Marines from Marine Barracks Washington stand at attention before performing at a Washington Commanders game in November 2023.

Marines from Marine Barracks Washington stand at attention before performing at a Washington Commanders game in November 2023. (Chloe N. McAfee/U.S. Marine Corps)

Two Marines assigned to the service’s oldest and most high-profile installation have been charged with scrawling antisemitic symbols and racial slurs in a University of Maryland dormitory, the service confirmed Wednesday.

Lance Cpl. Sergio Delgado and Lance Cpl. Hayden Pritchard, who are stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., were charged by university police, according to Capt. Kayla Haas, public affairs officer for the barracks.

The D.C. barracks has been the symbolic home of the Marine Corps since 1801 and is home to its elite ceremonial units, as well as the residence of the Marine commandant.

Haas said the two Marines were charged Feb. 8 in connection with an April 29, 2023, incident at La Plata Hall at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. The residence hall for 600 students is located on the university campus, about 12 miles northeast of the Marine Barracks.

Investigators contacted the Marines in January 2024 to assist with identifying the perpetrators.

Security video showed the writing of antisemitic symbols and anti-Black slurs inside at least two floors of the dormitory, university police said. The images were used to eventually track down Pritchard and Delgado as responsible for the residence hall defacement.

Pritchard, 22, from Chula Vista, Calif., is charged with racial or religious property damage and trespassing. Delgado, 21, from Baldwin Park, Calif., is charged with trespassing, police said.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is cooperating with the university in gathering additional information on the crimes.

Haas said the actions are “inconsistent with the exceedingly high standards” the Marine Corps expects of all Marines.

The Marine Corps said Delgado and Pritchard underwent initial training and posting at the same time.

Both enlisted in January 2022 and graduated from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in April 2022. Both graduated from the School of Infantry–West at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., in October 2022. Both have been assigned to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., since December 2022.

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Gary Warner covers the Pacific Northwest for Stars and Stripes. He’s reported from East Germany, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and across the U.S. He has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.

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