The 38th shade Sergeant that the naval Corps, Sgt. Francis Frazier, poses because that a photo next to the nationwide Ensign in ~ the conclusion that a relief and also appointment ceremony at maritime Barracks Washington D.C., on April 6, 2018. (U.S. Naval Corps photo by Pfc. James Bourgeois)
A maritime serving in among the service"s highest-profile positions to be admonished ~ hazing cases emerged as soon as he took a lighter come subordinates" collars come burn object from their uniforms -- while the Marines were wearing them.

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Sgt. Francis Frazier, the 38th shade Sergeant of the marine Corps, to be the topic of an examination after complaints were filed last year the he had "maliciously burned two small Marines," follow to a 20-page report derived through a freedom of details Act request.

Frazier, that serves as the marine Corps" most an elderly sergeant, representing the organization at high-profile events throughout the country, was at some point cleared of any kind of hazing allegations after ~ investigators discovered he hadn"t to plan to harm his Marines. Yet his uniform investigate tactic was uncovered to have been done in bad judgment -- a "leadership failure," files state.

The complaints date back to one April 16, 2018, inspection because that members that the naval Corps color Guard Platoon. Frazier leads the Marines who current the American and Marine Corps flags at high-profile events in Washington, D.C., and across the country.

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Frazier said investigators he repetitively took lighters come his Marines" collars during inspections to acquire rid of loosened threads on your uniforms. When an additional Marine, whose name was redacted indigenous the report, saw Frazier doing so, he told the shade sergeant it to be a "crazy" point to do.

Frazier again walk in through the lighter to remove the thread, and the maritime asked what his very first sergeant would certainly think the the situation, follow to the investigate officer"s report.

"Sgt Frazier responded the he believed would have actually his back and continued to shot to remove the ," the investigator wrote. "At that point, the accidentally burned the Marine"s neck slightly. Sgt Frazier did not believe that this was serious and also went around his business."

Officials at maritime Barracks Washington, wherein the shade Guard Platoon is based, stressed the the investigation right into Frazier"s habits determined the no hazing occurred. The complaints made against him to be unrelated come hazing allegations made later that year against members of the silent Drill Platoon, i m sorry is also based at the Barracks.

That case resulted in three Marines being booted from the service and two others gift punished after a evil reported seeing members that the revered demonstrate unit using a training rifle come strike someone.

The naval Corps did not respond to number of questions about Frazier"s case, including whether those who stated they were shed by his uniform checks space still in his charge and also how the examination led the sergeant to change his inspections or leadership style.

They likewise did no answer questions around whether use of a lighter is prohibited during uniform checks.

Capt. Katie Kochert, marine Barracks Washington spokeswoman, said just that leader there continue to be "engaged and also involved in battalion tasks and stand vigilant versus hazing and comparable misconduct."

No Malicious Intent

The exercise of burning loose threads from a uniform is not new. There are several threads ~ above Reddit, a society media site, that encompass tips on exactly how to burn off loosened threads from freshly dry-cleaned uniforms -- including fixes because that those who acquired too close with the lighter, burning feet in your blouses or trousers.

It was Frazier"s decision come burn the threads native his Marines" uniforms while they to be wearing them the was brought into question.

One the the Marines connected told the investigate officer that Frazier organized a lighter close to his collar three times throughout the April 2018 inspection, even as another Marine in the room wondered about the practice. It was on the third time Frazier take it the lighter come his collar the the naval said he felt "a hot pain against his neck."

The burn didn"t leave a mark, that told the investigator, yet it to be uncomfortable because that the next few hours.

When Frazier was questioned about the method, the told investigators the human was "the ringleader of an attempt to discredit him and also put his authority under question," the report states.

The marine whose neck was burned said he didn"t think that Frazier acted v malicious intent, yet called what that did "unusual and also not the right means to strategy the situation," according to the report.


Frazier told the investigating officer his Marines had actually "underperformed" top top their previous uniform checks, "requiring multiple inspections" to get it right. Once he noticed a loose thread on one of the Marines" collars, that admitted to holding a lighter near the person"s neck. Yet it wasn"t for an extended amount of time and the maritime showed no indicators of discomfort, he said, according to the investigator.

Ultimately, Frazier did not intend to injury his Marines, the investigate officer found.

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The sergeant "exercised poor judgment in causing minor physical injury to one of his Marines," the officer wrote. Yet that did not amount come hazing, the officer added, which the naval Corps defines as causing an additional service member to endure or to be subject to cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning or harmful activity.

The investigator recommended Frazier get a non-punitive letter the caution, i beg your pardon does no get added to a Marine"s official record. The officer also recommended a brief stand-down through members the the color Guard "to talk about the situation, repair the relationship that were damaged, and discuss the appropriate method to resolve issues which may build into a hazing situation."

Col. Joseph Murray, commander of maritime Corps installations in the national funding region, the review the investigation, according to the documents, and agreed that Frazier need to receive a non-punitive letter of caution to "address his leadership failure in handling the legitimate issue of a subordinate about the hazard to harm another."

By not wanting to recognize he to be wrong when another Marine doubted his investigate method, Murray stated Frazier "further exercised negative leadership when he continued to use the an approach ... To assert his authority of subordinates."

"Nonetheless," the added, "I am satisfied the Sergeant Frazier"s conduct does not amount to hazing."

-- Gina Harkins have the right to be got to at gina.harkins