Drill Sergeant Accused of Abuse

The Washington Post yesterday reported that a Marine drill instructor at Parris Island stands accused of abusing a Muslim recruit.

A Muslim Marine said he was called a terrorist and ordered into an industrial clothes dryer multiple times by a drill instructor who then turned it on, burning him, according to investigative documents that provide new details about the alleged abuse of recruits at the service’s training center at Parris Island, S.C.

“You’re going to kill us all the first chance you get aren’t you, terrorist?” the drill instructor thundered at the recruit, the new Marine later alleged, according to the documents that have not been released publicly but were reviewed by The Washington Post. “What are your plans? Aren’t you a terrorist?”

The issue of hazing and abuse at Parris Island surfaced March 18, when a 20-year-old recruit with Pakistani roots — Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Mich. — died after leaping from a stairwell landing that was nearly 40 feet high while running away from the same drill instructor who used the dryer. The instructor had just slapped Siddiqui before he jumped. Siddiqui’s death drew public scrutiny to a culture of harsh punishments at Parris Island — one that Marine officials were already examining, the documents show.

Now, a couple of things here. I know a number of my friends and readers who are Marine Corps veterans will say, “Suck it up, Cupcake. They break you down, and they build you up stronger and better than ever. I’ve been through some shit.”

I’m not a Marine. I’m an Army vet, but I get it. Basic training is supposed to be tough. My recruiters repeatedly told me that one of the drill sergeants’ goals is to expose your weaknesses and help you overcome them. I get all this. My kid is a Marine, after all.

That said, there is a line that one crosses into unacceptable behavior, and from the report, it certainly sounds like that line was crossed.

Intentionally injuring recruits is unacceptable. Showing up drunk or drinking on the job is unacceptable. Forcing a recruit to put you in contact with his sister and pursuing her socially is unacceptable. Bribing recruits with pogey bait to keep them quiet about abuse is unacceptable. Accusing a kid who just volunteered for the toughest training of all services in order to serve his country of participating in the 9-11 attacks is unacceptable.

I will also submit that part of the drill instructors’ duty is to build esprit de corps. These recruits are supposed to learn that they can rely on their fellow servicemembers, as well as their NCOs. Accusing a recruit of being a terrorist and planning attacks on his fellow Marines isolates said recruit. Remember, this is a guy who joined the United States Armed Forces voluntarily, ostensibly to defend the country he loves. Isolating him from his brothers with accusations of terrorist plotting doesn’t exactly build that team spirit, does it? It’s a stupid strategy that does more to destroy the team, rather than build it up.

And people, this is coming from me – the least politically correct person you will meet!

Are the allegations true? I can’t tell you.

I will say I’m inclined to believe at least some of them. The sister of the recruit whom the drill sergeant approached for a date provided documentation in the form of messages. The dryer incident happened in 2015, but the accusations didn’t come to light until November 2015 – AFTER the new Marine left for the next phase of his training – and there were witnesses. I can understand a new boot sniveling about bad treatment, but this guy had already left. It was over. It was done with. Why bring it up now?

marineI don’t know how widespread the abuse is. My daughter survived it. Our friend David survived it. And both these Marines went through Parris Island only a couple of years ago. While both confirmed it was tough, neither one described these kinds of abuses.

I suppose it’s possible, especially if there’s actual documentation, and given the fact that a number of Marines were removed from their jobs due to allegations of hazing.

Additionally, while I am sure that the vast majority of drill instructors in every services are upstanding servicemembers and honorable men and women, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that there’s a few shitheads in every bunch. It happens! I doubt it happens often, but it happens.

I had a drill sergeant at AIT, who was only 27 years old. He was high-speed, low-drag – a Sergeant First Class at his young age. Turns out he was sticking his dick into numerous trainees on a regular basis, as well as other women who were not his wife. It was a huge scandal, and this particular drill sergeant was court-martialed, his career destroyed – all because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.

It happens.

And while I don’t know whether the actual details of this particular investigation will all turn out to be true, I know there’s a fine line between building a Marine/Soldier/whatever and taking out your sadomasochistic tendencies on a bunch of n00bs.

It sounds like some drill sergeants need to learn where that line resides.

My only fear is that the pendulum will swing to the other extreme, and they will stop challenging recruits for fear of such complaints, and we’ll wind up with a fluffy vagina Corps, which will erode our defensive capabilities. Not liking that scenario either.

