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Marine Who Abandoned Unit During Desert Shield Dismissed

June 16, 1991

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif (AP) _ An officer who left his unit as it was being deployed to the Persian Gulf was dismissed from the Marine Corps in a court martial Saturday.

Lt. Tony Moradian, 26, of Los Angeles was convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer, said Cpl. Ray Sears, spokesman at Camp Pendleton. He was expelled from the Marine Corps and fined $3,000, Sears said.

Moradian left his assault helicopter squadron Dec. 9 in Hawaii, the day before the ship that was transporting the unit sailed for the Philippines en route to the Persian Gulf.

Moradian took a commercial flight to Southern California and returned to Camp Pendleton.

Moradian’s attorney, Capt. David Ingold, and Maj. C.M. Baldwin, head of legal services at Camp Pendleton, could not be reached by telephone for comment. Sears said both were unavailable for the weekend.

Ingold had said that even though he left his unit, Moradian had ″no qualms about what the Marine Corps (was) doing in the Persian Gulf, or why they’re doing it. He would like to stay in the Marine Corps. ... This is just a unique situation.″

″The decision had to do with his upbringing,″ Ingold had said. He wouldn’t elaborate.

Before Dec. 9, Moradian apparently had no blemishes on his military record. He attended college on an ROTC scholarship and performed well in flight school, earning a spot in the pilot’s seat of a Huey Cobra, Baldwin said.

Moradian had been assigned to an administrative post at Camp Pendleton pending the court martial.

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