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IWISHIHAD
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A roommate of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion, who died last year following a hazing ritual from other band members, told HBO's Real Sports how Champion was literally beaten to death in the back of the band's bus.

Rikki Wills, Champion's former roommate, spoke about what happened last November that led to Champion's death. Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel debuts on HBO Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. CBSSports.com obtained an advance copy of the segment reported by Real Sports correspondent Frank Deford.

Eleven FAMU band members face felony hazing charges and two others face misdemeanor counts for alleged roles in Champion's hazing. Wills is one of the 13 charged and the first defendant to speak publicly about the incident, according to HBO. He said he tried to protect Champion during the hazing.

The band's initiation is called “Crossing Bus C” and took place on the band's bus after an FAMU football game behind the band's hotel in Orlando, Fla., Wills told Deford.

Before Champion participated in the hazing ritual, which requires a member to walk from the front to the back of the bus while getting hit and beat by "about two dozen" band members Wills said he asked Champion if he wanted to do it.

Wills said Champion told him "I want to get it over with. I just want to do it."

"They were hitting him hard: haymakers, kidney shots," Wills said. "They had percussion sticks, I saw belts. He's just sitting there like a sitting duck. He was like 'I can't breathe, can't breathe. Need air, need air.' And then he started complaining. He said 'I can't see; can't see.'

"He [Champion] said he couldn't see. His eyes were wide open. He was looking at us. He said he couldn't see. He started jerking in and out. He was like [panting], you know trying to gasp for air. He started saying 'Oh, Lord, Jesus, please help me. Please help me.' Those were probably the last words he said. He started panicking again and he just kind of passed out."

Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and died Nov. 19, 2011 from internal bleeding, specifically "hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage, due to blunt force trauma," the Orange County, Fla., medical examiner reported. Champion was 26. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers the drum major was vomiting before he was found unresponsive aboard the bus.

"We kept telling ourselves 'Rob's gonna be all right. It's big Rob, you know?' " Wills said. "And it was about an hour later, where we received a phone call and, you know, they said that, you know, he had passed. We all kind of just broke down."

In November 2010, Real Sports' Deford initially reported extensively on the violent and hidden world of hazing in black college bands. In his current report, Deford also spoke with band members at Southern University and Alabama A&M about the hazing rituals along with Rev. R.B. Holmes, FAMU's former Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Despite at least three reported cases of physical hazing by FAMU band members since 2004, Holmes claims the school doesn't condone hazing. FAMU President James Ammons resigned Wednesday and the Rattlers' Marching 100 band has been suspended from performing this fall.


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CashCowMoo
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I read about that a while back. You know, in my opinion a little hazing should be ok. this is just brutality in this situation.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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IWISHIHAD
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I watched the show just unreal what was happening, the girls were doing a similiar thing.

It seems to be well known around some campuses, where are the school administrators?

They need to clean out these people that take no responsibility and i am not talking about the kids.

Just another Paterno story with a little different twist.

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buckstalker
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quote:
Originally posted by CashCowMoo:
I read about that a while back. You know, in my opinion a little hazing should be ok. this is just brutality in this situation.

You are one twisted SOB...

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glassman
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i went to a high school that moedeled itself after the naval academy. Hazing was an institution there becuase it was in institution in the military academies...

plebe year at the navacad? if an upperclassman told you to drop and give 'em 20? you didn't blink- you did it. nd that is a very minor example. I beleive it has changed now, but i haven't kept up with what they are up to.

i uh changed the rules for myself in HS, i didn't put upwith any hazing and of course they didn't like ti, but they coauldn very well do much aboutit legally either.

when i went to boot camp? that was what the drill instructors did. i had already done so many pushups ( in sports not from allowing myself to be hazed ) that they had me do special slow count ones....

there is a logic to hazing in the military. Its to make the point that when you become a POW you'll need to have the strength created in you by hazing to draw on.

I can't imagine being a POW, but i can say that being a hazer is pretty friggin low, in fact it's just about the same as being keeper of POW's. Things would have to be pretty bad for me to do that too. But i suppose i could if it became necessary. Hazing was the main reason i refused to go the navacad, was not goingto allow anybody to do it to me, and didn't want to be part of doing it to anybody else. I did have the luxury of living when we were not at war then.

