Hundreds Of Recruits Get Sick At Marine Boot Camp

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Recruits with India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, stand in line to receive their initial haircuts at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Oct. 23, 2017.
U.S. Marine Corps photo

More than 300 recruits at the Marines’ boot camp in San Diego are suffering from diarrheal symptoms from an bacterial outbreak, officials disclosed on Tuesday.


With most of the cases linked to Shiga toxin-causing E.coli bacteria, physicians are treating 302 patients out of the more than 5,500 candidates undergoing training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

“Our immediate focus is identifying, isolating and treating recruits who present symptoms,” said Brig. Gen. William Jurney, the commander of both the depot and the Corps’ Western Recruiting Region, in a written statement. “We are working to identify the cause of the sickness, making sure our affected recruits can return to training as soon as possible and continuing training for recruits not influenced.”

The illness was identified in recruits at both the depot and at Edson Range at Camp Pendleton. The number of cases spiked on Monday, officials said, and 10 recruits were transported to an undisclosed hospital off the base for additional care. While Marines are still trying to identify the source of the contagion, commanders have quarantined sick recruits from those who have yet to display symptoms, mandated increased hand washing and ensured proper sanitation in all training areas.

Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Preventative Medicine Unit has hiked inspections of barracks, dining facilities and common areas.

Family members will be notified if the illness delays a recruit’s graduation date, officials added.

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©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.

At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.

Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.

"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."

She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."

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