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Posted: 11/28/2003 8:42:44 PM EDT
Doesn't this guy know there's a war on?.......

Army Reservist Accused of Insubordination



Nov 28, 9:14 PM (ET)

By BEN DOBBIN

(ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Capt. Steve McAlpin, a 25-year Army reservist, spent most of last year deployed in Afghanistan and just returned home in January. Now his unit is about to ship out again, and he's facing insubordination charges for criticizing the quick turnaround.

McAlpin questioned the legality of a waiver that his battalion was asked to sign that would put his unit back in a combat zone after just 11 months at home. Under federal law, he pointed out, troops are allowed a 12-month "stabilization period."

On Wednesday, members of his 401st Civil Affairs Battalion are being deployed for duty overseas, but McAlpin likely won't be among them. A memorandum this week notified him that he was being removed from the 401st's battle roster, and he said he could also face other punishment, including a court martial and losing rank.

The commander, Lt. Col. Phillip Carey, charges in the memo that McAlpin had a "negative attitude" and was being "insubordinate towards the leadership" of the 401st.

McAlpin said he questioned the waiver last Saturday during a teleconference with Col. Guy Sands, commander of the McAlpin's parent unit, the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade based in Fort Jackson, S.C.

About a dozen other officers refused to sign the waiver, as well as four enlisted soldiers called to redeploy, McAlpin said.

"Soldiers are proud to serve any time, anywhere. I'd go tomorrow," McAlpin said from his home in Victor, 20 miles southeast of Rochester. "But I have four soldiers that don't want to go."

The memorandum sent Wednesday commands McAlpin to clear up his affairs at the unit by Monday, when it bans him from battalion grounds. It also transfers him to the Individual Ready Reserves, whose soldiers can be called up in the event of a national emergency.

Instead of signing the reprimand document, McAlpin attached a note of protest, stating his performance evaluations have been excellent and that his record shows "no pattern of incompetence." He also plans to meet with a military attorney.

"We signed up to fight our nation's enemies and we are fully prepared to do that. But if they're going to usurp the laws of this country at the expense of our most precious asset, our soldiers, then I will not stand for that, not for a minute."

McAlpin served in Bosnia in 1996. Last year, while stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he was a liaison to local warlords, coordinated humanitarian relief supplies and organized an English-language teaching program.

"I'm looking at something I love more than just about anything - my service to the Army and my fellow soldiers - and they're trying to stab me in the back," McAlpin said.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, "we need every soldier we can muster," but he said the military should also "honor soldiers that have gone already" by giving them "a break from the hazards of combat."

A spokesman for the 401st, Capt. Brian Earley, said McAlpin's questioning of the waiver was only one reason he was being disciplined. Individual members of the 401st are allowed to refuse to sign the waiver, but Earley said McAlpin was "butting in" for other soldiers.

"People who were on the mission, who wanted to go, he was questioning their orders," Earley said. "He was pursuing a non-issue."

Earley said the military was also taking action because of "an accumulation of things," including difficulties in one of his previous missions to Afghanistan. He declined to elaborate.

"There's a lot of soldiers we're not sending because they have one issue or another," Earley said. "It's important that we put together a solid team. Not all soldiers are ready, even though they think they are, to deploy."


