The second-highest ranking officer at the Marine Corps’ iconic Parris Island recruit training depot in South Carolina was removed from his job Monday, nearly four months after the death of a recruit under his supervision.

Col. Paul D. Cucinotta was relieved of command by Maj. Gen. James W. Lukeman, the top general in Training and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia. Cucinotta, as commanding officer of the Recruit Training Regiment at Parris Island, was responsible for overseeing all aspects of recruit training at the depot and was the second-highest ranking officer on the base to Brig. Gen. Terry V. Williams.

Cucinotta was removed due to a “loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in that position,” according to a letter sent Monday by the Marine Corps to Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who inquired into the March 18 death of Raheel Siddiqui, 20, a Pakistani-American Marine recruit from her district.


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