At least five Marines assigned to the prestigious ceremonial Silent Drill Platoon in Washington were placed in pretrial confinement in recent days due to allegations they were involved in hazing at least one Marine at the unit, according to three defense officials.
Hearings that took place this week resulted in one Marine being released from confinement but all could still face charges as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has taken over the matter.
The number of alleged victims has not been made public but the allegations came to light when one Marine came forward. Officials say a video had been made allegedly showing some Marines hitting at least one other Marine. It is not publicly known if that victim is the Marine who came forward.
The platoon is a 24-man rifle unit that performs a drill exhibition largely in silence. It was founded in 1948 and performed for presidents and top officials as well as communities around the country tossing and spinning 10-pound M1 rifles with fixed bayonets.
Multiple performances of the drill team were canceled in recent weeks due to the ongoing investigation, according to officials. The Marines did not publicize the reason for those cancellations or which performances were affected. The Marines said they began an investigation immediately at the unit, before turning it over the NCIS.
The unit and the Marines are well known in the Washington community where they reside. In September they gained attention when several Marines ran to a nearby apartment complex to help rescue elderly residents when it caught fire.