My first military hearing. I get to watch a bright career go down the drain.

Also sometimes called a court-martial. I get to go witness the hearing this Friday for a friend of mine who was caught using drugs.

This really blows, ya know? I’m intrigued by the whole process, but this friend of mine is gonna get the shaft royally. The minimum punishment will be 3-6 months in confinement ((Military prison sucks.)), a dishonorable discharge ((Good luck finding a job anywhere but McDonalds.)), forfeiture of all pay ((Yeah, that helps.)), and a reduction in rank ((That’s just adding insult to injury.)).

To make it worse, she’s a good troop. Hard-worker, does her job and does it well, real sharp looking, in great shape ((That’s a job requirement for us.)), and very intelligent. But her career gets thrown away just because she made a mistake that didn’t hurt anyone.

I’m trying not to defend her, but it’s really hard. She did make the mistake. She made it consciously. She knew the rules… but still.

I don’t know… I’m not sure of all the details. I guess I’ll go Friday and see what happens. Maybe then my opinion will change. Until then, if you wouldn’t mind keeping my friend in your thoughts, I would appreciate it. I would tell you her name, but that’s classified for now. We all call her Rahz.

Thanks all. :frowning:

Simetra, it sucks about your friend. I am truly sorry. However, depending on the drug, and when she was taking it, she was taking a chance that her mistake could have hurt someone. I’d hate to think of someone with a drug hangover having their finger on the button, for example.

I do hope, however, that she will be able to recover from this and go on to a good life and a good career somewhere else.

Really, really does suck, however…

{{{{{{{{{Rahz}}}}}}}}}} and {{{{{{{{{{{Simetra}}}}}}}}}}
(If you military types don’t mind hugs…)

::smacks head and grimaces::

I’ve never had the opportunity to sit on a court-martial, and I can’t quite say I look forward to it. Yeah, she made a bad mistake, and with all the Ecstasy busts going on, I can’t say I blame JAG. But it does really suck that you are losing a good troop . . . :frowning:

But, Simetra it’s like burying the dead. It’s an unfortunate task, but it is a duty that must be done, and must be done properly. Hold your head high, and do what you gotta . . .

My thoughts for both of you . . .

If Rahz were to learn some Autocad and move to Chicago I might be able to do something for her. We all fuck up now and then.

Yeah… I know. I can’t say that it didn’t hurt anyone. That’s why we are zero tolerance on drug use. We have a job that affects the security of our nation. Whether it’s directly or indirectly, that’s not something you can do when you’re not 100%. I’m just letting my personal feelings skew my judgement. I really hate this for her.

And that’s exactly what it was. An OSI official was placed into their “clique” of friends… built up a trust… and then called it in. Just goes to show you how easily you can get caught. None of us even guessed that this person was OSI.

Oh well… thanks for the thoughts guys. I really do appreciate it.

Please let us know what happens, Simetra. I know this is painful, but of course, all your friends here care…

I definitely will.

Thanks again.

It’s understandable to feel that way, Simetra. I was reading something on AF News I think written by a female airman up on drug charges. She had just made a single mistake and was facing the same situation. You could really tell from her words how sorry she was and how much she wanted to stay in the AF. It always gives you that feeling of wanting to make this one exception, especially when the person is a real good airman. That there is a personal connection only makes it so much worse. But it’s the nature of our job, and we all chose it. We know the rules, and if we break them, we know the consequences. It’s a tough standard to hold, and no one is immune from slipping. I hope things work out for her. Maybe her status as a good airman will get her a more lenient sentence.

I don’t know how things have changed since I was in but I was baliff at a drug court martial in the no-tolerance days of the early eighties. Long story short, the defentant was AWOL so cort martial held in absentia. As baliff I got to see all the proceedings, even what the court martial (the jury in this sense of the term) did not. I thought he was stone cold guilty but due to poor evidence chain handling they found him not guilty. He was charged with UA and later lost a stripe but that was a cakewalk compared to the drug charge. The kicker was that they took all the reefer he had in little baggies for sale and dumped it into a single, sealed evidence bag. There was enough to fill a shoe box but since there was no evidence of intent to distribute and sell they didn’t convict. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. I don’t have complete sympathy for your friend but hope things work out in the long run.

What was even more astonishing was then they adjourned for lunch they handed me the bag of dope to guard. I’m just glad they didn’t notice teeth marks on the plastic when they got back. :rolleyes:

I’d second or third all the commentary about losing a good troop, except

Assuming her NCOs did their jobs about making sure she knew about the relavent articles of the UCMJ, she’s not a good troop. She may be a great person and a hard worker, but she’s violated the trust and safely of the troops around her, and that does not a “good troop” make.

It sucks watching someone you trusted go down, especially when it means you’ve got to look in the mirror and decide if you knowingly misplaced your trust, of if you were duped. Either way, it’s its a sad, hard realization. And it sucks righteously watching someone you like get the hard end from a system that moves with the finality of a headman’s axe, even when they’re completely in the wrong.

Something major must have been found for it to go in front of a Trial Board. In my (Naval only) experience, Wrongful Use of a Controlled Substance almost always wound up in NJP, and sometimes, in marginal cases, wasn’t even career-ending. The only times I saw it go to Courts Martial was wheen there was distribution going on, or when some Sea Lawyer decided they had a better chance in full court, where Rules of Evidence are applicable. In the latter case, if the defendant lost, they usually got the book thrown at them. Officers detest Courts Martial as much as, if not more than, anyone, and drop the hammer on anyone making them convene an unnecessary Board.