My high school classmate, Major Jason Brezler, picked up a slight victory in his ongoing battle with high-ranking Marine Corps officials last week when a federal court judge ordered the military branch to prove it did not try to kick the officer out of the service when he sought help from Congressman Peter King over charges he mishandled classified information.
The Marine Corps has since agreed not to discharge Major Brezler until a federal judge has ruled on his lawsuit challenging the board’s decision.
More than 200 FDNY and USMC members showed up in uniform outside the courthouse to show their support for Major Brezler.
Judge Joseph Bianco gave the Marine Corps on Friday just 10 days to submit an affidavit showing that it intended to send Major Brezler to a board of inquiry before the service learned he was seeking help from a politician.
Major Brezler had met with Rep. King in 2013, just four months before Rep. King sent then-Commandant Gen. James Amos a letter raising concerns that the Marines had not followed proper procedures when issuing a fitness report.
Allegedly, the letter went to Amos’ staff, which is why he was shocked to first learn that Major Brezler went to Rep. King in an August 25, 2013 Marine Corps Times story.
Major Brezler was ordered to appear before the board of inquiry just five days after the story was posted online.
This past June, a Marine Corps attorney filed court papers denying that the board of inquiry was a retaliation method for the marine talking to Rep. King.
Though it is extremely rare for federal courts to reverse the results of a court martial, it has happened in a couple of previous cases.
As a reminder, Major Brezler ran into trouble in August 2012 when he sent a classified briefing about a corrupt Afghan soldier from his personal, unsecured email account to the operations officer at Forward Operating Base Dehli in Afghanistan.
Major Brezler helped to have the soldier removed from the base during his time of service in Afghanistan due to concerns of the officer abusing children.
His email warning was not taken seriously by base commanders.
Just days after his email, a boy servant the Afghan soldier likely abused, killed three U.S. Marines on the base.
The family of the late Greg Buckley is still fighting on Major Brezler’s behalf as they believe their son would not be dead today if only commanders had taken seriously Major Brezler’s email.
Major Brezler reported himself to the USMC after learning in sending the email, he was indeed circulating classified material.