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Marine Corps drill instructors face discipline after hazing reports

Marine Corps drill instructor on Parris Island (Cpl. Caitlin Brink/WikiCommons)
May 16, 2019

Several Marine Corps officers and drill instructors have been disciplined following the 2018 abuse charges at Parris Island, S.C.

Capt. Bryan McDonnell, a Marine spokesman, said criminal charges would not be filed, however, eight drill instructors and several officers “received appropriate administrative actions of varying degrees relative to substantiated allegations,” according to The Washington Post.

All of the alleged cases took place in the 4th Recruit Training Battalion, which is an all-female unit with female drill instructors.

It appears there have been many allegations, including a chipped tooth, being pushed, threatened, and roughed up.

Following most of these incidents, the recruits were told to say they were accidents or unintentional.

In one case, three Marine recruits were forced to go through a gas chamber two times, instead of just once. The drill instructor told the recruits, “enlisted look out for enlisted,” a warning to remain quiet.

One recruit was forced by a senior drill instructor to put feces-stained underwear on her head after leaving underwear under her bed.

The senior drill instructor said, “I was speaking hypothetically and failed to handle the situation with a clear mind through frustration. I was not trying to embarrass the recruit and more so wanted her to understand why and how it wasn’t acceptable. The underwear didn’t have feces.”

A number of recruits have reported abuse and threats from drill instructors. Senior officer in charge of Parris Island, Brig. Gen. James Glynn, said the instructors do what is needed to maintain “effectiveness and discipline” during recruit training.

Glynn said, “There’s a more intriguing story in the more than 600 Marines who are drill instructors here, and their families, and their personal and professional investment in transforming young women and men into Marines. The 100+ hours a week they dedicate to their role, and the support of their families, is the source of transformative energy that makes this remarkable process possible. The fact that 98% of them do so without any allegation is the storyline I commend to you.”

After the 2016 death of 20-year-old Pvt. Raheel Siddiqui, issues with possible abuse and hazing were supposed to come to an end but investigations found that the abuses continued.

Siddiqui had been abused physically and mentally by former Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix. On the day of Siddiqui’s death, he was slapped in the face by Felix and when he ran away, he fell over a railing to his death.

Authorities said it was a suicide, but his family rejected the finding.