Commandant: Marines involved in nude photo scandal not ‘true warriors’
WASHINGTON – The sharing of nude photos of female Marines by active and veteran Marines on a secret social media page is “embarrassing to the Corps,” the service’s top general said in a video released Tuesday.
Gen. Robert Neller, the Marines commandant, warned “true warriors” do not engage in such activity.
“What we say and do each day represents who we are,” Neller said in the video posted on the Marines’ official website. “There is no time off for Marines. We are all-in 24/7, and if that commitment to excellence interferes with your me-time or if you can’t or are unwilling to commit to contributing 100 percent to our Corps’ warfighting ability by being a good teammate and improving cohesion and trust then I have to ask you, ‘Do you really want to be a Marine?’”
In the roughly four-minute video, the camouflage-clad Neller speaks directly into the camera, publicly addressing for the first time allegations that some Marines had secretly shared private photos – some nude -- of female Marines and personal information about the women in a Facebook group. Those allegations were brought to light over the weekend in a report by the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting with the War Horse military news website.
That report cited a private Facebook group entitled “Marines United” in which a secret drive had been circulated that contained the explicit photographs, dossiers on the female servicemembers and degrading comments that included apparent threats of rape, according to the report.
Defenders of the group, which according to the report had 30,000 members, have said on social media, including on Stars and Stripes Facebook page, that “Marines United” had helped veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts.
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