36 responses

  1. I’m sure that Major Nidal Hassan is believed to have joined the Army “ostensibly to defend the country he loves,” and it turned out that he joined for nothing of the sort. When you’re gaining recruits from a culture that believes it’s perfectly acceptable to lie to “infidels” in order to gain their confidence, seems to me you must be VERY careful about them.

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    1. I agree that some caution is warranted before accepting such recruits.

      But once they are accepted, they should be accepted and treated no worse (and no better) than other recruits.

      If something comes up later that causes suspicion that the soldier/sailor/marine/airman is really just a mole who is biding his time…then that investigation must be done quietly without letting him or his teammates know, until it is proven true. If truly necessary, transfer the individual somewhere else. Because if it ISN’T true, you’ve destroyed him for no real cause; his teammates will almost certainly never regard him the same again.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. So, are you saying that it’s all right to abuse someone simply because of a potential for wrongdoing? I thought that was the province of the Social Justice Warriors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How, in the name of all that’s Holy, did you read that into my post?

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        1. Frankly, I did too. Are we misunderstanding what you’re trying to say here?

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        2. How, in the name of all that’s Holy, did you read that into my post?

          The article was primarily about the abuse of a Muslim in boot camp, with the drill instructor accusing him of being a terrorist. Your response was to point out that Nidal Hassan had joined the military and then become (or showed himself to be) a terrorist, and that one needs to be careful of Muslims, because they lie to get into positions of trust.

          Text communication has little nuance, even with HTML to indicate where emphasis goes. There is no direct indication of how YOU meant that to come across. To someone reading that, rather than speaking face to face and getting both nonverbal cues as well as likely having a longer conversation, the implication of your response is that you endorse the behavior of the drill instructor, because the Islamic principle of taqqiyah, implies that Muslims are all potentially dangerous. A principle which could then be generalized to all potentially dangerous people.

          If you did NOT mean this, then please elaborate, so that we can understand. I have been misunderstood many, many times in text communication, so I understand quite well how things can be misinterpreted.

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    3. CPT Khan joined the Army too, and saved the lives of several of his buddies in Iraq. Kareem Khan and Rasheed Sahib also joined and died honorably. Please don’t spit on their memories.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. How is my post “spitting” on anyone’s memories, Nicki? Do you NOT understand the Islamic culture? I don’t deny that there ARE Muslims who can, do and even have served more than honorably in the U.S. Military. I’ve served with some of them…even well before it was “fashionable” to recruit them. I spent a year of my life learning both the culture, religion and the language of these people as my DD 214 will affirm. I’ve even read the Q’uran in the original Arabic. Admittedly, that was 52 years ago and I’ve since lost much of the language, but I DO remember the culture and tenets of the religion.

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        1. Then what do you mean with your comment? Yes, there are horrible Muslims out there who want to kill us. There are also those who have and do sacrifice everything to serve this great country. I’m not following the point of bringing up Hasan.

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        2. The point was (and still is) that Muslims, unlike any other group except maybe Democrat politicians, are ENCOURAGED to lie to non-Muslims in order to gain access to their resources before turning on them. Hassan was an example of this happening and simply means that Muslims require closer vetting than other recruits normally would. Sorry, but that’s just a fact of life in today’s world.

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        3. I think military vetting needs to be more stringent all around. Too many waivers. Too many slip through the cracks. Too many given interim clearances. Let’s remember that the shitbag who wandered off and joined the Taliban and Haqqani, causing several injuries and deaths was white, as was the sniveling pussy who stole information from SIPR and handed it to WikiLeaks. This isn’t a Muslim problem we have in the military. It’s a general lowering of standards.

          Hasan’s radicalism was pointedly ignored. Hasan Akbar had issues, including whining about mistreatment by his fellow Soldiers. He was bitter. No one noticed, I guess. But fragging incidents in the military overall are rare, and most happened in Vietnam, and NOT perpetrated by Muslims, even after both Iraq wars.

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        4. Fragging isn’t the issue, here, Nicki–and that guy who joined the Taliban was a Muslim–white or not. How many times have we heard about so-called “coalition troops” in Afghanistan shooting a bunch of Americans? I can recall at least 5 such incidents just in the last couple of years.

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        5. Fragging is a part of it, which is why I mention it. I wouldn’t trust coalition troops as far as I could throw them. My point stands. We need higher standards.

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        6. I Don’t disagree, Nicki. I only point out that AT THIS TIME, the closest attention needs to be paid to MUSLIM recruits since they have the CURRENT reputations for turning on their fellows.

