Marine Commandant visits Camp Lejeune
CAMP LEJEUNE, Onslow County - General Robert B. Neller was at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station Wednesday to talk to Marines about the nude photo scandal. Neller spent the better part of the day speaking to Marines about the scandal. He stressed the importance of understanding the updates to the social media policy and the need for every Marine to help fight to end misogyny in the Marine Corps. Neller also discussed a recent task force that will assess the scale and scope of the problem the service currently faces with online misconduct and harassment. Tuesday, Neller told senators that he intended to fix the misogynistic culture of his branch in the wake of this scandal that has roiled the military. "What is it going to take for you to accept these Marines as Marines?" Neller asked of the male Marines watching his testimony, while imploring the female Marines to "trust the leadership to correct this problem." According to The Washington Post, Neller's appearance in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside acting Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green comes as the Marine Corps struggles to clamp down on social media groups and active-duty Marines responsible for sharing naked photos of their female colleagues. The existence of a shared drive containing the photos on a Facebook group called Marines United was first reported by a Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient earlier this month. In the days since, multiple offshoots of the 30,000-strong group and different versions of the shared drive have continued to pop up despite a formal investigation launched by the Navy and multiple requests by the Marine Corps to tech companies such as Google and Dropbox to take the photo repository offline. Last week, reports indicated that the photo sharing wasn't just a Marine Corps problem and that other parts of the military were soliciting naked photos of female service members from every other branch, including at least two service academies. In one tense inquiry, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) asked why no one had been held accountable since reports of online harassment through social media had arisen more than two years ago when the Marine Corps Times and the military culture website Task and Purpose reported on the issue. Gillibrand said Neller's answers were "unsatisfactory" and that they didn't go "far enough." The Associated Press contributed to this story.