Hundreds of retired and and active-duty Marines are being investigated for distributing nude photos of female Marines via Facebook.

MARINES UNITED SCANDAL

The photos were taken without the consent of the subjects, or taken by the subjects but shared without consent, and the number of photos shared may be in the thousands. The secret Facebook group, called Marines United, has nearly 30,000 members.

The Marines were allegedly encouraged to take nude photos of the women in their units and share them, via Google Drive, with the group. It is reported that the first photos began sharing less than a month after women joined a Marine infantry unit for the first time in history.

The report, written by Marine veteran Thomas Brennan, included snippets of comments from some photos as well. “Take her out back and pound her out,” one read. “And butthole. And throat. And ears. Both of them. Video it though… for science,” said another.

The Google Drive folder contained the names, military affiliations, and social media screenshots of most women included. The folders were removed once Brennan tipped off military officials.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is heading up the investigation. “We are thankful that Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran, notified the Marine Corps and NCIS about what he witnessed on the “Marines United” page,” said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan Alvis. “It allowed us to take immediate action to have the explicit photos taken down and to prepare to support potential victims. We are exploring what actions should be taken to best address this form of harassment in the future… The Marine Corps is deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in a closed website. This behavior destroys morale, erodes trust, and degrades the individual.”

Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, declined to comment on case specifics, but said, “For anyone to target one of our Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner, is distasteful and shows an absence of respect. I expect every Marine to demonstrate the highest integrity and loyalty to fellow Marines at all times, on duty, off-duty, and online.”

Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green, the Corps’ highest-ranking noncommissioned officer, said “There is no place for this type of demeaning or degrading behavior in our Corps — this includes our actions online. We need to be brutally honest with ourselves and each other. This behavior hurts fellow Marines, family members, and civilians. It is a direct attack on our ethos and legacy.

“Ultimately we must take a look in the mirror and decide whether we are part of the problem or the solution,” Green added.