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Marine Hazing Inquiry Targets 20 at Parris Island

Image: Marine Hazing Inquiry Targets 20 at Parris Island

Female Marine recruits sit with their feet at a 45 degree angle, the same angle they are at while standing at the position of attention, while having lunch during boot camp on February 26, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 01:17 PM

A Marine Corps hazing inquiry has singled out 20 enlisted Marines and officers who could be facing criminal charges for allegedly either hazing recruits or ignoring evidence of such wrongdoing.

Last week, the Marine Corps confirmed that 20 training personnel, including drill instructors and officers, had been “identified for possible military justice or administrative action,” NBC News reported. Those identified are directly accused of hazing or of ignoring evidence of it taking place.

A New York Times piece described the Third Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island, South Carolina, as the "Thumping Third,” a nickname meant to note its "drill instructors' reputation for dishing out physical abuse."

“They see it as a badge of honor, like they were the only real Marines,” Kate Germano, a retired lieutenant colonel who oversaw the training of women at Parris Island, told The Times.

That “badge of honor” is quickly fading, though, as investigations into the alleged hazing and mistreatment of recruits uncovered evidence of a bad climate at the Parris Island training center. These investigations go back more than two years, according to NBC News, and include details of a Muslim recruit's March death.

A 2015 probe was opened when several recruits complained to superiors after completing boot camp. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, set off another inquiry when she wrote a letter questioning whether hazing contributed to the death of 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui, a Muslim recruit who died after falling three stories from a barracks stairwell just 11 days after he arrived at Parris Island, NBC News reported. His death was ruled a suicide.

Over the weekend, Dingell and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), an Army veteran and former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, went to Parris Island and met with Brig. Gen. Austin Renforth, the training center’s commanding officer. 

“It is clear that the Marine Corps is treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves,” Dingell said in a statement. “This is just a first step, and continued monitoring in the weeks and months ahead will be necessary.”

Despite all that’s happening though, many in the ranks have defended the harsh treatment. 

“It’s called becoming a Marine! We all went through it,” one veteran told The Times.

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A Marine Corps hazing inquiry has singled out 20 enlisted Marines and officers who could be facing criminal charges for allegedly either hazing recruits or ignoring evidence of such wrongdoing.
marine, hazing, inquiry, parris island
373
2016-17-15
Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 01:17 PM
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