A female Marine finds photos from her personal Facebook account re-posted on a Marine humor page and subjected to derogatory and sexual comments. This happens not once, but again and again, and it doesn’t stay online: she gets honked and yelled at in the street when she’s walking near her base, and her friends tell her she’s developed a reputation as a “barracks mattress,” because Marines think that if she gets posted to these sites, she must be a slut.
On Facebook pages like “Just The Tip, Of The Spear,” and others, most users say there’s no problem with what happens there–it’s just standard rough Marine Corps humor that can be shocking to outsiders.
“War creates a pretty twisted sense of humor,” an admin from JTTOTS told me.
But when active-duty Marines say they feel alienated, bullied, or sexually harassed by their brothers and sisters-in-arms, have things gone too far?
Marine leaders aren’t laughing. A senior equal opportunity adviser in the Corps says what you post on Facebook could lead to non-judicial punishment or even court-martial. Units are amping up briefs instructing their Marines to stay away from the most popular sites. And more penalties could be on the way.
We explore the culture of “sammich jokes,” the challenge of the wild frontier that is the internet, and the Marine Corps’ upcoming crackdown on what you say or do online.
Read our cover story here.