Dingell Statement on Results of Marine Corps Investigation into Death of Private Raheel Siddiqui
Washington, DC, September 8, 2016
U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today released the following statement after the U.S. Marine Corps completed three command-level investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of her constituent Private Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Michigan and other allegations of abuse and mistreatment at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. Today, Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B. Neller met with Dingell in her office to inform her that upon completion of the investigation, twenty Recruit Training Regiment personnel have been identified for possible military justice or administrative action. The investigations revealed deviations from established policies and procedures for Marine Corps recruit training.
“Today’s announcement by the Marine Corps is a first step in ensuring the family of Private Raheel Siddiqui receives the answers they deserve and that the Marine Corps is addressing the serious issues that led to this tragedy. I am grateful for the seriousness with which the Marine Corps has carried out this investigation to date, but it is critical that the process continue to be conducted in a manner that is thorough and ensures all those who are responsible are held accountable.
“Private Siddiqui was a son, brother and class valedictorian who believed this country represented freedom and opportunity. As a young Muslim man, he truly understood the value of freedom of religion, and all he wanted was to defend the ideals our nation holds dear. This weekend, I will visit Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island to see firsthand the recruit training process, meet with the new leadership and learn about the changes that are being implemented to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.
“This is the very least the Siddiqui family – and the thousands of families across our country whose children serve in uniform – deserve.”
Dingell has been in constant communication with the Marine Corps since Private Siddiqui’s death on March 18, 2016. She wrote General Neller seeking further clarification on the circumstances surrounding Siddiqui’s death, and consistently pressed for additional information about the investigation into drill instructors and senior leadership at Parris Island.