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        7. I would disagree. Perceptions aren’t always reality, despite Hasan. While we’re focusing extra hard on Muslims, utter sociopath retards slip through the cracks. Shitbags like Bergdahl. Recruiting needs to be stringent. We should have the best in our armed forces. Psych tests, background checks, etc. for EVERYONE.

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        8. Fragging is GONNA happen if that prick DI ever finds himself in combat. It’s the best he could hope for. That way, his worthless body gets shipped back with a flag, instead of being incarcerated, where it should be.
          Oh, heck, as long as I’m beating a dead horse: “The Marines will take care of their own.” Well, NO, they DIDN’T take care of their own, which is the entire point of this incident. After having it result in the death of one disturbed young man, and having this other crap hitting the papers, it’s pretty (expletives deleted) evident that they did NOT take care of their own.

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  2. From what your wrote, you believe the muslim over the DI. Now the DI has to prove he did not do something when all the powers that be will be against him. The muslim story is BS . Like where was the industrial dryer. We didn’t have one in our barracks. Did you see if its possible for a grown man to get in one? No? Just take the word of the muslim.
    Seems legit.

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    1. Try reading and actually comprehending. I didn’t say I believed one over the other. But there were witnesses. And it’s not a fucking Muslim vs. the DS. It’s a Marine and at least two witnesses making an assertion about something that allegedly happened in basic training. I don’t have enough information to believe one over the other right now, and until I do, I’m not going to pass a judgment.

      And yes, I’ve seen videos of grown men getting into dryers. The report also didn’t specify WHERE the dryer was. We had washers and dryers on the bottom floor of our building in basic training. So try not to be a fucking dick.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. “So try not to be a fucking dick.” I think you’re too late with that advice.

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        1. For future reference. LOL!

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    2. I don’t know who’s telling the truth in the story, so I have nothing to say to that, but I know one thing: If you have to ask whether a grown man can fit into an “industrial” dryer (probably a “commercial” one, not an “industrial” one anyway – if there are “industrial” dryers, which I would assume some manufacturers have, you could probably fit a Clydesdale in one), then you have either never been in a laundromat, or any that you have been in have been for small families.

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  3. I went through basic (mumble) years ago. While I can’t say I liked my drills, they were what you want from people in that position: tough, uncompromising but professional. In retrospect, they were great role models. There’s always going to be a few knuckleheads in every group. A few years ago, the Army had a scandal with Drill Sgt’s at Ft Jackson (Relaxin’ Jackson). Now I guess it’s the Marine Corps turn. It sucks but all you can do is weed them out when you find them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Abuse? What Abuse? Are you kidding me? The DI stuffed his ass in a dryer for some reason. Probably because he pissed in his pants and needed dried out. He was called bad names? Really? Oh my, I hope he didn’t get sever menstrual cramps because of it. Recruits are all equally worthless. Civilians and social justice pimps in the military will not understand, its not their fault. Being a Marine is not just a title. Marines are different in their deployments and expectations on the battlefield. If everyone could be a Marine they wouldn’t be the Marines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love it when you’re an asshole! LMAO!!!!😀

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      1. Hey Nicki, I just noticed that I have been spelling your name wrong. My humble apologies. Now, on to the fun. First, I do hope that Dave Hardin was only joking when he implied that it was fine to put Marine recruits into an industrial clothes dryer. And to call them a racist name, by implying that Muslim was the equivalent of a terrorist. Because if he really was serious, then I have concerns for his stability.
        As for my friend SteveInCo, first, when he said that he agreed that some caution was warranted when accepting such recruits, did he mean those from Taylor, Michigan? Because just because someone happens to have a family background from Pakistan, that does not make them somehow subject to different rules than any other American citizen when it comes to them volunteering to defend our country. I suspect that you might agree, since you have a family background from Russia, and are an American citizen who served our country in the military. Unless such person were going into a job which required a special level of security, then I can think of no reason that they should undergo any deeper background check than all other volunteers.
        I can’t speak about Full Metal Jacket, that was a movie, based on experiences from the Vietnam war era, as told by a leftist. I can, however, tell what I know from recent times, as told to me by my son, who is currently in the U.S. Navy.
        From his basic training experience in the admittedly much easier Navy environment, his instructors were cautious not to cause any physical harm to the recruits, and at no time did they touch them, as if to punish them, or to actually injure them, such as was often implied during training in the “good old days”. His complaint was that some of his fellow recruits were so slow, or dumb, that the instructors had to spend a lot of their time doing things like teaching them the proper method of folding their shirts, etc.
        I of course realize that Marine Boot Camp is a totally different critter with a totally different goal, but I confident that their standards of conduct for their training instructors are similar to any other branch of the military, in that they could not physically harm any recruit. And I am also certain that any bad apple would be weeded out by his fellow instructors, if they were on the ball. I can only assume that the misbehavior by this D.I. will include a thorough investigation, and that anyone who looked the other way at these alleged incidents would also be subjected to disciplinary action.
        Papa Pat, first thank you for your service. It is always appreciated and never just words with me. I hope that in these days, the sadistic D.I.’s have been weeded out, for the most part. I know that I can only get a civilians eye view of things, but I have seen some changes that have taken place and I know that they are trying to make them Professionals as much as possible, and I am sure that in most cases they succeed. In this case, this guy went too far and deserves any punishment that he is given, if he is determined to be guilty of what he is accused of.

