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Marine Corps Drill Instructor Faces Court Martial Related To Death Of Muslim Recruit

April 07, 2017

Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix faces a slew of charges related to Muslim recruit Raheem Siddiqui, who leapt to his own death in March of 2016 according to a news release by TECOM (otherwise known as Marine Corps Training and Education Command.)

Some of the many charges include drunk and disorderly conduct as well as obstruction of justice and maltreatment. While none of the charges directly link him to the death of the recruit, the charges of maltreatment stem from certain instances prior to his death, to include slapping him before he fell three stories from his barracks.

In September of last year, the Marine Corps released a statement detailing 20 Marines who had been identified to be culpable of misconduct, and were being looked at for possible military justice and administrative action. After Siddiqui’s death, Marine officials launched three separate command level investigations which resulted in a series of changes at the recruit depot as a result of their findings, many of which have been implemented since.

Siddiqui hailed from Taylor, Michigan, and was attached to 3rd Recruit Training Battalion’s Kilo company, one of four companies that make up the 3rd RTB. At 20 years old, he had left college during his freshman year and entered the Marine Corps’ delayed entry program, or DEP, excited to join what he considered America’s finest fighting force. Less than two weeks after his arrival to Parris Island, South Carolina, however, he would fall three stories from his barracks, in what the Corps would later rule as a suicide.

“When America’s men and women commit to becoming Marines, we make a promise to them. We pledge to train them with firmness, fairness, dignity and compassion. Simply stated, the manner in which we make Marines is as important as the finished product. Recruit training is, and will remain, physically and mentally challenging so that we can produce disciplined, ethical, basically-trained Marines,” said Marine Commandant Robert Neller.