Despite rules against it, hazing is one of those perennial problems that just don’t seem to end. The 2011 suicide of a lance corporal, whose death after getting berated and hazed for falling asleep on post in Afghanistan, brought the issue to the halls of Capitol Hill earlier this year as lawmakers (including his aunt, a Hawaii congresswoman) demanded tougher penalties for perpetrators who inflict pain and humiliation on each other.
When the commandant, Gen. James Amos, issued a stern warning in February and updated the 1997 order prohibiting any hazing, the message was loud and clear: Such behavior would not be tolerated. That word dropped just as the Marine Corps accused a drill instructor of hazing and abusing recruits. Last week, Staff Sgt. Andrew Langley stepped into a courtroom for his special court-martial on two-dozen charges that could bring his 11-year career to a premature end.
Prosecutors claimed the drill instructor abused his authority and mistreated eight recruits, all who were recovering from physical injuries suffered during recruit training. But the DI’s defense team argued their case that much of what he’s accused of doing fell into that murky gray area of the Marine Corps’ famously tough recruit training that allows drill instructors to turn civilians into Marines. But the case might not be as clear-cut as you might think. Read more about it in this week’s paper.
Inside this week’s edition you will also get a look at the Defense Department’s new plans for chow hall menus, what’s ahead for leathernecks headed to Afghanistan and our 2012 Marine of the Year, a staff noncommissioned officer who has exemplified leadership and inspired his men and women. To check it out, pick up a copy on newsstands now or subscribe online here.