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, firstname.lastname@example.org