US drill sergeant ‘terrorised’ recruits
A US Marine Corps drill instructor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for choking, punching or otherwise tormenting recruits, especially three Muslims.
A military jury handed out the punishment to Gunnery Sgt Joseph Felix on Friday, a day after convicting him of abusing more than 10 trainees at the Marine boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Among other things, he taunted the Muslims as “terrorists” and ordered two of them to climb into an industrial clothes dryer, spinning one of them in the scorching machine until he renounced his faith, the jury decided.
Felix was a central figure in what was found to be a group of abusive drill instructors at Parris Island. An investigation led to charges against him, five other drill instructors and a commanding officer.
The charges against Felix included commanding recruits to choke each other, training them until they vomited, and punching recruits in the face or kicking them to the ground.
His defence counsel said he was “unfairly targeted”. Felix was also demoted to private and dishonourably discharged.