Pentagon chief says he's looking into 'deeply disturbing' video of a female Marine tearfully calling out the Corps for its reaction to sexual misconduct

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Pentagon chief says he's looking into 'deeply disturbing' video of a female Marine tearfully calling out the Corps for its reaction to sexual misconduct
Screenshot of a female Marine's viral TikTok video on sexual assaultTikTok/@gwotthot
  • The defense secretary responded to a Marine's video alleging that a man who had wronged her through misconduct of a sexual nature would stay in the Corps.
  • "This is exactly why f---ing females in the military f---ing kill themselves," she says through tears.
  • Lloyd Austin said that the video was "deeply disturbing" and that he would make sure she received help.
  • The Corps characterized the misconduct as "wrongful appropriation and distribution of personal information," noting that it was sexual in nature.

The secretary of defense responded to a viral video of a Marine tearfully saying that a man who had admitted to misconduct of a sexual nature had been allowed to stay in the Corps.

In the video, which was posted on TikTok Thursday, the woman alleged that a commanding general, despite having evidence and an admission of guilt, permitted the man to remain in the service. Insider was not able to independently verify these claims. Marine spokespeople said on Friday that they were investigating.

In another video posted earlier that day, the woman, whom an advocacy group identified as a sergeant, expressed frustration that the Corps did not take care of her the way it had promised it would. She said the man would be given an honorable discharge.

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In the later video, she said that she learned the man would be allowed to stay in the service. "This is exactly why f---ing females in the military f---ing kill themselves," she said in the video.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the video "deeply disturbing" on Friday in his first briefing since taking charge of the Pentagon. He said he'd asked his staff for additional information.

"We have to get the facts," he said. "We have to understand what just happened."

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"I care about each and every one of our troops," the secretary added. "I'm going to ask that her chain of command makes sure that someone is looking out after her needs and is making sure that we're taking care of her."

The Marine Corps said in a statement that the service was "aware of the video and is gathering all the details of the situation." The service stressed that "sexual assault is a crime, is unacceptable, and violates our core values of honor, courage, and commitment."

The Corps later clarified that this issue was not a sexual assault situation.

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A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force told Insider later Friday that despite some descriptions of the incident as a sexual assault, the issue was "misconduct of a sexual nature."

In a statement, the force said that "this video specifically refers to an allegation of misconduct regarding the wrongful appropriation and distribution of personal information."

"The current administrative separation process for the accused perpetrator mentioned in the video is ongoing," the statement said. "The Marine in the video is safe and has been afforded the opportunity to meet with senior representatives in her command."

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It said that the "Marine Corps and the Nation expect the highest standards of conduct from Marines and Sailors" and that "we take all allegations of prohibited conduct and activities seriously to ensure our people are fully supported with appropriate resources specific to the nature of an incident."

"The Marine Corps," the statement continued, "is committed to maintaining a culture of dignity, respect, fairness, and trust in which all members of the organization are afforded equal treatment and opportunity to achieve their full potential based solely upon individual merit, fitness, intellect, and ability."

Update: This post has been updated with a statement from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force about the nature of the allegations in the video and steps to address them. The allegations pertained to misconduct of a sexual nature.

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