Ex-drill instructor waives hearing about Taylor recruit
Washington — The U.S. Marines said Thursday that a former drill instructor at Parris Island waived his preliminary hearing in connection with allegations of mistreatment of a recruit from Taylor a year ago.
A Marines investigation last year found that Raheel Siddiqui, 20, of Taylor fell three stories in a barracks stairwell on March 18, 2016, following an altercation with the unnamed drill instructor.
The Article 32 hearing for the ex-drill instructor — a gunnery sergeant whose name is still being withheld by the Marines — was scheduled for Thursday in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to review evidence of alleged violations of military code including cruelty and maltreatment, failure to obey orders, making false official statements, drunk and disorderly conduct, and obstruction of justice.
Major Gen. James W. Lukeman, commander of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command, will now decide whether to refer the charges to a general court-martial or other venue, said Capt. Joshua Pena, a spokesman for the Command.
If the charges are referred, the Marines will identify the gunnery sergeant by name, Pena said.
A general court-martial is the highest level of court-martial, used by the military to address the most serious misconduct alleged against service members.
Siddiqui's family argues he was hazed and abused at Parris Island. They reject the Marine Corps’ finding that he killed himself and say the pending allegations are “insufficient” to address the mistreatment of their son.