Entries in Army (42)


Army Officer, Wife Accused of Child Abuse

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MORRIS COUNTY, N.J) -- A U.S. Army major and his wife are facing federal child-abuse charges for cruelty to their six children, three of whom were adopted. The alleged acts of cruelty include breaking their bones, denying them medical attention, withholding water and force-feeding them hot sauce, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said Wednesday.

John E. Jackson, 37, and Carolyn Jackson, 35, worked at the Picatinny Arsenal Installation in Morris County, N.J. Because the alleged crimes occurred on a military base, they will be tried in a federal court.

The Jacksons are charged in a 17-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, 13 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of assault.

“Carolyn and John Jackson are charged with unimaginable cruelty to children they were trusted to protect,” Fishman said in a statement. “The crimes alleged should not happen to any child, anywhere, and it is deeply disturbing that they would happen on a military installation. Along with the FBI, we will continue to seek justice for our communities’ most vulnerable victims.”

The Picatinny Arsenal Installation did not return a request for comment.

The alleged abuse occurred from 2005 until 2010, when the Jacksons engaged in a “constant course” of neglect and cruelty to their three adopted children and told their three biological children not to report the physical assaults, saying the punishments were “training” the adopted children how to behave, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that the Jacksons withheld water from their children and assaulted them with objects, causing fractured bones. The report also says the parents caused the children to consume food meant for suffering, including red pepper flakes, hot sauce and raw onion. They also allegedly caused one child to ingest excessive sodium or sodium-laden substances while being deprived of water, leading to a life-threatening condition.

The defense teams for the parents did not return a request for comment.

The children are in the custody of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

Several support websites and online groups for Carolyn and John Jackson have been developed since the abuse allegations first became known in 2010.

One website, ReuniteJackson7, maintains the Jacksons are innocent and asks for donations for legal fees. New Jersey attorney Grace Meyer’s address is listed on the website as the place to send in donations. When ABC News contacted Meyer, she said she doesn’t know who is behind the website. She added that she had not received any donations and was unaware that her name was on the website.

Meyer said she represented the family from 2010 through last year.

“I represented them for two years in court. I believe God is in control of this and I just know they’ll be exonerated,” Meyer said.

If the Jacksons are convicted, each faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the 17 counts. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.

Both are scheduled to appear in a U.S. District Court Thursday at 11 a.m. before Judge Mark Falk.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Army Revokes Paula Broadwell’s Promotion After Petraeus Affair

ISAF via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Army has temporarily revoked Paula Broadwell's promotion to become a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.  It was Broadwell’s affair with General David Petraeus that led to his resignation as CIA director last November.

George Wright, an Army spokesman, confirmed that Broadwell’s promotion was “revoked” earlier this month.

Broadwell was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August, and had been wearing that rank since. However, in February that promotion was “revoked in accordance with Army regulation 135-155,” said Wright.

Broadwell remains in the Army Reserve but is now authorized only to wear the rank of major and is considered a "promotable lieutenant colonel” pending the result of an ongoing investigation.  Army regulations say the Army can revoke an order within six months if there is an investigation.

Wright could not discuss the details of the investigation that led to the move, but defense officials have said previously that the FBI was looking at whether Broadwell kept classified materials in her home. Those documents would have come from the research materials she was using for her biography of Petraeus.

If the investigation is closed without any action against Broadwell, her promotion to lieutenant colonel could be restored retroactively to when it was originally granted.

In November the CIA’s inspector general began an exploratory investigation into whether Petraeus had used any agency resources during his extramarital affair with Broadwell.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment Thursday on the status of that investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


How Many Bayonets Does the US Have?

Cpl. Walter D. Marino II/U.S. Marine Corps(WASHINGTON) -- The most memorable line of Monday night’s debate was President Obama’s pointed “horses and bayonets” jab at Mitt Romney for questioning what Romney said was a shrinking U.S. Navy.

Obama responded that Romney “hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works.”  He added, “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916.  Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”

Horses and bayonets quickly became a Twitter punchline, but while they may no longer be needed for bayonet charges, it turns out the Pentagon still owns a hefty arsenal of bayonets.

The Army said on Tuesday it has 419,155 bayonets in its inventory.  The Marine Corps has another 195,334 bayonets that it bought in 2004 and  it plans on buying 175,061 more bayonets this year.  A Marine official says it’s not accurate to add the two totals together as the new ones will include replacements for ones already in service as well as additional stocks.

Bayonets are standard issue for Marines deployed to combat areas, though they don’t necessarily carry them with them when they’re on patrol.