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glassman
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BTW? i saw pletny of it in the frats in college too..

i never could figure out why anybody would subject themselves to that just so they could then do it to somebody else who is compliant [Roll Eyes]

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IWISHIHAD
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Again why our people in charge allowing this to go on?

Doesn't matter whether the people in charge at these schools have a formal complaint,if they know people are being abused they need to try and take care of it and if they can't, get someone who can.

Push ups, sit ups, running are a far cry from this from what i heard and saw on this band hazing.

This would be along the lines of an out of control code red in the military as in the movie A Few Good Men

Even in the military you get idiots that take things far beyond there purpose, and many times it just comes down to being bullies.

Sometimes it cathches up to them when they don't have the protection of the military.


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glassman
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true, iwish,

i did recognise even then, that one of the things the academies were watching was the level and rationale of the hazing. In other words, people who abused it were noted and corrective action was taken *supposedly*.

from my perspective? i didn't want any part of it. walking bus c sound tome like we were all going to bleed when it was my turn to walk it. Unfortunately that is the real key to hazing.

even tiger won't jump a person who they can easily kill if they think the person is watching them. that's why the Indian wood gatherers wear face masks on the back of their head. The tiger no matter how much bigger or more powerful just won't risk the confrotnation if they think they'll get a scratch.

so if somebody wants me to comply with their hazing and i refuse? I won't be hazed. I will pay other ways tho.

these 'clubs" make hazing a part of the acceptance ritual, and hence we train people to "accept" torture as part of life.

unfortuantely? standing up for yourself is very expensive especially whne you are alone against a large organisation. whislteblowing is very dangerous chit

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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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IWISHIHAD
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It appears this type of hazing is happening with black bands at college, why just there and why are they doing it?

Or is it not being publicized at other colleges?

Are the majority of admimistators black or white?

I agree it hard to stand up especially when it's something you really like to do.


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glassman
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it ain't just there. it just got outahand there..

how many cases of alcohol poisoning go unreported in colleges from frat initiaians? how many end up at the hospital and get covered up? look at Penn st. footabll amd the shorteyed bastrd they had there. Why was he not reported? ten years ago? why did the Universtiy cover it up?

fear is why.... that's what hazing is designed to create. a cameraderie of fear and contempt of "outsiders".

we had the bullring in football...

why is it getting outahand? that a good question. the stakes get higher every year because they feel the need to make it "better"?

IMO it shows a lack of self-respect on both parties part. but that's just my attitude.

the hazers have submitted themselves to hazing in the past and see it as rigth they earned. the hazees want to be accepted and then they can be the hazers. i don't want any part of any of it.

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glassman
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not all alcohol poisonings are caused by peer pressure or frat intitaions but my persoanl observations were that many are:

Moreover, Hingson et al. (2005) estimated that 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 years die from alcohol-related injuries each year. Although no national database documents the number of alcohol poisoning deaths by college students specifically, reports of such deaths are common in the popular press (Gray, 2008; Parker-Pope, 2008; Walsh and Estrada, 2008; Zernike, 2005). Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007) documents an increase in the number of poisoning deaths in the United States in the years 1999-2004. Although this increase may be the result of drug overdoses, it is a possibility that alcohol was a contributing factor. Yoon et al. (2003) define alcohol poisoning as “an acute toxic condition resulting from exposure to excessive quantities of alcohol within a short period of time” (p. 110).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701093/

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CashCowMoo
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quote:
Originally posted by buckstalker:
quote:
Originally posted by CashCowMoo:
I read about that a while back. You know, in my opinion a little hazing should be ok. this is just brutality in this situation.

You are one twisted SOB...
lol give me a break man. I dont condone violence, but a little spanking here and there never hurt anyone.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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IWISHIHAD
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For me it comes down to administrators looking the other way. Clean them out and it will send the word out and things will change.

There just college kids and i know you can't stop it all, but you don't turn your back when it's running rapid.

I am sure some would say these college kids are adults and by law they are, but we know that many are in their twenties and are legally adults, but not in maturity.

As some of us think back to our earlier years and say, i probably wouldn't have made the same decisions when in my teens and twenties that i would make in my thirties and older.

