Article 15

Ft. Bragg life guard groupie

At the same time various members of the Corps staff were on me to get my hair cut. I’ve worn my hair short since I was in high school. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, long. That wasn’t bad in itself, but what really torqued me was that the Corps staff cared more about the length of my damn hair than they did about my kid getting fed. And I said so.

A captain on the Corps staff decided that was a violation of the UCMJ. I was hastily returned to Ft. Bragg where I stood charged with various Article 15offenses, including disrespect to an NCO. Yet I had never been disrespectful to that sergeant. I guess it was cosmic revenge for the laundry list of other fuckups I had committed the previous three years.

I thought about fighting the charges by asking for a court martial, but eventually just said “fuck it”. My CO dropped all but one charge, for which he gave me one week of restriction, one week of extra duty and reduced me one grade from SP4 to PFC. Looking back on it, he made the right decision. He found me guilty because a commander has to support his NCOs, but he dropped charges and gave me relatively light punishment because he knew I was innocent. (He promoted me back to SP4 about six months later.)

The Article 15 turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Even though I wasn’t a double-digit midget, the first sergeant figured my attitude would be shot after the Article 15 (and it was), so to get me out of the companyAO until I ETSed he put me on lifeguard duty. Soaking up rays and scamming colonels’ daughters is punishment? It was the best job I’ve ever had!

On the Beach Article 15 TACCP Stories