Marines recruit regiment commander, sergeant major at Parris Island fired
Stars and Stripes July 17, 2023
ATLANTA — The Marine Corps has removed the top leaders of its regiment that trains recruits at Parris Island, according to officials at the South Carolina base.
Col. Bradley Ward, who had commanded the regiment since July 2021, and his senior enlisted leader Sgt. Maj. Fabian Casillas were fired July 5 “for a loss of trust and confidence,” Maj. Philip Kulczewski, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, said Monday in a brief statement offering few details. He did not provide any additional information about their dismissal, including whether there is an investigation into the incidents that led to the firings.
“No other information is available at this time,” Kulczewski said.
Ward and Casillas were replaced this month by Col. Christopher McArthur and Sgt. Maj. Michael Brown, according to the Parris Island website, which now lists them as the commander and senior enlisted leader for the Recruit Training Regiment.
Ward is a prior enlisted Marine, who joined the Corps in 1988 and commissioned a decade later as a logistics officer, according to his Marine biography. Casillas enlisted in 1992 as a mechanic and had served multiple tours as a drill instructor, according to his service biography. Casillas had also served a deployment to Afghanistan.
Kulczewski did not say Monday whether Ward and Casillas had been reassigned elsewhere in the Corps.
McArthur came to Parris Island this month after having served the previous three years as a strategic planner at Norfolk, Va., according to his biography. Before that job, he served as the commander of a Parris Island recruit training battalion from May 2018 to June 2020. Like Ward, McArthur first served as an enlisted Marine, entering the service as a rifleman in 1993 before commissioning in 1999 as an artillery officer. He has served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to his biography.
Brown enlisted in the Marines in 1999 as an infantryman, according to his biography. In 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, Brown was one of the first Marines sent into Afghanistan while serving with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, which had been deployed to the western Pacific region with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit at the time. He later served in Iraq and at least one additional combat tour in Afghanistan.
Brown has been at Parris Island since 2019, serving first as a training battalion sergeant major and more recently as the base’s support battalion sergeant major, according to his biography.
Parris Island’s Recruit Training Regiment includes three initial entrance training battalions that train some 20,000 recruits every year. The regiment’s 4th Training Battalion, which was traditionally an all-female unit and had been coed in recent years, was deactivated last month. Female cadets will now train in the traditionally all-male training battalions at Parris Island and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in California, the service has said.