In the aftermath of a probe that uncovered serious misuse of social media by its members, the Marine Corps has formed a task force charged with identifying its causes and making sure it does not happen again. “We … remain committed to addressing and evolving our culture by changing the way we educate, train, and lead our Marines,” Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Glenn Walters said. “We will not tolerate a lack of respect for any member of our team.” Marine Corps commanders now must report any allegation of misconduct to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Allegations of online misconduct must be reported to Headquarters Marine Corps.
The issue emerged last February, when the NCIS uncovered 131,000 images on 168 social media sites — many of which depicted explicit photos of Marines shown without their knowledge. To date, the Marine Corps has identified 89 “persons of interest” in the case — 22 civilians and 67 active-duty members or reservists. Sixty-two have been referred to commands for further action. One Marine’s case went to summary court-martial. Two others were separated administratively, seven received non-judicial punishment, and 22 received adverse administrative actions.