COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Latest on the investigation into the suicide of a Marine recruit (all times local):
The Michigan congresswoman who pressed the Marine Corps to look into the March death of a recruit says she is going to visit the South Carolina training site this weekend to review changes the service has made in light of his death.
Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, says in a statement from Washington that she believes the Marines have only taken the first step in helping 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui’s family get the answers they deserve.
The Marine Corps said Thursday that Siddiqui committed suicide in March and that a culture of hazing and abuse existed in his unit. The service is looking into potential punishment for up to 20 officers and enlisted leaders.
Dingell said that, “as a young Muslim man, he truly understood the value of freedom of religion and all he wanted was to defend the ideals our nation holds dear.”
The Marine Corps says a recruit committed suicide in March amid a widespread culture of hazing and abuse in his battalion at Parris Island. The investigation could lead to punishments for as many as 20 officers and enlisted leaders.
In a statement released Thursday to the Associated Press, the Marine Corps said it has ordered those leaders relieved, if they haven’t already been removed from their positions. The service said the 20 have been identified for potential administrative or judicial punishment, which could include courts-martial for some.
The findings are the result of three investigations conducted by Maj. Gen. James Lukeman from the service’s training and education command in Quantico, Virginia.
Twenty-year-old Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Michigan, died after falling nearly 40 feet in a stairwell at the training site.