Marine released on own recognizance after bond hearing

Published: Jun. 6, 2014 at 11:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM EDT
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PARRIS ISLAND (WTOC) - A high ranking Parris Island Marine who faces assault and battery charges is out on his own personal recognizance.

Sergeant Major Paul Archie, 44, appeared before a magistrate judge Friday afternoon after turning himself in.

Police said he assaulted former Marine Ethan Arguello and drove off with his drill instructor hat.

On June 5, officers were monitoring a protest at the westbound exit ramp of Parris Island and Parris Island Gateway.

Former Parris Island drill instructor Arguello, who organized the protest in response to the swap of five Al Qaeda members for POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, claims a Parris Island Marine approached him along part of Ribaut Road about his hat.

"He pulls up and he walks up to me and says, 'Are you Ethan Arguello?' I said 'yes', and he said 'I spoke to you on the phone yesterday' and I said 'yes'. He said 'I know I told you not to wear that campaign cover,'" said Arguello.

Police said when Archie approached Arguello, they engaged in a heated argument.

During the argument, Archie's head struck the hat knocking it off Arguello's head.

Arguello and others were protesting near Parris Island over President Barack Obama's controversial prisoner exchange.

Authorities said he was stopped at the gate of Parris Island and the hat was retrieved and returned to Arguello.

Archie enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1988.

He is scheduled to appear in court next month, and has also been ordered to stay away from Arguello.

After a heated altercation with Parris Island's highest ranking enlisted Marine Thursday, former Marine Ethan Arguello continued his protest Friday morning.

This video of Arguello and Depot Sergeant Major Paul Archie has gone viral with hundreds of comments and Facebook shares.

It shows Archie taking the drill instructor hat from Arguello.

Now to the general public, this may just be a hat that any military officer can do whatever they want after they're out.

Retired Marine Ron Voegeli had some strong words for Ethan Arguello after we showed him the video of the scuffle.

"If this gentleman was a Marine, has been a Marine, he knows better than that, he should've been arrested," said Voegeli.

He says he supports Depot Sergeant Major Paul Archie 100% and sees no signs of an assault.
"I think the young marine is lucky the sergeant didn't punch him," he added.

Ron Voegeli spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, three of those as a drill instructor at Parris Island.

He takes tremendous pride in his military career and proudly displays several mementos in his office.

"This is very special to me," he remarked.

One of those prized possessions is his campaign cover which is mounted on his wall as a symbol of the blood, sweat and tears that he and so many other drill instructors worked to earn.

And he says what Arguello did was disgraceful.

"If he was a Marine and he went to DI school, honor, courage and commitment ought to be the three things…those are the core cores of the Marine Corps," said Voegeli.

But Arguello disagrees.

"I served long and hard, I earned this cover, it's my cover. Obviously they can have their own opinions, that's fine," he said.

Voegeli says the saddest part of all is that this incident takes away from commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day…a day that his uncle fought so bravely when he stormed the beaches of Normandy.

To clarify, the Marine Corps has strict stipulations for when a drill instructor can wear their campaign cover as an active duty member. But once they're out, it's an implied understanding that Marines will honor what it symbolizes.

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