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A series of pertinent – and impertinent — comments about military justice.


The Washington Post reports that the Army has recommended no further punishment for retired General David Petraeus. He pleaded guilty in April in a North Carolina Federal court to a misdemeanor charge — mishandling classified materials.   He received two years’ probation and a $100, 000 fine.   Reportedly, he admitted in a signed statement that some of his conduct occurred while he was still serving in the Army before he retired in 2011. 

Sardonically, we are willing to place a modest wager that he will not lose rank in an Officer Grade Determination Board Action… but we will see….

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The 14 December New York Times reports that Captain Simratpal Singh, a Sikh soldier  and West Point graduate, will be allowed to wear his beard and wear  turban.  The TIMES reports that the decision is temporary.

The newspaper also reports that this is the first time “in decades” the military has provided religious accommodation for an active duty combat soldier to be given such a dispensation.   Perhaps – but if memory serves, there have been Sikh officers allowed such accommodation in the past.    We used such a picture to help persuade the AFBCMR to grant an honorable discharge to a Rastafarian Captain refused on religious grounds to cut her hair

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Military TIMES reports that the Pentagon has named Brig. Gen. Diana Holland  the first female commandant of cadets at West Point.

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The Air Force will have enlisted pilots for the first time since World War II!  So says the Air Force TIMES. The Air Force was quick to insist was not a trend – enlisted pilots, for the present, will be limited to some remotely-piloted aircraft.

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Several organizations have filed briefs urging the U. S. Supreme Court to hear the case of military child whose medical malpractice suit was dismissed.  Her injuries stem from complications during her birth from an active-duty mother. The petitioners see the case as an overreach of the Feres doctrine, the exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act barring active-duty troops from suing the government.

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SOME NICE THANK YOU’S.  TR, an Army Lt. Col. who secured an 80% retirement writes: “Thanks for all  of your help and letting me know this was even possible.”  And  JC writes to thank the Military Defender for a positive correction boards  result  – JC thinks of us “with appreciation every time the retirement check posts….”

Golden Oldies

A recent television show on America’s slang centered on military terms. They note:

·        “Balls to the wall” is an old Air Force expression.   “Balls” refers  to the large handles on throttles.  “The wall” is the maximum position of throttles forward.  The expression meant maximum aircraft speed .

·        “Bite the bullet” is an old Army term which goes back prior to the Civil War.  Back then, bullets came in closed paper containers. A soldier ready to load his old-time rifle needed to first “bite the bullet”—i.e., open up the paper to get to the ammo.

·        Point-blank a general term which goes back to target sharpshooters in France. The French bullseye  was often the color white — in French, blanc.   So when one aimed at the bullseye, he in effect was aiming at the pointe blanc.

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