On Tuesday 17 Jan 2023, Gunnery Sergeant Negron and Gunnery Sergeant Draher were co-tried in a General Court Martial at the main courthouse at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. The jury returned NOT GUILTY verdicts of all the serious charges on 1 February 2023.
Unfortunately, the jury did find the Raiders guilty of violating an order not to drink alcohol in Iraq at the general court-martial. They were found guilty of drinking while in Iraq even though others on that deployment were rumored to have also consumed alcohol.
The result for Gunnery Sergeants Draher and Negron? They are now felons.
To add insult to injury, on 12 June 2023, Gunnery Sergeants Draher and Negron were notified of a new recommendation from the Commanding General of MARSOC, Major General Matthew G. Trollinger. This one is for the permanent and involuntary removal of their Marine Special Operations Insignia (MSOI), otherwise known as a Raider badge. They were to receive NO PUNISHMENT for their guilty verdict for drinking, but they are now being punished.
For both Gunnery Sergeants Draher and Negron — who are otherwise eligible for retirement after more than 20 years of honorable service — it looks like MARSOC’s next move will be to recommend that the Commandant of the Marine Corps reduce their rank upon retirement with a less than honorable discharge. If reduced in rank at retirement, they stand to lose over six figures in retirement income.
Such a move would deny two decorated Marine Raiders some retirement benefits, but perhaps more significantly, it would be another twist of the knife from their own brotherhood that they have belonged to for their entire adult lives.
Exercise your 1st Amendment right in posting a copy of this letter and your response letter on social media and to omni-channel media members.
Urge your elected members of Congress to take swift action to investigate how this case has been handled by the Marine convening authority who repeatedly used unethical tactics which undoubtedly has eroded the sacred bonds of trust between enlisted service members and their officers, which gravely damages morale and military readiness.
Use the letter template below to write to your representatives urging them to take the following action before the Marine Corps wrongfully kicks out these honorable men.
- Direct that General Eric M. Smith, acting Commandant of the Marine Corps, meet with you in person to explain why personnel from the United States Marines Special Operations Command are being kicked out of the Marine Corps despite receiving NOT GUILTY verdicts and that of NO PUNISHMENT.
- Direct that General Bryan P. Fenton, Commander of the US Special Operations Command meet with you in person to explain why personnel from the United States Marines Special Operations Command are being kicked out of the Marine Corps despite receiving NOT GUILTY verdicts and that of NO PUNISHMENT.
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