The adage every Marine is a rifleman has been usurped. Update to this previous story.

Via Marine Corps Times

The commandant of the Marine Corps told lawmakers that Marines who disarmed before departing Sanaa, Yemen during an embassy evacuation last month did so on the orders of U.S. Central Command and State Department officials.

Gen. Joseph Dunford fielded hard-edged questions on the mission Tuesday morning from Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., during a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee. Kline, a retired Marine officer, is the author of a letter to the State and Defense departments demanding detailed answers about a controversial order to Marines to destroy their weapons and depart the country unarmed.[…]

Prior to that departure, officials said, larger crew-served weapons were destroyed within the embassy, and Marines’ personal sidearms were rendered unusable and discarded upon arrival at the airfield in Sanaa.

“Even though we had a [Marine expeditionary unit] on standby, somebody made a decision to destroy all the crew-served weapons and have the Marines turn over their weapons,” Kline said. “It is my opinion that is an intolerable position … to be in a very dangerous situation and depend on trusting the very people who have put us in that very dangerous situation to not do us any harm while we turn over all our weapons.”

Dunford confirmed to Kline that the Marines had departed the airfield unarmed.

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