A Marine Corps Reserve officer was ordered home from Norway and dismissed from the service for carrying out mock executions of “captured” Norwegian soldiers during a NATO exercise, officials said Monday.
The Marines said the incident occurred March 12 near Bardufoss in northern Norway during a North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercise.
During the exercise, Norwegian soldiers who had been taken “prisoner” by the Marine Reserve unit were ordered one by one to stand up against a wall to face a firing squad using blank ammunition.
When one Norwegian officer refused to leave his car, a Marine put his rifle through the car window and fired blanks at the officer, a Norwegian spokesman said.
“They later explained it was a joke--but it was a bad joke and nobody thought it was funny at all,” Norwegian Maj. Gen. Torkel Hovland said in Oslo.
“The officer in charge of an element of the reserve unit was immediately relieved of his duties and returned to the United States. He was subsequently removed from the Marine Corps Reserve through administrative process,” the Marine statement said.
The officer was identified as a captain but the Marine Corps declined to name him.