Marine drill instructor jailed for abuse
AN American Marine Corps drill instructor has been jailed for 10 years for choking, punching and tormenting recruits, especially three Muslims – one of whom killed himself by leaping down a stairwell.
A military jury yesterday handed out the punishment to Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix over abusing more than a dozen trainees at boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina.
Among other things, he taunted the Muslims as “terrorists” or “ISIS” and ordered them to climb into a clothes dryer, spinning one of them around until he renounced his faith.
Felix, a 34-year-old Iraq veteran, was also ordered to forfeit pay, demoted to private and given a dishonourable discharge. He was a central figure in what was found to be a group of abusive drill instructors at Parris Island.
After the March 2016 suicide of one of the Muslims, 20-yearold Pakistani-American Raheel Siddiqui, a hazing investigation led to charges against Felix, five other instructors and the commanding officer. Eleven others faced lesser discipline.
The charges against Felix included commanding recruits to choke each other and punching recruits in the face or kicking them to the ground.
“He wasn’t making Marines, he was breaking Marines,” prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel John Norman told the jury.