The Marine Corps is investigating allegations that hundreds of male Marines used social media to share and solicit nude photographs of female service members and veterans, The Center for Investigative Reporting says.
Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of photos were posted to the private Marines United Facebook page, which has 30,000 members; the page is open only to male U.S. Marines, Navy Corpsman, and British Royal Marines. At least two dozen women featured in photographs, including officers and enlisted service members, have been identified by their full name, rank, and military duty station. Members of the Facebook group have left more than 2,500 comments, many obscene, on the photos.
"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," Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, the most senior enlisted Marine on active duty, told The Center for Investigative Reporting. "It is inconsistent with our core values, and it impedes our ability to perform our mission." The photos were first reported by The War Horse, a nonprofit news organization run by Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran. The War Horse contacted five women shown in photos, and two said they believed their former partners may have leaked their pictures, while others worried they had been hacked.
One of the women photographed was followed by a fellow Marine while going to pick up her gear at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Those photos were posted on Marines United on Feb. 16, more than two weeks after Brennan notified the Marine Corps about the page, The Center for Investigative Reporting said. Marine Corps officials said the Marine who took the pictures has been discharged from active duty. Read more about the response from top brass and the reaction from women whose photos have been posted at The Center for Investigative Reporting.