Current MARSOC (Marine Forces Special Operations Command) Commanding General, Major General Daniel Yoo, is rumored to be under investigation for unlawful command influence related to the MARSOC 3 case and for potentially unethical real estate practices tied to the consolidation of all Marine Raider Battalions to the east coast (Camp Lejeune, North Carolina).
SOFREP reached out to MARSOC CommStrat officials on 10 June 2020 and USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) and HQMC (Headquarters Marine Corps) officials on 11 June 2020 for comment on this matter. As of the time that this article was published, no responses have been provided by MARSOC. HQMC and SOCOM stated that they were not aware of any investigation related to MajGen Yoo. SOFREP will continue to update our coverage as new information is gathered.
MajGen Yoo spearheaded the sudden and swift consolidation effort, one that cost quite a bit of logistical pain and financial resources for USSOCOM and the servicemembers and their families who were unexpectedly asked to relocate with little-to-no time to prepare in relation to housing, jobs, and other personal matters. SOFREP is still waiting for MARSOC to provide details related to allegations that MajGen Yoo put himself in a position to gain financially from real estate properties in the Camp Lejeune area.
In relation to the rumored real estate scandal, a MARSOC representative’s quote from this 2020 announcement did not age particularly well. “You can buy a house, you can establish yourself in the community and you know that you’ll get different assignments within MARSOC, but that you will be able to retain your home of record right here at Camp Lejeune.”
Running in parallel with his own problems, Yoo has been conspicuously quiet regarding his directive to send three innocent Marine Raiders, the MARSOC 3 as they are called, to a general court-martial, which carries the most severe level of punishment, over a lesser form of trial or hearing. GySgt Daniel Draher, GySgt Josh Negron, and Chief Eric Gilmet have been accused of manslaughter for an incident that occurred in Erbil, Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) on New Year’s Eve, 2018. This is in spite of the fact that video evidence overwhelming proves that the Raiders acted in self-defense.
With his own investigation potentially on the table, it seems to explain Yoo’s deafening silence regarding the looming court-martial of his own men and why he wouldn’t want any perceived negative attention focused on the command. Yoo is the current convening authority and the prosecution team for the case works directly for him. There are confirmed reports of personnel within MARSOC being silenced and coerced into not providing character statements or public support on behalf of Draher, Negron, and Gilmet. That type of behavior is clearly unlawful command influence and supports the argument that MARSOC wants to make an exampe out of their own Raiders.
Yoo is slated to retire – sources have indicated he has been forced to retire early – and relinquish his command during a ceremony scheduled for the morning of Friday, June 26, 2020 at the MARFORSOC Parade Deck at Stone Bay, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. MajGen Yoo assumed command of MARSOC on August 10, 2018. He will be relinquishing command to Major General James F. Glynn who is coming from his current post as Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region. Glynn will soon have the opportunity to take a fresh look at the MARSOC 3 case once he assumes command. As for Major General Yoo, it appears that he might not have a fairytale ending to his military career.
Update: At 12:19PM on June 15, the MARSOC CommStrat office responded saying that they were not aware of an investigation involving MajGen Yoo and that he will retire as scheduled on June 26, 2020.