A Marine with Joint Special Operations Command is being investigated for tweeting that people who complained about tanks being part of a July 4th event in Washington, D.C., should kill themselves.
"Here's to any complaints about tanks and a to anyone who says anything about PTSD!" Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Ennett wrote in response to a post from the Marine Corps' official account wishing Marines a happy Independence Day.
"Happy 4th. Blow your fingers off, get black out drunk, engage in risky behavior that offends snow flakes. If you die, then you didn't deserve to live! If you wine, hurry and become a '22' statistic today!"
Ennett's also included a hashtag that called Democrats "treasonous." He subsequently deleted the tweet.
The Military Sexual Trauma Movement, a non-for-profit group, reported Ennett's social media comments to his chain of command on July 6. The group allows service members to report sexist and other disparaging behavior by troops online without fear of retaliation, said Janelle Marina, the group's founder.
"We are aware of a recent social media post made by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Ennett," Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Christopher Harrison told Task & Purpose. "The command has initiated an investigation into the matter. The Marine Corps' core values of honor, courage, and commitment demand a high standard of conduct, and we hold our Marines accountable to this standard."
Ennett is assigned to Company D, Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia, said Kenneth McGraw, a spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command.
McGraw also said Ennett declined to comment for this story.
Following his comments about suicide, Ennett tweeted an apology for what he described as an attempt at humor that went awry, adding he needs to "take this social media thing more seriously."
"I made a poor attempt at satire here and it went sideways. As I saw the perceptions, allegations and personal attacks that it stimulated, none of which I anticipated or intended, I realize my inside joke hit the public domain and gave those who wish me harm all the ammo I needed," Ennett wrote in the tweet, which he later deleted. "But regardless of whether I thought it would be a joke to a small niche or not, it's the interpretation to the outside world that matters.
"I work hard to be where I'm at," he continued. "As I saw the nasty responses, on a day [I] was supposed to be spending with my family, I think about how ashamed of me they would be of my comments. And then I thought about how quickly everything I worked for could evaporate. If I would've known that people who have perceived my post that way, I wouldn't have put it up."