At least seven Marine Corps training classes that had formerly been taught online will be transferred to real-world classroom settings, in an attempt to increase the effectiveness of the military curriculum, after numerous service members in the branch were charged with violating codes of conduct through the use of illicit porn websites.
At least 15 Marines face punishment and another 29 could see non-disciplinary action as a result of hosting, managing and moderating a Facebook page linking to a website containing gigabytes of illicit material, mostly images and information regarding female service members that was posted with their knowledge or permission.
The shockwaves from the revelations have gone all the way up the Pentagon totem pole, revealing an ongoing and widespread level of sexism and misogyny within the force, and prompting widespread calls for change.
According to Marine Corp spokesman Captain Ryan E. Alvis, the force is "deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in a closed website."
The top enlisted man in the Marine Corps, Sgt. Major Ronald L. Green, said, "These negative behaviors are absolutely contrary to what we represent," according to Stripes.com.
Beginning in May, training classes covering Hazing, Tobacco Cessation, Unit Marine Awareness and Prevention Integrated Training, Marine Corps Records Management, Combating Trafficking in Persons, Violence Prevention, and Social Media Conduct will be conducted in a classroom, by a teacher who will provide immediate feedback.
"The leader-led discussion approach optimizes the transfer of learning, provides the opportunity for immediate feedback and remediation, and can occur at almost any time or place," according to Lieutenant General Robert S. Walsh, the head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.
Suggesting that, in his experience at least, Marines learn better in person, flight equipment technician with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing on Okinawa Lance Corporal Bradley Wood expressed his support for the move, stating, "Switching to a more hands-on approach, as opposed to a primarily computer-based learning environment will help mold Marines to better suit their jobs."