22:49 GMT +313 November 2018
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    Two US Marines who are under investigation for flying in a pattern that resembled a penis near the end of October have been restricted to ground duties, Marine Corps officials said on Tuesday.

    The names of the pilots have not yet been released.

    The two have not flown since the investigation began, according to Marine Corps spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Maj. Josef Patterson.

    "Although not flying for the time being, the two Marine Corps aviators are still providing vital squadron ground support functions," Patterson said in a statement to Military.com, adding that the decision as to whether to punish the Marines will be made after the investigation is completed.

    On October 23, the Twitter account Aircraft Spots tweeted out the flight patterns, writing "Somebody needs to have a word with the crew."

    "The aircrew's chain of command are committed to maintaining an environment of professionalism, dignity and respect," Patterson said in a statement shortly after the tweet.

    "The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing will perform at the highest levels expected of professional war fighters, and uphold our core values of honor, courage and commitment," he added.

    The incident came just months after two US Navy pilots were punished for not just flying in a phallic pattern but doing it so that their jet streams drew it in the sky. In other words, it was actually visible, Sputnik News reported at the time.

    Patterson told Military.com that the lack of visibility of the Marines' creation may or may not affect the investigating officer's decision regarding the pilots.

    "I will say, you couldn't see it from the ground. I'm assuming that's part of it," he told the outlet. "What it doesn't change is that it happened."

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