During a Congressional hearing on June 16, 2020, top legal officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps acknowledged the results of a 2019 study from the Government Accountability Office, which noted that Black and Hispanic servicemembers of any gender were significantly more likely to be sent to court-martial for formal punishment after an act of misconduct than their white counterparts. The judge advocates of each of these wings of Armed Forces recognized that this is, indeed, a problem, and swiftly assured the Congressional panel that actions were already underway to uncover what could possibly have caused this striking racial disparity.
As the Army Times reports:
The Army is in the “very early stages of figuring out what could cause this,” Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, the service’s ranking attorney, told lawmakers.
Pede said he has already directed a “comprehensive assessment” in conjunction with the Army’s provost marshal general “to examine why the justice system is more likely to investigate certain soldiers and what our investigations and command decisions tell us about this issue.”
"[The GAO] report raises difficult questions — questions that demand answers. Sitting here today, we do not have those answers. So our task is to ask the right questions and find the answers," he added in his testimony.
Major General Daniel Lecce, the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, also said, "We have to get after this. We’re at the beginning, but there is a lot of work to be done. Read the rest
Attending boot camp with the United States Marine Corps is pretty much volunteering for a beatdown: the grueling 13-week training schedule challenges the spiritual, physical and psychological mettle of each recruit--and that's before taking the shitty sanitary conditions their chow is made in into account.
Last year, 29 Marine recruits were admitted to the hospital with a variety of ugly symptoms ranging from bloody diarrhea to stomach cramps and seizures. To solve the mystery of what was happening to the recruits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were called in. The verdict: E. coli.
From Task & Purpose:
In August 2018, attorneys for three former Marines filed lawsuits against food service company Sodexo that prepares meals for recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, one of the two sites where enlistees enter the Corps’ 13-week boot camp. Court filings describe the tragic consequences faced by the recruits, all three of whom were ultimately discharged due to their medical conditions caused by the outbreak.
The lawsuits allege that Sodexo is responsible for the source of the E. Coli, and claims that food service staff served undercooked ground meat to the Marines. While the CDC report does not identify the source of the outbreak with 100% certainty, inspectors reported they observed unsafe meal preparation procedures, some of which violate FDA and California Department of Public Health standards.
The health issues caused by the presence of E. Coli were complicated even further, according to the CDC, by the fact that the washrooms used by the future Marines were often found lacking in soap, paper towels and toilet paper--sundries that the recruits are expected to restock themselves. Read the rest