Gunnery Sergeant Danny Draher is one of the three MARSOC Raiders who were aggressively confronted by an inebriated civilian contractor while on authorized liberty in Erbil, Iraq. One of the Raiders acted in self-defense and neutralized the threat with one punch which rendered the belligerent contractor unconscious. Since the contractor was left lying in the street by his fellow contractors, the Raiders picked him up and took him back to base. (NOTE: All of the above was captured on video)
Out of concern for the unconscious inebriated contractor possibly asphyxiating on his own vomit, the Raiders watched over him through the night. When the contractor stopped breathing, the Raiders performed advanced lifesaving measures in an attempt to resuscitate him. Unfortunately, despite being medevaced to a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, the contractor died four days later.
Military prosecutors charged each Raider with “manslaughter” and the Commanding General moved forward with Courts-Martial for each. Additionally, prior to these Raiders being charged, arraigned, or standing trail, the command removed the Raiders from their jobs, revoked their clearances, and, in overt and widespread official messaging to the command, used the accusations against these three Warriors as instruction on “How not to act while on liberty.”
Marine Raider Gunnery Sergeant Danny Draher was finally found not guilty of charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide by a jury of their peers on February 1, 2023.
WHO IS DANNY?
GySgt Draher was born on June 26, 1983 and raised in New York City, New York. Motivated by the events that took place on 9/11 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and shipped to boot camp February 25, 2002. GySgt Draher’s first assignment was with Alpha Company, 6th Communication Battalion (Bn), a reserve unit based out of Amityville, Long Island where he served as a field radio operator. Shortly after his arrival he found himself deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I. After realizing that the reserves were not for him, GySgt Draher quickly switched over to active duty. From July 2004 to November 2005 he was assigned 2d Bn, 8th Marine Regiment (2/8) Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, serving as a line company radio operator. He deployed with 2/8 on the 26th MEU and participated in Joint Exercise Caya Green in Israel, and Infinite Moonlight in Jordan. In 2005, searching of something more, GySgt Draher volunteered to take the Recon Screening. After successfully passing the screening he was assigned to 2d Force Reconnaissance Company where he went through a Reconnaissance Indoctrination Platoon at 2d Recon Bn and completed the Amphibious Reconnaissance School (ARS) at Fort Story, Virginia Beach.
Shortly after completing ARS, 2d Force Reconnaissance Company was absolved into 2d Marine Special Operations Bn in mid 2006, And the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was formed as a subordinate unit to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). While at MARSOC GySgt Draher has served at all three operational battalions (Currently named 1st, 2d, and 3d Marine Raider Bn’s) as a Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT) member, Assistant Element Leader, Element Leader and Operations Chief. GySgt Draher also worked at the Bn level as a lead instructor for Direct Operations and Sub-Terranean Operations in the Training Cell, and as the Bn Future Operations Chief. In 2011, after three MSOT deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom GySgt Draher was assigned as an Instructor at the Marine Raider Training Center Stone Bay, North Carolina. In 2014, he served as a Test Operator and Tactics Lead for the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), and the first enlisted Marine Raider Para-Commando on the Parachuting Demonstration Team for USSOCOM located at MacDill Airbase in Tampa. After his time in Tampa, GySgt Draher Deployed once more to Guam, The Philippines, and Australia for Joint Chief of Staff Exercises Balikatan, Talisman Sabre, and multiple Joint Combined Exchange Training events. On his last deployment he deployed with Special Operations Task Force 83 to Northern Iraq and Kurdistan in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
GySgt Draher completed his Degree in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis at Norwich University after graduating Cumma Sum Laude. Other schools he has attended include the Multi Mission Parachute Course, as well as various other parachuting courses, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape, Marine Combatant Diver Course, Dive Supervisor, Special Operations Planners Course, The Senior Instructor Course, Fast Rope Master, Multiple Explosives and Assault Breacher Courses, Multiple Direct Action & Special Reconnaissance Packages, Advanced Special Operations, The Merlin Project, Martial Arts Instructor Course, Sergeants Course, Career Course, Advanced Course, Joint Special Operations University Joint Fundamentals, Enterprise Management, and Enhanced Digital Collection Training. His personal decorations include the Purple Heart Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Commendation with Valor, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star. GySgt Draher is married to Destiny Flynn-Draher, they have 2 awesome children.
Letters for Danny & the Draher family can be sent to:
GySgt Danny Draher
ATTN: Elizabeth Brown
1800 Diagonal Rd. Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314