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Marine Corps may charge drill instructor for the death of a recruit last year

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Dalton Beals, 18, of Pennsville, New Jersey died during the final phase of US Marine Corps boot camp. (GoFundME)

A US Marine Corps Drill Instructor is facing potential charges for a recruit death that took place in 2021, sources report.

The unnamed senior DI is currently named and known by the commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, Brigadier General Walker Field.

Field is currently mulling over charges related to the 2021 death of 19-year-old PFC Dalton Beals.

Beals died during training in June of 2021 during the all-important “Crucible” phase of training. His death was caused by hyperthermia- reportedly related to working in temperatures of 90 degrees and above, environmental factors dubbed “Black Flag” conditions.

“Instead of appropriately taking into account the weather conditions (as reflected by yellow red, and black flag conditions throughout the Crucible), Recruit Beals’ team leader [REDACTED] intensified training for Recruit Beals’ team, including directing unauthorized incentive training throughout both days of the event,” an investigation read. “Those actions increased the impact of the weather conditions on Recruit Beals and other recruits in Group 2, Team 1.”

According to Task & Purpose, the investigation also revealed that the senior DI reportedly lacked “the maturity, temperament and leadership skills” for his position.

“While his performance as a senior drill instructor appeared to improve somewhat throughout the cycle, during the Crucible he demonstrated little leadership over his team, and at times appeared disinterested in leading or supervising them,” the investigation states. “Although it is impossible to determine, his perceived indifference to the well-being of recruits demonstrated prior to the Crucible, could have impacted Recruit Beals or other recruit’s willingness to seek medical attention when Recruit Beals was clearly showing signs of a heat injury during the Crucible.”

The fate of the senior DI now rests in the hands of men with stars on their lapels.

“An Article 32 hearing has been conducted and a Preliminary Hearing Officer Report has been provided to the Commanding General of MCRD Parris Island/Eastern Recruiting Region, which includes recommendations as to referral of court-martial charges,” said Maj. Philip Kulczewski, a spokesman for Parris Island. “The Commanding General is considering the recommendations of that report at this time, and will make a decision as to referral of charges after consultation with legal counsel.”

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