That why these kids need more supervision or direction to curb these types of activities.
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buckstalker
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quote:
Originally posted by CashCowMoo:
quote:
Originally posted by buckstalker:
quote:
Originally posted by CashCowMoo:
I read about that a while back. You know, in my opinion a little hazing should be ok. this is just brutality in this situation.

You are one twisted SOB...
lol give me a break man. I dont condone violence, but a little spanking here and there never hurt anyone.
I don't understand the desire to inflict pain on another human being...it's demented behavior and anyone that sees it any other way is sadistic at best...your comments explain a lot about your personality disorder.

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It's all in the timing...

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CashCowMoo
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quote:
Originally posted by buckstalker:
quote:
Originally posted by CashCowMoo:
quote:
Originally posted by buckstalker:
quote:
Originally posted by CashCowMoo:
I read about that a while back. You know, in my opinion a little hazing should be ok. this is just brutality in this situation.

You are one twisted SOB...
lol give me a break man. I dont condone violence, but a little spanking here and there never hurt anyone.
I don't understand the desire to inflict pain on another human being...it's demented behavior and anyone that sees it any other way is sadistic at best...your comments explain a lot about your personality disorder.
I never said anything about hurting anyone so stop putting words in my mouth to make yourself feel better about your view of things.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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glassman
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hazing is designed to hurt people cash. plain and simple

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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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glassman
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There exists a type of human who has no connection to the higher centers of universal love/awareness at birth. He/she is not genetically wired this way, not being able to access them during this lifetime but he/she can emulate and mimic these higher characteristics quite well and even distract you from evolving by sapping your energy and feeding off it. He/she can tell you exactly what you want to hear, appear compassionate, empathetic and understanding without meaning or feeling it.

 This type of "human" is the psychopath (making up about 6% of humanity) which is hiding behind a mask of sanity, creating misery and chaos from which they feed. They are not necessarily criminals in prisons, but can be successful CEOs, politicians, spiritual leaders, a husband, wife, child or the neighbor next door. They're also pathological liars who never feel any guilt or remorse. This is a topic which is very misunderstood and ignored. Becoming aware of it and educating oneself and others about it is the most crucial and important action we can undertake to make this world a better place.

It's the underlying cause of the reason why our world is in the state it's in: it is run by psychopaths.



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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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T e x
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At my high school, my class was the first to be freshmen, instead of being "top-dog" 9th-graders in junior high.

Traditionally, sophomores had been the "low-on-the-Totem-pole" class. As frosh, we took some heat away from them. A natural alliance ensued. A few seniors were knocked out, several juniors got whupped pretty badly, and of course, we lost some fights, too.

Point being, as GEB alluded earlier, we didn't even really have to prevail--we merely had to let 'em know that we *would* fight back, and even if we lost, they wouldn't have an easy win.

By the time I was a junior, hazing was done and gone...

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Nashoba Holba Chepulechi
Adventures in microcapitalism...

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IWISHIHAD
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"Chen's father, colleagues testify at harassment court-martial

Opening statements begin in Pvt. Danny Chen hazing court-martial
Trial of soldiers accused of hazing Pvt. Danny Chen draws national interest
Hazing-related charges in GI's death could be difficult to prove
Lawmaker tells military officials to end culture of hazing
Army Pvt. Danny Chen was hazed hours before suicide, family says

Stars and Stripes coverage of suicide in the military


Pvt. Danny Chen

Courtesy U.S. Army

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Friends and colleagues of Pvt. Danny Chen described him as a quiet and shy soldier who had difficulties adjusting to the grind of war in a tiny American base near the Pakistan border.

They also said he dealt with constant name-calling at the hands of other soldiers and was often punished.

Seven soldiers who were stationed at Combat Outpost Palace in Afghanistan testified Wednesday in the court-martial of Sgt. Adam Holcomb.

Holcomb, 30, of Youngstown, Ohio, is the first of eight soldiers to be tried in the death of Chen, who officials said was driven to commit suicide following weeks of hazing and harassment because of his Chinese heritage.

Holcomb is charged with negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, communicating a threat, assault, dereliction of duty, two specifications of maltreatment of a subordinate and four specifications of violating a lawful general regulation.

If convicted of all charges, he faces 17 years, nine months in prison.

