"WEEDING OUT" BAD APPLES - MARINE CORPS
BOOTS 13 OFFICERS FOR CHEATING ON LAND NAV
TEST AT QUANTICO - TWO OF THE 2ND LTS
FORMER NAVAL ACADEMY FOOTBALL PLAYERS
USMC FIGHTER-PILOT FROM AZ INDICTED ON
CHARGES HE STOLE $440,000 IN "RECONSTRUCTION
FUNDS" WHILE STATIONED IN IRAQ - MAJ MARK
FULLER FACES 22 COUNTS - FEDS SAY OFFICER
TRIED TO HIDE THEFTS BY DEPOSITS OF UNDER
$10,000 IN NUMEROUS BANK ACCOUNTS AT NAVY
FED CREDIT UNION, CHASE, BANK OF AMERICA
"The few, the proud, the Marines." That's the recruiting motto that beckons America's young men and women into service in the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. But, like any organization, from time to time, the Corps has to "weed out" those who lack integrity and are just plain corrupt.
We at MilitaryCorruption.com have bitterly opposed cruel witch-hunts and false charges against the Haditha Marines, especially Lt. Col. Chessani, but in this case, the Corps did the right thing. In fact, when eight male and five female 2nd lieutenants were caught cheating on a land navigation exam at Quantico, Va., the leadership's decision was correct. Boot them all out.
This move was made despite the fact that two of the offenders were former Naval Academy football players. No identities are being given out because of the "Privacy Act," but the main point isn't so much as to who they are, but that Marine officers won't be going into combat without the basic skills to get from point A to point B. It's a lot tougher finding your way around in a sweltering jungle than in the deep woods of Virginia.
Most tough, old gunny sergeants would blanch to think the captain couldn't maneuver in combat because that officer had cheated during training at Quantico. GPS is a nice tool, and we do fight on an electronic battlefield today compared to the past, but knowing basic "land nav" is something junior sergeants are expected to master at BNOC (Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course). That the Corps didn't make exceptions for gender in the dismissals shows, in this case at least, they did the right thing.
GREED GOT THE BEST OF THIS MARINE MAJOR
Maj. Mark R. Fuller is a career Marine, or at least he was, until he got nailed in a 22-count federal indictment for stealing $440,000 in reconstruction funds while serving in Iraq.
The 42 year-old Marine fighter-pilot, based at Yuma, AZ, apparently thought he could get away with the theft if he was extra careful about how, where and when he deposited the loot in a number of Stateside banks and savings institutions. Never putting more than $10,000 cash in any one account at a time - the amount that sets off alarm bells with the IRS - the Marine allegedly opened accounts at Bank of America, Chase, and the Navy Federal Credit Union. But he still got caught. Just how, we can't get into here at this time.
The money was stolen, according to the indictment, between October 2005 and April 2006 when Fuller was project purchasing officer at the 5th Civil Affairs Group. The cash was earmarked for the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP).
Fuller, now stationed at Yuma MCAS in Arizona, turned himself in to the Feds upon indictment and is presently free, released on his own recognizance.
Instead of a promotion and pension in a few years, Fuller's greed got the best of him. Due to the large amount of money taken, the Marine fighter jock may be occupant of a prison cell longer than he served in the Corps.
All above were and are "rotten apples." They needed to be "weeded out." Too bad some of the senior leadership couldn't and haven't come under the same kind of microscope. There should be only one kind of "justice" in the Corps, and that is equal justice for all, regardless of rank or who they may be.