Exclusive video: Marine sniper talks about urination video and aftermath



Marine Corps Times recently sat down with former Sgt. Joe Chamblin, one of the Marines involved in the infamous video that shows four scout snipers urinating on Taliban corpses.

Chamblin, who served as the the scout sniper platoon commander during the 2011 deployment to Afghanistan, said he hates that all anyone will ever remember about his Marines is that 30 second video. The scout sniper platoon deployed with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. They filmed the video during a patrol in Helmand’s Musa Qala district on July 27, 2011.

The video led to backlash, both home and abroad. But Chamblin fired back at his critics during the interview, stating that he and his men killed hundreds of insurgents on that deployment. A lot of their successes were overshadowed by a split-second decision they made, he said.

Some excerpts from the interview:

Q. Why did you urinate on the corpses? And why film it?

A. I really didn’t know it was getting filmed at the time until it was done. And then it was like, “Yeah, we better keep that to just us.” But it ended up getting out. It really wasn’t a decision, it wasn’t planned. Once we got them, it was like, “This is horrible. Why did we have to go get them?” Someone said, “Piss on these guys,” and someone else was like, “Yeah, you know what, piss on them.” And so we did, and that was that. And then we moved on.

Q. You were a staff noncommissioned officer — you put this team together, and you led them. Why did you not only allow the incident to occur, but participate in it as well?

A. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I would do it again. It wasn’t like we had some random Afghans laying there. They were insurgents, they had weapons and they were trying to kill us. The same guys were making IEDs and trying to kill Marines. If they could get over here, they would cut off the heads of everybody in this room right now. That’s how they are. And you know what? I won that day. They didn’t.

Q. Do you think this video hurt the Marine Corps’ reputation?

A. Well, it depends on what your idea is of what a Marine should be. If your idea of a Marine is a real fancy-looking guy in uniform that does snap and pop with a rifle and looks real pretty, then yeah, it probably hurt. But if your idea of what a Marine should be is the enemy’s worst f—ing nightmare, then I don’t think it did. But you can’t have both.

You can check out the full interview with Chamblin here.


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  1. It was a bad decision,if the people killed were decent, law abiding people. They were not. They were dead. It was a way of getting back at the enemy for all the brothers lost and injured. I, frankly would be more concerned with the person who leaked this. Rules were broken. There should have never been a video. The whole thing should not have happened. I get why it happened. Fact is, it changed a lot of afgan.s minds about us. Do I care? No. We were there to make a difference. Good leadership equals good decisions. We have a POW over there. So what the FXXX were you thinking??? You wasn’t. Does not mean you are not a good Marine. You screwed up, and being a Marine, you know there are rules for such. Wish you the best and hope a lesson was learned. This is not about loving your enemy. Remember your training. I thank each and everyone of our Marine’s for their service. Semper Fi !

  2. I really don’t see the big deal of what they did !!! They got the enemy and was proud of it like he said they would of cut our heads off if they had a chance those people are not human they try to kill us all the time in ways you can’t imagine! I’d piss on them to given the situation!! They are evil and dead there was nothing desgraceful about it!!

  3. treating any human being with disrespect should not be accepted, but given the fact that these brave marines were just reacting to the lack of respect that they would have been shown if the day had gone the other way doesn’t make the criminals it makes them human!!!

  4. My late brother in law, who had the Bronce Star with V device, 5 Purple Hearts and put 3 tours in Viet Nam, told he sure was not about to see the end of the Marine Corps, but I certainly will, and that is exactly what I we all are witnessing.

  5. In Iraq in 2005 there were 6 scout snipers from the 3/25 assassinated in the area of Haditha.

    There is a video of that filmed by the jihadi’s and it’s not pretty but unless you have someone ,or are yourself a part of the 3/.25 you probably have never even heard of it. Nobody took exception no big outcry by the command, nothing because it had no political value.Yet some brave Marines piss on a couple of these POS and it’s the biggest story since Iwo Jima. This guy is a hero in my book and the real criminial are the people who leaked the video.

  6. As a former Grunt of 2/2.. I don’t see anything wrong here. These men, these Marines, sacrifice their lives for us and their fellow Marines everyday in a Middle East that would burn every American alive if they could. Wow, a team of Marines pissed on the Taliban..

  7. thomas a. miller on

    War and combat are a different world from which we live….If you have been there, you would understand the mindset has to change to survive, if you have not been there, don’t judge. Be glad these guys are doing the work and keeping you safe at the expense of their own mental and physical well being.

    OOORAH !


  8. This is a REAL Marine! I stand with all of the men in this video. Amos should be ashamed of himself, and should be relieved of his command for the illegal actions he took over these boys – and for not having their backs against the politics of the likes of Hillary Clinton. Amos is the one that brought shame to the Marines.

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