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Entries in Sailor (3)

Thursday
Apr142011

Navy Drops Discharge of Sailor Found Asleep with Another Man

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- The Navy has dropped discharge proceedings against a young petty officer accused of "unprofessional conduct" after he was found asleep in bed with another male sailor earlier this year.

Stephen Jones, 21, a student at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, S.C., had said his attempted ouster was motivated by homophobia, not a legitimate crime.

"This was an attempt to utilize supposed misconduct to get around 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provisions," said Jones' civilian attorney Gary Meyers. "He's never said that he's gay, and no one asked him. It's irrelevant. He didn't do anything wrong."

The reprieve for Jones came Friday from the "upper echelons" of the Navy, Meyers said.

In an interview last month, Jones said he and friend Brian McGee inadvertently dozed off while watching the Vampire Diaries on a computer in his quarters Feb. 6.

"I asked several times about what was unprofessional about what I did, and every time they said it's just unprofessional. Period," said Jones.

Jones was wearing pajama pants and a white t-shirt, laying on top of the covers; McGee was in boxer shorts under the blanket on Jones' twin bed, according to both men's accounts.

When Jones' roommate, Tyler Berube, walked in shortly after midnight, the sleepy sailors woke up, got dressed and went back to their rooms.

Several days later, however, Jones and McGee were cited with dereliction of duty for "willfully failing to exhibit professional conduct in his room," according to the Navy report specifying the charges.

McGee accepted the charge and received docked pay. But when Jones refused to accept a penalty, instead hoping for a court martial to prove his innocence, he was ordered separated from the Navy for good.

While there was no evidence of homosexual conduct presented in the statements given by the three men to military investigators, Jones and his civilian attorney Gary Meyers believe homophobic suspicions were motivation for the charge.

Gay and lesbian advocates also warned the case illustrates a loophole for continued discrimination against homosexual service members complication despite the impending repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

A copy of the Navy's investigative report confirms that Berube discovered the two men asleep in bed, well before the 2 a.m. curfew Feb. 6, but does not detail how Jones or McGee may have exhibited unprofessional behavior.

"Guys are always playing video games, watching movies, in other people's quarters," Jones said. "Brian and I hung out on a regular basis. Curfew was 2 a.m. We woke up between 12 and 12:30, and were back in our rooms before 1. I have never been in trouble ever in all of my life."

A spokesman for the Naval Nuclear Training Command did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment but told the Washington Post, which first reported on the case, that "the determination was that two sailors sharing the same rack was unprofessional."

Attorney Meyers said, "If this is a problem, every kid who was ever in a fraternity or sorority or in a dorm room, wearing boxers and sitting on the bed, is going to have to look at their conduct again."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar092011

Navy Sailor Faces Discharge for Falling Asleep With Another Man

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- A Navy petty officer facing discharge for falling asleep in bed with another male sailor last month says his ouster is motivated by homophobia, not a legitimate crime, a claim that has some gay rights advocates worried about life after "don't ask don't tell."

Stephen Jones, 21, a student at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina, says he and friend Brian McGee inadvertently fell asleep together while watching the Vampire Diaries on a computer in his quarters Feb. 6.

Jones was wearing pajama pants and a white t-shirt, laying on top of the covers; McGee was in boxer shorts under the blanket on Jones' twin bed, according to both men's account of the situation.

When Jones' roommate, Tyler Berube, walked in shortly after midnight, the sailors woke up, got dressed and went back to their rooms.  Several days later, however, Jones and McGee were cited with dereliction of duty for "willfully failing to exhibit professional conduct in his room," according to the Navy report specifying the charges.

McGee accepted the charge and received docked pay.  But when Jones refused to accept a penalty, instead hoping for a court martial to prove his innocence, he was ordered separated from the Navy for good.

While there was no evidence of homosexual conduct presented in the statements given by the three men to military investigators, Jones and his civilian attorney Gary Meyers believe homophobic suspicions were motivation for the charge.

"The roommate is concerned about what he sees, even though he sees nothing," Meyers said.  "And his statement doesn't indicate he saw anything.  Two men woke up and they left the room.  It's a bizarre overreaction."

Meyers contends that because the command had too little evidence to start an investigation under "don't ask, don't tell," which is still technically military policy, it used a subterfuge to achieve the same result.

"I asked several times about what was unprofessional about what I did, and every time they said it's just unprofessional.  Period," said Jones, who is appealing the decision.

"Guys are always playing video games, watching movies, in other people's quarters," Jones said.  "Brian and I hung out on a regular basis.  Curfew was 2 a.m.  We woke up between 12 and 12:30, and were back in our rooms before 1.  I have never been in trouble ever in all of my life."

A copy of the Navy's investigative report confirms that Berube discovered the two men asleep in bed, well before the 2 a.m. curfew Feb. 6, but does not detail how Jones or McGee may have exhibited unprofessional behavior.

A spokesman for the Naval Nuclear Training Command did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment but told the Washington Post, which first reported on the case, that "the determination was that two sailors sharing the same rack was unprofessional."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec062010

Another Pentagon Security Leak; Sailor Allegedly Sold Secrets

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the same week the Pentagon said it was cracking down on access to government secrets, a low-level Navy clerk with top secret clearance to Afghan war intelligence sold classified documents and offered access to the Pentagon's most sensitive computer networks, according to a search warrant filed last week in federal court by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The sailor, petty officer Bryan Minkyu Martin, was taken into custody at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina but has not yet been charged, according to a spokesperson for the investigative service.

According to the affidavit, Martin sold 51 pages of "secret" and "top secret" documents to an FBI undercover agent posing as a representative of an unnamed foreign government. He was paid $2,000 for the documents, according to the affidavit.

The case came during the same week in which the Pentagon said it was cracking down on access to top-secret documents after some 250,000 classified Pentagon and State Department cables were posted online by the website WikiLeaks. An Army private, Bradley Manning, has been charged with providing the classified cables.

According to a military source familiar with Manning and Martin's security clearances, Martin's access to sensitive documents is significantly higher.

In the case at Ft. Bragg, the affidavit says petty officer Martin allegedly boasted of his access to classified network systems, including "Joint special Operations Command Information Automated Network (JIANT), a network classified SECRET, and the Special Operations System (SOIS), a network classified TOP SECRET."

Martin told the undercover agent "that his current assignment focuses on Afghanistan, and that he will work for the Defense Intelligence Agency in the future," the affidavit said. Martin added "that over his prospective 15 to 20 years career, he could be very valuable."

Martin, of Mexico, New York, was tracked wearing his U.S. Navy uniform as he left his Ft. Bragg office and headed for the meeting with the FBI undercover agent, the affidavit said.

He provided the agent with 51 pages of documents, "48 pages of which were marked SECRET and three pages were marked TOP SECRET," according to the affidavit.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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