Events over the past couple of years have made me angry, and left me wondering whether the US Marine Corps has lost its sense of honor and its 'band of brothers' commitment between Marines. On three occasions I've raised hell about incidents that would have outraged the Marines of yesteryear, but which apparently have become the norm today.
Most recently I asked whether the current Commandant of the Corps would resign over allegations that he interfered in the judicial process affecting some of his subordinates. Far from resigning, the Washington Times reports that the officer who raised the issue is now facing retaliation. Here's an excerpt from the report.
Retired Marine Col. Jane Siegel, who is representing Maj. James Weirick, said superiors have subjected the major to retaliations since it became known that he filed a whistleblower complaint against Gen. James Amos, the commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member.
“Headquarters Marine Corps is undercutting a hero,” Col. Siegel said. “He did the right thing, and they are trying to bury it and him.”
. . .
Marine higher-ups responded Tuesday with a series of retaliations against Maj. Weirick, Col. Siegel said.
- Marines escorted Maj. Weirick out of his office and seized his government computer.
- He was transferred to a nonlegal job as a training officer.
- His new commander suggested that he get a mental health evaluation and report for an interview with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent, to whom he refused to talk.
- The major was ordered not to communicate with officials, including Gen. Amos, and was denied leave.
- He was told to turn over his licensed personal firearms kept at home, which he did.
- The Corps also is doing a risk assessment to determine whether Maj. Weirick is a danger to himself or the base.
“These steps are all designed for a single purpose and that is to undermine the credibility of Maj. Weirick, the credibility of his complaints to the [Defense Department inspector general] and to push him very close to the very edge of being able to drum him out of the Marine Corps,” Col. Siegel said. “I’ve been practicing military justice exclusively for 40 years, 25 of which were in the Marine Corps, and I have never seen anything quite this destructive carried out by people who I considered to be heroes, the commandant of the Marine Corps.”
Seizing his computer is a way to find out what he has been telling the inspector general during its investigation, she said.
There's more at the link. I urge you to follow the link and read the entire report. I think it's essential reading for anyone who cares about the honor of our armed forces.
I was furious when I'd read it, so I contacted a friend, a USMC field-grade officer, and asked him for his reactions. He told me three things.
- He's no longer sure that it's worth trying to qualify for further promotion, because political correctness now outweighs combat effectiveness as a primary criterion for selection.
- He can no longer in good conscience recommend the Corps as a worthwhile, viable career to his son, and to the children of his friends.
- One of his senior NCO's had just come into his office, shown him a copy of the above article, and told him that he would not be re-enlisting when his current term expired. He was too sickened to see the 'betrayal of trust' being perpetrated by the Marine Corps' top leadership.
I know this man well. He's earned multiple combat decorations and has (as far as I know) a stellar record . . . but he's had it up to here. Speaking as a combat veteran myself, I can't blame him in the least.
It may be too late for General Amos alone to resign. It begins to look as if every General Officer in the Corps needs to get the hell out of the way, so that they can make room for successors who will rebuild its top leadership with less focus on politics and more on warfighting. If they don't, the Corps will no longer be the Corps. It's that simple. If you doubt that, just ask yourself . . . what would Chesty do?