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Marine Boot Camp Commander at Parris Island Fired after Investigation

Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon (U.S. Marine Corps photo)
Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The commander of a training battalion at the Marine Corps' East Coast boot camp has been relieved, Marine officials announced Thursday.

Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon, the commander of 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, was relieved by Col. Paul D. Cucinotta, commanding officer of Recruit Training Regiment at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, Parris Island spokesman Capt. Gregory Carroll said in a news release.

Kissoon was relieved after Cucinotta reviewed the results of an Inspector General of the Marine Corps investigation, leading to a loss of trust and confidence in Kissoon's ability to command, according to the announcement.

Kissoon took command of the battalion June 25, 2014. The decision to relieve him was made by Cucinotta March 17, Carroll said.

The decision to relieve Kissoon came just a day before Marines announced the death of a Marine recruit, 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui, of Taylor, Michigan, which remains under investigation.

However, Carroll said the relief was connected to an investigation that wrapped up in late February and was tied to specific acts of alleged misconduct by Kissoon and not connected to the battalion or Siddiqui's death.

Kissoon's next assignment will be determined by Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Carroll said.

"The Marine Corps remains highly committed to ensuring that all who seek the title 'Marine' are provided with leaders and instructors who represent our core values of honor, courage and commitment," Carroll said in a statement. "As an institution, we hold all Marines, especially commanders, to a high set of standards."

Kissoon is the second recruit training battalion commander in a year to be relieved at Parris Island. Last June, the commander of 4th Recruit Training Battalion, Lt. Col. Kate Germano, was relieved amid controversy after an investigation found her training methods with female recruits overly aggressive.

--Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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