Hundreds of U.S. Marines were caught sharing nude photographs of their female colleagues on Facebook, according to The Center for Investigative Reporting.
The Department of Defense opened an investigation after The War Horse, a non-profit news organization run by Marine veteran Thomas Brennan, discovered the Marines United Facebook page was sharing possibly thousands of naked photographs of female service members and veterans.
More than two dozen female Marines, including active duty officers and enlisted members, were identified by rank, full name and duty station in the photographs since Jan. 30.
Members of the private Facebook group began sharing the photos less than one month after women were first assigned to a Marine infantry unit on Jan. 5.
The page included more than 2,500 comments about the photos, which were shared via dozens of Google Drive folder links. Many of the nearly 30,000 members commenting on the Marines United page used their personal accounts, which in some cases included name, rank and duty station. Marines, Navy Corpsmen and British Royal Marines from across the world participated in the sharing, ranging from Japan to North Carolina.
In one example, a female corporal in uniform was followed by a fellow Marine at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Marine photographed her as she picked up her gear and posted the photos to Marines United. The photos prompted comments telling the Marine to “take her out back and pound her out.” Another commenter added “And butthole. And throat. And ears. Both of them. Video it though … for science.”
Brennan contacted the Marine Corps about the page, prompting Facebook and Google to delete the accounts responsible for sharing the pictures. A formal investigation by the Navy Criminal Investigative Services was launched in response.
“We need to be brutally honest with ourselves and each other: This behavior hurts fellow Marines, family members, and civilians. It is a direct attack on our ethos and legacy,” Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green told Reveal, a website run by The Center for Investigative Reporting. “It is inconsistent with our core values, and it impedes our ability to perform our mission.”
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