U.S. Marine Corps recruits of Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, wait for the next command during a final drill evaluation Aug. 2, 2017, on Parris Island, S.C. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Joseph Jacob)
The U.S. Marine Corps continues to grapple with hazing at its storied recruit training center at Parris Island in South Carolina, where the service punished at least eight drill instructors and a number of officers for abusive behavior last year, the Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing multiple internal investigations.
The incidents uncovered by the Post involved female drill instructors in the 4th Recruit Training Battalion mistreating female recruits. Battalion drill instructors reportedly humiliated, physically assaulted, and even endangered recruits.
These incidents come despite the Corps' best efforts to curb these unacceptable and dangerous practices.
In one situation, a drill instructor allegedly made a recruit put "feces soiled underwear" on her head.
Some men and women attending Marine Corps boot camp are training more closely together than ever, but the training is unlikely to be fully integrated, the service's top general said this week.
Marine Corps leaders are currently reviewing the performance of the first-ever coed company that lived, trained and graduated together in March. In some areas, they performed better than other companies and in other areas worse, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told Military.com at the Sea-Air-Space conference outside Washington, D.C.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Stegall
The Marine Corps is asking tough questions of itself after the death of a Muslim recruit sparked an investigation that could lead to administrative or legal action against up to 20 enlisted and officer personnel. But any dialogue about how recruits are made into Marines must also include a frank discussion about the segregated training of men and women in boot camp. Boot camp is meant to be a place of extremes, but it is also a place where negative attitudes about gender are imprinted on new recruits. The segregation of men and women at this most foundational level of indoctrination reinforces negative stereotypes about the abilities of women, breeds distrust, creates a negative impact on mental health for military women in and beyond the service.