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Marine Raider gets 4 years for Green Beret's hazing death in Mali
A Marine Raider was sentenced to four years imprisonment in Camp Lejuene brig for his role in the 2017 hazing incident that resulted in the death of a Green Beret, the Navy announced on Friday.
Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell Jr. plead guilty at general court-martial on Thursday to negligent homicide and other offenses as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in connection with the June 2017 hazing death of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Mali.
He was also sentenced to a reduction in rank to E-1 and a bad conduct discharge.
Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders were accused of breaking down the door to a sleeping Melgar's room and binding him with duct tape, reportedly as part of a plan to sexually assault him on camera to "embarrass" him.
Melgar died of asphyxiation after he was put in a chokehold during the incident, according to the Washington Post.
"This case is absolutely a tragedy and it was avoidable and just sad all around," Brian Bouffard, Maxwell's attorney, told Task & Purpose. "Speaking from what I know of Staff Sgt. Maxwell as I've come to know him since this case arose: He's filled with remorse over this and he's always going to be filled with remorse over this and his role in it."
"He and Logan Melgar were friends and he didn't act like his friend that night," he added.
Maxwell is the second of four U.S. special operations personnel to plead guilty so far. In May, Chief Special Warfare Officer Adam Matthews reached a pretrial agreement to plead guilty to charges of hazing, assault consummated by battery, burglary, and conspiracy to obstruct justice in exchange for referral to a special court-martial.
He was sentenced to one year in prison, reduction in rank to E-5, and given a bad conduct discharge.
"I have carried the weight of Sgt. Melgar's death every minute of every day since that night in Mali," Matthew said in an emotional statement in to the Norfolk, Virginia court. "This was my fault ... I humbly accept whatever punishment you think is warranted."
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A woman has filed a civil suit against a former member of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, saying she has suffered emotional distress and "a diminished capacity to enjoy life" in the years since he used a hidden camera at Barnes Air National Guard Base to record explicit images of her.
Former Tech Sgt. Jason Venne, 37, pleaded guilty in February to six counts of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude and seven counts of unlawful wiretap. He admitted putting a camera in the women's locker room at the Westfield base, recording images and video between 2011 and 2013 when he worked there as a mechanic.
Five people have been indicted in federal court in the Western District of Texas on charges of participating in a scheme to steal millions of dollars from benefits reserved for military members, U.S. Department of Justice officials said Wednesday.
As the military services each roll out new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol, or CBD, the Defense Department is not mincing words.
"It's completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time," said Patricia Deuster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
The warning, along with the policies issued recently by the Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of the Navy, comes as CBD is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country in many forms, from coffee additives and vaping liquids to tinctures, candies and other foods, carrying promises of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to sleeping aids and inflammation reduction.
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.
'We are a people organization' — Army leaders push renewed focus on soldiers amid rise in sexual assaults and suicides
After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."