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CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A U.S. Army staff sergeant was reduced in rank to E-1 and given four months of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge after pleading guilty earlier this month to hazing new soldiers in his unit and striking another.

Jeffery D. Marjerrison was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team between August and October of 2008 when, as an “initiation” into his platoon, he forced seven soldiers at Camp Hovey to lie on the ground while he used his knees, elbows or fists to strike them in the upper legs — a practice he called “dead-legging,” according to a 2nd ID statement.

In January 2009, Marjerrison used his fist or knee to strike another soldier in the ribs who he felt was “goofing around” during training.

The incidents came to light when another noncommissioned officer took over the squad and was told about the abuse, the statement said.

Marjerrison was deployed to the Middle East and 2nd ID commander Maj. Gen. Michael Tucker directed that he be returned to South Korea to face court-martial.

Marjerrison pleaded guilty to six counts of failure to obey regulations (the hazing of two soldiers was included in one of the counts) and one count of assault during a proceeding June 4 at Camp Casey, according to the statement.

“This type of behavior is unacceptable in the 2nd Infantry Division and in our Army, and it will not be tolerated,“ 2nd ID spokesman Maj. Will Griffin said in an e-mail. “It is unfortunate that this individual chose to act in a manner not in keeping with the Army Values.

“We welcome new Soldiers with a handshake and treat them with dignity and respect at all times,” Griffin said.

rabiroffj@pstripes.osd.mil

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