Outrage Over Perceived Light Sentence for Colonel | Military.com

Servicemembers and legal experts around the world reacted with outrage and scorn to what many regarded as an exceptionally light sentence for an Army colonel convicted of fraud, adultery, bigamy and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

Col. James H. Johnson III, the former commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was sentenced to a reprimand and a $300,000 fine by a jury of fellow colonels in Kaiserslautern, Germany, on Thursday. He pleaded guilty to 13 charges and was convicted of two others, all relating to an illicit affair he had with an Iraqi woman and his efforts to steer government funds to the woman’s father during a 2005 deployment.

via Outrage Over Perceived Light Sentence for Colonel | Military.com.

I appreciate the desire to protect the retirement benefits of his (first, legal) wife, but this guy should be in jail for the next 20 years.

12 thoughts on “Outrage Over Perceived Light Sentence for Colonel | Military.com”

  1. Twenty years? I would have had him drawn and quartered, cut out his entrails and set them on fire, and then plucked out his heart while it was still beating.

  2. This individual was supposed to be a leader and an example to the lower ranks, therefore, make it so. Everything this individual did can be “Lessons Learned Moments”. The amazing thing is this, this applies to both the COL and the JAG. The lessons can be what to do, but also what not to do, with consequences.

  3. This does not set a good example for any Non-Commissioned Officer or Enlisted Man in the Army. Especially in the 173d Airborne, which held itself to a higher standard in the early 2000s. When I was there, the UCMJ came down hard on DUIs alone. On weekends – especially DONSAs – there were guys in “Prison Orange” jumpsuits doing area beautification, for DUIs, public intoxication, and anything else that embarrassed the Parachute Infantry.

    There was one Staff Sergeant and a few Sergeants who were no longer Staff Sergeants and Sergeants, exactly because they were in a position of responsibility and authority. ALL leaders MUST be held to a higher standard, because it is their responsibility to set the example.

    The Staff Sergeant in question repented for his mistake, retaining his honor and building upon the respect he had earned within the unit. He worked hard and re-earned his stripes. I remember one sergeant an unrepentant Sierra Bravo Blue Falcon who refused to take responsibility for his actions, whining about how it was not his fault, he should not have been treated in that way, blah-blah-blah.

    No one wanted him back and he was punitively transfered out . . . to Korea.

    It is unfortunate that standards have slipped.

    I was very disappointed that 3d Brigade of the 101st Airborne – for lack of a better descriptive – covered for DUIs by NCOs. Like there was not a single Specialist competent enough to replace them? One E5 got busted, did not lose his rank, tasked to give a mealy-mouthed lecture to the Company on responsibility and integrity . . . only to be busted AGAIN less than three months later.

    Again, he did not lose his rank and his early appointment to the E6 board was not cancelled.

    This was the benefits of being a member of The Golden Spoon Club™.

    I let him know – without saying it in those words – that I would never take orders from him. He may have been Everybody’s Buddy™, but he was not mine and I refused to recognize his authority. Good thing I never worked for him.

    The fact I made a stink over the GSC™ when different standards were applied to me as an outsider won me no friends. They did not like the fact someone called them out on their BS. Why I could not wait to get out of the Falling Umbrellas.

    Yes, fellow readers, that is what rakkasan actually means, “Falling Umbrella” . . . not a very impressive name once translated. In fact, downright pathetic.

    The 173d’s moniker of Tien Bien means Sky Soldier.

    Big difference in both attitude and conduct. At least at the time I served with SETAF.

    I volunteered for the 101st Airborne, I got drafted by raka-damn-sans . . . I should have fought that and got into 1st or 2d Brigade. I would have volunteered for 4th Brigade, as they were reactivating “The Five-Odd-Sink” . . . but I saw the degenerates going to populate it . . . thought better to be with the backstabbing scumbags I know than the ones I did not . . .

    But I suspect this is what happens when the Infantry is struggling for numbers, budget dollars, and respect from The Big Army™ while trying to fight a war so many people – elected and/or opinion peddlers – want to be a retread of southeast asia. Standards slip, or are abandoned completely.

    They are very good at motivating outstanding Soldiers to leave the Army by coddling these Super Lifers™. My mistake was to think they had gradually done away with it after viet nam, thought it had been fixed by Desert Storm . . . I could never claim to be smart, fellow readers, not even before my brain injury . . .

    Makes me furious to this day.

  4. It is unfortunate but symbolic of what has been going on for a while in the Army. In Iraq the enlisted got busted for UCMJ (GO #1) violations while the O’s and senior enlisted where quietly sent home or moved. I told my commander at the time if they really wanted people to take GO #1 seriously they should take the first LTC they could find violating that order and send his/her ass to Levenworth…think of the message that would send. But THEY (for the most part anyway) don’t have the cajone’s to do that. They’d rather keep busting people like PVT Snowball and SPC Shmedlap having sex in the motorpool and wonder where they got the idea that they could get away with that kind of stuff.

  5. While I commanded in the Army RHIP did not apply when it came to handing punishment.to guilty parties. It was my understanding that the UCMJ was to be equally administered. What was handed out to this LTC does send the wrong message. Unfortunately this is just a reflection of erosion of the morals not only in the Army, but in civilian life. The Roman Empire fell because of an erosion of morals. God fearing Patriots can help right our Country’s course.

    1. I suspect he doesn’t, and instead they’re giving him the “there but for the grace of God go I” treatment. Which is utter BS. They’re protecting their own so that they’ll get similar consideration if they ever get caught.

  6. It shouldn’t be an Officer vs. Enlisted things. This is an prime example of “Who you Know”. I know of plenty of CSMs who received light sentences for their offenses, and these are individuals who are looked up to by both enlisted and officers alike. This was a superb job of the good ole boy network. The COL knew they were not going to kick him out before the trial. He wasn’t surprised. But I am embarrassed by this sentence. It is truly a disgrace to all who serve and what they stand for!

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