An investigation was launched this week into a video showing two saluting Marines in blackface.
The Marines are wearing their combat uniforms in the video, which has been viewed more than 245,000 times on social media, according to USA Today. One is heard saying, “Blackface” and “Hello, monkey.”
The Third Marine Air Wing in San Diego opened the investigation, the paper reported Thursday.
“We are aware of the post. An investigation has been initiated to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the content," Maj. Josef Patterson, a spokesman for the squadron, said, according to KPBS-FM.
The station reported Monday that one of the Marines in the video Zach Highfield said in a brief interview that the blackface is made of charcoal masks, used to clean pores.
“It looks a lot worse than it is,” Highfield told the station.
He added that he didn’t mean to post the images.
“It was a bad mistake,” he said, KPBS quoted him as saying. “We had no intention to offend.”
He said he takes full responsibility, the station reported.
It was recently revealed that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page includes a photo of one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan uniform. Northam apologized for appearing in the “racist and offensive” photo and then said he wasn’t either one of the persons in the photo. He has spurned calls urging him to resign over the photo.