SAN DIEGO -- A Marine drill instructor has been charged with 91 counts of assaulting recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot here, the Marine Corps confirmed Thursday.
Sgt. Jerrod Glass was relieved of duty as a drill instructor after an investigation and faces a general court-martial Nov. 8, officials said. Glass faces multiple counts of failing to obey an order, cruelty and destruction of property.
Two other drill instructors, Sgt. Robert C. Hankins and Sgt. Brian M. Wendel, also face special courts-martial related to the case. The term "special" is used to denote charges that are not serious enough to merit a general court-martial.
A fourth drill instructor, whose name was not released, has undergone administrative punishment and been reassigned.
Two officers and two noncommissioned officers were relieved of duty and reassigned due to the investigation.
The alleged abuse by Glass occurred from Dec. 23 to Feb. 10, the Marine Corps said. In all, 110 incidents are alleged. None of the injuries were serious or required hospitalization, and none of the recruits were kept from graduating, officials said.
During the investigation, recruits in Glass' platoon were ordered by officials to write or phone their families about the allegations.
The families also were briefed when they came to the recruit depot in March to watch their sons graduate. They received updated briefings as Glass underwent what is known as an Article 32 preliminary hearing, which led to an order that he be sent to a court-martial.
Glass, a native of Phoenix, was trained as a military police officer and dog handler. He served a tour in Iraq in 2005 as a dog handler in Al Qaim, on the Syrian border. He worked with a 3-year-old, 70-pound Belgian Malinois named Spike, described by the military as an aggressive dog.
After returning from Iraq, Glass adopted a Marine Corps dog named Jaco, and was selected to attend drill instructor school, an elite assignment that often can lead to quick promotions. He had been an instructor for three months when he was relieved.
The San Diego depot, which trains only men, graduates more than 21,000 recruits annually. The Marine Corps' other recruit center, at Parris Island, S.C., trains men and women.
The Marine Corps boasts that its 13-week training regimen is the most physically demanding of any military in the world. In fact, while other military services seek recruits with inducements such as college tuition and technical training, the Marine Corps entices young men and women with a dare: If you're tough enough.
Still, striking or degrading recruits is specifically forbidden, a legacy of reforms in the wake of recruit training scandals, including the most infamous of all: the drowning of six recruits at Parris Island in 1956 after being taken on a nighttime march into a tidal swamp by a drill instructor who had been drinking.
The drill instructor, a decorated veteran of Korea and World War II, was convicted of negligent homicide. During his court-martial, Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine in history, testified on his behalf that tough training was essential to prepare Marines for combat.
After appealing his conviction to the secretary of the Navy, the drill instructor in the so-called Ribbon Creek incident was allowed to remain in the Marine Corps after serving three months in the brig and being reduced in rank to private.