Several soldiers who spoke to ABC News said that deploying with bayonets to Iraq and Afghanistan varied from unit to unit.  While not a requirement, one soldier said they were available if needed.

However, a 2011 Stars and Stripes article quoted a former Army official as saying bayonets had not been issued to soldiers deploying in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2010, the Army dropped bayonet training for its recruits in basic training.

The Army also reported on Tuesday that it has 176 horses.  The horses kept at Fort Myer, Va., are used mainly for ceremonial duties at Arlington Cemetery and the Capital region.  There are also some horses located at Fort Hood, Texas.

The Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center in California trains Marines in using horses, mules and donkeys to carry supplies in mountainous regions.

Romney has proposed increasing the Navy to more than 300 ships from the current fleet size of 285 ships.  A Defense official pointed out on Tuesday that the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan presented to Congress earlier this year will result in 300 ships by 2019.

However, the official also said that while numbers are important when talking about a globally deployed Navy it’s important to look beyond the numbers at a ship’s capabilities when it’s deployed.

“When you look at an Arliegh Burke Class destroyer it’s missile defense capable, it can fire cruise missiles, it can conduct anti-submarine warfare, it has a gun on front for anti-surface warfare.  It can patrol the coast of not only the U.S. but off the coast of other countries.  That’s a pretty capable platform,” the official said.

Adding that these destroyers can also carry helicopters, the official said, “It’s not single use, that’s been the evolution of not just the Navy but of our platforms as well.”

The official said today’s ships can carry out the capabilities of the 600-ship Navy envisioned by the Reagan administration.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Purple Heart-Winning Army Vet Playing Football for Clemson This Fall

Clemson SID Office(NEW YORK) -- Sports fans may refer to the football field as a place of battle, but Army Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez knows better.

"When I go to school I think of it as such a blessing to be alive.  I thought I was going to die," said Rodriguez, 24, of Clemson, S.C.  "If I die tomorrow, I'll live life to the fullest.  I don't complain anymore.  Sometimes I catch myself thinking something and then remind myself: hey, you're not in Afghanistan."

Rodriguez, a starter on the special teams for the Clemson Tigers this fall, spent four years in the Army and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He fought in a major battle in the mountains lining Pakistan, the Battle of Kamdesh, in October 2010.

"It was definitely an environment of combat," he said.  "I was furthest north on Pakistan border, rough terrain, we didn't have showers, one meal a day, we washed ourselves with baby wipes, there was fighting constantly.  We lived pretty much in a cave in the side of a mountain, and we ended up getting overrun, five months into our tour, during the Battle of Kamdesh."

Rodriguez took a bullet in his shoulder and shrapnel in his leg, though he says now that he was lucky compared to some of his best friends.  Eight soldiers died in the battle, and 21 were injured.  Rodriguez was awarded 16 medals for his bravery and service in the Middle East, including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor.

It was his time in the Army that shifted his perspective on life in the United States, Rodriguez told ABC News.  When he returned home, he began taking classes at a community college and playing football again, rising early each morning to train.

His friends encouraged him to make a highlight reel to impress college coaches, as high school athletes sometimes do, but Rodriguez felt that old highlights wouldn't showcase who he had become.

"I hired a production company to kind of shoot me working out, doing drills, and then they had me putting in highlights, and me telling my story," Rodriguez said.

He sent the video to schools, but they requested he make it easier to view and share, so he uploaded it to YouTube as well.

"The next morning I had 6,000 views.  Within a month it had 300,000 views," he said.

Clemson coaches, along with coaches from about 50 other college football programs, contacted Rodriguez.  He also received dozens of emails, text messages, and letters from fans that had seen his YouTube video; he replied to almost all of those messages, he said.

This summer, he began playing first-string on the special teams for Clemson.  He has played in two Atlantic Coast Conference games so far, helping the team score its first two victories.

"It's what motivates me," he said.  "A lot of people come back from war with the factor of what they've seen and gone through and it cripples them, but I find it liberating and inspiring.  I mean the horrors of war are real, I've lost over 20 friends to war.  But we fought for our country and now I can come home and do what I always wanted to do."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Army Suicides Reach Alarming Highs

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Army announced on Thursday that more of its service members took their own lives during July than in any month in recent memory.

According to an analysis, there were 38 suicides or suspected suicides, with 26 involving active-duty soldiers in the Army -- a new monthly high -- and 12 among National Guard or Reserve soldiers who were not on active-duty service.

Another disturbing finding: the suicide rate in the Army is up 22 percent in 2012 from the same period last year.  So far, there have been 116 deaths compared to 95 among active-duty soldiers during the first seven months of 2011.

