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  1. Matt Stone is offline
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    U.S. Army

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    Posted On:
    12/13/2004 8:08pm

    supporting member
     Style: FMA, CMA, & more

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Pretty much everything everybody has said in this thread thus far is complete, unadulterated crap.

    It'd be nice if someone who actually knew something about the UCMJ would chime in... Oh! Wait! I am already...

    Taken from About.com:

    The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the bedrock of military law. The UCMJ is a federal law, enacted by Congress. Articles 77 through 134 of the UCMJ are known as the "punitive articles," -- that is, specific offenses which, if violated, can result in punishment by court-martial.

    The law requires the Commander-in-Chief (The President of the United States) to implement the provisions of the UCMJ. The President does this via an executive order known as the "Manual for Court Martial" (MCM). Chapter 4 of the MCM includes, and expands on the punitive articles. The MCM divides the punitive articles into six parts: The text, elements of the offense, an explanation, lesser included offenses, maximum permissible punishments, and sample specifications.

    The Text: This is the exact text of the article, as Congress approved it in the UCMJ.

    Elements: These are the specifics of the offense. In order to support a finding of "guilty," the government must prove each and every element of the offense, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Explanation: The explanation defines terms, and clarifies the elements, based on previous court decisions.

    Lesser Included Offense: These are lesser offenses that a military court may still find an accused guilty of, even if the court finds the accused not guilty of the originally charged offense. For example, "Manslaughter," under Article 119 is a lesser included offense of "Murder," under Article 118. If a military court finds the accused not guilty of the crime of Murder, the court can still find the accused guilty of Manslaughter, without the government having to amend the charges.

    Maximum Permissible Punishments: These are the *maximum* punishments that a general court martial can award toward a particular offense. While not specifically stated, a general court martial can also reduce a person's grade. Most general court martials reduce the convicted person's grade to the lowest enlisted rank (E-1) when punishment includes time in prison and/or a punitive discharge.
    The entire purpose of the UCMJ is to maintain the good order and discipline of the Armed Forces, whether in peace or time of war. There are no exemptions during wartime, and as pointed out upthread, discipline is instilled in peacetime for implementation in war. War is not an excuse to "procure" property. In the event of military necessity, procedures exist for correct, proper, and most importantly legal procurement.

    If they are guilty of stealing private property (even "junk" belongs to someone, somehow), they'll get what they deserve.
  2. Jenfucius is offline

    Shogun of Long Island

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    Posted On:
    12/13/2004 8:33pm

    Join us... or die
     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    looting should be confined to the cities that we destroy
  3. punchingdummy is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/13/2004 8:50pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Keep in mind this is a home town newspaper writing about the wrong done to home town reservists. It is possible, just possible, that there is more to the story than this one perspective we are reading.
  4. nasty_totoro is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/13/2004 9:19pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    this was done all the time in ww2 and other wars ... US soldiers became famous in europe for scrounging any and every vehicle that they could get their hands on ... by the end of the war some divisions had more trucks than they actually had given to them ...

    course ... the yanks won that war ...

    wartime shows what rules work and what rules dont work ...
    totoro-san ... world sushi munching champion ...

  5. punchingdummy is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/13/2004 10:08pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Here are a few more details...in the scheme of things, the military response seems heavy-handed for a theft. My guess is that what got them the "six and a kick" was the conspiracy charge, not the original "theft".


    HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: National

    Dec. 12, 2004, 6:57PM



    Troops tried in equipment theft
    Court-martialed reservists say they had to scrounge trucks for mission
    By JOHN MCCARTHY
    Associated Press
    RESOURCES


    COLUMBUS, OHIO - At a time when some U.S. troops in Iraq are complaining they have to scrounge for equipment, six Ohio-based reservists were court-martialed for taking Army vehicles abandoned in Kuwait by other units so they could carry out their own unit's mission to Iraq.

    The soldiers say they needed the vehicles, and parts stripped from one, to deliver fuel to Iraq, but their former battalion commander said Sunday the troops should at least have returned the vehicles to their original units.

    Members of the 656th Transportation Company based in Springfield, west of Columbus, said they needed the equipment to deliver fuel to U.S. forces in Iraq for a variety of equipment, including helicopters and tanks.

    The reservists took two tractor-trailers and stripped parts from a 5-ton truck that had been abandoned in Kuwait by other units that had moved into Iraq, one of the reservists, Darrell Birt of Columbus, said Sunday.

    Birt, a former chief warrant officer, and the others were charged with theft, destruction of Army property and conspiracy to cover up their crimes. Birt said he and two others pleaded guilty and the other three were convicted.

