Marines and their families may have noticed a familiar newspaper missing from the checkout lines at base exchanges.
The Marine Corps Times, an independent newspaper that had been prominently displayed at base exchanges, has now been pushed to the back of the store, according to the paper’s managing editor.
Andrew deGrandpre told NBC 7 that military leaders removed the paper from checkout lanes last December. He said the newspaper learned about the decision through a distributor, not from the Marine Corps Exchanges.
“It’s a little unsettling only because we have a longstanding relationship with the exchange services,” deGrandpre said.
According to deGrandpre, Marine Corps leaders told the newspaper that the change is part of an effort to “professionalize” storefronts.
Besides being pushed to the back of the store, deGrandpre said the new policy also limits the number of copies that can be on display.
“There’s absolutely going to difficulty for Marines to not only find the product, but also to purchase one if they want,” he said.
On Monday, the Marine Corps declined to speak to NBC 7 about the issue.
However, people at the Marine Corps Times are wondering if the move was in response to an ongoing investigation into Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and his legal team.
“This stems from a YouTube video that surfaced in 2012 showing four Marine Scout Snipers urinating on the remains of dead insurgents in Afghanistan,” deGrandpre explained.
“(It) led to a pretty big outcry not only in Afghanistan, but also in the states as well. But it raised questions if the commandant and those close to him might have abused their authority to make sure these Marines were punished for what they did,” he said.
DeGranpre said the paper tried to resolve the issue over product placement with the military privately, but officials were uncooperative and the Marine Corps Times went public with the issue.
The retail director at the Marine Corps Exchange at MCAS Miramar said he could not comment.