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Leak investigation led to disbanding of Marine E-8 board

A Marine Corps investigation into “irregularities” on the FY18 sergeant major through master sergeant promotion board found that one board member was suspected of leaking information.

It is unknown whether any charges will be filed in the matter.

Concerns about the alleged leak of information in December prompted the commandant of the Marine Corps to disband the board and reconstitute it with new members to conduct the E-8 portion.

That led to a delay in the results of the E-8 first sergeant through master sergeant portion of the board. Those results were ultimately published at the end of January.

Board members are required to swear an oath to not disclose any information about the board or its findings before they are publicly posted.

According to that investigation, obtained recently by Marine Corps Times through a Freedom of Information Act request, the investigation found one individual suspected of leaking confidential information.

The board was suspended on Dec. 5, pending an investigation.

“On 4 Dec. I spoke directly with the board that I was concerned that there was an unauthorized release of information,” the board member told investigators.

Maj. Gen. Robert Castellvi “directed us to immediately suspend the board and to initiate a preliminary investigation,” the board member told investigators.

Nevertheless, according to the investigation report, only one board member was suspected of an unauthorized leak.

“We currently suspect there has been at least one release of confidential information regarding the conduct and results of this board,” an investigator told a board member during questioning on December 5. “At this time, I suspect you may have violated the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice].”

The testimony of the alleged leaker was redacted from the report. It is not known if charges have been recommended in this case or if this was simply an accident. There were no formal recommendations submitted with the investigation.

Other board members questioned by investigators hinted that bureaucratic inefficiencies can result in accidental releases of information.

“The delay between final selection of the Marines and release of the board results creates opportunity for problems to arise. Release the results quicker,” one board member told officials.

Another board member recommended “that immediately after the voting, that results are hidden from board members.”

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