Marine nude photo scandal investigation spreads to Tumblr

The military services are broadening the nude photo sharing investigation to the Tumblr blogging site, but awareness among military leadership about the investigation seems to be sparse.

Army Director of Personnel Management Maj. Gen. Jason Evans said during a March 21 House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee hearing there is an ongoing, multi-service investigation into links between blogs on Tumblr and photo sharing on the Marines United site.

That investigation is looking into photos that may involve service members from more than one military branch.

But personnel chiefs in the other services seemed to be out of the loop on the investigation.

“The rest of you weren’t aware of that?” Personnel Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) asked personnel leaders from the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Defense Department.

Speier was met with silence.

“I think you should all be aware of it. You should all be looking at it,” Speier said.

The committee called the hearing on military social media policy in response to the Marines United scandal, which erupted earlier this year. The scandal involved Marines allegedly posting nude pictures of fellow female Marines on a website.

The Marines in question also allegedly used sexual violent language to degrade those women.

To date, the Marines have identified more than 1,200 screen names from the site — 725 belong to active duty Marines, 150 to reservist and the rest to sailors and civilians. About 30,000 people used the site.

Not all are involved with the incident.

The Marine Corps created a task force to try to handle the situation. All of the other services, except the Navy, have created task forces as well.

All the services and the FBI are currently looking into the Marines United case.

Commandant of the Marine Corps Robert Neller called the scandal “embarrassing to our Corps, to our families and to our nation.”

The Marines United site may have been sharing photos for years.

Acting Navy Chief of Staff Sean Stackley told the Senate Armed Services Committee today he doesn’t think the nude photo sharing scandal is limited to just the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps updated its social media policy last week, reminding Marines they can be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice

“Existing orders and the UCMJ have long prohibited sexual or other harassment, fraternization, retaliation, reprisal and hazing. Marines are reminded that their conduct, even off-duty or online, may violate Navy and Marine Corps orders and regulations,” the policy stated.

The Army followed suit and released a letter on the conduct of soldiers.

The March 17 letter stated the Army expects “leaders and influencers from the squad level up to talk about and demonstrate what respect looks like at work, at home and online.”

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