Marines remove general investigated over alleged racial slur

In this July 27, 2020 photo provided by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service; DIVIDS, U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Neary, Marine Forces Europe and Africa commander, left, speaks to Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 20.2, MARFOREUR/AF during a visit to Morn Air Base, Spain. The Marines said in a brief statement Tuesday, Oct. 20, that Neary was relieved of command on Monday. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tawanya Norwood via AP) (Cpl. Tawanya Norwood)

WASHINGTON – The Marine Corps has removed a two-star general from command of Marine forces in Europe and Africa based on an investigation into allegations that he used a racial slur during a training event, officials said Tuesday.

The decision to relieve Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary of command of Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, headquartered in Germany, was made by the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger.

“Neary was relieved due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in command,” the Marines said in a brief written statement. Neary had assumed command in July.

A Marine spokesman, Maj. Eric Flanagan, said separately that Berger acted on the basis of what had been determined in an official investigation of the allegation that Neary had used a racial slur. Details of those findings have not been disclosed.

The Stars and Strips newspaper reported earlier this month that the Marines had confirmed they were investigating an allegation that Neary had used a derogatory term for Black people in the presence of other Marines.