Javier F. Pong
Javier F. Pong. Photo credit: Legacy.com

An 18-year-old Marine recruit collapsed during training at Camp Pendleton and later died at the Marine Corps base hospital, officials said.

Private First Class Javier F. Pong was pronounced dead at 9:20 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the hospital, USMC Capt. Joshua D. Collins said.

While engaged in scheduled training, Pong became unconscious and unresponsive, Collins said in a news release late Saturday.

“We are greatly saddened by the untimely passing of Pfc. Javier Pong as he pursued his journey to become a United States Marine,” said Brig. Gen. Jason L. Morris, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

“All of us here at MCRD San Diego mourn his loss, and extend our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.

“We are committed to honoring his memory, supporting those with whom he served, and investigating the cause of his death to ensure we can safely transform civilians into Marines and retain the trust of the American people,” Morris continued.

Pong was born in Las Cruces, N.M., according to an online obituary.

He is survived by his father, Javier F. Pong Sr., mother Angela Menchaca, brother Jesus, sister Angie L. Aguilera and stepsister Alexis L. Gonzalaz.

An investigation into the death was ongoing.

City News Service contributed to this article.



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Ellen Bullock