Top law enforcement officers with the Marine Corps are investigating at least one incident at Camp Lejeune involving a Marine accused of posting a photo of a nude female Marine, a case that’s part of a national response from Department of Defense officials.
A spokesperson at Camp Lejeune told McClatchy on Monday that officials were still looking into the situation to determine which women had been photographed and which men were participants on the Facebook page.
Congress is also getting involved. U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, the Republican congressman from North Carolina whose district includes Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, is seeking a full briefing about Marines accused of posting photos to Facebook of nude female Marines.
Marine Corps officials told McClatchy that a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation is ongoing at Camp Lejeune. NCIS is the lead law enforcement office of the Marine Corps.
Let me be perfectly clear: no person should be treated this way.
Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, Marine Corps
The Center for Investigative Journalism publicly exposed the social media acts on Friday on its Reveal news website, along with The War Horse, a nonprofit military and veterans journalism organization. The reports say the “Marines United” Facebook page where photos were published has nearly 30,000 followers.
The Center for Investigative Journalism reported that a Marine at Camp Lejeune was discharged after posting an image on the page.
That male Marine at Camp Lejeune accused of being involved was due to be discharged before the Facebook incidents were known by Marine Corps leaders, said Capt. Ryan Alvis, spokesperson at the Marine Corps office of communication. Alvis noted the investigation into the Marines United Facebook page and activity at Camp Lejeune is ongoing.
Camp Lejeune made Marine Corps history earlier this year when three female infantry Marines joined the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, for the first time.
The highest-ranking noncommissioned officer in the Marine Corps called the Facebook activity a “direct attack on our ethos and legacy.” In a news statement, Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, 18th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, said, “There is no place for this type of demeaning or degrading behavior in our Corps – this includes our actions online.”
Green called the behavior “inconsistent with our core values” and said, “Let me be perfectly clear: No person should be treated this way.”
Jones and other lawmakers in Washington had called on the Marine Corps commandant to conduct a full investigation. Jones is a senior member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, where the Democratic ranking member, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, on Sunday called the male Marines’ behavior “degrading, dangerous and completely unacceptable.”
The Marine Corps responded to the allegations of misconduct and possible criminal activity by asking potential victims or anyone with information to report details online or by calling 1-877-579-3648. The report may be made by service members or civilians.