A spokesman for the Marines United Facebook group that gained controversy after disseminating nude photos of female service members claims the PR fiasco is proof why women shouldn’t be allowed to join the infantry.
Marine veteran and Marines United spokesman Marshall Chiles spoke out in defense of the 30,000 group members after it was discovered they shared photos of nude servicewomen and civilians without their consent.
Chiles blames the scandal on a few bad apples and says it shows why gender integration is a bad idea, according to the Daily Beast.
“I think the exploitation of sharing nudity of other service members online will eventually get solved, but what I’m saying is that even before then, you still have special cases going on inside units. So when you integrate women, those numbers are going to spike up within those infantry units and that’s just more things for the Marine Corps to worry about. And it’s not just the Corps, but the Army as well,” said Chiles, a former sergeant who served in the Marines for over half a decade.
Integration is not completed yet. There’s a lot of things we don’t know, but what we do know is that they’re these seven sexual-assault cases that happened when the Marine Corps tried to integrate,” Chiles said, referring to a 2015 sexual assault case in an experimental gender-mixed infantry unit. “So what does this have to do with the online community?”
“You had 30,000 members in an online group, you’re always going to have your 1 or 10 percent that are going to do things wrong, that go against the Marine Corps and its standards. If you have a bunch of males together and this happens, just think about what can happen if you add women to that. I see this turning into a big problem for both sides [males and females] and the integrity of the Marine Corps wouldn’t stand just based off what happened with Marines United,” he said.
Chiles said he doesn’t think women can’t do the job; the real question is if the USMC is prepared to keep up with and prevent sexual assault.
Murder is illegal on the streets of America, but people still do it. So sexual crimes are still going to happen in the military regardless of how they [Pentagon and Congress] try to clamp down on it or revise [policies]. It’s still going to happen and at that point, I don’t really question the physicality of women. I question the logistics of the Marine Corps and if they will be able to keep up with it [sexual crimes],” Chiles said.
Chiles claims that much animosity towards women likely comes from how civilian leadership abrasively forced gender integration on the military.
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren was a prime example, pushing for a co-ed boot camp and she questioned the commandant on why we’re not doing that,” he told the Daily Beast. “So I think it’s coming down from civilian leadership and I think the Marine Corps should stand up for itself and say, ‘Look, we have been winning wars for America since 1775. Why should we continue to change the wheels when they’re not broke? We need to look at American defense first before looking at integration.”
In the end, Chiles said that Marines United has accomplished its goal- to be a sounding board for disgruntled and isolated male Marines to come together and recreate the camaraderie felt in the military.
“Marines United is a group of males coming together who can understand each other. The purpose of the group is to create camaraderie, creating that same feeling that we had when we were all in the military,” he said.
(Editor’s note: The original article mistakenly stated, “Chiles directed his blame of the incident toward the forced-integration of women into combat units.” This was incorrect and the article has been revised.)
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