The US military Top Brass has acted. It is a matter of solace that they have realized the gravity of the problem. There is no doubt that the act of posting nude photos on a special page on Facebook is an act"prejudicial to good order and discipline" and is a significant section of the Unified Military Code. Unfortunately, the authorities are overwhelmed with the magnitude of the problem, as thousands of Marines were part of this group. Two marines, one a Non Commissioned officer and the second an enlisted marine have been disciplined and awarded administrative punishment.

Both are on the active duty list. They have been given extra duties and loss of pay. The punishment is generally considered an administrative action in the military. It ranks way below a punishment awarded by a military court. This punishment does not debar a soldier from rising up to higher ranks. The punishment looks more like a token punishment as the problem facing the marine commanders is of gigantic proportion.

Guilty punished

With Congress breathing down the neck of the marine command, this punishment was necessary. Reports indicate that another 27 marines are under investigation by the criminal investigation arm of the army. The problem is not confined to the marines and now it is learned that other arms and groups had their own Facebook pages as well.

This is a matter of concern. In all probability along with the two punished, another dozen may also be disciplined. There is no chance of any action against the vast number of marines involved in this scandal. The chance that such an act will not recur is also zero.

Women and the army

The marine scandal has got the attention of the political leaders as well.

They have asked the top brass to do the cleaning act. This is easier said than done as historically women have been part of all armed forces since time immemorial as " camp followers." The US armies fighting the civil war had camp followers and so did the British army on the march in India. In the 21st century, the "camp followers" are no longer is existence, but the attraction of women for the soldier has not gone.

Such acts are bound to exist and can never be stamped out. This is the reason that some token punishment is given. If an entire corps was to be disciplined it would have led to a complete breakdown in morale.

Right step

The army top brass has done the right thing. A few ringleaders have been punished and the bulk of the troops warned. This is the best course of action in the present circumstances. Matters will die down for the moment till they surface again.