A recruit battalion commander at the Marine Corps basic training site on Parris Island has been relieved of command following an investigation into alleged misconduct, the Marines announced Thursday.
Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon had commanded the Third Recruit Training Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Officials did not explain the allegations, but commander of the Recruit Training Regiment Col. Paul Cucinotta said “a loss of trust and confidence in Kissoon’s abilities to serve in command.” He had led the battalion since June 2014.
Kissoon’s dismissal sparked public interest because it came less than two weeks after a recruit in his battalion died from an apparent fall inside the barracks. A spokesman said in a statement that the investigation predates the death of 20-year-old Rct. Raheel Siddiqui on March 18. The Marine Corps Inspector General’s investigation was completed in February and Col. Cucinotta made the decision to relieve Lt. Col. Kissoon on March 17, the spokesman said.
“The decision to relieve Lt. Col. Kissoon was based solely on specific, isolated acts associated with allegations of misconduct and is not a reflection of the performance of the battalion or its Marines,” Carroll said.
The Marine Corps has not formally given Siddiqui’s cause of death, but a Navy Criminal Investigative Service spokesperson has confirmed reports from Siddiqui’s family that they were told he died after falling 40 feet down a barracks stairwell. The investigation continues, but no foul play is suspected, the spokesperson said.