A Marine Corps recruit who was hazed by his drill instructor suffered second- and third-degree chemical burns on his buttocks so severe that he needed skin grafts, according to documents newly released by the service.
The recruit’s skin was “liquefied” at the service’s storied boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., the documents said. The injuries occurred after he was ordered to perform unauthorized exercises under an upside-down laundry bin on a floor covered in bleach and required to stay in his wet pants for hours. The recruit reluctantly told another drill instructor about his burns that night, but stayed in training for a few more days. His condition deteriorated after he was told that he would not be able to graduate with his peers if he sought medical attention.
A Marine official previously disclosed that the drill instructor, former Sgt. Jeffrey VanDyke, was sentenced in 2014 to a year in military prison after being convicted at court-martial of numerous charges of cruelty and maltreatment, assault and failure to obey a lawful order in the case. But the severity of the recruit’s December 2012 injuries, considered among the most egregious suffered by a recruit in years, has not previously been disclosed.