I guess the puppy was real after all.

The Marine Corps on Wednesday said it was expelling one Marine and disciplining another for their roles in a video showing a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff while on patrol in Iraq…

Lance Cpl. David Motari, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment at Kaneohe Bay, is “being processed for separation” from the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps said in a news release. He also received unspecified “non-judicial punishment.”…

“The actions seen in the Internet video are contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine and will not be tolerated,” Marine Corps Base Hawaii said in a news release. “The vast majority of Marines conduct their duties with honor and compassion that makes American people proud.”

Here’s the official release noting that the specifics of his NJP can’t be divulged. Question for Marines, Marine spouses, and anyone else capable of answering: On what grounds, precisely, was Motari “expelled”? Article 15 of the UCMJ doesn’t list expulsion or discharge as one of the available punishments for enlisted men. The worst sentence you can get, it appears, is “correctional custody” for 30 days. Did they just lean on him to quit (note that the official release says nothing about expulsion just that he’s being “processed for separation”) or is there something I’m missing? Furthermore, what’s the offense here? “Being a douchebag”? I’m guessing it falls under Article 134, but you tell me.

Update: A reader in the know e-mails:

I’m a former Marine Company Commander and have done many of these.

By the news stories, everything regarding the NJP seems correct. A Marine can be processed for administrative discharge for a variety of reasons (misconduct, pattern of misconduct, fraudulent enlistment, “good of the service”, humanitarian, etc). Marines discharged administratively are eligible for Honorable or General Discharges. General Discharges are characterized as either “General, Under Honorable Conditions” or “General, under Other than Honorable Conditions”. Each are determined by the totality of his service and the type of admin discharge received. A “Hums Sep” would most likely be an “Honorable” discharge. A “Misconduct” or “Pattern of Misconduct” would most likely receive an “OTH”.