An infantry battalion commander sacked in the middle of a deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU, was at least partially fired for allegedly using a term that could be disparaging to members of the LGBTQ community, Marine Corps Times has learned.

Following a vandalism incident during a port call visit by the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock New York in Gaeta, Italy, Lt. Col. Marcus J. Mainz, the commander of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, allegedly used the term “faggot" or “faggoty” during a meeting with the 2/6 Battalion Landing Team leaders, multiple sources have told Marine Corps Times.

Corps officials have said Lt. Col. Marcus J. Mainz was fired May 19 over a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead.

Several Marines were charged with and punished for underage drinking while on liberty during a port visit in Italy. One of those Marines was also charged with vandalizing a construction site.

Mainz was abruptly relieved of command by commander of Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/ 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade as the 26th MEU was operating in the 5th fleet area of operations, which covers the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and the Horn of Africa.

The MEU had just wrapped up exercises in Jordan called Eager Lion.

The incident regarding the firing of the infantry commander is still under investigation.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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