Sharing nude photos without consent can now get you kicked out of the Marine Corps.
The new rule was announced Tuesday in MARADMIN 223/17, which updates the Separation and Retirement Manual to include sharing private images without consent under the existing definitions of sexual harassment.
The manual now includes sharing nude photos of other people without consent as one of the offenses that will lead to mandatory processing for separation "following the first substantiated incident of sexual harassment." However, that does not mean "a board hearing is mandatory or that the separation of the respondent is mandatory," the manual says.
The definition of what constitutes nude photo sharing is spelled out in Article 1168 of Navy regulations, which Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley approved in April. The regulation prohibits Marines and sailors from sharing nude photos "without legal justification or excuse" or without the consent of the people depicted in the pictures.
It further makes clear that Navy personnel will be held in violation of Navy regulations if they broadcast intimate images: "(a) With the intent to realize personal gain; (b) With the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person; or (c) With reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced."
Military investigators are currently looking at whether troops and veterans who were members of the Marines United Facebook group broke the law by posting nude photos of women online and harassing some of the women in the pictures.
So far, more than 30 Marines have been referred to their commanders for online misconduct that does not constitute felony-level crimes. Five of those Marines have received a Page 11 entry in their permanent records or nonjudicial punishment. None has appeared before a summary court-martial.
Another 16 suspects may have committed felony-related crimes, according to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Of those suspects, nine are active-duty Marines; two are Reserve Marines; three are active-duty sailors; one is a Reserve sailor; and one is a civilian.