Home News Parris Island leadership fired: Marine Colonel and SgtMajor

Parris Island leadership fired: Marine Colonel and SgtMajor

Col. Cucinotta

Private Raheel Siddiqui died March 18 — not even two weeks after arriving at the Parris Island recruit training depot — where about half of the service’s recruits are trained each year.

Siddiqui’s supervisor at the South Carolina depot was Col. Paul D. Cucinotta.

Cucinotta has been removed from his recruit training commander position, due to a “loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in that position… relating to instances where policies and procedures were not followed,” the Washington Post reports.

Also fired from his position was SgtMajor Nicolas Deabreau, according to the Associated Press. Deabreau was the top enlisted leader with Recruit Training Regiment at MCRD Parris Island, said Capt. Gregory Carrol, a Parris Island spokesman.

Without getting into too many specifics, Marine officials said that Cucinotta’s removal Monday night was based on information that emerged “during the course of an ongoing command investigation.”

SgtMajor Deabreau
SgtMajor Deabreau

According to the Detroit Free Press, family members said Siddiqui had threatened to commit suicide early in recruit training, but returned to his training after “committing to becoming a Marine.”

An attorney representing the family also told the local paper that just before he died, Siddiqui fainted during a drill and was revived after an instructor smacked him.

Family members say the 20-year-old recruit fell 40 feet to this death after ‘running out of a squad bay and jumping over a stairwell railing’. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) questioned whether Siddiqui, a Pakistani-American from her district, was hazed or bullied.

While the NCIS says no foul play was involved in Siddiqui’s death, it’s still uncertain whether or not he was hazed or bullied.

“Regarding your concern that hazing may have played a role in Private Siddiqui’s death, it would be premature to comment given that the investigations are still ongoing,” said Brig. Gen. David J. Furness in response to Dingell’s inquiry.

Cucinotta has been in the Marine Corps since 1992 and arrived at Parris Island last fall– where he was the second-highest ranking officer.

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    • There will be more than two going down for this. The Col, SgtMaj. are just the start. The recruiter will be investigated, They will most likely talk to the folks he put on his security clearance, they will talk to other recruits and I am sure the Drill Instructor that was there and revived him will most likely be on Quota, You know, painting Red Rock, BrassOing, etc. This is sad when it happens, but it is certainly not a Col or a SgtMaj’s fault. They are either the fall guy or doing what every good Marine would do in this situation and accept responsibility for a leadership failure. In either case, common sense tells you they most likely did not know the recruit, interact with the recruit and not in the area at that time. Sadly in the Marine Corps there are senior leaders will tip at a windmill and forget that they got to the position they are in because of Marine like these two. I never earned a promotion that I could not credit a junior Marines success earning me that.

  1. I served 5 years in the Marine Corps. and after 3 years as an Embassy Guard I took my Honorable Discharge after watching many good Marines be pushed out following the Clayton Lonetree scandal in the mid 1980’s. Too often good Marines are held accountable for the actions of another that they have no control over their actions. The Marine Corps. mentality that someone must be held accountable (the dead guy is not saying anything) when attention of something like this goes public sours many good Marines from wanting to play. In the end 2 fine Career Marines are being pushed out of the Marines. Another travesty. Semper Fi.

    • dam straight,,thanks RonBerry—-I was at MCRD PI 1960 when those 13 boots died when the DI sent them in the swamps after dark ,and they all got stuck in the mud and a fast incoming tide did come in fast,,those young men all are gone they all drowned,,,,also a freak acct on rife range the son of Walter Winchell NY news man ,,his son was pulling butts when a stray rd hit metal frame work and stuck him in the head and killed him just never know??

  2. After having a son that has gone through Parris Island, we had no access to him till a phone call that was less than 5 minutes the last week before he graduated, and it was VERY breif. This seems very questionable that the family of the deceased marine states he was suicidal in the first 2 weeks. How could they possible know? We received letters from our son, but it took several weeks before we received anything from him. Here is another marine story that shows how marines have no contact with their family. http://www.notsola.com/marine-meets-his-baby-girl-when-he-returns-from-boot-camp/ If a family member isn’t at home when that call comes, they don’t get it. But the call isn’t till the end of boot camp. Camp is 12 weeks. It isn’t like the army or navy. It is very strict. It is for a reason, it builds men and women worthy of the title MARINE.

