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Ex-Marine commander pleads guilty to hazing abuse

March 13, 2018
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Marine Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon pleaded guilty on Monday to dereliction of duty, making a false official statement and conduct unbecoming an officer, as part of a pre-trial agreement.

Kissoon was fired in 2016 as a Marine recruit training battalion commander during a hazing scandal that occurred at Parris Island, South Carolina, after Kissoon refused to eliminate a drill instructor accused of recruit abuse. A recruit later died.

Kissoon faces a maximum punishment of forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for one year, two months of restriction and further administrative actions.

Kissoon has waived his right to a board of inquiry.

“I know I have made regrettable mistakes. I am extremely disappointed in myself. I must be held accountable,” Kissoon said at his court-martial.

Kissoon is scheduled to be tried by general court-martial from March 12 to March 21, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia, the spokesperson for the Corps’ Training and Education Command said.

Senior drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix allegedly placed a Muslim recruit in an industrial dryer during a hazing ritual.

Felix was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

Sgt. Michael Eldridge, a former drill instructor, also faces charges for his alleged involvement in the dryer incident.

Eldridge reached a plea deal and will testify against Felix.

 

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