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Marines Disciplined for Taliban Desecration

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2012 – Three Marines received nonjudicial punishment today for their roles in the desecration of enemy corpses in Afghanistan, the Marine Corps Combat Development Command announced.

A video posted online in January showed Marines urinating on deceased Taliban on or about July 27, 2011, during a counterinsurgency operation in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. The video went viral.

The three Marines pleaded guilty in nonjudicial punishment for their parts in the incident as part of an agreement, officials said. Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, determined the punishments.

Because nonjudicial punishment is an administrative matter, the Marines’ names are not being released, officials said. All three noncommissioned officers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines or attached units.

One NCO pleaded guilty to violating a lawful general order “by wrongfully posing for an unofficial photograph with human casualties,” according to a Marine Corps Combat Development Command statement. The Marine also pleaded guilty to urinating on a deceased Taliban soldier.

Another NCO also pleaded guilty to wrongfully posing for an unofficial photograph with human casualties, and “wrongfully video recording” the incident in an action that “was prejudicial to good order and discipline.”

A staff NCO pleaded guilty to violating a lawful general order by failing to report the mistreatment of human casualties by other Marines, and making a false statement to investigators.

Officials said more disciplinary actions against other Marines will be announced later.

Nonjudicial punishment may include reduction in rank, restriction to a military base, extra duties, forfeiture of pay, a reprimand, or a combination of these measures. It becomes a permanent part of the Marine's record with the potential to affect re-enlistment eligibility and promotion.

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