Parris Island recruit's fall not being investigated by NCIS

Recruits march during a six-mile conditioning hike July 15, 2017, on Parris Island, S.C.


By WADE LIVINGSTON | The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) | Published: August 1, 2017

HILTON HEAD, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — A recruit who fell from a building last week at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island has non-life-threatening injuries, according to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service official, who said his agency was not investigating the incident.

“I’ve learned that this is not an NCIS case,” agency spokesperson Ed Buice wrote Monday in an email to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. He added that the recruit’s “injuries are not considered life threatening and this is being handled by the (depot) command.”

The recruit remains in “stable” condition, Parris Island spokesperson Capt. Adam Flores said Monday.

“No determination has been made at this time,” Flores wrote in an email when asked if the recruit — who the Corps is not identifying because of Privacy Act policies — was expected to return to training. “Our focus is currently on the recruit’s health and thoroughly investigating the incident.”

That investigation is ongoing, Flores said, which means the Corps cannot release specific information about the fall, such as what preceded it and where it occurred on the depot. Flores said he could not disclose the nature of the recruit’s injuries because of privacy policies.

When asked if any Marines had been sidelined or reassigned in the wake of the fall, Flores replied: “No Drill Instructors have been sat down or reassigned at this time.”

“The family has been notified and the command will remain in close coordination with them during this difficult time,” Flores said.

The recruit arrived on base July 25 and was assigned to Support Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, for processing. During early processing, recruits obtain gear, complete paperwork and receive haircuts. The fall occurred the following day.

It is the third fall in recent months, the second during the processing phase.

Kristian Gashaj was injured in a two-story fall inside the depot’s Recruit Processing Center in October. He had been on the island four days. In June, the Marine Corps Times reported he remained in a coma.

Raheel Siddiqui died after falling nearly 40 feet during recruit training on March 18, 2016. He had been on the island 11 days.

A hazing-and-recruit-abuse probe in the wake of his death has resulted in courts-martial proceedings for numerous Marines — including the high-ranking officer who oversaw Siddiqui’s training battalion — and has amounted to the biggest scandal at Parris Island since the infamous Ribbon Creek incident in 1956, when six recruits drowned after a drill instructor led his platoon into the marsh on a punitive nighttime march.

©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)
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