Hundreds Of Marines Caught Sharing Nude Photographs Of Female Colleagues

Ivan Hill
March 6, 2017

The US Defense Department is investigating reports that dozens of US Marines shared "hundreds - possibly thousands" of naked photos of female recruits, veterans, and other women on a secret Facebook page, many of whom were unaware they had been photographed.

In a statement sent to Task & Purpose, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said, "For anyone to target one of our Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner, is distasteful and shows an absence of respect". I expect every Marine to demonstrate the highest integrity and loyalty to fellow Marines at all times, on duty, off-duty, and online. The Facebook group was called Marines United, and, according to the NCIS, it was accidently discovered by Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran, and a journalist working at The War Horse. The War Horse is a nonprofit news outlet and community that investigates issues related to the departments of defense and veterans affairs.

Gabaldon says she served with many leaders who exemplified the Corp's values of Honor, Courage and Commitment, and this behavior is not consistent with the standards of the Corps. Following the publication of the article, he and his family have been reportedly receiving numerous death threats. Within a day of Brennan getting in touch with the Marine Corps on January 30, the social media accounts involved in the sharing were removed by Facebook and Google at the Corps' request.

In an email to Task & Purpose regarding actions the Corps plans to take against individuals who participate in sexual harassment and cyber bullying, Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan E. Alvis said, Marines "could potentially be charged for violating Article 133 (for officers) or Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)".

The U.S. Marine Corps acknowledged Sunday that an investigation was underway to find out who posted an undetermined number of naked pictures. Military leaders have been aware of online bullying of female Marines since 2013, when I notified them of a denigrating Facebook page that encouraged sexual assault and abuse.

The investigation was first brought to light by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), which published a report revealing that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) had launched a probe into the matter.

The photos, according to the report, were also accompanied by lewd and offensive comments, a troubling discovery in the wake of the Marine Corps' integration of women into basic training courses. "Even if I could, I'm never re-enlisting", Marine Lance Corporal Marisa Woytek said. Some of the social media accounts and Google Drive folders responsible for sharing the images have been deleted. The page includes the photographs of women marines identified by their rank, full name and military duty station. The Google Drive, which is a secure cloud storage and file backup for photos and videos, was maintained by a former Marine.

Defenders of the group claim it is a resource for Marines suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, per the Marine Corps Times.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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