One Army analyst says that breaks down to a rate of 29 deaths per 100,000 in the Army in 2012.  The national rate of suicides in the civilian population is 18.5 per 100,000.

According to the Army, the number of veterans dying by their own hand has exceeded newly-minted soldiers this year.

One possible reason for the alarming rise in suicides may have to do with troops having a hard time adjusting to their previous lives at home after having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Temple Shooting: Alleged Gunman Identified as Army Vet

Oak Creek Police Handout(OAK CREEK, Wis.) -- Former soldier Wade Michael Page was identified today as the lone gunman who killed six people at a Sikh religious center in Oak Creek, Wis.

Page was described by authorities Monday as an Army veteran who left the service with a general discharge following a "pattern of misconduct," including being AWOL and drunk while on duty. The terms of his discharge would not allow him to reenlist.

Officials said they believe Page alone was responsible for Sunday's shooting.

Page, 40, served in the Army from April 1992 through October 1998, during which he was demoted from sergeant to specialist.

While in the Army Wade served in Ft. Bliss in Texas and at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Wade's job was as a Hawk missile system repairman, and he then became a psychological operations specialist, a defense official confirmed to ABC news.

The ex-soldier is believed to be the gunman who opened fire on people at the Sikh temple around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning and killed six people. The victims ranged in age from 39 to 84.

He also ambushed police Lt. Brian Murphy, shooting him eight or nine times, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said. Murphy is expected to survive. Two other gunshot victims are in critical condition, police said.

Page was shot dead by police when he was ordered to drop his weapon and began firing at them instead.

Police have not given any details on the motive of the shooter, but Teresa Carlson, the FBI's special agent in charge, said today, "We are looking at ties to white supremacist groups."

Earlier, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco; Firearms Special Agent Thomas Ahern said Page had tattoos that suggested he had ties to white supremacists.

Page fronted a white supremacist rock band called End Apathy, according to watchdog group the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC also determined that in 2000, Page attempted to purchase goods from the neo-Nazi group the National Alliance, described as America's then "most important hate group."

In 2010, Page gave an interview to white-power website Label 56. Page wrote songs with titles like "Self Destruct" and "Usefull [sic] Idiots."

"The inspiration was based on frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole," Page told Label 56.

The ATF today said Page legally purchased the 9mm handgun with multiple ammunition magazines, he used during the rampage. The weapon bought at The Shooters Shop in West Allis, Wis., sources told ABC News.

Carlson and other officials said investigators had no "reason to believe" Page was planning Sunday's attack.

"We didn't have an active investigation into him prior to yesterday," she told reporters today.

On Sunday the FBI and a bomb squad arrived at a home in Cudahy, Wis., near Oak Creek, and ABC News Milwaukee affiliate WISN reported the action appeared to be related to the temple shootings earlier in the day.

"The officer stopped a tragic event that could've been a lot worse," Edwards told reporters.

Four people were found dead inside the temple and two others were found dead outside the building. Edwards said authorities were treating the event as a domestic terrorism incident and the FBI would be conducting a full investigation.

Individuals attending Sunday services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, just south of Milwaukee, fled in all directions when a gunman entered and began firing. Many hid in bathrooms or other rooms within the temple while the shooter attacked, according to police.

On Sundays, Sikh temples, called gurudwaras, serve a community meal at which anyone is welcome as part of their community service. The meal, known as a langar, follows the morning services.

The Sikh religion originated in the Punjab region of India.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Army Battalion Commander Killed in Fort Bragg Shooting

AbleStock/Thinkstock(FORT BRAGG, N.C.) -- A U.S. Army battalion commander was killed by a fellow soldier on Thursday in a shooting incident at Fort Bragg, N.C.  The alleged gunman then shot himself and is in custody; a third soldier was slightly injured in the shooting.

An Army statement said the shooting victim belonged to the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.  A battalion is a subordinate command within a brigade and is commanded by a lieutenant colonel.  The battalion involved in today’s shooting has not been identified.

A Defense official told ABC News that the shooting occurred Thursday afternoon as the battalion was gathered for a safety briefing in advance of the upcoming July 4 weekend.

The safety briefings are usually held by commanders to reinforce good patterns of behavior during holiday periods.

The official says that at some point during the safety briefing an enlisted soldier broke out of formation and pulled a handgun to shoot the battalion commander.  Another soldier was slightly injured during the shooting.  The gunman then shot himself.  He was taken into custody and is listed as being in serious condition.

This official says it is unclear if the handgun the enlisted soldier used in the shooting was a personal weapon or military issue.  Army bases usually keep firearms under lock and key at armories unless units are scheduled to use weapons at firing ranges.