    This isn’t the first time a recruit has committed suicide. But I think because of the background, it is being made an issue. Being a marine is hard work. Maybe there needs to be a psych evaluation if there isn’t. I agree with Ron Barry, he should have been disqualified IF he had tried previously. I just don’t think the family comments hold water. If the young man stated threats before entering the Island, then they are at fault for not revealing this information.

    • Cynthia
      The parents statements about what happened were told to them by NCIS a few days after his death. So yes, it is true. They were interviewed by their local news, and released details with the permission of NCIS. Their press release is very detailed. A statement was made by this young man on the 2nd day of boot, and should have been pulled out then.You should read it. It is from a tv station in Michigan.
      My son arrived on PI the same day, a lot of parents passed the article on.
      I not only had letters (2 to 3 per week) but received 2 phone calls from my son, earned by excelling in training. They are granted priveledges when earned.
      As for the 2 marines fired, it’s chain of command. I doubt if their careers are scrapped. They will just assign them to another position. Nothing has been said about being discharged. One gentlemen was even present at the changing of command ceremony Saturday. That article is also available to read on this website.

  3. Recruit Training at Parris Island has never been easy. It is the purpose to train killers to go do what must be done to protect our country. Drill Instructors are charged with the responsibility of insuring that each recruit is properly trained, knows his general orders and can fire his rifle with accuracy, able to march and be familiar with history and traditions before graduation. The training is extensive, grueling and it is not uncommon for as many as 30 percent of recruits not being able to earn the title of Marine. Some can’t march, some just want to go home to mama and others just not suitable or up for the physical and mental challenge..

    I went through Parris Island in 1956. It was very tough but I was determined to graduate and complete my enlistment. It is probably the best thing in that it helped me learn how to take care of myself, how to fight and handle weapons. After Parris Island I went through advanced combat training (ITR) at Camp LeJuene and served much of my time in Japan, Okinawa and in the Philippines. It was an honor to serve my country…

  4. Was Private Raheel Siddiqui “hazed”? Is a forty-pound canary fat? Of course, he was hazed. EVERY recruit who has ever gone to Parris Island and San Diego for Marine boot camp has been hazed both physically and mentally to see if they have what it takes to become a Marine and function in the chaos of combat. The great majority of recruits demonstrate that they do have the will to “earn the title”. A few do not. Private Raheel Siddiqui did not. When I went through Parris Island in 1964 we had recruits who temporarily broke down from the mental and physical rigors of training but were given another chance – and they made it. Private Raheel Siddiqui was given a second chance but despite his asseveration that he wanted to become a Marine, he simply didn’t have what it takes.

  5. I just worry that every recruit that isnt white will have a politicall correct excuse to blame tbe marines for any outcome they dont like. .question: w here was the court martial?

  6. In this climate there really is no reason to enlist or stay in. The Marine Corps in peace time is just another political black hole where backstabbing, subterfuge, and being blamed for the mistakes of others are common place.
    If you stay in its really just a matter of time till someone throws you under the bus to advance their own career or you get blamed for the incompetence of another and get the boot yourself.
    So save yourself while you still can and get that honorable discharge because sooner or later the Marine Corps will figure out out a way to take that away from you.

  7. SgtMaj. Deabreau was one of my drill instructors during recruit training back in 2002. He was a Ssgt at the time, and he was very professional. He always said that he felt “you get further with honey than you do with vinegar”. I can guarentee he did nothing wrong and yet his career is now in shambles over this asshat jumping off the ladder well.. ridiculous.

  8. Plt 3078, graduated Jan 1970. Started with 75 RECRUITS. Of those 38 of us graduated. Rest got set back or discharged. It was natural selection. Survival of the fittest. On Christmas morning, the DI said, Merry Christmas, side straddle hops. He altered the count and repetitions and did so until everyone got it right. 800 of them later, we got it right. If you jumped over a wall trying to get away and killed yourself, how could you have been trusted in a combat life or death situation. Except for the birth of my children, nothing made me prouder than dawning that uniform for final inspection. And that’s right. You didn’t wear that uniform until you earned it. That’s right, the weak bitch didn’t earn the title.

  9. Shit I was there 3 days after it happened that was Kilo company a lot of the the drill instructors were fired too. Apparently they were calling him a terrorist constantly and shit. Did a lot of fucked up shit to him.

  10. First off, to address something: If he was a recruit, he was a recruit, not a Private. He didn’t earn the title, so that rank want his either.

    Second: Since when is suicide automatically someone else’s fault?

  11. As an (Army) veteran, I side with all efforts to resist political correctness in all its forms. To push back. To keep America, America, and not turn it into some patsy monstrosity controlled by the media.


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