Chen, 19, of New York, deployed to Afghanistan last summer as a replacement for a Fort Wainwright, Alaska-based platoon that was then deployed to southwest Kandahar province.

Officials have said he shot himself in a guard tower on Oct. 3.


Pfc. Joshua Morgan, who described himself as a good friend of Chen's, said Holcomb often called Chen "Dragon Lady" and "egg roll."

Another soldier, Spc. Lucio Guerrero, said he saw the scars on Chen's back from an incident where Holcomb, Chen's roommate and superior, dragged him across baseball-sized rocks.

Pfc. Adrian Douglas testified that he tried to befriend Chen, who had difficulty adjusting to the unit.

Douglas said he once found Chen sleeping outside because, he was told, Holcomb had told him he "wasn't worthy" to sleep inside.

He said he found the nicknames for Chen offensive and refrained from using them.

"I just felt like he had a hard enough time already. I didn't want to pick on him any further," Douglas said. "He said it made him angry sometimes, but he couldn't really do anything about it."

Douglas said Chen was ostracized for being new and said that, while it was normal for lower enlisted soldiers to receive corrective punishment, he felt that Chen was punished more often than others.

"He was punished for small things. They were a lot more strict," Douglas said. "It seemed somewhat obvious. You hardly ever saw people by themselves on detail. Chen was almost always by himself."

Spc. Justin Christiansen agreed that he thought Chen was punished more than others.

Christiansen said it often was unclear why Chen was being punished.

If someone was to ask, it would only invite punishment on themselves, he said.

"As a private, the first thing you learn is to not watch someone else when they're in trouble," he said.

Holcomb's lawyers have contended that Chen performed poorly in Afghanistan and put himself and his fellow soldiers at risk by falling asleep during guard duty and forgetting key tools.

Christiansen, however, said it was not uncommon to fall asleep on guard shifts, which often stretched well over 12 hours.

But one of the unit's non-commissioned officers, Staff Sgt. Darren Holt, said he saw nothing wrong with the treatment of Chen, although he did talk to Holcomb after learning of the incident where Chen was dragged.

"Infantry guys, we get rough with each other," Holt said. "I just didn't think it was that serious."

All of the soldiers who testified said they did not see Chen's apparent suicide coming and described him as a generally cheerful soldier.

But one soldier testified that he was almost driven to suicide by Holcomb earlier in the deployment.

Pvt. Marcus Merritt, who is African-American, testified that he was called a racial slur - a variation of the n-word - while he was stationed at Combat Outpost Palace before Chen's arrival.

Merritt said he also was threatened by Holcomb, but he did not take it seriously.

Merritt, who is getting ready to leave the Army, did not return to Afghanistan because he went absent without leave following a trip back to the United States.

He has been allowed to stay in the military, in part, so he could testify in this case, officials said.

Merritt said he did not want to return to Afghanistan because he feared what he might have done to himself or others.

He also testified that he smoked marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress symptoms that he said were caused by Holcomb.

"All of the stuff he did had a long-lasting effect," Merritt testified. "I thought if I went back I would do something - harm myself or someone else.

"He abused his power," Merritt said while describing regular harassment from Holcomb.

Holcomb's lawyers argued that Merritt never told a mental health worker about Holcomb, but Merritt countered by saying that, for some reason, Holcomb's name was left out of the report.

"I told the therapist I wanted to kill Sgt. Holcomb, sir," he said.

Earlier in the day, Chen's father, Yan Tao Chen, testified.

The elder Chen said he was close with his son and proud when he joined the military.

He reiterated testimony from his wife from the court-martial's first day, repeatedly saying the family had never considered trying to sue the Army for money related to their son's death.

Yan Tao Chen also denied defense allegations that the Chen family had disowned their son prior to his deployment.

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IWISHIHAD
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Isn't Hazing just another word for Bullying.

I'm kinda surprised that the soldier was harassed that much considering he was in a war zone and had access to so many weapons.

Can't imagine that being infantry that he wasn't carrying loaded weapons quite a bit of the time,
doesn't make those other guys to smart, but they must be lucky.


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glassman
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quote:
Originally posted by IWISHIHAD:
Isn't Hazing just another word for Bullying.

I'm kinda surprised that the soldier was harassed that much considering he was in a war zone and had access to so many weapons.