Link Posted: 11/28/2003 8:48:41 PM EDT
How can someone be insubordinate for following regulations (or complaining that someone isn't following them)? Deployment knocks the living shit out of you and it takes awhile to recover. If the regulations say 12 months then it's 12 months. PS: The war is over, it's now a police action.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 10:09:05 PM EDT
There are a lot of reservists pulling shit, but this guy isn't one of them. There's a woman in my unit that didn't go to iraq because she was a "conscientious objector". She also wears sneakers to drill. She must be pretty damn valuable for the chain of command to keep her around...
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 10:23:22 PM EDT
rules is rules funny how large corporations (military included) can NOT do something in your favor because of rules, but then they turn around and cry foul when you want to use those same rules.. The FOG of 'Patriotism' in the guise of being "against terror" has obivously gotten out of hand. sue the crap out of 'em!
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 10:24:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/28/2003 10:25:30 PM EDT by Johnny_Reno]
Originally Posted By Paul: How can someone be insubordinate for following regulations (or complaining that someone isn't following them)? Deployment knocks the living shit out of you and it takes awhile to recover. If the regulations say 12 months then it's 12 months. PS: The war is over, it's now a police action.
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Yep. Let's look closer at this...
McAlpin served in Bosnia in 1996.
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Last year, while stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan...
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and now they want to activate him again?...early? He's a reservist and he has seen more action than most active duty Soldiers. I'd be a bit miffed myself. No - check that...I'd be downright pissed. He isn't be used, he's being abused. Maybe, downsizing wasn't such a good idea. Then again, I've been saying that since 1992. If you want to be the big dog in the world, you best be able to handle the expense.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 10:40:59 PM EDT
I don't see how it's insubordination without the other "cumulative" stuff. Too bad we don't know what it is. He doesn't have a right to disobey the order, but he does have a right to question it, especially when it seems to be against a regulation (even though they *ARE* pursuing a waiver for it).
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 10:55:58 PM EDT
That kind of shit is going to destroy the Guard and Reserve.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:06:58 PM EDT
If he doesn;t like the way there are handlng it then he should get the fuck out of the Army. We dont need assholes like him.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:18:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Cheat: If he doesn;t like the way there are handlng it then he should get the fuck out of the Army. We dont need assholes like him.
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He's an Army Reservist. Reservist, you know 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks in the summer. Except in the 6 years he will have been on active duty appx 3 years. Bosnia in 1996, he just got back from Afghanistan, and they want to send him again. Seems like that limited commitment of being a Reservist isn't as advertised. I'm sure he has to play by "their" rules, they should also have to play by their own rules. Give the unit the 12 month stabilization.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:25:13 PM EDT
Him being a officer and released from his unit saves him from UCMJ punitve articles 85,86,87. It does leave him open for 89,90,92,115,117,133 and the catch all 134 and maybe 77, a officer being insubordnate would fall under article 89. The news clip doesn't state the conversation between him and his superior, this is where he lost. Not signing a early release waiver for after deployment rest didn't get him in this news article it was his mouth. He also stated that he had problems in Afgianistan with a mission but wouldn't talk about it, is this going to bite him under the UCMJ also? If he screwed up and lost troops because a bad call, I wouldn't want him over me. He might not come back.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:42:14 PM EDT
12 months is 12 months...Shitbag or not, I feel that they should get the whole 12 months!...I am a healthy adult with a stable life, and some doc says that I was not fit go back in...Hell I will trade with him if there was a way. I dont know what he did as far as his mouth, but I can guarantee that there are troops saying worse.
Link Posted: 11/29/2003 12:35:44 AM EDT
"Your soul may belong to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the Corps!" "We are here to defend democracy- not practice it." Or so it has always been explained to me by people in my family and by friends, who have been in the military. Not obeying orders is a sure way to end one's career and forfeit any benefits, all of which sure do become more important as one grows older. And Uncle Sam always puts all sorts of footnotes and clauses in the work rules for a GI to say that, yes, the soldier is govt. property while he is in uniform, and if he does not want to be in that uniform, an exit, sometimes painful, can be arranged. But be careful what you ask for- you just might get it. I don't know what a Civic Affairs Battalion is, but having a "negative attitude" and being "insubordinate" is a sure morale-killer for all around him, be it in a firm, ball team or army.
