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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Marines Expelled 'Problem Recruit' Bowe

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Marine Corps Reserves spokesman has said that former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe was discharged after one week not strictly because he wanted out, but because he was a "problem" recruit who "refused to train."


"This was just a case of a recruit who simply refused to train," said Major Rick Long, a Marine spokesman at Parris Island, South Carolina. "There were a lot of occasions when he was told to do something and he just said, 'No, I'm not going to do it.'"


Long said the Marines believe Bowe wanted to leave and purposely behaved in a manner that left the Marines little choice but to discharge him. Bowe, 29, of Fort Washington, Maryland, outside Washington, could not be reached for comment, but his lawyer and financial adviser, Jeffrey Fried, said Monday that Bowe quit because of his family.


"I truly believe that he underestimated how much he would miss his wife and children when he made the decision to join the Marines," Fried said.


Long said he wanted to clarify reports that he said gave the impression Bowe was allowed to leave the Marines voluntarily last week after realizing that he had made a mistake by joining.


"You don't sign a contract with the United States Marine Corps, come in here, start training, and then say, 'Oops, I think I want to go home,' and then just leave," Long said. "It's not that easy."


The Marines decided to expel their uncooperative recruit because the service didn't want him, not because Bowe wanted out, Long said.


Long said it became obvious that Bowe was "a problem" recruit during those initial five days after processing, and that his behavior became worse Feb. 18 when he refused to train.


Long said normally a small percentage of recruits refuse to train and eventually are allowed to leave.