2 soldiers were dropped a rank for 'bullying' after they catfished another soldier and shared their nude photos with their unit

news
Sexual Assault

Two soldiers with the 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Germany were recently punished after they catfished a fellow soldier and shared the soldier's nude photographs with others in their unit


The incident was first flagged by U.S. Army WTF Moments, which this week posted a photo of the unit's newsletter announcing a NCO and PFC "received Article 15s for Bullying,' according to Army Times.

Photo: U.S. Army WTF Moments

According to the newsletter, a staff sergeant and private "conspired ... to use a fake social media account and obtain nude photographs" from another Pvt. 1st Class.

The two pretended to be "a fictional romantic interest," and got the other private send nude photos, which they then shared with other soldiers in their company and "joked about."

They both received Article 15s and were reduced a rank. The genders of those involved weren't made clear in the post.

This comes just a day after the Pentagon released it's latest sexual assault report, which showed assaults are at a four-year high; most of the perpetrators are E-3 to E-5, at the same rank or slightly above their victims.

While more cases of assault are being reported, fewer are being referred to court-martial in part because commanders are using administrative action to deal with offenders.

On Thursday, hours before the Pentagon's report was released, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand raised this issue to Army Chief of Staff nominee Gen. James McConville, asking for his commitment to making the eradication of assault a priority.

"It's an issue of climate," Gillibrand said. "There's been an increase overall for percentage of all members who experienced unhealthy climate. This is your job. This is chain of command's job. You set the tone ... We have heard from survivors that the reason they don't report as often as they could is because they don't believe the chain of command will have their back."

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act made "revenge porn" — maliciously distributing sexually explicit photos of another person — criminal under the UCMJ, mostly as a result of the 2017 "Marines United" scandal. Article 117a, which addresses the issue of sharing sexually explicit content, applies to the "broadcast" and "distribution" of images.

The 21st TSC did not immediately respond to request for comment from Task & Purpose.

SEE ALSO: Military Sexual Assaults Have Reached A Four-year High As The Pentagon Downplays Its Failures

(Associated Press/Gregory Bull)

The Navy has paused proceedings that could strip Eddie Gallagher and three other SEALs of their tridents while the service awaits a written order to formally stand down, a senior Navy official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, was expected to decide on the matter after the SEALs appeared before a review board next month. But Trump tweeted on Thursday that Gallagher was in no danger of losing his trident, a sacred symbol of being part of the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

Read More Show Less
(Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra)

Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.

The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.

Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.

"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."

To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.

Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.

"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.

Read More Show Less
T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

The commander of the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment has been relieved over a loss of "trust and confidence in his ability to lead" amid an investigation into his conduct, a Corps official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Col. Lawrence F. Miller was removed from his post on Thursday morning and replaced with his executive officer, Lt. Col. Larry Coleman, who will serve as interim commander of the Quantico, Virginia based unit.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump has nixed any effort by the Navy to excommunicate Eddie Gallagher from the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted on Thursday. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

Read More Show Less