Hazing News

Marine Field Day: Did it get out of hand? RE: Sgt. Ray B. Kight, Cpl. Anthony B. Matthews and Cpl. Eric J. Forgacs

Did “Field Day” go to hazing, assault?

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By KATE WILTROUT, The Virginian-Pilot


Three Yorktown-based Marines have been charged with hazing subordinates by making them stand in formation for more than five hours and clean so long they were deprived of food and sleep.

The noncommissioned officers are also accused of assaulting individual Marines by slapping, hitting, grabbing, kicking or throwing them to the ground.

Sgt. Ray B. Kight, Cpl. Anthony B. Matthews and Cpl. Eric J. Forgacs are squad leaders in the Second Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, or FAST, unit based at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.

They are scheduled for an Article 32 hearing – similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian court – on Monday at Norfolk Naval Station, according to Navy and Marine Corps officials. An investigating officer will determine whether there is enough evidence to court-martial the Marines.

According to court documents, each man is charged with dereliction of duty by failing to protect and ensure the well-being of subordinate Marines in the 5th Platoon, Second FAST Company between May 30 and June 4.

Additionally, they are all charged with violating orders and “wrongfully engaging in hazing” by forcing Marines to stand in formation for more than five hours on June 1, and to conduct “repeated field day efforts resulting in food and sleep deprivation.”

In Marine parlance, “field day” is an extensive cleaning of barracks and buildings.

Each hazing charge carries a maximum penalty of two years’ confinement and a bad-conduct or dishonorable discharge, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Kight is also charged with maltreating subordinates by “encouraging, advising, instigating, commanding and otherwise procuring” them to strike or abuse other Marines. That charge is punishable by up to a year in prison.

Matthews is charged with dereliction of duty by consuming alcohol and wearing civilian clothing while supervising field day, formations and inspections.

FAST units are part of the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion. They are trained in martial arts, countersurveillance, physical security operations and urban combat, and deploy on short notice to U.S. installations overseas.

Capt. Bill Pelletier, deputy public affairs officer for the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, said the alleged incidents are still under investigation.

Kate Wiltrout, (757) 446-2629,

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--

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