Five Marines from the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), have been arrested for stealing government property worth more than $300,000 and then selling it on the black market.
In the span of two years, two separate theft rings run by Marine special operators allegedly stole vehicle parts and tactical gear.
The first theft ring was run by four Marines, two lance corporals and two corporals. Between 2017 and 2018, the four allegedly stole tactical gear such as SureFire flashlights, magazines, rifle buttstocks, and flashbang grenades.
The second theft ring was operated by a lance corporal. In 2016, the unnamed Marine is accused of breaking into the motor pool of the 3rd Raider Battalion and the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group motor transport lot in two instances. He also snuck into a vehicle lot packed with Logistics Vehicle System Replacement trucks.
All in all, he allegedly stole gear that included “flashbang diversionary hand grenades, tool kits, multi-meters, BF Goodrich Baja tires, plate carriers, helmets, M16 magazines, military medical kits, fog lights, wire harnesses, headlights and composite lights.”
“These actions are not consist [sic] with Marine Forces Special Operations Command values and deter from our priority mission of deploying special operations forces,” said Gunnery Sgt. Lynn Kinney, a representative of Marine Forces/Special Operations Command, in a statement to the Marine Corps Times.
According to the Times, which had access to the charge sheets, the stolen tactical gear was sold to private individuals and pawn shops in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
“We are committed to accountability against any violation of the standards we set for our Marines,” added Gunnery Sergeant Kinney.
All five Marines that ran the theft rings were court-martialed and sentenced to confinement ranging from five to 28 months. They were also demoted and kicked out of the Marine Corps. The Corps hasn’t acknowledged if the Marine perpetrators were support personnel or Marine Raiders, but all of them were assigned to the 3rd Raider Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Activated in 2006, MARSOC is the latest addition to the U.S. Special Operations Command. The command is composed of three Marine Raider Battalions, with each battalion containing four Marine Special Operations Companies (MSOCs), with each MSOC having four Marine Special Operations Teams. The command only adopted the title Marine Raiders in 2015 after much controversy. The title was inspired by Marine commandos who conducted special operations raids against the Japanese in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War.