The substandard conditions some Marines are forced to live in are again highlighted as Camp Lejeune officials evacuate soldiers from their assigned quarters in order to combat a cockroach infestation.
After soldiers stationed in the French Creek area of the installation reported the presence of the insects, they were supplied with traps and pesticides to control the infestation. When these measures were unsuccessful, the facilities manager removed them from their quarters and contacted pest control services to treat the building.
According to Military.com, Camp Lejeune spokesperson Nat Fahy said the incident was not unusual.
“While these barracks are the only ones we are aware of at this time, we also know this area is conducive to roaches and mold, so it’s not unusual for our facilities maintenance work reception personnel to receive work tickets requesting more comprehensive pest treatments, especially in chow halls and other areas where food is prepared,” Fahy said.
The living quarters at Camp Lejeune have been the focus of complaints and critiques for several years. In November 2021, a Marine shared footage of his assigned quarters with Task and Purpose, documenting widespread mold, cockroaches, and missing furniture. According to Task and Purpose, the building in question had recently been inspected and found to have “no significant issues.”
In December 2023, a video detailing the extensive mold of the shower installation on Camp Geiger, a division of the Camp Lejeune complex, was posted on the social media site Instagram.
According to Military Times, the video was taken by a service member after the showers had already been closed for use, and the building was scheduled for maintenance in 2024. “The facility that was in the video had been quarantined off prior to the filming of the video,” Maj. Joshua Pena, spokesperson for Marine Corps Training and Education Command, said. “Students had received the guidance before that to use alternative facilities.”
According to Military.com, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric M. Smith, is aware of the issues Marines are facing in their living quarters and is taking the necessary steps to improve conditions. Smith visited Camp Lejeune in October 2023 with Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, Rep. Greg Pence, and Rep. Greg Murphy. The stated intent of the visit was to document conditions and achieve the funding needed to correct them.
“I think it’s a 10-year problem to get out of the barracks issue that we’re in,” Smith said. “Because frankly, there are not enough construction companies to do it. Costs are extremely high right now.”