Justice

The Marines Are Embroiled in a Nude Photo Scandal

March 6th 2017

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

Hundreds of compromising photos of female Marines have been posted to the internet, and now investigators want to know which of their fellow Marines put them there. 

U.S. Marine Corps recruits during inspection.

Members of a private Facebook group, "Marines United," asked for covertly taken explicit photos of veteran and active duty female Marines. It then provided a Google Drive link for members to view the collection, according to Reveal, a site by the Center for Investigative Reporting, which first exposed the Facebook group.

Two female Marine students.

On March 4, the group reportedly had 30,000 followers, and the women in the photos — taken without their knowledge — were frequently identified by their full names, rank, and titles. Members of the group then left obscene comments on the photos, as reported by Reveal's Thomas James Brennan.

One member of the Facebook group suggested that the service member sneaking the photos should 'take her out back and pound her out.' Others suggested more than vaginal sex: 'And butthole. And throat. And ears. Both of them. Video it though … for science.'

The U.S. Marine Corps. welcomed its first female infantry Marines on Jan. 5. Photos started to circulate on Jan. 30., something that military officials fear will undermine the trust female service members have in their male colleagues, an important aspect of success in combat. 

A vintage U.S. Marine Corps poster.

"This behavior destroys morale, erodes trust and degrades the individual," Headquarters Marine Corps Capt. Ryan Alvis said in a statement on Sunday. "The Marine Corps does not condone this sort of behavior, which undermines its core values. As General Neller said in his recent Message to the Force, the Marine Corps’ success in battle depends on trust, mutual respect and teamwork."

Alvis also said the Marines could potentially face charges for taking pictures of their female colleagues without their knowledge and for broadcasting an "indecent visual recording." 

The military has a major problem with sexual assault. 

In April 2016, a joint investigation by the Associated Press and the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders found that the Pentagon intentionally gave Congress misleading and vague information about sexual assault cases. In a 2014 workplace study by the military, 62 percent of women who reported sexual assault said they experienced some kind of "professional or social retaliation."

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