Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Navy Lt Who Apologized To Iran After 2016 Capture Gets To Keep His Job
The Navy officer who apologized to Iran after the crew of the riverine boats he was in command of were captured in January 2016, will be allowed to remain in the service after a separation board in Imperial Beach, California, ruled in his favor on April 18, according to Navy Times.
“What [the Navy] tried to do is use a teeny window of this regulation and drive a truck through it,” Phillip Lowry, Nartker’s Utah-based lawyer, told the newspaper. “And the board saw through it.”
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) January 13, 2016
The Navy was looking to give Lt. David Nartker the boot for two reasons. First, the service alleged that he disobeyed a general order — specifically, the standing order that boat crews were to go from Weapons Condition 4 to Weapons Condition 3 (weapons loaded, with an empty chamber) once they left their home base on a patrol:
Nartker was found guilty of that charge during an admiral’s mast last August, notes the Navy Times.
The second reason — well, it was more about appearances. Bad ones.
The Navy attempted to hit Nartker with a charge for “substandard performance based on his physical appearance and deportment,” a separation-level offense usually doled out to physically unsatisfactory sailors and those who have consistent trouble meeting grooming standards. Nartker wasn’t out of shape or unkempt, but his appearance in an Iranian propaganda video was a national embarrassment.
“The basis for the case was that he had been in the Iranian propaganda video and it made the Navy look bad — and because it made the Navy look bad, [Nartker] looked bad and therefore he should be fired," Lowry said.
Natker was among the 10 sailors who surrendered to the Iranian military after one of the two boats broke down in Iran’s territorial waters near Farsi Island. They had strayed into Iran’s territory accidentally, which Natker admitted to and apologized for in a filmed propaganda video. The crew was held for 16 hours and then released unharmed, but the footage of the apology and images of the sailors kneeling in surrender became a high-profile scandal for the Navy and fueled an international crisis.
The statement made by Nartker was a condition for the boat crew’s release, but it violated the code of conduct all service members must adhere to when in enemy hands, according to a military investigation.
For now, Nartker’s still in the Navy, but it’s unclear what his future will hold. Following his admiral’s mast last year, the 28-year-old surface warfare officer was stripped of his surface warfare officer qualifications and SWO insignia.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.