Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: Works for Rock Stars, but Airmen? Not So Much

  • Published
  • By 35th Fighter Wing Judge Advocate
  • 35th Fighter Wing Legal Office
Sex, drugs and rock and roll ...

This way of life might work for some civilians, but for Misawa Airmen it proved to be nothing but a hangover in the closing months of 2010. Misconduct has cost Misawa Airmen many stripes, lots of money and significant freedom during these months. These failures in discipline impact not only the individual, but also absorb the valuable time of leaders at all levels. Most importantly, they create negative perceptions of Airmen in northern Japan.

From September through December, commanders at Misawa Air Base punished 30 offenders from 12 squadrons under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As a result, Misawa Airmen lost a total of 18 stripes (equivalent to the loss of two Chief Master Sergeants), forfeited nearly $19,000 in pay and spent a year and six months restricted to the base. It's clear that Misawa continues to take swift action against those who violate the law.

With this in mind, let's review some of the rock and roll lifestyles to see what we can learn.

· A Senior Airman lost a stripe for exposing himself to a local resident at the Misawa train station while he was drunk. Luckily, the young lady declined to press charges with the Japanese National Police and he faced punishment from the Air Force only. He was reduced to Airman First Class and, in an effort to improve host-nation relations, restricted to base for 60 days.

· A NCO was involved in an adulterous relationship. The NCO lost over $2,200 for the indiscretion (not to mention the trust of her chain of command)

· While on leave in the United States, an Airman First Class decided to smoke marijuana. As the price for getting high, the Airman became a slick sleeve (reduced to E-1) and lost his job in the Air Force.

· An Airman seeking prescription medication for non-medical use slammed his hand in a car door to get the drugs. He also missed work without authority. He lost a stripe and spent 60 days restricted to the base for his trouble.

· One Misawa Staff Sergeant decided to go grocery shopping off-base. But instead of paying for his fruit and vegetables he simply walked out without paying. In the end, this NCO ended up paying $2,300 for his attempt to save $18, proving again that "crime doesn't pay."

· A Staff Sergeant crashed his car into a pole and a fence and fled the scene of the accident. When he was caught and punished, he was no longer an NCO and forfeited $500.

· Another Staff Sergeant was found passed out over his steering wheel while extremely drunk. He spent 30 days restricted to the base and forfeited $2,200.

· Similarly, a Senior Airman, who was drunk while driving, almost hit a pedestrian and then passed out at a red light. He lost a stripe and spent 30 days restricted to base.

· An Airman was charged with being drunk and disorderly after trying to bite a first sergeant's screen door in the early morning hours. When Security Forces arrived, the Airman resisted arrest, claiming demons possessed him. When the demons released him and he sobered up, he found himself lighter by one stripe, short $1,500 in pay, restricted to base for 30 days and performing 30 days extra duties.

· A Senior Airman and a Staff Sergeant got into a fight downtown after the Senior Airman yelled an insult at the NCO. When the dust settled, the Senior Airman was lying unconscious on the floor and the NCO walked home. The NCO turned self-defense into a crime by leaving a man down, and later lying about what happened. Both were punished for assault, and the NCO was charged with making a false official statement.The Senior Airman was also punished for provoking the fight in the first place. Together, the two Airmen forfeited a combined total of $4,300.

· An NCO was found intoxicated while attempting to enter two different homes in base housing - neither of which were his. While in Security Forces custody, this Staff Sergeant began violently resisting his restraints and cursed out his first sergeant. When he finally calmed down, he had become a Senior Airman.

· What goes while on temporary duty (TDY) doesn't always stay TDY. One Senior Airman lost sight of his mission while deployed to Osan AB, Korea, and became seriously intoxicated. During the course of an evening, he assaulted and threatened his friends, resisted arrest by fleeing from security personnel, and threatened to choke several others. In the end, he was reduced to the rank of Airman (E-2) and discharged from the Air Force.

· Other crimes committed by Misawa Airmen and punished under Article 15 include assault, incapacitation for duty due to excessive drinking, larceny, dereliction of duty, missing work without authority, making false statements, driving without a license and dishonorably failing to pay a debt.

Everyone can serve as an example, whether a good or bad one. These Airmen's behaviors are examples of what not to do. Don't be That Guy or That Girl.

The lesson learned here is: leave the rock and roll lifestyle to actual rock stars.