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Boot Camp Commander Fired Amid Hazing Investigation Faces Hearing

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

The former commander of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island's 3rd Recruit Training Battalion will face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Marine Corps officials said Saturday night.

Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon, who was relieved March 31, 2016, will appear at an Article 32 investigative hearing at Marine Corps Base Quantico Monday on charges of failure to obey a lawful general order, false official statement, and conduct unbecoming a general officer. The hearing will determine whether Kissoon's case will proceed to a trial.

Kissoon's firing came just days after the March 18 death of 20-year-old Marine Corps recruit Raheel Siddiqui, whose apparent suicide early in his boot camp training prompted internal probes and congressional inquiries. But officials with Marine Corps Training and Education Command have said the officer's relief was planned before Siddiqui's death and unrelated to the tragedy.

At the time of Kissoon's firing, a Parris Island official told Military.com that the decision to relieve him was made March 17.

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Prior to Siddiqui's death, however, there was already another major hazing investigation underway within 3rd Recruit Training Battalion focused on troubling allegations of recruit mistreatment. Most notably, that investigation would substantiate that a senior drill instructor threw a Muslim recruit in an industrial dryer and turned it on in a mock interrogation.

Ultimately, the Marine Corps would make three investigations public all related to events of hazing within 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. Six drill instructors have now been charged in connection with these investigations, and another nine drill instructors and five officers, including Kissoon, were sidelined or relieved in the wake of the scandal.

Kissoon is the first officer to be charged amid Parris Island upheaval.

A spokesman for TECOM, Capt. Joshua Pena, said his hearing is scheduled to continue into Tuesday.

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

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