When the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina moved into their new barracks, they quickly found rampant mold, cockroach infestations and other signs of a badly managed facility, according to new video first published by Task & Purpose last week.
A company of Marines of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment were recently moved into a new barracks facility, known as HP 225, after the barracks were deemed to have “no significant issues” in June. According to videos taken during a Nov. 2 walkthrough of the barracks, which were shared with Task & Purpose, those Marines found mold growing on the ceiling, walls and furniture in at least two rooms.
According to a Marine who spoke with Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity, almost every room in HP 225 has some problem with mold and cockroaches.
“I have a bunch of friends, and they’re all saying their rooms have mold in it somewhere,” he said. “Every room has mold in it in some shape or form and they’ve all found cockroaches in them.”
The Marine said the poor conditions in the barracks were first brought to noncommissioned officers, then commanders, and then battalion health officials. He said the issue was even brought to the attention of the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Ryan R. Gordinier, during a battalion-wide formation over the summer. Despite all the concerns raised, the Marines were ordered to move into the barracks last week.
“Everyone is well aware of the conditions of the barracks,” the Marine said. “Lot of guys have brought it up, but the people they bring it up to just don’t listen.”
One of the rooms in the barracks was covered from floor to the ceiling with mold and has since been marked off with duct tape. According to the Marine, unit leaders tried to move someone into that room until a fellow service member flatly refused.
One of the worst rooms in the building is covered floor-to-ceiling in a mosaic of mold and has been marked off with duct tape.
“He went into there and was like ‘fuck no, I’m not moving into this,’” the Marine told Task & Purpose.
In response to a Task & Purpose request for comment, a Marine official said “no Marine will be forced to live in unsanitary or unhealthy living conditions” and only one barracks room had been “identified as requiring abatement for mold [and] mildew.”
2nd Lt. Mark P. Grill, a Marine spokesman, told Task & Purpose that, amidst the ongoing move-in, unit leaders are re-inspecting barracks rooms “to identify whether they require further cleaning.” Grill’s statement leaves open the possibility that further rooms may be marked as unsanitary.
The concerns about living standards are not unique to this company of Marines at this barracks. Mold problems have plagued barracks at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, in Japan. Army soldiers at Fort Meade and Camp Humphreys have also experienced problems with mold in housing units in recent years.