Marine Corps Commandant Confronts Social Media Incident
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps commandant has confronted the recent social media misconduct head on to condemn the posting of salacious photos on the closed website Marines United, and warned violators that the misconduct is seriously detrimental to the morale and warfighting cohesion of the Corps.
“When I hear allegations of Marines denigrating their fellow Marines, I don’t think such behavior is that of true warriors or warfighters,” said Gen. Robert Neller in a March 7 video address to the Corps. “Cohesion and trust in a unit — and between Marines — is vital to success on the battlefield. Rich now we all need to be focused on getting better, becoming more lethal, working day and night to stay ahead of potential adversaries, getting ready for the fight today, and the one ahead, not hiding in social media or being aware of actions that are disrespectful or harmful to other Marines. It’s embarrassing to the Corps, to our families and to the nation.”
Neller asked Marines who believe they are victims of abuse to report the abuse to their chain of command, chaplain or victim legal counsel. He also told non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and staff NCOs that he expected them to support “all Marines who report conduct that is prejudicial to good order and discipline, including conduct that is degrading to Marines and ensure that they are protected from any form of retaliation.”
Neller also reminded officers to make sure their Marines understood the regulations governing conduct such as harassment and social abuse.
“If changes need to be made, they will be made,” he said.
“I know that the vast majority of Marines take this profession of arms, this calling, seriously, and work hard every day to build on this legacy,” he said. “… What we say and do each day represents who we are, 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?’
“I need all to be a Marine, to do your job,” he said. “We will all need each other in the days ahead.”