Can't imagine that being infantry that he wasn't carrying loaded weapons quite a bit of the time,
doesn't make those other guys to smart, but they must be lucky.


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the differnce between the old day like Nam and and now is that cameras and camcorders are everyhere now [Smile]

alot of 'em prolly even have bluetooth and wirelss direct downloads to remotes stroage... paranoia? yep...

in the Navy? we had asaying, Everybody has to sleep sometime. and pretty much everybody did alot of squabbling and haranguing each other, but i have three brothers so i grew up used to it...

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IWISHIHAD
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All the computor/internet/phone stuff has made war zone actions way to quick and close.

To bad in many cases, i think you create a lot more problems in families etc. instead of a lot more time to think about things before a final reaction, when we had to use US mail.

Mail was slow but made you think a lot more because of the time involved, sometimes our first reactions aren't our best.

It's really hard to know how far this incident went or was he just real sensitive, but these guys should know when to knock it off.

We learned quickly that guys from Ca. were going to hear more crap than people from most other places, jealousy i guess.

Most of the time laughable, sometimes people get away with a little and think they can get away with a lot, doesn't always work that way but some have to learn the hard way.

What's with the 12 hour guard duty in a combat infantry unit, i like to live to much to expect someone to do that and assume none will nap.

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glassman
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as a preteen in the 60's? i clearly remember people talkinag about Cali in terms of reverence and as THE place to be and live...and i grew up inside the DC Beltway [Wink]

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CashCowMoo
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quote:
Originally posted by IWISHIHAD:
All the computor/internet/phone stuff has made war zone actions way to quick and close.

To bad in many cases, i think you create a lot more problems in families etc. instead of a lot more time to think about things before a final reaction, when we had to use US mail.

Mail was slow but made you think a lot more because of the time involved, sometimes our first reactions aren't our best.

It's really hard to know how far this incident went or was he just real sensitive, but these guys should know when to knock it off.

We learned quickly that guys from Ca. were going to hear more crap than people from most other places, jealousy i guess.

Most of the time laughable, sometimes people get away with a little and think they can get away with a lot, doesn't always work that way but some have to learn the hard way.

What's with the 12 hour guard duty in a combat infantry unit, i like to live to much to expect someone to do that and assume none will nap.

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"What's with the 12 hour guard duty in a combat infantry unit"

We did 4 hour shifts, not sure what unit you got that from. The problem was right after a guard shift at our combat outpost you had to go on a mission most of the time, this is after coming back from a mission then pulling guard.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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glassman
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Marines and th eNavy have differnt system from the Army.

due to lack of manpower abourd the ships in Pearl when The Emperor displayed his true colors, the navy went to a two to four shift Duty Rotation. Generally on ships, we were on Port and Starboard Duty meaning that at any given time half the ships crew is on duty for guard purposes, even during working hours. Thee day duty could b ehad in Liberty Ports and other ports that we wer considerd to be vary safe, and 4 day duty cycles could happen in home port and on most shore duty stations...

The marines even tho they hate to admit it, are part of navy and were using high %age duty cycles in most places i was with them... Bored? Want a good diversion? Just mention that the Marines are part of the Navy to a Gyrene in a Bar and it'll usually make for an interesting evening...

seriuosly? IWISHIHAD joined the marines instead of the Navy, i thouroughly enjoy shooting sports of all kinds and "just" being a gunner in the navy was not very rewarding form that point of view.

on the other hand? i did get a great set of mecahnical/electrical/electronics/hydraulics and digital skill by becoming a navy gunner. the marines would have given me a completely differnt skillset..... so i won't complain, just saying that i have great respect foe Marines esp. the Recon. units and their ilk.... eating out of an MRE bag was never a bother to me, and i don't mind getting in the mud an dirt and rolling around once inawhile.. [Smile]

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IWISHIHAD
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Originally Posted By CashCowMoo:

"What's with the 12 hour guard duty in a combat infantry unit"

We did 4 hour shifts, not sure what unit you got that from. The problem was right after a guard shift at our combat outpost you had to go on a mission most of the time, this is after coming back from a mission then pulling guard.
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4 hours seems about right, i think ours were longer but could be wrong.

