U.S. Forces head in Okinawa calls for off-base discipline
Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, the top official of U.S. military forces in Okinawa, has instructed his Marines to uphold discipline when off base, following the rape incident involving two U.S. sailors in Japan’s southernmost prefecture.
Glueck’s remarks come amid a fierce backlash against the rape of a local woman, as well as the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at the Marine Corps’ Futenma air base in Ginowan. Speaking before 1,000 troops, including Marines and Navy officials, at Camp Foster, Glueck said, “We had rough times with the MV-22. We’ve been through rough times with some incidents that occurred out in town.”
The three-star general lamented “The one most recently, of course, two sailors here for temporary duty, they went out and committed the crime of rape.” Glueck, the U.S. forces’ Okinawa area coordinator, later told reporters, “99.9% do what is right. We will do everything we can to drive those incidents down to zero.”
He visited other U.S. bases in the prefecture the same day to offer a similar message.
The two sailors were arrested on Oct. 16th following the incident, which occurred on the main island earlier that day.
In addition to this recently directed training, annual and regularly scheduled training is currently in place to continually refresh the Marine Corps’ high standards of conduct in the community. Upon their arrival in Japan, Marines and sailors receive cultural awareness training during Newcomer Orientation Briefs which focuses on the importance of local culture, customs and courtesies, local law, Status of Forces Agreement rights and responsibilities as well as safety issues in Japan.
The Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has conducted cultural awareness seminars on some U.S. military installations to educate U.S. service members and their families on history and culture. The Okinawa Prefectural Police provide regular training to new arrivals on Okinawa which include traffic safety, cultural differences as well as customs and courtesies. Additionally, the subject of proper off-duty behavior is discussed by leaders with their Marines and sailors prior to any weekend or liberty period.