The indoctrination and training of Marine Corps recruits is legendary for its toughness and effectiveness in making the best. But what Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix did to three Muslim American recruits was sadistic and evil and now he will pay the price.
Sgt. Felix was found guilty by a court-martial of hazing and maltreatment of recruits at the Marine Corps’ Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp. Felix choked recruits and slapped them in their faces and went as far as to demand they renounce Islam. One Marine, Lance Corporal Ameer Bourmeche, was forced into an industrial-size clothes dryer. Felix and another instructor turned on the machine three times with Bourmeche inside and attempted to make him renounce his faith. The first two times Bourmeche repeated his affirmation of Muslim faith but on the third time fearing for his life he renounced Islam. In addition, Felix made recruits train until they vomited and referred to the Muslim recruits as terrorists in front of other Marine recruits. One recruit, Raheel Siddiqui, allegedly committed suicide by thowing himself down a 40-feet stairwell. His family, however, doubt this official story and have filed a $100M wrongful death lawsuit against the Marine Corps, which remains pending.
Along with Felix another five other drill instructors and the battalion’s commanding officer were brought up on charges. Another 11 Marines faced lesser disciplinary charges in the hazing scandal that rocked the Corps. Felix, an Iraq veteran, could be sentenced to military prison, financial penalties and a dishonorable discharge.