Drill instructor charged in death of Marine recruit


From staff reports

A Parris Island drill instructor has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of Pfc. Dalton Beals, 19, who died of hyperthermia June 4, 2021 while taking part in The Crucible, the physically taxing 54-hour exercise recruits must complete before becoming U.S. Marines.

According to Parris Island spokesperson Maj. Philip Kulczewski, on Nov. 10, Brig. Gen. Walker Field, the Commanding General of MCRD Parris Island, referred the following charges against Staff Sergeant Steven Smiley to a General Court-Martial:
– Article 92 (Dereliction of Duty resulting in Death)
– Article 92 (Dereliction in the Performance of Duties)
– Article 92 (Two specifications: Violation of a Lawful General Order)
– Article 93 (Cruelty, Oppression, or Maltreatment of Subordinates)
– Article 131b (Obstruction of Justice)
– Article 134 – Additional Charge (Negligent Homicide)
Beals died on a day hot enough that Marine Corps protocols should have stopped training.

When a head count during an exercise found Beals missing, a brief search took place before he was found unconscious with no pulse. Marines performed CPR until medical personnel arrived and used an automatic, external defibrillator.

He was pronounced dead at 5:41 p.m., less than 30 minutes after 911 was called.Follow-on trial dates and milestones are yet to be established, according 

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