Marine veteran, protester faces discharge

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. Marine turned anti-war activist may be discharged from the Marine Individual Ready Reserve for violating a regulation.

Adam Kokesh is also accused of cursing a senior officer.


The Iraq war veteran contends the Marine Corps is trying to silence him because of his politics; the Marine Corps says it is a matter of discipline and rule breaking.

Kokesh was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps as a corporal in November 2006, according to his Web site, but remains a member of the individual ready reserve, as do all military personnel who serve fewer than eight years total.

Kokesh's IRR commitment will expire in June, but the Marine Corps convenes an administrative board Monday to determine whether he should be discharged from the IRR prior to that. He will not get a dishonorable discharge; that can only result from a court martial. Kokesh could get an-other-than-honorable, a general or an honorable discharge. His honorable discharge from the active duty would not be affected.

Kokesh was arrested in April when he participated in an anti-war demonstration in the Hart Senate office building in Washington, D.C. He was wearing combat fatigue pants, which the Marine Corps says it prohibits. Active and reserve troops are allowed to participate in protests and take part in political activities but the Pentagon prohibits them from wearing uniforms or parts of uniforms and from doing so on military bases.


Marine spokesman Col. David Lapan said Friday that the Marine Corps contacted Kokesh via e-mail to warn him he was in violation of regulations by wearing a uniform at political events. Kokesh responded with an e-mail refusing to stop wearing the uniform. He also used an expletive in his reply.

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