In June 2021, Marine Pfc. Dalton Beals, 19, died while at boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, as a result of extreme body temperature.

An extensively redacted investigation shared with Marine Corps Times found his death “likely avoidable,” and found his drill instructor at fault for not monitoring Beals and his fellow recruits while they completed “the Crucible” — the challenging finale to Marine Corps boot camp — during 90 plus degree temperatures.

Now, Brig. Gen. Walker Field, the commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, is considering whether or not to charge the unnamed drill instructor involved with Beals’ death, Task and Purpose first reported.

“An Article 32 hearing has been conducted and a Preliminary Hearing Officer Report has been provided to the Commanding General of MCRD Parris Island/Eastern Recruiting Region, which includes recommendations as to referral of court-martial charges,” Maj. Philip Kulczewski, a spokesman for Parris Island, South Carolina, told Marine Corps Times via email on Tuesday.

“The Commanding General is considering the recommendations of that report at this time, and will make a decision as to referral of charges after consultation with legal counsel.”

On June 4, 2021, Beals reportedly had separated from his group and was unaccounted for for roughly for one hour, the investigation had found.

Legal or administrative action also was recommended against two commanders and three other Marines, according to the investigation, but the status of any proceedings for those individuals remains unclear at this time.

Beals was sadly one of two recruits to die at Parris Island, South Carolina in 2021. Pvt. Anthony Munoz, 21, died on his first day of training there after falling from a balcony, The Island Packet previously reported.

Another Marine recruit, Pfc. Javier Pong, died in September after collapsing during training at Camp Pendleton in California.

The news of possible charges comes nearly five years after another Parris Island, South Carolina, drill instructor received 10 years after being found guilty of maltreatment of recruits.

“Heartbreakingly there’s a lot of stories out there,” Stacie Beals, the mother of Pfc. Dalton Beals, previously told Marine Corps Times. “Things that shouldn’t be happening. And not just the Marines, it’s the other branches.”

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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