Destroying Military Property Can Destroy a Military Career

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Q: Can a prank result in a bad conduct discharge?

A viral video on social media of a 173rd Airborne Brigade training exercise shows multiple Humvee vehicles attached to parachutes being dropped from the back of C-130s. The majority of them floated gently to the ground as expected, but three of the Humvees broke loose from their parachutes and came crashing to the ground below. In the video footage taken during the equipment drop in Germany, multiple men (presumably service members) can be heard off-camera laughing, cheering, and cursing as each vehicle fell. But it wasn’t funny when a court-martial defense attorney was needed.

While no one was reportedly injured in the incident, the three allegedly sabotaged Humvees– whose parachute cords were reportedly cut– were destroyed. After an investigation, one American Army Sergeant was charged in the incident.

Being charged with a crime in the military is serious and the punishment can be career- ending, depending on the severity of the offense, the level of court martial proceeding chosen, and the possible sentencing permitted. That’s why it’s important to hire a skilled civilian military defense attorney if you are charged with a crime.

Don’t risk your career, pay, rank, benefits, freedom, or even your life to the free defense counsel the military offers. Those free lawyers are often inexperienced, overworked, and may not have access to the resources available to the prosecution. Besides, they are hired to defend you by the very organization that is trying to convict you.

In the case at hand, the sergeant was reportedly found “guilty of three instances of destroying military property worth over $500 and of lying during the official criminal investigation”. For his punishment, he was allegedly “sentenced to a reduction in grade and a bad conduct discharge” after court martial.

If you are or believe you might be, facing a military court martial, you should contact a skilled civilian military defense attorney as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado, we represent service members in all branches, and of all ranks, anywhere in the world.

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