The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has found itself in the center of a scandal after it was recently revealed that male Marines had been sharing nude and private photographs, videos, and other imagery of female Marines. Using a Facebook subgroup named Marines United, the illicit files were uploaded and shared to whomever was on the page. According to multiple sources, Marines United had at least 30,000 members, mostly current and veteran Marines, as well as British Royal Marines.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has reportedly started an investigation into the incident. General Robert Neller of the USMC did not give any comment directly related to the investigation and how it would be carried out. He did say the alleged activity was “distasteful” and that Marines are expected to strive to be the “best human beings, teammates, and Marines possible.”

Many female Marines featured on Marines United through unapproved photo-sharing methods spoke to news sources anonymously, fearing reprisal from comrades and even higher ranking male officers. A common theme among their statements is that they have lost faith in the Marine Corps and do not know if they should reenlist. This is representative of some of the public backlash surrounding the incident, which center on doubting the integrity of the honorable USMC.

A few of the women interviewed claimed that Marines United is in no way a unique group, claiming there are or once were similar sites and subgroups on the internet. Some told reporters that they had requested photos be taken down from such sites before, only to be shocked when identical files reappeared elsewhere.

With the scandal breaking only days ago, it is difficult to estimate the true extent of the alleged activity now. Pursuing individual or targeted discipline against potential offenders will also be a challenge, as the Marines who originally posted the private images could have deleted the files or changed their own profile accounts once the news broke. With 30,000 Marines United members and more than 180,000 male Marines in active duty, there is certainly a wide pool of implicated people the NCIS will need to consider.

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Military Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph Jordan is reputed across the country and at military bases around the globe for being an honest, tenacious, and knowledgeable defender of military service members accused of criminal activity and serious violations. If you need heavy-hitting defense against stark accusations, including involvement with Marines United and the nude photo scandal, contact our firm right away.