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Marine general fired for criticizing racial slur in rap song being played during physical training

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, gives a speech during the Maritime Preposition Force Staff Planning Course at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 11, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Stephen Campbell)

An internal investigation has revealed that the former commander of US Marines in Europe violated standards when he used a racial slur while speaking to junior troops.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary’s dismissal from his position as commander of US Marine Forces Europe was deemed justified in a review recently released by the Inspector General of the Marine Corps.

The investigation came in response to complaints from Marines who claimed Neary used the N-word in front of them.

The term was reportedly used after Neary took offense to the use of the word in a rap song that was being played during a physical training session outside MARFOREU HQ.

The song in question was Big L’s “Put It On.”

“You cannot play songs that use the ‘n-word’ in it because it is counter to good order and discipline. … We have a problem when we think it is acceptable. Look what is going on across our country,” Neary said in his account to the IG.

According to the Stars and Stripes, Neary also reportedly used the term “you people,” following his use of the slur.

“I was using this as a teaching moment, is what I was doing,” Neary told the IG. “Because again, there is no place for discriminatory behavior at all, in our Marine Corps, across the board.”

IG, however, did not see things Neary’s way.

“Neary failed to set an example for how to address the situation properly, without escalating it to the point where he unintentionally offended Marines and, as a result, diminished his ability to command,” the IG said.

The incident took place in December of 2020.

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