New Reports Document Hazing At Both Marine Corps Recruit Depots

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink

The hazing scandal that rocked the Marine Corps last year is not confined to the East Coast, new reports from the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe and Marine Corps Times’ Jeff Schogol reveal.

Since 2014, two drill instructors at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in California have been disciplined for hazing Marine Recruits, according to copies of the investigation obtained by Schogol.

One hazing incident involved a drill instructor choking six recruits between June and July of 2015. A recruit told an investigator that he was grabbed by the throat and picked up, forcing him to stand on his toes to breathe. The event left the recruit feeling paranoid, unfocused and depressed, according to Military Times. Five days after the incident, the recruit told another drill instructor and was sent to the hospital for a mental health screening and evaluation, writes Schogol. The drill instructor involved has since been administratively separated from the Marine Corps, according to the Times.

Related: USMC Recruit Had To Get Skin Grafts After Hazing Incident »

In another incident, a drill instructor received nonjudicial punishment and was removed from training duties, after he ordered recruits into the shower, some naked and others clothed, and told them to cram into one side — an order at boot camp commonly referred to as going “nuts to butts.”

In a Twitter post on May 3, Lamothe posted a partial copy of the investigation, in which one recruit described being stuck in a crowd of more than 40 fully or partially nude trainees in graphic detail.

Afterward, recruits expressed mixed feelings about the incident; some said they felt uncomfortable with the skin-on-skin contact, while some said it wasn’t intentional, and others didn’t think it “was a big deal,” according to the Post.

“During the incident I felt uncomfortable and like I was not a man, because it was humiliating,” one recruit said in an interview, according to the Post. “I know I would never let something like this happen if I was in control of the situation.”

On a questionnaire from the Marine Corps’ Criminal Investigative Division obtained by Military Times, another recruit wrote that the drill instructors’ “treatment did not affect” him in “a significant way,” adding that “it is boot camp and the yelling and craziness is something that comes with it.”

The news comes just a day after the Post published a story on hazing at Parris Island, South Carolina, which revealed that in one extreme case, a recruit suffered severe chemical burns after he was ordered to exercise on a bleach-covered floor and forced to remain in his wet uniform.

The recruit’s burns were so severe he needed skin grafts to his buttocks; medical examiners told him the incident had “liquefied” his skin.

Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."

First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.

"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less