Battle Rattle

Exclusive videos: Cpl. Rob Richards, Marine scout sniper, speaks on ‘urination video,’ getting wounded in Afghanistan

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Cpl Rob Richards, left, and his wife Raechel met with Marine Corps Times in their home on Sept. 11. (Mike Morones /Staff)

Marine Corps Times posted online last night my long-form profile of Cpl. Rob Richards, one of the Marine scout snipers who appeared in a video urinating on dead Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The video created an international uproar after it first appeared on the Internet in January 2012.

My story is posted in its entirety here. However, I also wanted to point out the work of staff videographer Mike Morones, who traveled me with for the interview to Jacksonville, N.C. With Richards’ permission, we recorded the interview and Morones edited together two video packages.

First, here’s Richards speaking on how the incident in question occurred:

Richards also spoke at length about recovering from an improvised explosive device blast that wounded him in Afghanistan in 2010. He deployed to the war zone again in 2011, the year the urination video was recorded:

If you’re interested, there’s a photo slide show accompanying the story available here.

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  1. Momma Ang Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Garrett… You are absolutely correct. And while I have never gone to war I would NEVER judge those who have been for their actions while in the midst of combat. Take Luck Marine!

  2. Greg Parsons Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Stand strong Marine, you did right, fuck the poags that sit in there office and bad mouth you about what you did, as they eat their hot meals and sleep in a comfortable bed every night.
    And fuck all those that have an opinion on your actions when they have never walked in your combat weary boots. Semper Fi Brother

    Greg Parsons,
    Corporal USMC, ’81-’87 2-6 TOWS

  3. Donald Key Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Semper Fi Brother, I`m a nam vet and what you did was nothing to what was done in nam. stand tall Marine for we are with you it`s a Brotherhood.

  4. garrett Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    No one will ever understand what war is like for us unless you are standing right there next to us. For this Marine to be scrutinized by people that dont know is far beyond wrong. Stay hard devil. Semper Fi.

  5. The Experience Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    You should run for President. People need a leader who isn’t afraid to piss on our enemies (figuratively and literally) rather than apologize to them.

  6. Lorenzo LaManti Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Semper Fi my brother. You’re a hero.

  7. GySgt(RET) Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Keep your head up, In my opinio you got a RAW deal, hung out to dry….You only did what hundreds wanted to do

  8. Lorenzo LaMantia Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Love those Corpsmen.

  9. Maj C Cox, (Ret) Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    thanks for all did bro.

  10. Frank Parker Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Marine thankyou for your service ,to see a man’s career end on 1 action speaks volumes on how the politician’s use the military for their purpose. Semper Fi

  11. John D. Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Semper Fidelis, brother. Crock of sh** you lost rank and were forced out.. If they only knew. Stay frosty, brother..

  12. Michael J Church Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you for your service. You are honorable in my eyes. Semper Fi brother.

  13. Patrick Hunt Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Semper Fi Bro! Nobody who’s ever earned the EGA knows what a Band of Brothers truly means. I am here for you bro!

    Corporal Patrick Hunt

  14. JoyceK Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    God Bless this Marine and all soldiers who fight on our behalf. I would have done the same thing! The vid made me proud! Anyone who is critical of those actions needs to sign up, do the time and walk in Marine boots in Afghanistan. And if they still can be critical, then go to hell. Thank you Corporal Rob Richards for all you have gone through. Hope you are healed now from all injuries.

  15. Jason Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I support you 100% brother.

  16. Lonnie Rush Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Semper Fi man!

  17. Don Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Good looking out for your bro’s. When, I saw the pics… I wished one of you had the shits.
    I’m glad you lived to tell your side of the story.

    Semper Fi

  18. Brian Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Honesty and said Like a Gent…..NOTHING But Respect…

  19. Alex Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 3:24 am

    Was in Afghan when this all went down. I feel bad that you had you had to go out like that. Keep doing what you have to. Keep at it, brother.

    Cpl Tomy

  20. The Learned Sergeant Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    We’re the good guys. We shouldn’t be pissing on the bodies of our enemies. We should kill them and kill them well. Pulling a stripe was legit, maybe a page 11. It shouldn’t have been a career ender though. Our Corps is getting soft.

    That said, the good corporal still looks like he can kick some ass right now.

    0352 / ’99-’05

  21. Dennis Forster Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    War changes people. After seeing what the enemy has done to your fellow soldiers bodies, you don’t see the enemy as being a human. This had happen to me in Vietnam. After my first tour was over I volunteered to stay for another tour and I did, just to butcher more of them as they did to us. I had more close calls than the first tour, but I made it out alive.
    Cpl Rob Richards is a true Sheepdog.

