This Kaneohe Marine — seen in an image from a video that showed him throwing the dog off a cliff — has been identified as Lance Cpl. David Motari. He is being removed from the Marine Corps.
Kaneohe Marines punished for tossing puppy off Iraq cliff
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One Kaneohe Marine will be kicked out of the service and a second will be punished for their role in tossing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq.
Lance Cpl. David Motari is "being processed for separation" from the Marine Corps. Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion, assigned to the Kaneohe unit from San Diego, received unspecified "nonjudicial" punishment.
Both are members of Kaneohe's 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which returned from Iraq late last year and will be returning in September.
Video of the March 2007 incident was widely viewed over the Internet and generated a firestorm of condemnation and an apology from the Marine Corps.
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A Kaneohe Marine will be discharged from the Marine Corps for throwing a puppy off a cliff into a ravine while on patrol in Iraq on March 2007 — an action that was videotaped and shown over the Internet.
Two marines — one based in Kaneohe — received military consequences after a YouTube video available around the world showed the two throwing a puppy off a cliff.
The Marine Corps said Lance Cpl. David Motari received nonjudicial punishment from Lt. Col. Andrew Milburn, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and is being processed for separation from the Marine Corps.
Another Marine, Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion, from a training battalion at the Marine Recruit Depot in San Diego, also received unspecified, nonjudicial punishment for his role in the episode.
The Marine Corps issued an apology in March after the incident received worldwide publicity on the Internet.
Maj. Chris Perrine, Kaneohe spokesman, described the punishment as an administrative procedure, just a step below a pretrial hearing and a formal court-martial.
However, unlike military pretrial or court-martial proceedings, the military is not required to release any details about the incident because of U.S. privacy laws. There was no immediate response from Encarnacion's unit in San Diego.
The video looks like it had been shot by a cell phone camera.
In the grainy, low-quality, 17-second clip, a uniformed Marine holds a small black-and-white puppy by the scruff of the neck and says, "Cute little puppy, huh?"
Then he throws the dog off the cliff.
"Oh, I tripped," the first Marine says as he throws the animal. A yelping sound is heard as the puppy flies through the air.
"That's mean. That was mean, Motari," says a second man, pictured with him in the beginning of the video.
A statement released by Kaneohe Bay's Marine headquarters said, "The Marine Corps conducted a thorough investigation as soon as it learned of the event and acted as swiftly as possible. The actions seen in the Internet video are contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine and will not be tolerated. The vast majority of Marines conduct their duties with honor and compassion that makes American people proud."
The Marines learned about the video on March 3 after it was viewed about 100,000 times on YouTube before it was taken off. The video triggered a slew of criticism and an apology from the Marine Corps.
Motari, who is from Washington state, returned to Hawaii in October from Haqlaniyah, Iraq, after a seven-month deployment. Encarnacion, 23, is from Anchorage, Alaska. He joined the Marine Corps in April 2004 and served in Afghanistan from January to May in 2006 and then in Iraq from March to October of last year.
The 1,000 Marines with the 1st Battalion were stationed in the "Triad" area of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana, northwest of Baghdad.
That same unit, known as the Lava Dogs, is slated to return to Iraq in September. The battalion just completed an exercise at the Big Island Island's Pohakuloa Training Area. Its next pre-deployment mission rehearsal exercise before deploying to Iraq is Mojave Viper at Twentynine Palms in Southern California.