    All received six-month sentences.

    "Nobody ever reported these trucks stolen. The deal was, when you are moving, if it was going to take more than 30 minutes to fix it, you left it," said Birt, who was released in November. "I'm a Christian man and I can't ignore what we did, but it was justified to get us in the fight and to sustain the fight."


    No further courts-martial
    Last week, the military said it would not court-martial any of the 23 Army reservists who refused a mission transporting fuel along a dangerous road in Iraq, complaining that their vehicles were in poor condition and did not have armor.

    And Wednesday, U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Kuwait that they have to scrounge in landfills for scrap metal and discarded bullet-resistant glass to provide armor for their vehicles.

    The reservists in the 656th Transportation Company had to move their equipment along with the fuel, and likely did not have enough vehicles to do so in one trip, their former battalion commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Wicker, said Sunday.

    "That would have required multiple trips back. They do not have many cargo trucks. They are fuel haulers," he said.

    But once the reservists were done with the assignment, they should have sought out the units the vehicles belonged to, he said.

    "Instead of taking the trucks back to their rightful owners, the first thing was erasing the identity marks and dumping them off at bases," Wicker said. "They destroyed it. They did the enemy's job. Those trucks could be used for other units."


    Not reported stolen
    Wicker ordered the investigation of the thefts, which occurred before he assumed the battalion post.

    "Taking the trucks, in my mind, was not the worst thing they did," Wicker said from Fort Hood, where he is now with the Army's 13th Corps Support Command.

    The 656th's former company commander, Maj. Cathy Kaus, told the Chicago Tribune in Sunday's editions that although she knew the equipment had been stolen, she could not determine its owners.

    The Tribune said the vehicles were never reported stolen, according to court-martial transcripts.

    Kaus is serving a six-month sentence.

    She and Birt have applied for clemency, which could restore their military benefits and change their dishonorable discharges.

    Birt said Sunday that his clemency application had been denied and he is appealing.
  6. Matt Stone is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/13/2004 11:39pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by nasty_totoro
    this was done all the time in ww2 and other wars ... US soldiers became famous in europe for scrounging any and every vehicle that they could get their hands on ... by the end of the war some divisions had more trucks than they actually had given to them ...

    course ... the yanks won that war ...

    wartime shows what rules work and what rules dont work ...
    The UCMJ, as it stands today, wasn't enacted until the '50s, well after WWII was ended. As the US has experienced different things in different times, our regulations and laws have adapted to changing situations. It used to be that we were concerned with METT-T, or Mission, Equipment, Time, Troops and Terrain. Now we have added C for Civilians to deal with "embedded reporters," CNN busybodies, and other elements of the modern battlefield. Things change.

    As they change, however, it makes the job of the US soldier more difficult. In this day and age where many of our junior and middle level soldiers have never known life withou a white Michael Jackson, CDs for music, cable TV and cell phones, those of us who are older realize that we managed many conflicts and full blown wars just fine without the latest in technological doo-dads to get the job done. Hell, some of us even remember filling out forms longhand or with a typewriter!

    Bottom line - they violated the UCMJ, got caught doing it, tried (and failed) to cover up what they did (implying they knew it was wrong from the start), and suffered the consequences. Simple, really...

    Lastly, I want to make it clear that when I said pretty much everything prior to my last post was crap, that didn't mean EVERYTHING was crap, just most of it... :cool: There were one or two posts that didn't make me want to vomit up my pancreas...
  7. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/14/2004 12:17am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't know the full story, but as a former NCO, it was often my job to make **** happen any way I could. It sounds like this was the case here.
  8. SLJ is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2004 5:35am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    OMG what a terrible crime. As if they haven't got enough to worry about.
    "You realise the transformations give a man enough strength to destroy a truck with his bare hands!?
    YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME, IN THE WORST POSSIBLE MANNER!!" - KiWarrior

    "Sport ? That kind of thing's not my bag baby!" - Sammy Franco

    "This system was developed with the help of notible BJJ fighter Ribbon Muchado." - "Sifu" Anthony Iglesias
  9. punchingdummy is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2004 6:34am

    Join us... or die
     Style: TSK

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's not the act which gets you in trouble - it is the lies you make to cover it up which gets you. Ask Martha, Bill Clinton, etc.
  10. TylerDurden is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2004 10:42am


     Style: BJJ/Judo/HapKiDo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It was not a home town newspaper. That link is a television station based in Wisconsin, the reservists were from Ohio.

    And yes the UCMJ is meant to keep order, but in this case it's being applied overzealously by some jackass to prove a point. If it is so flawed that this can happen, it needs to be re-written.
    Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?
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