  22. Connie Piper Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    The Learned Sgt is not so learned if he things “pulling a stripe” from the HEROIC and INTREPID Marines is the right thing to do. Taliban are SCUM, VILE COCKROACHES who need to be annihilated. The decapitate and desecrate when they can and no one is in an uproar about what they did to our VALOROUS MARINES. LEAVE ROB RICHARDS and his fellow Marines ALONE! Marine Corps leadership should be ASHAMED of themselves for how they have treated these VALIANT WARRIORS. My (late) Husband was a Scout Sniper just like these AWESOME MEN and how do you think I feel knowing that there are COWARDS and TRAITORS out there that would punish GOOD and LOYAL men. These men were too good for the Marine Corps is what I say!! Connie Piper, Special Forces Gold Star Wife. P.S. By the way, all you cowardly critics need to go fight just like these Marines do and then tell everyone how you feel – if you survive.

  23. Connie Piper Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    By the way, shame of the lawyers who are even charging these AWESOME and Fearless Marines. They should defend them at NO CHARGE whatsoever!! If it were not for valorous Warriors fighting and dying for this ungrateful nation, we would not even have a judicial system for the lawyers to enjoy – this place would be like Afghanistan and other —holes of the world where our poor Marines have to fight. Send the lawyers and politicians to war. I never hear of THEM on the Front lines swapping lead ! and send the cowards & traitors that dare to criticize & judge these AWESOME Warriors!!

  24. Connie Piper Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Oh yes and the “learned sgt” says the Corps is getting soft, this is the only thing I agree on..the LEADERSHIP is soft, the bow to political pressure and therefore the GARBAGE ROE’s and other cowardly things to which they subject our Warrior Marines. I DONATED to Rob’s cause and wish I had more money to send. I HOPE others donate and I hope the lawyers LOWER their fees! They should have the decency to do this PRO BONO!! I greatly admire Rob’s wife for being loyal and standing by him. I’m your FAN Rob and this goes for the other AWESOME Marines as well !! LOTS of people love you out here! You should work for a good contractor and make SO MUCH more money than the Marines paid you. Google K-2 Solutions and there are SO MANY people ya’ll can work for now.

  25. Rice (Camera Supplier) Says:
    September 25th, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you for your service.

  26. David J. Kane Says:
    September 25th, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    The bladder produces roughly 125 cc of urine in an hour. When Judas died he shit himself. Legend has it that Isaiah was thrown naked in a hollow log to be sawn in half. John the Baptist was beheaded like many others (Paul Marshal Johnson). Rizpah’s sons were hung in front of her and she laid with their bones for weeks. Uriah was sent on a suicide mission so the King could fuck his wife. I forget, what did you do again..

  27. David J. Kane Says:
    September 25th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Where Unity exists in war happens to evil.

  28. John C Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    This was bullshit to the max, this should have been settled in-house. This was just to appease scumbag politicians and there agenda, trust me they put a gun to your flag officers. I’m in the Army and we were flipping shit when we saw and heard about this. We all support you!

  29. US Marine DAD Says:
    September 28th, 2013 at 12:52 am

    A hero. Ordered to do what the Commander-in-Chief commanded. Then used as a scapegoat for political agendas. Reminds me of the 70′s. Shameful America. Wake up!

  30. Wife of former Marine Says:
    September 28th, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Rob – your sentiments sound exactly like what my husband has said. He is proud to have been a Marine, would go back in a heart beat. The sense of unity and duty is incredible to me. My husband served more than 30 years ago and still deals with crap from being in combat. Its a love/hate kind a thing.

    THANK YOU for talking publicly – it will help many men, women and their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.

  31. GySgt Says:
    October 1st, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Thank you for your service and Semper Fi brother. I want to commend Racheal on being by her husbands side through this whole turmoil. She shows what a lot of young wives have to deal with. She represents a small percentage of wives that remain loyal to their loved one during a combat deployment. Thank you Racheal.

  32. donnae Says:
    October 13th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I am not sure I would not have done worse things- esp if I have been in a bomb blast and injured by those idiots! How dare anyone even be insulted? Well we are highly insulted by the killing (not being urinated on) of our service men and women-If they want to live by the sword-then they die by the sword. Does anyone really care that they were insulted? not me!