Marines and veterans sharing nude images of female service members on web pages and in Facebook groups like Marines United have recently come to the forefront of concerns levied by policy makers and military leaders throughout the country, and with good reason.  As a number of us here at SOFREP have made clear, these practices are not only degrading to American service members, but they are a gross violation of OPSEC, or Operational Security, as some of these images could almost certainly be used as leverage to manipulate or blackmail some of America’s military personnel.

Secretary of Defense and famed Marine General, James Mattis, weighed in on this developing scandal in an official statement released through the Department of Defense on Friday.  You can read the statement below:

The purported actions of civilian and military personnel on social media websites, including some associated with the Marines United group and possibly others, represent egregious violations of the fundamental values we uphold at the Department of Defense. The chain of command is taking all appropriate action to investigate potential misconduct and to maintain good order and discipline throughout our armed forces.

Lack of respect for the dignity and humanity of fellow members of the Department of Defense is unacceptable and harmful to the unit cohesion necessary to battlefield victory.  We will not excuse or tolerate such behavior if we are to uphold our values and maintain our ability to defeat the enemy on the battlefield.”