The day before Marine Corps recruit Raheel death, members of his platoon were learning how to throw punches — and being ordered to abuse one another.
Platoon 3042 of 3rd Recruit Training Battalion received Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instruction on March 17 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, according to a heavily redacted copy of the investigation into death obtained by The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette through open records requests.
That day two individuals — recruits, it appears, one of whom was almost 40 pounds heavier — were paired together for a punching drill.
“The drill instructors told (a recruit, presumably — all names and ranks are blacked out) not to listen for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor’s commands,” the document reads, “but instead ‘just to keep punching.'”
The “tan belt” portion of the martial arts course — the Corps calls it “MCMAP” — is a boot camp graduation requirement designed to improve recruits’ “self-confidence and survivability in close combat situations,” depot spokesperson Capt. Greg Carroll wrote Friday afternoon in an email to the newspapers.
The “majority” of drills don’t require a partner, he said. And when pairing is required, “recruits are instructed to partner with another recruit of similar size as best as possible.”
Recruits are weighed 48 hours before “events such as pugil sticks or body sparring,” Carroll said. Their weights are written on their hands. Recruits weighing more than 165 pounds will fight within 15 pounds of another recruit. Recruits under 165 pounds will fight within 10 pounds of each other.
According to the investigation, recruits of Platoon 3042 believed their drill instructors used MCMAP “as an opportunity to pair small unit leaders or stronger recruits against the weaker or poorly performing recruits in order to punish them.”
On that day, “(One recruit) weighed about 227 pounds,” according to the investigation. “(The other) weighed about 188 pounds.”
One recruit was required to punch another “excessively during the exercise, driving him backwards, knocking him to the ground” and bloodying his nose.
The “abuse caused (one recruit) to cry” during the drill, “as he had promised (the other recruit) that he would help him to get through training,” the investigation said.
One of those recruits was later paired with an even lighter partner who weighed 146 pounds.
Drill instructors supervise MCMAP training along with officers and martial arts instructors, according to Carroll. The martial arts instructors “have completed a formal Marine Corps course earning an additional military occupational specialty prior to teaching or instructing MCMAP to Marines or recruits,” he said.
During body sparring and pugil sticks events, recruits wear mouthpieces, groin protection, hockey gloves and various body, head and neck protection, Carroll said.
The portion of the investigation regarding MCMAP — found under the “Training Environment” section — alleges drill instructors ordered recruits to perform drills “different” from those ordered by martial arts instructors.
It details several recruit injuries, including one recruit who was dropped on the seventh day of training “due to a 5th and 6th fractured rib [sic] sustained from Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training.”
And it states that one recruit was ordered by drill instructors on March 21 to keep hitting a recruit who was “‘out of the fight'” during a pugil sticks event.
It is not clear if , who jumped to his death from the third floor of his barracks March 18, was part of the punching drills the day before.
When asked if was present, Headquarters Marine Corps Spokesperson Maj. Clark Carpenter declined to comment as the Corps’ judicial division is still assessing the investigation before recommending any charges to Training and Education Command.
, 20, an American Muslim of Pakistani descent from Taylor, Mich., died from injuries sustained from the nearly 40-foot fall at the depot. He told drill instructors on March 13 he wanted to kill himself.
During his time at the depot he was allegedly hazed and called a “terrorist.” The investigation of his death — and other investigations that have been linked to it — have revealed a culture of hazing and recruit abuse on Parris Island.
The Corps says his death was a suicide. His parents dispute that claim.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service continues to look into the matter.
Wade Livingston: 843-706-8153, @WadeGLivingston
(c)2016 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.) — www.islandpacket.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Who are these reccruits and why the fuck are they calling out drill instructors for making them better by giving them realistic training. You can only assume the enemy will be bigger and stronger than you. Better to break down in tears in recruit training than in combat defending our country. Freedom aint free motherfuckers.
JOIN A DIFFERENT BRANCH.
Because when you’re in combat everyone will pause, tell you how much they weigh, and then be stop killing you when you start crying….
Want the title of the biggest and baddest, complain life is hard and not fair, yep the Corps is on a slippery slope
I hope they tell these new kids to STFU and get the fuck over it
This is a bit ridiculous. I don’t want to be the person to point out the obvious PC issues. If you’re a whiny punk kid and you cant handle adversity the military in general isn’t for you and especially not the Marine Corps. It is upsetting that the kid killed himself, however, it shows that he was not mentally strong enough to complete the training, and the only fault of the D.I.’s was not dropping him to the booger platoon. Plain and simple for decades Parris Island has been home to all kinds of “for instructional purposes only” training, but the difference is; those individuals that adapt and overcome are what the Marine Corps needs to fulfill Mission requirements. You earn the title and nothing earned is going to be easy.
No way to up vote, but I agree. Training should be realistic. You fight like you train, there are 2 types of bayonet fighters! The quick! And the dead! Which one are you? And which one is your enemy? Blood makes the grass grow!
^ This attitude is rife in the services. Not one iota of compassion for a dead kid. These are the macho blowhards that drop out and become cops so they can continue to carry a gun and bully anyone who doesn’t fear them.
^ you are a retard
This is ridiculous and you hard asses know it.
It’s Recruit Training. And frankly, the same thing applies in the Fleet. In Pugil Sticks when they’re down, you might get another “Kill” strike and you’re done. In the MCMAP striking, when they’re down they’re done. In the Grappling, you go until they tap, and then you stop. Anything more (however realistic) is no longer training.
You don’t continue a beat down in Training, because then it’s no longer training, it’s simply a beat down.
If they are just getting beaten, and aren’t given additional instruction on how to not get beaten, the training aspect has gone and “The Lord of the Flies” is in full effect. We don’t win because we’re cruel, we win because we can focus that prior training and be appropriately cruel. Any asshole can just be cruel.