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By Jonah Bennett
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller issued guidance Tuesday mandating that every Marine, both officer and enlisted, receive formal counseling on the new social media policy within 30 days, amid the nude female photo scandal that has rocked the service.
According to White Letter 2-17, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation and dated March 21, Neller also added that every Marine will receive a “corresponding counseling entry” in their military personnel file.
“Following recent reports of degrading social media posts and file sharing by some service members, I released references (a) and (b),” Neller said, referring to social media guidance issued earlier in March. “Our duty to one another requires all Marines to adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct on and off duty. Our individual and collective actions must always uphold our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. We do not abandon our core values when we enter the online world.”
“We are Marines 24/7, regardless of where we are or what we are doing,” Neller added. “The American people expect us to uphold the highest standards and be professional at all times. Respect for each other builds the trust we require for success as a team.”
Neller continued with a mandate that every active-duty and reserve Marine will receive a formal counseling to make sure they understand the social media White Letter 1-17, dating back to March 10, and the new March 14 ALMAR guidance on unofficial internet posts.
“I am confident our commanders and enlisted leaders at all levels will appropriately guide our Marines and enforce our standards,” he said.
The Marine Corps has been thrown into turmoil as a result of the actions of an online group called Marines United, which shared around nude photos of female service members. The ensuing scandal has attracted the attention of the veterans’ advocacy organizations and Congress, with Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier reiterating her concerns that the Marine Corps has a serious problem of misogyny and cultural rot.