted Marine Special Operator Insignia in December 2011. During his 8 years as a Marine Raider, Gunnery Sgt. Pongo completed deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for heroic actions against the enemy in 2013 while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition to his Bronze Star, Gunnery Sgt. Pongo’s personal decorations also include: a Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, the Army Valorous Unit Award, four Good Conduct Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

He is survived by his daughter and mother.

Capt. Navas enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2004 and achieved the rank of sergeant before receiving his commission through the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program in July 2010. Originally an administrative clerk, he was assigned to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., before his selection to MECEP. Upon his commissioning and completion of The Basic School, he became an infantry officer and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment where he supported two Unit Deployments to Japan, and served as Company G’s Executive Officer. In 2014, Navas was selected to attend the Army’s Maneuver Captain’s Career Course in Ft. Benning, Ga. While awaiting orders to school, he completed MARSOC’s Assessment and Selection process, securing his spot in a future ITC class, which he completed in the spring of 2016, earning the special operations officer MOS. Capt. Navas spent the last 4 years assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, where he served as a Team Commander and Company Executive Officer, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve before this current deployment to Iraq.

Capt. Navas was a graduate of the USMC Expeditionary Warfare School Non-Resident Course, the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Captain’s Career Course, the USMC Command and Staff College Non-Resident Course, Marine Combatant Diver Course, and Military Freefall Course.

His personal decorations include the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, two Good Conduct Medals, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

He is survived by his wife, daughter, and three sons.


Please keep their families, friends, and fellow marines in your prayers.

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31 thoughts on “Honor our Fallen KIA 8 March 2020”

  1. “…and when he gets to heaven, to St. Peter he will tell, ‘Another Marine reporting, Sir, I’ve spent my time in hell!!'” – Unknown RIP Marines and Semper Fi!!!

  2. My deepest sympathy to the families of these Marines. SEMPER FI! With that said. After close to 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq what in the hell are we doing? We are getting good men and women killed and injured for what? We have been there way to long. What is this now “Operation Mark Time” ? Why are these people dying ? It is time to end it. Either pull the plug or go full bore. We keep sending our young and throwing money away . Do these countries really give a crap if we are there? I doubt it. This is the Vietnam War times 2 ,maybe more. END IT!! Nick 0311/8531

    1. Amen Nick; I’m sure you’re echoing all of our sentiments. How tragic!! And who believed for a second that the Taliban would stand by a treaty? Only one way to “END IT!!” once and for all, and we all know what that is.

      1. Our Marines and the other troops will continue to do the job just like we did in Vietnam but to what end. I agree with all the above. This IS shameful. We should have been outa there a long time ago. We got saddam and his sons and we got bin laden. Thats what we set out to do. Right? My sympathies to all the families that have been lost in these wars. Harry 1371

  3. As a Marine I feel the pain of losing brothers. As a father I feel the pain of love ones losing their father, husband, son, etc. Been there, done that. My deepest sympathy goes out to all.

  4. God Bless them both. They are both together at home with the Lord! Sgt Court Conkwright. 1962 – 1968. 0311.

    PS they both were the best the Corps had being Raiders. So much respect for them.

  5. God must have needed a Capt and A Gunny for something special. 100% agreement of above. Time to end the Loss of Life of The Men , Americans , who are here and there to protect. For any cost? Bless you Brothers, may you Rest In Peace. Semper Fi.

  6. Though we never met, we are brothers in arms. This Grateful Nation, offers deep and sincere sympathy to both of your Family’s. As a fellow Marine, I have the highest amount of Respect possible for Both of Your Service Records, your Dedication to Duty and your final Sacrifice. Thank You. Semper Fi.

  7. Rest in Peace Marines
    You deserve the ultimate in comfort and peace for what you are and have accomplished. Peace be with you.

  8. Thank You Gentlemen your devotion to God and Country and all Marines keeps us all safe through the darkest of times.
    Semper Fi
    You’ll always protect us from our fears. God Bless These Men “The Few The Proud The MARINES”

  9. As a retired Infantry Officer and Reconnaissance Officer I understand the commitment you both made to be in the Spec Ops and Warfare community of the Corps! I mourn your loss and respect what you did for your Corps and Country! Rest in peace brothers and Semper Fidelis!

  10. Our Marines, Operators, Soldiers, Sailors, etc., should not be in countries that simply want to murder Americans and others who don’t abide by their seriously misguided ideologies. God bless and comfort the families of the fallen. Lord God Almighty protect those that are in harms way and heal all of our personnel that are hurting physically, emotionally and mentally. Father, we thank you for your faithfulness in being with us always! Semper Fidelis.

  11. Rest In Peace my Brother! I know you are guarding the streets of heaven. May God ease the pain your families are suffering. Semper Fidelis !!

  12. Rest In Peace my Brothers! I know you are guarding the streets of heaven. May God ease the pain your families are suffering. Semper Fidelis !!

  13. To my fallen brethren oorah and semper fi. Always faithful. To their families, know that you are not alone in your hurt. Everyone posting here hurts with you. We are a brotherhood we are marines. We mourn with you. We go where ordered. We are not political. We fight. That’s what we do. These marines went into harm’s way because they were carrying out their mission in the highest tradition of the marine corps. Damn the politicians. God bless your families and god bless the marine corps. Semper Fi.

  14. My deepest sympathy to the families of these two warriors . Nothing will bring them back but they wanted to be at the tip of the spear and that says it all about these men . Let that deep pride sustain you in this time of profound loss.
    Semper Fidelis !

    I was a grunt in E/2/ 3.

  15. Deepest sympathies for their families, and with the experience and medals these Marines earned we know they had a huge presence in their families.
    I hope with these condolences posted, they’ll know we’ll always remember Capt. Navas and GySgt. Pongo.

  16. I’m a veteran of Vietnam having served in “Delta” Co. 1st Bn. 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. 67-68. I highly agree with others that enough is enough. Over 58,000 killed in Vietnam, for what? It’s happening over again and again. I love my Country and my Corps. Once a Marine, always a Marine. My heart goes out to the families of these brave Marines. We are a Brotherhood that will never be broken. Rest in Peace!

  17. R. I. P.
    Never forgotten and will be remembered
    Forever Marines. Now rest Marines we will take over from here you have done your job. May your families hear all are prayers for you and them.
    Semper FI

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