Sgt. Michael Eldridge pleaded guilty to failing to obey an order, disorderly conduct and maltreatment, according to the Corps, for his part in a July 2015 incident during which he, among other things, was accused of hazing a Muslim recruit by ordering him into a commercial clothes dryer and turning on the machine multiple times. Eldridge was alleged to have interrogated the recruit, Ameer Bourmeche, about his loyalty and to have made him renounce his faith before allowing him to exit the dryer.
Eldridge entered his plea during a summary court-martial at an undisclosed date. He was reduced in rank to corporal, given 45 days restriction and, according to the Corps, is in the process of being administratively separated from the Marines.
The summary court-martial, a low-level proceeding, was part of a pre-trial agreement that required him to testify against Felix, who last fall faced general court-martial — the highest-level military court — at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Felix was found to have made Siddiqui — who was reportedly had an extremely sore throat and had recently coughed up blood — perform a series of punitive exercises and, after the recruit collapsed, to have stood over him and struck him in the face. Moments later, Siddiqui reportedly jumped up, ran out the back door of his barracks and fell from a stairwell to the ground below.
Investigations of the incident spawned a hazing probe at Parris Island that uncovered further misconduct by drill instructors and supervision failures by senior leadership.
The scandal that ensued was arguably the biggest since 1956, when a Parris Island drill instructor was prosecuted after he led an unauthorized, punitive nighttime march into Ribbon Creek, where six recruits drowned.
Felix and Eldridge were the fifth and sixth, respectively, drill instructors to be referred to courts-martial in the wake of the probe.
And Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon is still scheduled to face general court-martial beginning March 12 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Marine Training and Education Command spokesman Capt. Joshua Pena said Monday morning. Kissoon is charged with failing to sideline Felix, who the Corps says should not have been supervising Siddiqui’s training platoon because he was already being investigated for the dryer incidents.
Kissoon formerly led 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, which housed Kilo Company, Platoon 3042 — Siddiqui’s unit, led by then senior drill instructor Felix.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a military jury found him guilty of murder in connection with the death of a fellow airman in Guam, Air Force officials announced on Tuesday.
A Russian man got drunk as all hell and tried to hijack an airplane on Tuesday, according to Russian news agencies.
So, pretty much your typical day in Siberia. No seriously: As Reuters notes, "drunken incidents involving passengers on commercial flights in Russia are fairly common, though it is unusual for them to result in flights being diverted."