Marine Commander Loses Son to Fight in Afghanistan

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly was killed by a roadside bomb Nov. 10. Kelly was the son of Lt. Gen. John Kelly, the Marine Forces Reserve chief, whose interview appears in the August issue of Military Officer magazine. Before taking the reins of the reserve force, John Kelly was the top Marine commander in Iraq and led much of the fighting in Anbar. He has another son who is also a Marine officer.

Robert Kelly, 29, was on foot patrol in the Taliban stronghold of Sangin in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when his unit was hit by a roadside bomb.

He was serving with the 3rd battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. In just six weeks, the battalion has lost 14 Marines. It has been reported if this rate continues, the unit will surpass the uncoveted record for losses of any battalion, which currently stands at 27 over 15 months.

Robert served two tours in Iraq as an enlisted Marine. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

His death came one day shy of the Corps’ 235th birthday.

Camp Pendleton Marine 2nd Lt. Robert Kelly, the son of Lt. Gen. John Kelly, died Tuesday in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan. (Courtesy photo) [Reprinted from the North County Times.]

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