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Military personnel punished for posting ads seeking sex in Afghanistan

August 17, 2013|By Tony Perry

Eleven military personnel and six civilian employees of the Department of Defense were punished for placing ads on commercial websites seeking sex while they were deployed to Afghanistan, the Marine Corps announced Saturday.

The 11 included seven Marines, two sailors, one soldier, and one Air Force individual, the Marines said. Most were enlisted but an unspecified number were officers.

Along with the six civilian employees was a non-American working with the military in Afghanistan. The non-American was ordered, in effect, to leave the country.

The Criminal Investigative Division found the ads during investigations in 2012.

The investigations were done for CID by personnel from the Marines' 1st Law  Enforcement Battalion while the group was deployed to Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, which was then under the command of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Some of the ads involved men seeking women, others involved men seeking other men. None of the ads involved attempts to have sex with anyone underage.

Lt. Col. Stewart Upton, spokesman for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said the investigations "did not target  personnel based on rank, gender, marital status or sexual orientation, but rather were directed at conduct that is considered prejudicial to good order and discipline while conducting combat operations in a war zone."

The investigations were revealed earlier by the Marine Corps Times.

The newspaper noted that military personnel are told not to place sex ads on the Internet but "warnings from commanders, standard guidance for any unit headed to the war zone, appear to have fallen on deaf ears in many cases."

Punishment for the military personnel was meted out by their unit commanders, with possible loss of rank, extra duty, fines and restriction of privileges.


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