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    2. It is the sovereign privilege of DIs to heap all kinds of gratuitous verbal abuse on the recruit. I was never a recruit but I’m told that Full Metal Jacket was pretty accurate. But the DI there never once impugned a recruit’s loyalty to country (though he went off on one guy for not being Christian).

      So I figure, maybe that is in fact, out of bounds. As is deliberate physical injury.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Full Metal Jacket was a MOVIE and didn’t bear a very close relationship to reality…just as there has never been even a mildly-accurate depiction of what Vietnam was like…with the possible exception of “We Were Soldiers,” starring Mel Gibson.

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        1. You’re right, it was a movie. And I presumed that if it made any error (and I am sure it did, that’s all Hollywood does), it exaggerated the truth.

          So I thought that, foul mouthed as R. Lee Ermey was (and he was a real DI, if memory serves), if he never impugned a recruit’s patriotism or deliberately caused actual physical harm (oh, he “laid hands” on them, but nothing needing a trip to the infirmary) then it probably didn’t happen in real life.

          If I miscalculated, then I apologize.

          I have heard from other sources that a real-life Private Pyle wouldn’t have been kept in, but that wasn’t central to the point I was trying to make.

          I wasn’t even thinking about the Vietnam portion of the movie, again, nothing to do with the point I was trying to make.

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  5. Army. D-7-2, Ft. Jackson, SC. Most of the Drill Sergeants were human, but there were at least two who were mean vicious sadistic types, plus one lieutenant I would likely have taken a shot at if the opportunity presented itself. The talk about ‘tear you down to build you up’ is utterly bogus in the case of these individuals and others of their type.
    Now, that was in 1972, we were still drafting, and there MAY be some excuse for missing some bad apples in the face of having to process so many troops to feed the machine. But now? With the relatively small number of troops to process? No way! Somebody isn’t doing their job, a LOT of somebodies aren’t doing their jobs. It’s the duty of the first sergeant and sergeant major to KNOW what’s going on, and if the abuser kept his stripes, they should lose theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All right, we have documents “reviewed” by the Washington Post, who we know would never embelish or amplifiy portions of said documents. Allegations of abuse…. as Nicki said. Wait to see the results.

    You know Ash Carter and Team Obama will be all over this. That said, there’s no excuse for abuse. Let the UCMJ take it’s course.

    pappadave… I went through OCS in the 80’s. Full Metal Jacket was so accurate my skin still crawls when I watch it. The buildings, the marching, the vocabulary AND the characters generally matching those that we had in our platoon.

    But decades later, I’m still bitter and suspicious because I had buddies killed by rag heads (sorry, but that’s all they’ll ever be to me). Remember, a real and good muslim would follow Allah’s words in the Qur’an. Quran (2:191-193), Quran (4:95), Quran (9:29). Maybe the Muslims we’re talking about here are like non-practicing Catholics?

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    1. I imagine there is such a thing as a “cafeteria Muslim” just as there is such a thing as a “cafeteria Christian,” picking and choosing what he wants to abide by, and maintaining he’s fully Christian. I understand the jihadis believe the key “peaceful” verses of Sura 2 (such as 2:256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion”) are abrogated by other verses like the ones you mentioned.

      I have no doubt that some Muslims condemn Hasan as not a true Muslim. Others condemn Khan, for not being a true Muslim. It’s certainly true that Hasan’s and Khan’s (sorry for mentioning that shitbag Hasan in the same sentence as a hero) visions of what true Islam is, cannot both be right.

      It’s important to find out what the person believes, rather than bucket him with the very different beliefs of other people claiming the same religious identity.