Link Posted: 11/29/2003 1:02:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/29/2003 1:07:18 AM EDT by Cpt_Redleg]
This is going to be a real problem for the military very soon. Many would argue it is already but just isn't obvious yet. Do not get me wrong, I have NO sympathy for any soldier, those under my command included, who signed on for college money and then find out they have to go and do their job full time. They whine and cry (literally, in on case) about being deployed. They thought they'd only get activated for a real big war, or fight the popular wars only. Figured they were getting something for nothing. Whatever. I don't understand the line of thinking some of these kids use when they decide to join. The branch tape says "U.S. ARMY", not "reserves" or "national guard" and I have been chewed by my superior for telling a soldier if he wants sympathy to look in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphilis". That being said, even the good soldiers are starting to get a little brittle these days over the number and length of deployments. The big recruiting tool used by the guard and reserves has always been the idea and practice of part-time soldier, serving near home. The more people realize the degree to which we now rely on our reserve components the fewer will sign on for reserve/guard. Retention rate is in the sewer and recruiting isn't making up the difference. The gap widens every day. It's only likely to get worse. It's depressing to see how thin our military really has become in many ways. A deployment is always a major disruption. Many deployments is momething more than a disruption. I'll be interested to see how this one plays out, though. I feel for the Captain and those in the same boat. He probably has a life and commitments outside of the military. If he'd wanted to be active duty, my guess is he'd have gone that route. Yes, theres a war on. I'd bet he's noticed that, in fact. That war has not changed everything. The yard still needs mowing, the bills still need to be paid and there's still a job that expects your presence. If you're not there, somebody else has to do your workload. I'll stop now before I type up a dictionary length post. Kind of a subject that hits close to home. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:35:54 AM EDT
I may be reading too much into this, but it sounds as if the CO was trying to get 100% of the unit to sign off on the waiver. Perhaps he wanted to go to his superiors and say "My boys are keen as mustard, every last one wants to go back." Makes him look good. Now the CO realizes that his men aren't as keen as he thought, and he starts looking for a scapegoat. He views McAlpin as the ringleader. Time for a Captain Queeg moment. Maybe I'm totally wrong on this, and the guy has problems with his mouth. G
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 9:22:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 9:26:29 AM EDT by SGTIMAK]
12 months my ass. We were back from OEF for 6 months when my unit left again for Iraq. Of that 6, I was home for 2 because of schools and field time. At least 1/4 of my company had something similar going on too. The re-up % in this unit now? From what I hear, pretty close to nothing. I know a few thousand people who would like to see this reg.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 9:34:45 AM EDT
With all due respect to the Army [red]reservist[/red] officer.... He is a fucking pussy. Do your job son.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 9:49:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RED_5: ... funny how large corporations (military included) can NOT do something in your favor because of rules, but then they turn around and cry foul when you want to use those same rules...
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Ditto!!
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 12:20:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 12:23:09 PM EDT by Johninaustin]
The main reason for this I see is the ineffective use of reserve units by the active military. (Of the units in Iraq, about 40% are reserve.) There is a massive demand in Iraq for MP units. Esp. EPW units, which are almost entirely reserve. Where are most of them? Pulling gate duty in the US. Most are very close to their maximum 2 years deployment under Nobel Eagle and Enduring Freedom. Those units are LOST to you. It literally would take an act of Congress to get them back, assuming there is anyone left in them. There is no excuse for this. Funds for Base security were available since essentially, December 2001. Ft. Hood for example, opened up hiring of civilian gate guards just last week. They think they might be complete in another YEAR. Personnel is a big worry, but so is equipment. My new unit, an Armor Battalion, is overall 34% understrength. Certain MOS's such as medics, 75% understrength. Now to the equipment. Reserve units are being stripped of equipment to send to Iraq with activating units. To date we have lost all but 2 of our M9 pistols, almost all our SINGARS, and all our fuel trucks and water trailers. Now it appears that we may have to supply people to guard an Air Force base, relieving the Combat engineers already there. Since we are Armor, wheeled transport for this sort of mission is a little scarce. Wonder who WE are going to get stuff from? Oh Joy.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 5:01:33 PM EDT
if there is a law mandating 12 months wouldn't the order to go back before then be unlawful, making him justified in refusing?
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