An 18-year-old Marine Corps hopeful died last week after suffering a medical emergency during a physical test at a recruiting station in Frederick, a corps spokesman confirmed.
Jose Rodriguez, who enlisted to become an aviation mechanic through the Marine Corps’ delayed entry program on March 25, was taking part in an initial strength test at the recruiting station in the 500 block of Pegasus Court on Aug. 21, said Lt. William H. Tunney, a spokesman for the 4th Marine Corps District.
Rodriguez had just completed the three-part test, which requires participants to do a maximum number of pullups in a designated time, followed by situps and ending with a 1½-mile run, when the medical emergency occurred, the lieutenant said.
“EMS had to respond to the recruiting station for a medical emergency, they then transported Mr. Rodriguez to the Frederick Memorial Hospital and he then, unfortunately, two days later, passed on the morning of Friday the 23rd while he was at the hospital,” Tunney said.
Because the circumstances of Rodriguez’s death were still being investigated as of Thursday, Tunney was not at liberty to discuss further details regarding either the medical emergency or the response, including any action taken by Marine Corps personnel at the recruiting station.
“However, I will say that our Marines take every safety precaution when it comes to any kind of physical test of poolees,” Tunney said, using the term used by Marines to refer to those who have enlisted in the corps but have yet to attend basic training.
A Montgomery County resident, Rodriguez enlisted at the Marine Crops’ recruiting station in Rockville, but was being tested at the Frederick recruiting station ahead of reporting for basic training next month in Parris Island, South Carolina, according to Tunney.
About 70 Marines work out of the Frederick training station — one of 48 such facilities maintained by the Marine Corps nationwide — where as many as 500 poolees from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia receive instruction and undergo testing at any given time, Tunney said.
“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Rodriguez and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” Tunney said.