Customs and traditions are prevalent in the Marine Corps. They serve to enhance morale, esprit de corps, pride, and unit cohesion. Hazing, exemplified by initiations or rites of passage, are not included in this group and do nothing to enhance the professionalism and capability of our unit.
Hazing is defined as any conduct whereby a military member, regardless of Service or rank, causes another military member, regardless of Service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to an activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, or oppressive. Hazing can be physical, verbal, or psychological in nature.
Hazing does not include mission or operational activities, the training required to prepare for such missions, administrative corrective measures, extra military instruction in accordance with Marine Corps regulations, command authorized physical training, or other similar activities authorized by the chain of command.
Hazing within CLB-13 is prohibited—period. Hazing does not build respect or promote self discipline. It is demoralizing and unjustifiable. Irresponsible acts such as these inhibit our ability to accomplish our mission, are counter to our efforts to ensure the welfare of our Marines, Sailors, and their families, and degrade our overall warfighting effectiveness. I will deal with all acts of hazing immediately and with the full weight of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
It is the responsibility of every leader in the battalion, starting with me as the commander, to ensure that every servicemember in our unit is provided with a positive climate and atmosphere in which he or she can thrive. Beyond this, each and every Marine in CLB-13 bears the responsibility to eliminate hazing from our ranks. Acceptance, complicity, or complacence while witnessing an act of hazing are offenses equally as serious as committing the act itself. Our battalion’s mission and role in the defense of our nation are too vitally important to allow ourselves to be hindered by these unacceptable practices.
In accordance with our Commandant’s guidance, all members of CLB-13 will ensure we foster a command climate that discourages hazing and ensures all Marines and Sailors are treated with dignity, fairness, and respect.
Lieutenant Colonel George W. Markert, U.S. Marine Corps