The official said the incident occurred two blocks from the Corps’ headquarters.  An Army statement said, “Fort Bragg law enforcement and emergency responders secured the scene within minutes at the corner of Letterman and Armistead Streets.”

At a press briefing late Thursday evening Col. Kevin Arata, a spokesman for the XVIII Airborne Corps based at Fort Bragg, said, “This is a tragedy for our community.  We don’t yet know the reasons for the shooting, but are working with the unit and the affected families to help them through this difficult period.”  He added, "Our prayers are with those who have been affected by this terrible incident."

Special Agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating the shooting.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ex-Army Surgeon Wanted in Hospital Shooting

Erie County Medical Center(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- A woman who was shot dead at a Buffalo, N.Y. hospital was a nursing student who sources familiar with the investigation say was the ex-girlfriend of Dr. Timothy Jorden, the special forces captain and surgeon who is believed to have killed her with a single gunshot.

Authorities described the woman, who has not been identified, as a nursing student who lived in West Seneca, New York. They described Jorden, 49, has having exhibited odd behavior during the relationship with her.

Francisca Wellsbury, who was married to Timothy Jorden, but long divorced, told ABC News exclusively that she was shocked by the news that her ex-husband had become the suspect in a murder.

"We've lived separate lives for a long time," said Wellsbury, who lives on the West Coast. "I'm just as shocked as anyone. It's traumatic.”

Wellsbury declined to go into further detail about Jorden's military service or behavior, except to say, "This is not the person I knew. I wish he would seek help."

The victim was gunned down in a covered passageway connecting the hospital's Kidney Center and the Miller Building, ABC News' affiliate WKBW reported.

A SWAT team locked down the hospital to ensure a gunman was not on the loose. It was lifted shortly after noon, with the exception of the area where Jorden could be hiding.

"The ECMC Health Campus has reopened, except for the DK Miller Office Building which is closed at this time," the hospital said in a statement. "All employees scheduled to work today should report at their regularly scheduled time. ECMC is no longer on emergency room diversion and has resumed all regular operations. Anyone that needs patient or employee information should call 898-5500."

A SWAT team was parked outside Jorden's home this afternoon, looking for any sign of the doctor.

Jorden had recently been experiencing "emotional problems," sources told the Buffalo Daily News.

A career soldier, Jorden graduated from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in 1996.

"I've wanted to be a doctor since early in my military career as a medic," Jorden told the newspaper in a 1996 profile.

Police did not comment regarding the victim or a possible motive for the shooting.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Army Staff Sgt. Charged with Heading International Gun Trafficking Ring

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A National Guardsman and two Chinese nationals have been charged with running an international gun trafficking ring.  

Joe Debose, an Army Staff Sgt. from North Carolina, has been charged with the illegal dealing of pistols, rifles and military-style assault weapons.

Court records say he supplied two Chinese nationals based in New York with guns and prosecutors say the men "ran a pipeline of illegal firearms from the U.S. to China" for nearly two years, but were caught when police in Shanghai intercepted a package containing several firearms hidden inside stereo speakers.

Court records say the serial numbers had been defaced but were eventually traced to Debose.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Soldier Who Died While Skype Chatting Was Not Shot, Army Says

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A soldier who died in Afghanistan while Skype chatting with his wife in America did not have a bullet wound, military officials said Monday despite the wife's claim that he had been shot.

The Army's Army Criminal Investigative Command came to its conclusion following an autopsy of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark.

"Agents conducting the investigation, found no trauma to the body beyond minor abrasions and a possible broken nose most likely caused from Captain Clark striking his face on his desk when he collapsed," the command's spokesman Chris Grey said in a statement Monday morning.

"We do not suspect foul play in the death of Captain Clark at this point in our ongoing investigation," Grey said.

Clark's wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, previously described chatting with her husband on April 30 when the soldier suddenly fell forward and she saw a bullet hole in a closet behind him.

"During the Skype conversation on April 30, 2012, there was no sign that CPT Clark was in any discomfort, nor did he indicate any alarm. Then CPT Clark was suddenly knocked forward. The closet behind him had a bullet hole in it," Orellana-Clark's statement read.

The Skype video link continued for about two hours as Clark's family tried to get help, according to the statement.

"After two hours and many frantic phone calls by Mrs. Clark, two military personnel arrived in the room and appeared to check his pulse, but provided no details about his condition to his wife," she wrote.

The Army's statement Monday insisted that Clark had not been shot, and that the Army believed that there was no foul play in Clark's death.

In an earlier statement, the family said Clark was a "model father, husband, family member, U.S. Army Chief Nurse, and American citizen."

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 9.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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