I am not sure what you mean about combat outpost then on a mission?

I got that 12 hour shift from the Stars and Stripes article: "Christiansen, however, said it was not uncommon to fall asleep on guard shifts, which often stretched well over 12 hours.


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quote:
Originally posted by IWISHIHAD:
Originally Posted By CashCowMoo:

"What's with the 12 hour guard duty in a combat infantry unit"

We did 4 hour shifts, not sure what unit you got that from. The problem was right after a guard shift at our combat outpost you had to go on a mission most of the time, this is after coming back from a mission then pulling guard.
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4 hours seems about right, i think ours were longer but could be wrong.

I am not sure what you mean about combat outpost then on a mission?

I got that 12 hour shift from the Stars and Stripes article: "Christiansen, however, said it was not uncommon to fall asleep on guard shifts, which often stretched well over 12 hours.


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You have your larger bases, then your forward operating base, and then your combat outposts, which they tried to rename to "JSS" to make it sound more... peaceful I guess. Joint security station or something along those lines.

Combat outpost is usually for one company sized element rotated out with the platoons. Our company was 73 men, two platoons and a headquarters platoon.

So say you are at your combat outpost...they are strategically placed in an area where you run your missions out of. So for example, our platoon would be there on our rotation. There is a perimeter to guard so you rotated guys to pull guard from each squad. While you have security manned you run a couple squads out on patrol mounted or unmounted. Mounted was humvee, dismounted of course was foot patrol. Foot patrols are preferred to be done at night because of insurgent snipers were active during daylight.

Had to have done hundreds of missions, at least 500, couldn't count them all even if I tried. Usually small scale stuff in a zone assigned to your unit. Small missions were a daily thing, then there was always medium to large sized operations done with other units from other divisions with multiple assets.

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IWISHIHAD
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Got it, sounds like your company got to stay awhile in one place and just work out of there.

Good and bad.

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no,we always had multiple outposts throughout the deployments. Go to an area, clean it out, move on to the next. Usually 3 months per area it took.

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IWISHIHAD
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What i was saying is that it appears you stay in an area for awhile with some sort of base camp, opposed to moving on foot and digging in pretty much every day.

Still couldn't understand the 12 hour guard duty, but maybe you Iraq guys were super human or pop a lot of pills.

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"FT. BRAGG, N.C. -- A court-martial found Army Sgt. Adam Holcomb guilty Monday of maltreatment and assault of Pvt. Danny Chen, a 19-year-old Asian American soldier who committed suicide in Afghanistan last Oct. 3.

But a panel of 10 service members found Holcomb not guilty of more serious charges of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, communicating a threat and hazing.

Prosecutors had accused Holcomb, 30, of hounding Chen into committing suicide by subjecting him to hazing, physical abuse and ethnic slurs.

The panel’s finding is a recommendation. Under the military system, the recommendation will be delivered to the commanding general of Ft. Bragg, Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, who will decide a final verdict and punishment.

Holcomb faces a maximum of 2½ years in military prison on the maltreatment and assault convictions. The panel could announce its recommendation for sentence later Monday.

Had Holcomb been convicted on all charges, he could have faced nearly 14 years in prison.

Earlier Monday, a military prosecutor said Chen killed himself after a sergeant and fellow soldiers demeaned and humiliated him because of his race.
"If you treat someone that bad, they are going to snap,’’ prosecutor Maj. Steve Berlin told the court.

But in closing arguments for Holcomb, a military defense lawyer portrayed Chen as a woefully incompetent and unprepared soldier who put his platoon at risk before he killed himself over his own failures -- and because his immigrant parents had disowned him.

"This is a platoon at war, not men sitting around saying, 'How can we get Private Chen?’’’ said military defense attorney Anthony Osborne.

Both sides outlined starkly divergent narratives of Chen’s final days as the court-martial for Holcomb, a tall, thickly built team leader, entered it sixth day.

The panel of 10 officers and senior non-commissioned officers began deliberating at 1:45 p.m. Seven votes are required for a guilty verdict.
Holcomb dragged Chen, whose body weighed just 148 pounds at autopsy, across baseball-sized gravel, bloodying his back, for failing to turn off a hot water heater at a remote combat outpost in southern Afghanistan, testimony showed. Soldiers testified that Holcomb bombarded Chen with ethnic slurs, including "Dragon Lady."