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      1. My brother in law told me that the movie The Killing Fields was the closest to reality for his experience in Vietnam. He was Army, and saw a lot of intense action, both in Nam, and some nearby countrys. He stayed in Nam an extra 6 months to get out of the Army earlier. He could not imagine being stateside after a year in Vietnam, having to listen to REMF yell at him after what he went through.

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  7. Navy, Boot camp at RTV(w) Bainbridge, MD, at the end of winter. Not nearly as bad as Great Lakes in the dead of winter. Been there, too. I live 15 minutes from there now. Abuse? You try wearing an effing girdle 14 hours a day for 10 long weeks. No wonder my back hurts all the time. That damned thing crushed my spine to splinters.

    BUT – the business about the recruit being put in a commercial dryer? I thought they still had to dry their skivvies outside on a clothesline, even now. I’m skeptical about that for a couple of reasons: A) – the recruit had the right to refuse it, because unless I”m mistaken, it’s an illegal order which comes under the UCMJ; and B) the recruit and witnesses should have reported it right away, not let it go. And let’s not forget that real burns leave scars, and every dryer has a ‘tumble only’ cycle.

    I believe that DI is the same one who slapped some Paki kid who was faking a faint and then took an intentional 40 foot death jump. This particular DI should have used an ammonia ampule instead, then sent him off to sick bay or an REU for evaluation. That recruit was suicidal anyway, as I understand it.

    At the same time, the DI in question seems to be out of control and definitely on a power trip, if this did happen, and perhaps he needs a pounding himself. Despite my LO-O-O-O-NG acquaintance with Dave Hardin (who is mostly air and lime Jell-o, and never answers his phone), I don’t believe ordering someone into a commercial dryer falls under the heading of real training. It just comes off as someone whose own sense of himself is poor. Not excusing the DI; I think he went on a power trip. That’s not leadership. It’s just stupid.

    I do not think recruit training should be watered down or become a state of pampering whiny kids in adult bodies. By comparison, mine was far easier than Nicki’s, but it was 1967. It was certainly nothing like what goes on now. Times have changed. But, as Dave Hardin has pointed out so eloquently, the military isn’t a social club. It’s where you learn to break people and kill them before they kill you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Refuse to comply with the order of a Drill Instructor because it was illegal? Nope, not gonna happen.
      Of a certainty, that was an illegal order. But this Drill Instructor, from the few things reported and confirmed about him, is a bully who imposed his orders with physical sanctions. So, the recruit refuses the order to get in the drier; he is STILL at that moment under the direct influence of the Drill Instructor, because all of the people who can stop the DI are NOT there, because if they were, they WOULD have stopped that from taking place.
      If he could have instantly teleported to the Chaplain’s Office, he still doesn’t disobey the order. Why? He wants to become a Marine. And he believes that this is what he has to do to prove that he is not a terrorist.
      I must also disagree on this point: The military IS a social club, it is the most primordial social club there is. It’s not the regs or the flag or mom and apple pie that keeps troops on the line. It’s wanting to be with their boys, in the words of my son, who refused medevac for a month after he was injured. Yeah, most of the people in the military have learned some form of blowing crap up and killing people. But what they learn MORE is that they are part of the Green Machine, the Corps, the Squids, the Coasties, the Boys in Blue, and so forth, with pauses appropriately for inserting gender-appropriate language, and I’m sorry I don’t know what air force people call themselves. What yer SUPPOSED to learn, above all else, is esprit de corps. Any dumb cracker can arm a Claymore. Right on the mine, it says FRONT TOWARD ENEMY. And I don’t give a furry rat’s patoot as to whether the DI in question has a chest full of medals or was proficient in teaching close order drill; he brought harm to the Marine Corps, and to all the uniformed services. That he was not immediately counseled and ultimately removed from his position is a command failure.

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  8. RTV(w) – that should be RTC(W) – No proofreading. My bad. Sorry.

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  9. Boot camps of all the services have their scandals from time to time. The Marines try to weed out bullies for their Drill Instructor school, just like all the other ones do, but sometimes they make it through the screening. My “alma mater” has had several sex scandals since I went through in 1994. The women recruits were still at Orlando when I started, but the first ones made it to Great Mistakes while I was going through ATD. (Very annoying to be woken up by a female RCC breaking down the company for chow at 0350 in the morning, when I didn’t have to be up until 0500.)

    My suggestion is to let the investigation run it’s course, all the way through the courts martial, if it is recommended. The Marines will take care of their own, both good and bad.

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