July 12, 1997 in Nation/World

Discharge Urged In ‘Blood Pinning’ Nine Others Involved In Hazing Will Receive Lesser Penalties

Baltimore Sun
 

The senior enlisted Marine involved in one of the “blood pinning” incidents - two gruesome videotaped displays of parachute pins being slammed into the chests of writhing Marines - should be discharged from the military, his commanding general decided Friday.

While the unnamed gunnery sergeant should be discharged, the eight other Marines and one sailor involved will receive punishments ranging from counseling to reprimands, said Maj. Gen. Patrick G. Howard, commander of the Marine Corps Base at Camp LeJeune, N.C.

Besides the gunnery sergeant, the two next-senior sergeants received a notation in their records.

The decisions come five months after the videotapes were televised. The hazings had occurred in 1991 and 1993 at Camp LeJeune, a Marine training facility. Graduates of the elite parachute course were videotaped with their faces contorted as their golden “jump pins,” awarded for completing 10 jumps, were pinned into their chests.

One retired Marine major, who received a blood pinning at Fort Benning, Ga., Friday called the discipline “ridiculous.”

“It’s OK to send men over to get shot at, but all of a sudden we’re horrified by a little bit of blood,” said the 42-year-old, who asked not to be named. “If a Marine can’t take that, how do they expect him to haul his buddy to a medic?”

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