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Troops charged in death of Special Forces soldier reportedly planned to sexually assault him on camera
The special operations troops charged in the death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Mali reportedly entered his room on June 4, 2017 and planned to tie him up and sexually assault him while it was filmed with a cell phone camera, Dan Lamothe of The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Citing a written stipulation of facts submitted by Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell — one of four charged in Melgar's death — LaMothe reported that after the group burst into Melgar's bedroom with a sledgehammer, they planned to have a Malian security guard sexually assault him while an unnamed British special operator recorded it.
The plan to enter the Green Beret's room was part of an attempt to "embarrass" and haze him for what happened the prior evening, when Melgar left two Marines he was supposed to escort in an unknown part of Bamako, Navy SEAL Chief Adam Matthews testified.
The next day, the group entered Melgar's room and attempted to duct tape him as one put him in a chokehold. He died of asphyxiation a short time later.
Maxwell is expected to plead guilty to negligent homicide and other offenses as part of a plea agreement at a general court-martial on Thursday. The plea would come less than a month after Matthews pleaded guilty to offenses related to Melgar's death and was sentenced to one year in prison, reduction in rank to E-5, and a bad conduct discharge.
Both Maxwell and Matthews will testify against others as part of their plea deals with prosecutors. Two other operators, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez and Navy SEAL Chief Anthony DeDolph, have not yet entered pleas.
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."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.