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A Navy SEAL and Marine Raider accused of murdering a Green Beret in Mali are due in court next week
A Navy SEAL and a Marine Raider charged with murder in connection with the hazing death of Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar are scheduled to appear at an Article 32 hearing on Aug. 5, Navy officials have announced.
Navy Special Operations Chief Tony DeDolph and Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez are accused of taking part in the June 2017 assault on Melgar in Bamako, Mali.
The Washington Post previously reported that four U.S. troops, a British special operator, and a Malian security guard intended to bind Melgar and make a video of him being sexually assaulted.
The two other U.S. troops involved with Melgar's death have already pleaded guilty as part of plea agreements with prosecutors.
Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews was sentenced to one year in prison, reduction in rank to E-5, and a possible bad conduct discharge. Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell Jr. was sentenced to four years in prison, reduction in rank to E-1, and a bad conduct discharge.
At his sentencing, Matthews testified that DeDolph allegedly placed Melgar in a chokehold until he asphyxiated. DeDolph is also accused of trying to cover up how Melgar died by initially telling investigators that he and the Green Beret had been wrestling at the time of his death.
Given that two service members have already pleaded guilty in connection with Melgar's death, DeDloph's civilian attorney Phillip Stackhouse said he expects charges against his client will be referred to a general court-martial.
"The credibility of witnesses requested weigh heavily on whether probable cause exists and the just handling of this case," said Stackhouse, a retired Marine major. "Thus far, the government attorneys have recommended denying all defense witness requests, but the hearing officer has directed several witnesses be produced and present. We will see if credibility is important to justice."
Madera-Rodriguez's civilian attorney is Colby Vokey, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel.
"This was just one big tragic accident,"Vokey told Task & Purpose.
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.