The Navy Just Made Sharing Nudes Without Consent A Crime For Sailors And Marines

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Almost two months after the “Marines United” nude photo-sharing scandal broke, the Navy is taking new steps to crack down on revenge porn among sailors and Marines.


An interim revision to Navy regulations released by acting Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley on Monday declares that the non-consensual distribution of explicit images by Navy and Marine Corps personnel constitutes wrongdoing “if the person making the distribution or broadcast does so without legal justification or excuse, knows or reasonably should know that the depicted person did not consent to the disclosure, and the intimate image is distributed or broadcast.”

The fleetwide message from Stackley explicitly details three situations considered violations of the new Navy regulations:

  • distributing explicit images “with the intent to realize personal gain;
  • with the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person;
  • or with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced.”

The changes effectively criminalize sharing nude photos of fellow service members without their consent, the core activity of the Marines United Facebook page that sparked outrage at the military’s apparent culture of sexual abuse and exploitation.

But the sudden update to Navy regs may not stand up to legal scrutiny, according to Navy Times:

The changes were made public Tuesday in an all-Navy message, a move that some experts think will be hard-pressed to defend in court. Changing Navy regulations is a bit of an end-around for making changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which would require an act of Congress.

In this case, detailing expectations of Department of the Navy personnel amounts to a lawful order, which can be enforced with the full weight of the justice system, from non-judicial punishment to general court martial.

As Task & Purpose previously reported, Article 120(c) of the UCMJ expressly prohibits “indecent viewing, visual recording or broadcasting … another person’s private area without the person’s consent” — a transgression punishable by punitive discharge, confinement, and forfeitures that could result in the loss of veteran benefits.

Earlier this month, Naval Criminal Investigative Service director Andrew Traver announced that military investigators had identified at least 27 individuals — including 15 active-duty Marines — believed to have engaged in “criminal activity” as part of the non-consensual distribution of explicit photos on the Marines United Facebook group.

The new social media guidance published by the Marine Corps on March 14 also connected illicit internet activity with Article 92, or failure to obey a lawful general order: “Marines must never engage in commentary or publish content on social networking platforms or through other forms of communication that harm good order and discipline or that bring discredit upon themselves, their unit, or the Marine Corps.”

In early April, two active-duty Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines out of Camp Pendleton in California were punished for making “demeaning comments about one of their enlisted leaders” as part of a wider crackdown on online misconduct in the aftermath of the Marines United scandal.

The new regulations released by acting Stackley are temporary until the edition of fleet regulations hits the printers, according to Navy Times.

Photo via DoD
(Photo: CNN/screenshot)

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL sniper on Wednesday contradicted earlier testimony of fellow SEALs who claimed he had fired warning shots to scare away civilian non-combatants before Chief Eddie Gallagher shot them during their 2017 deployment to Mosul, and said he would not want to deploy again with one of the prosecution's star witnesses.

Special Operator 1st Class Joshua Graffam originally invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege before Navy Judge Capt. Aaron Rugh gave him immunity in order to compel his testimony.

Graffam testified that Gallagher was essentially justified in the shooting of a man he is accused of unlawfully targeting, stating that "based off everything i had seen so far ... in my opinion, they were two shitheads moving from one side of the road to the other."

Spotting for Gallagher in the tower that day, Graffam said, he called out the target to him and he fired. He said the man was hit in the upper torso and ran away.

Graffam, who joined the Navy in 2010 and has been assigned to SEAL Team 7's Alpha Platoon since September 2015, deployed alongside Gallagher to Mosul in 2017, occasionally acting as a spotter for Gallagher when the SEALs were tasked with providing sniper support for Iraqi forces from two towers east of the Tigris River.

Another SEAL, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Dalton Tolbert, had previously testified under direct examination by prosecutors that, while stationed in the south tower of a bombed-out building in June 2017, he had observed Gallagher shoot and kill an elderly civilian.

"He ran north to south across the road," Tolbert testified on Friday. "That's when I saw the red mark on his back and I saw him fall for the first time. Blood started to pool and I knew it was a square hit in the back." Over the radio, he said he heard Gallagher tell the other snipers, "you guys missed him but I got him."

Former SO1 Dylan Dille, who was also in the south tower that day, testified last week that he watched an old man die from a sniper shot on Father's Day. He said the date stuck out in his mind because he thought the man was probably a father.

Later that day, after the mission, Graffam said he spoke with Dille about the shooting and they disagreed about the circumstances. Dille, he said, believed the man was a noncombatant.

"I, on the other hand, was confident that the right shot was taken," Graffam said, although he said later under cross-examination that the man was unarmed. Dille previously testified that the SEALs were authorized to shoot unarmed personnel if they first received signals intelligence or other targeting information.

Photo: Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

Graffam described the man as a male between 40 and 50 years old wearing black clothing, giving him the impression of an ISIS fighter who was moving in a "tactical" manner. He testified that he did not see anything like Dille had described.

Graffam further testified that he didn't see Gallagher take any shots that he shouldn't have on that day or any other.

Although Graffam said he did not hear of allegations that Gallagher had stabbed a wounded ISIS fighter on deployment, he testified that he started to hear rumblings in early 2018. Chief Craig Miller, he said, asked him at one point whether he would "cooperate" with others in reporting him.

When asked whether he would like to serve with Miller again in a SEAL platoon, Graffam said, "I don't feel as confident about it." A member of the jury later asked him why he'd feel uncomfortable deploying with Miller and he responded, "I just wouldn't."

Graffam said he would serve with Gallagher again if given the chance.

Under cross examination by prosecutors, Graffam said he couldn't say whether there were warning shots fired that day, though Dille and Tolbert both said happened. "There were multiple shots throughout the day," Graffam said.

Prosecutors also asked him about his previous statements to NCIS, in which Graffam said of Miller that "he has good character" and was "a good guy." Graffam confirmed he said just that.

Defense attorney Tim Parlatore, however, said those statements were back in January and "a lot had happened since then." Parlatore said Graffam had also said at the time that Gallagher was a good leader.

"That part remains unchanged, correct?" Parlatore asked.

"Yes," Graffam said.

The defense is expected to call more witnesses in the case, which continues on Thursday.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

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"There appears to be an increase in high-risk behaviors among service members; that is, having sex without a condom or having more than one sexual partner," Air Force physician Maj. Dianne Frankel said in a news release.

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Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Hercules and one Marine on an F/A-18 Hornet were killed when both planes went down about 200 miles off the Japanese coast.

A recent salvage operation of the KC-130J crash site recovered the remains of three of the Marines, who were later identified, Corps officials said.

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(YouTube via Air Force Times)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Air Force is investigating an airman after he posted a video on YouTube rife with homophobic slurs and insults.

A man in an Air Force uniform, identified only by the YouTube username "Baptist Dave 1611" ranted in a recent video, calling gay people "sodomites," "vermin scum," and "roaches" among other slurs, according to Air Force Times, which first reported the story Wednesday.

"The specifics of the situation are being reviewed by the airman's command team," said service spokesman Maj Nick Mercurio, confirming the incident. Mercurio did not provide any identifying details about the airman.

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