Shameless Displays by Marines on Social Media

The Marine Corps is built on a foundation of honor, brotherhood and dedication. The motto “Semper Fidelis” translates to “Always Faithful.” Drill Instructors spend hours teaching history, relating stories of how a Marine never leave another Marine behind. “God, Country, Corps” has guided leathernecks for generations. Now some of those brothers have abandoned those time honored traditions and teachings at the expense of fellow Marines.

By now, most of you have probably heard of the Marine Corps “nude photo scandal,” which involves both active and veteran members sharing photographs of female Marines in various stages of undress on the private social media page “Marines United.” Not only were the photos posted, but hundreds of the female Marines were identified by name, rank, duty station and personal social media accounts.

Since the story broke late last week, comments posted to various reports have been almost as disturbing as the site itself. Many have attempted to minimize the actions, writing it off as “boys being boys.” Others have sited this as an example of why men and women should not serve in the same units, which may have been an underlying reason for the site’s beginning. But, worst of all, are those who blamed the victims themselves, claiming they never should have taken such pictures to begin with – though, with much more colorful language.

Many of these comments have been made without benefit of actually reading the reports. Yes, according to information released by DOD investigators, a number of the photos do appear to be posed or taken with willing models. However, others were obviously taken secretly or shared without the subject’s knowledge or consent. One especially disturbing series of photos were taken as the photographer followed a female corporal as she went about her daily duties. Though not racy or inappropriate, these photos drew a large number of vulgar comments, including suggestions as to how the stalker should have assaulted the corporal.

Make no mistake about it – this is more than boys being boys. This is not about girls who allowed a companion to take racy pictures or otherwise act inappropriately themselves. This is about Marines disrespecting their fellow Marines, tarnishing the uniform and abandoning the honor the Corps is built on. It is also about destroying the careers, if not future, of the victims. It will be difficult for these women to continue in the Corps, and many may find the long term impact unbearable. The Corps will lose a large number of highly qualified valuable members on both sides of this scandal.

Every Marine should be appalled by this behavior, and despite the claim that “there are no former Marines,” those responsible should be investigated, prosecuted if appropriate and forever removed from the brotherhood.

To the victims, I would hope that they do not let this tasteless incident shape their future and that in time, they can once again look back on their time in the Corps in a more favorable light.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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2 thoughts on “Shameless Displays by Marines on Social Media

  1. The problem with this entire argument, not the written article above, but the issue of females and males serving along side each other, is this is to be expected. CONTINUE READING BEFORE REPLYING. You can argue women should be allowed to do this, men allowed that, but in the end, you have to swallow your pride and your know-how in favor of reality. It’s not an appetizing meal, but one that you must be willing to eat if you are insistent upon equal right, equal this, equal that. Bowing down to people crying out for something means foreseeing certain disputes, GOD FORBID BEING A LEADER and taking certain measures to nip it in the butt.

    If you do not plan accordingly, be prepared to suffer unit cohesion as a result. I’M NOT CONDONING THIS BEHAVIOR, but it does sound a bit whiney initially until this line. “One especially disturbing series of photos were taken as the photographer followed a female corporal as she went about her daily duties.”

    While the above is disturbing and disgusting, what do you honestly think would happen.There are no regulations against porn. Oooohhh boooo hooo you took playboy away, we still got the internet on base right????? The issue is the mentality of people in general, regardless of the uniform, regardless of values of the organization (give me a break, like that is really gonna shape up anybody or has stopped any of the DUIs, rapes, or any of the past incidents from occuring…it just makes people feel stupid, but still didn’t stop it from occuring).

    THERE IS NO GROUNDS FOR BIBLICAL OR MORAL GROUNDS because the corps prides itself on having the lowest morals and highest morale. AGAIN I’M NOT DEFENDING THE INDIVIDUALS ACTIONS, but explaining that this is to be expected. So unless you want to screen everybody beforehand, constantly monitor and hold their hand, not allow porn, make sure that opposite sex events are somehow happy and healthy inducing (no freaking way possible so keep day dreaming), we aren’t going to get this any time soon.

    What is going to happen is the same thing that is happening now. Guys shaming girls who cheated on them (happened in my unit, hence the whole lets make her famous thing). Until you implement a moral grounds and code for people to follow (WHY SHOULD THEY FOLLOW IT IS THE BIGGER PROBLEM BESIDES JUST THREATENING THEM), the honor courage and commitment is just words in a recruitment pamphlet and if you want to say otherwise, what about the recon marine in japan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Brown_Okinawa_assault_incident
    and I know I have read several stories of marines who killed recruits, stateside civilians in the wrong claiming to be marines, or marines and other branches recording themselves slapping civilians or beating down on them in public for shits and giggles.

    There are many issues in the service, but I am not surprised that when nobody does their homework, this happens
    http://www.stripes.com/news/air-force/air-force-sex-assault-prevention-chief-charged-in-sex-assault-1.219860#.WMMSrW_yvIU

    Also, I have several friends on active duty from Luke who talk about females sarcing because they DON’T LIKE THEIR DUTY STATION SO THEY SARC TO PCS. The issue isn’t just marines, it’s military wide and psychology of people. THE UNIFORM DOES NOT TAKE AWAY THE INHERENT NEED OF MEN AND WOMEN TO HAVE POSITIVE OPPOSITE SEX RELATIONS, IT MAKES IT WORSE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT

  2. What you have here is barracks talk taken to the 21st century, not defending or condemning. In ’71 , taking things to this level would be harassment, and subject to an article 15. Whether male or female, taking nude pictures of themselves, or allowing someone else to, is conduct unbecoming in itself. A fine, reduction in rank, or even a little jail time may not completely take care of the problem, but it damn sure won’t hurt. Basically, what they need is a swift kick in the rear to get their attention. Of course, you could always go with the sensitivity classes.
    It doesn’t matter if they are Soldiers of Marines, most are just out of high school.
    They will do and say stupid things, just like we all did. I learned, and they will too.

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