Marine General relieved in 2020 for using slur, retired this year
May 3, 2022

According to Starts And Stripes, the Marine Corps Inspector General spoke on Major General Stephen Neary’s use of the “n-word” while speaking to Marines.

In July of 2020 Gen. Neary approached a group of junior Marines on his headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The eight Marines were listening to “Put It On,” by rap artist, Big L. Neary, who according to reports was offended by language used in the song and addressed it with the Marines directly.

General Neary and the Marines he spoke with both tell similar versions of the same story, both of which involve the Genral’s use of the “n-word”,

Neary, described what he said to the Inspector general: “You cannot play songs that use [full n-word] in it because it is counter to good order and discipline. … We have a problem when we think it is acceptable. Look what is going on across our country.”

The Marines, one of whom later filed an official complaint, told the Inspector general that Nealy had said, “[full n-word] should never be used and it is a word of hate.” According to one Marine, Neary also added that “[full n-word] is the reason you people are doing riots in the U.S. You people are the reason why the country is the way it is.”

The conversation took place just months after the court-ruled murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Speaking to that, Neary said, “it’s your generation that’s burning buildings down and starting these protests.”

The Marines also alleged that the General said, “go ahead and call HR, I’m the head of HR.”

General Neary admitted to using the “m-word” but maintained that it was not out of hate or bigotry, but “for clarity and to denounce its use.” Neary also denied using the word more than once and also denied ever saying ‘you people’ when addressing the junior Marines who filed the complaint.

The Inspector General ultimately concluded the following:

“Neary failed to demonstrate exemplary conduct, as defined by the standard, through his insensitive comments and lack of awareness and appreciation for how divisive his use of a racial slur would be on his organization and offensive to his Marines,”

In October of 2020, General Neary was relieved of his command as Commander of Marine Forces Europe and Africa. He retired earlier this year.

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