"The accused treated him like no one should be treated,’’ Berlin told the panel, saying Holcomb singled out Chen because he was "of a different race.’’

On a video screen, Berlin projected a photo of Chen wearing his military uniform and beret. Surrounding the photo were four offensive Chinese American slurs allegedly uttered by Holcomb or other soldiers, including "Dragon Lady’’ and "Egg Roll.’’

"Look at his picture,’’ Berlin told the panel. "It’s clear he’s very different from the other soldiers.’’

Chen arrived at the tiny base in August 2011, long after other soldiers had already formed tight bonds in a deadly combat zone. As the only Chinese American soldier in the unit, Berlin said, Chen was instantly ostracized.

"You are different. You are the Dragon Lady,’’ Berlin said. "Your color is different. ... We’re going to emasculate you by calling you Dragon Lady.’’

A few hours after several soldiers – but not Holcomb – forced Chen to crawl on his belly while they pelted him with rocks and bottles Oct. 3, Chen shot himself under the chin with his automatic rifle inside a base guard tower.

The government said Holcomb, who shared living quarters with the young private, hazed, humiliated and hounded Chen into taking his own life. Berlin said Chen took desperate measures to get away from Holcomb, sometimes sleeping outside or in a portable toilet on Combat Outpost Palace.

"Danny Chen had nowhere to go,’’ Berlin said. "It was just him and his tormenter.’’

The defense blamed Chen himself, saying Holcomb worked to improve Chen’s poor performance as an infantryman.

Yep, ddarxx, I served and I recall moronic and sadistic NCOs bullying kids who should never have been in uniform or should have been behind a typewriter or in a supply unit passing out toilet paper.

No one wants to admit it, but the military is still full of bigots and sadists -- especially in the NCO ranks and this case proves it. I would have thought that in the decades since I served there would have been some kind of evolution, but that's clearly not the case.

Dragged him across rocks? This sgt should have been convicted of torture and sent to prison.

This verdict and punishment in itself is a crime.
Not talking side here, but people commit suicide everyday. You can't really stop it and they will always find another way to do it.

Yeah he fell asleep at his post! Doesn't surprise me at all considering he was probably harrassed all night long by his cowardly Sgt. (only cowards pick on weaker people) I would be willing to bet it was the only place he got any peace from this POS. Hopefully he does serve some time, doesn't help Chen's family but it will send a message.

Private Chen killed Private Chen,’’ Osborne said.

Osborne said "Dragon Lady’’ and other slurs were "nicknames,’’ described by the defense during testimony as "terms of endearment.’’ Dragging Chen across the gravel was intended to instill discipline in an undermanned unit that took enemy fire almost every day.

"We need discipline or men die,’’ Osborne said. "That was [Holcomb’s] purpose’’ in dragging Chen about 40 yards from his bunk to the water heater.


The defense argued that abuse alleged by prosecutors was actually "corrective training’’ approved by the military to correct soldier’s mistakes or oversights. Testimony showed that Chen, who had less training than most young soldiers in the 26-man platoon, fell asleep on guard duty, was chronically late, forgot to wear his helmet – and could not properly fire his automatic rifle.

"Private Chen was a liability to the platoon,’’ Osborne said. "That’s what this case is about – he should not have been there.’’

Osborne blamed the Army for failing to identify Chen’s shortcomings and fragile psychological state before he deployed. And he said the military was setting a dangerous precedent by charging one soldier with responsibility for another soldier’s suicide.

Defense lawyers have said Chen’s demise began before he ever arrived in Afghanistan. Testimony showed that he failed to report for formation at a base in Alaska and curled up into the fetal position in his bunk after telling friends his parents had disowned him. At least five soldiers testified that Chen told them his parents wanted nothing to do with him.

"His joining the Army had shamed their family,’’ Osborne said. "That seriously impacted this soldier’s decision to kill himself.’’

Holcomb was not present when Chen was pelted with rocks as he crawled to the guard tower the day he ultimately killed himself, Osborne said.

Chen’s suicide was a "a tragic loss,’’ Osborne said. He pointed across the courtroom at the defendant. "But his death,’’ he said, "was not caused by this soldier


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