Hundreds of Marines are moving into a moldy barracks in North Carolina that has continued to decline since a 2019 building inspection found it “degraded but adequate”.
HP 225, the new home for a company of Marines assigned to the 3rd.
In fact, a tour of the three-story barracks on November 2 showed mold on the ceiling, walls, chairs and mattresses in at least two rooms, although the building was rated as “no major problems” in June. In reality there are many.
“Everyone is aware of the conditions in the barracks,” said the Navy to Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity. “A lot of people have brought it up, but the people who bring it up just don’t listen.”
The Navy said the barracks’ poor condition was passed on to non-commissioned officers, then commanders, and then to the battalion’s health officials. The Navy said the issue was even brought directly to the battalion commander. Ryan R. Gordinier, during a unit-wide formation sometime in August or September. Even so, earlier this week the Marines were ordered to move into the building.
“If it were the other way around and they had to live in these barracks, they wouldn’t be living in this shit,” said the marine. “And if they didn’t, why are they doing us?”
One of the worst rooms in the building is covered in a mosaic of mold from floor to ceiling and marked with tape. Although it is currently vacant, the Marine speaking to Task & Purpose claimed its leaders were trying to accommodate someone until a soldier vehemently refused.
“He went in there and said, ‘Fuck no, I’m not moving in,'” the Marine said, adding that Corps officials were trying to minimize the extent of the problem.
“I have a few friends and they all say there is mold in their rooms,” he said. “Every room has mold of some kind and they all found cockroaches in it.”
When asked for comment, a Marine official claimed that “no Marine will be forced to live in unsanitary or unhealthy living conditions” and said that only a “specific room has been identified where mold needs to be removed”. [and] Mildew.”
“As the Marines prepare to move, the rooms will be re-inspected by the leaders of their chain of command to see if any further cleaning is required,” said 2nd Lt. Mark P. Grill, a Marine spokesman, leaving open the possibility that more unsanitary conditions may be found.
This isn’t the first time Marines have lived in mold-infested barracks. Marines at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan were forced to wage a lost war on mold in their barracks last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photos showed moldy residue on the ceilings, walls and around the vents. The same mold build-up around vents can be seen in photos and videos of the barracks from 3/6, leading the Marines to wonder if the mold will stay there in the hardest hit rooms or if it will spread to other parts of the building spreads.
Although most of the photos provided to Task & Purpose showed black mold, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that “color is not an indication of how dangerous mold can be”. Still CDC notes that exposure to mold may lead to “various or no health effects” and at least one study found “sufficient evidence” linking indoor mold exposure to upper respiratory symptoms in otherwise healthy people.
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