The 173rd Airborne Brigade soldier charged in connection with the spectacular destruction last year of three Humvees that slipped free from their parachutes during a drop and plummeted to earth is not a parachute rigger. He is a Germany-based scout who’d been assigned to assist the brigade’s Italy-based parachute riggers during the exercise, authorities said.
Already punished in connection with the incident is a soldier who was heard laughing and cursing as he shot video of the falling Humvees on April 11, 2016, at the Hohenfels training area. He has been reprimanded, Christian Marquardt, a 7th Army Training Command spokesman, said Thursday.
More serious consequences face Sgt. John Skipper, a scout with the Germany-based 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne). Skipper, who had been detailed to assist the 173rd’s 601st Quartermaster Company, based at Aviano Air Base, was charged in May with several counts of destruction of government property and making a false official statement.
Brig. Gen. Tony Aguto, 7th ATC commander, will decide whether the case proceeds to court-martial.
The charge of destruction of government property falls under Article 108 of the Unified Code of Military Justice, which prohibits damage, destruction, or loss, either “willfully caused by the accused” or as a result of negligence. The maximum punishments for each vary considerably. Destroying property valued at more than $500 through neglect carries a maximum punishment of a year in prison, a bad-conduct discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Willful destruction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
A Humvee can cost up to $220,000.
Marquardt declined to say whether the government was alleging Skipper had acted willfully or negligently.
A video of the incident has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube.
The soldier who made the video is a sergeant assigned to the the 7th ATC’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center as an “observer trainer coach.” His administrative letter of reprimand came from the JMRC commander, Marquardt said.
“The reprimand addressed the unprofessional comments the soldier made during the video, and the fact that he shared the video with others, which resulted in it being posted to social media by an unknown individual,” Marquardt said in an email.
Army Futures Command will reach fully operational status just before the newest gem of the Army's modernization plan sees its first birthday on August 24th, officials announced on Tuesday.
AFC Commander Gen. John "Mike" Murray told reporters at a technologies showcase on Tuesday that the command will be fully operational on July 31st before showing off everything AFC personnel have been working on over the last year, from night vision goggles and robotic vehicles to new air- and missile-defense capabilities.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been told to stop using the Marine Corps' emblem and the 1st Marine Division's motto in his campaign literature, Corps officials confirmed.
The Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office has sent Hunter, a Marine veteran, a cease and desist letter telling him to quit using the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem along with the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy," on a fundraising mailer that accuses his political opponent of having links to terrorism, NBC News first reported on Wednesday.
Arapahoe County sheriff's deputies have arrested a U.S. Army recruiter for investigation of soliciting girls as young as 10 years old for sex after he allegedly sent selfies calling himself "Colorado batman," the sheriff's department reported.
An Army appeals court has rejected Bowe Bergdahl's claim that President Trump's public description of him as "a no-good traitor who should have been executed" and other comments on the disgraced soldier's case constituted unlawful command influence (UCI).
The Marine Corps must update its parental-leave policies to give new moms and dads time with their newborns, the service's new top general wrote this week, including considering a full year's worth of leave for women who've had a child.
Marines should not be expected to choose between being the best parent possible and their career duties, Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote in his planning guidance released to the force Tuesday.
"These outcomes should never be in competition to the extent that success with one will come at the expense of the other," Berger wrote. "Our parental/maternity leave policies are inadequate and have failed to keep pace with societal norms and modern talent management practices."