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Posted: 12/31/2003 5:52:49 AM EDT
Army drops cowardice charge against soldier
But future military career still uncertainThe Associated Press
Updated: 12:54 p.m. ET Dec. 30, 2003FORT CARSON, Colorado - The Army dropped a charge of dereliction of duty against a Special Forces soldier who was accused of cowardice, but the soldier’s military career is still in limbo.

Staff Sgt. Georg-Andreas Pogany, 32, has returned to his unit and was awaiting word from prosecutors on whether the case was over or if he still faced a court-martial, his lawyer said Monday.

Pogany, an Army interrogator assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, was charged with cowardice Oct. 14 after suffering what he described as a panic attack from seeing a mangled body of an Iraqi man who had been cut in half by American gunfire in Iraq.

After he asked for counseling, Pogany’s commanders sent him back to Fort Carson to face a court-martial on a cowardice charge, which can be punishable by death. The Army later replaced it with the lesser dereliction-of-duty charge, which could have put Pogany behind bars for six months

The Army dropped that charge Dec. 18 and offered Pogany a hearing on nonjudicial punishment, called an Article 15, for dereliction of duty. Instead Pogany requested a court-martial, which is much like a civilian trial in which a judge or jury decides the suspect’s fate.

The Army is reviewing its options, officials said. The Army could refile charges or let the matter die, said Richard Bridges, a public affairs officer at Fort Carson.

Pogany’s lawyer, Richard Travis, said the accused has fewer legal rights in an Article 15 hearing than in a court-martial, and Pogany feared his fate in such a hearing would have been decided by the same officer who brought the dereliction charge against him.

An Article 15 conviction could have resulted in military confinement, docked pay and rank, and a less than honorable discharge, Travis said.

Pogany is a five-year veteran who had a stellar service record until this fall.

Normal combat stress or anti-malaria drug?
Two Army psychologists say Pogany has no psychological disorders but that he showed symptoms consistent with normal combat stress reactions. Pogany has said his panic attack may have been caused by an anti-malaria drug he and other Fort Carson soldiers took in September before leaving for Iraq.

Travis said Pogany had regained his security clearance and personal gun, both taken from him after he was charged with cowardice, and also would be able to carry his Army weapon.

But he said some soldiers in Pogany’s unit have treated him like a “pariah.”

“Some might say he has received national notoriety,” Travis said. “How do you fix that? How do you reinstate your integrity?”

Link Posted: 12/31/2003 6:14:27 AM EDT
< the rifleman song> BRANDED.. .. BRANDed as the man who rannnnnnn..... what do you do when your branded.... and you know your a mannnnn...
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 6:18:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Happyshooter:
But he said some soldiers in Pogany’s unit have treated him like a “pariah.”
View Quote

Oh well, how does he expect to be treated in a Special Forces unit when his colleagues can't be sure he won't crash and burn the next time he sees blood?
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 6:35:19 AM EDT
I don't think that the problem is "cowardice".  Some people just can't handle taking another human life.  Nobody really knows how they will handle a situation until they get into it.  It's not a criminal offense to not want to kill.  He probably needs to be administratively removed and receive medical treatment.  I feel sorry for the guy, but this kind of thing happens in every war, but it usually does not get reported.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 6:42:28 AM EDT
Gore isnt easy. But you gotta fugure youd better toughin up a lot to hold a Pos in SF
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 6:56:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Jarhead_22:
Originally Posted By Happyshooter:
But he said some soldiers in Pogany’s unit have treated him like a “pariah.”
View Quote

Oh well, how does he expect to be treated in a Special Forces unit when his colleagues can't be sure he won't crash and burn the next time he sees blood?
View Quote


You are correct, I would not want serve with someone who is going to freeze or 'freak out' in the heat of battle....
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 7:20:18 AM EDT
I guess SSgt Pogany hasn't read [i]On Killing,[/i] by LtCol Grossman, or he'd know that he's been conditioned enough for this sort of thing not to bother him anymore. [rolleyes]
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