US Marine Corps Emblem, Author Institute of Heraldry (PD)
- As of 2011, there were 203,000 women on active duty in the military; another 129,960 in the National Guard and Reserve [1A].
- Men and women in the Marine Corps must meet the same standards for combat jobs .
- Though the vast majority of casualties have been men, at least 33 women have been killed in action in Afghanistan and 66 in Iraq. Over 900 women have been wounded in combat [1B].
The Marine Corps has admitted to Congress it is at a loss how to protect female Marines against social media predators .
Secretive groups like Marines United and Just the Tip of the Spear have obtained and shared nude photos of female Marines and recruits online [4A]. Other branches of the service are not immune . Hundreds of women are known to have been victimized.
This is a way of diminishing women. Some argue there a culture of misogyny in the Marines.
A Slow Response
Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Thomas Brennan, who runs the nonprofit news organization The War Horse, first drew attention to the problem in January of this year [4B].
The approach by the Marine Corps has been slow, deliberate, and outdated. Meanwhile, Marines United (which claims some 30,000 members) has repeatedly traded one Facebook page for another.
Now Marine veterans like James LaPorta, Shawn Wylde, and others are fighting such predators in a way the Marine Corps has not been able [5A]. On their own initiative, they are actively using social media to track down and expose the members of these groups.
A Sense of Brotherhood
“…Marines develop a ‘sense of brotherhood, interdependence, and determination to triumph.’ ”
-Leading Marines, Chapter 1, Our Ethos 
Brennan, LaPorta, and Wylde have been described as “traitors” and threatened with violence by other Marines. Women who have protested the use of their photos without permission have been harassed. But one female Marine said it all:
“You are single-handedly restoring my faith in my brothers. I’ve seen so many of those troll pages, I was starting to believe maybe that’s what our brothers really thought of us [5B].”
[1A][1B] CNN, “By the numbers: Women in the US military”, 1/24/13, http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/us/military-women-glance/.
 Marine Corps Times, “Marine Corps: Men and women must meet same standards for combat jobs” by Jeff Schogol, 4/12/16, https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/careers/marine-corps/2016/04/12/marine-corps-men-and-women-must-meet-same-standards-combat-jobs/82934800/.
 Newsweek, “Nude Photo Scandal Exposes Marines’ Culture of Misogyny” by Jared Keller, 3/16/17, http://www.newsweek.com/nude-photo-scandal-exposes-marines-culture-misogyny-569104?rx=us.
[4A][4B] New York Post, “Marines shared photos of naked female recruits on secret Facebook page” by Chris Perez, 3/5/17, http://nypost.com/2017/03/05/marines-shared-photos-of-naked-female-recruits-on-secret-facebook-page-report/.
[5A][5B] New York Times, “With Their Leaders at a Loss, Marine Veterans Fight Abusers” by Dave Philipps, 3/17/17, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/us/with-their-leaders-at-a-loss-marine-veterans-fight-abusers.html.
 Official Website of US Marines, Publications, “Leading Marines” (MCWP 6-11, formerly FMFM 1-0), http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCWP%206-11%20Leading%20Marine.pdf.
 CNN, “Nude photo scandal widens as military looks into more websites” by Barbara Starr and Steve Almasy, 3/10/17, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/10/us/military-nude-photos-scandal/.