This story is heartbreaking and all too common. In service to an organization proud of its heritage of taking care of its own and never leaving a comrade behind, the Marine Corps and the US command structure has profoundly failed Sergeant Dalina.
The facts are not in dispute.
Dalina was deployed in October 2019 when she reported her coworker, a platoon sergeant and a uniformed victim advocate, for sexual misconduct, according to her statement.
After an investigation, the Marine was found guilty of violating Article 117a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and received a nonjudicial punishment, Capt. Angelica Sposato, a spokeswoman for II Marine Expeditionary Force, said in a statement about the case.
The unnamed male Marine had his rank reduced, forfeited an unknown amount of pay, and was being administratively separated from the service, according to Sposato.
Dalina said Wednesday that the separation board had decided to force him out of the Marine Corps but allow him to receive an honorable discharge. Last Thursday, she said she learned a commanding general “had decided to retain this Marine despite his crimes committed against me.”
Sgt. Dalina’s TikTok video is chilling, and heartbreaking. It is not easy to watch. At one point, sobbing almost uncontrollably, she says “This is exactly why … females in the military fucking kill themselves.”
Perhaps this will bring some change. But I’m not betting on it. Along with white supremacy, the culture of sexual assault is deeply embedded in the military and will have to be torn out, root and branch.