Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Two booted from the Coast Guard Academy

Looks like two Coast Guard Academy cadets who were arrested for off-campus escapades in the fall will be facing only civilian criminal proceedings; they've been expelled from the Academy.

From Jennifer Grogan and the New London Day:
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy has dismissed two cadets who were arrested in separate incidents in the fall.

The decisions follow administrative investigations and hearings for the two cadets, John K. Miller, 20, and Steve Schimmel, 21.

“Young people are going to make mistakes in this training environment. We know they are,” said Chief Warrant Officer David M. French, an academy spokesman. “Some mistakes are learning experiences. Others can prevent individuals from becoming Coast Guard officers.”
While explosion is the most severe form of administrative action possible, it is still administrative in nature. Both cadets will face the civilian judicial system for their actions.
Miller is accused of sexually assaulting a person at a party and preventing the victim from leaving the room at the Navy Lodge on Nov. 12. Groton town police charged him with third-degree sexual assault, unlawful restraint and breach of peace. Police said Miller was among a group of people who had rented rooms at the lodge and were partying....

Schimmel is accused of forcing his way on Oct. 29 into the house of a couple who said he was intoxicated at the time. New London police charged him with second-degree criminal trespass, second-degree criminal mischief and breach of peace. He is scheduled to appear Thursday in New London Superior Court.
The article notes that neither cadet was "charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice because they are being prosecuted by civilian authorities."

I'm waiting for the blogosphere to explode with claims of double standards, and perhaps the blogosphere is correct.

1 comment:

  1. Peter, Please consider changing "explosion" to expulsion.
    Also, the real story here is not that two cadets were forced to resign. It is that Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy can breath easier now. Admiral James Van Sice is gone. The specter of possibly facing a court-martial is gone. Court-martialing a cadet is similar to sending your own son to jail rather than to his room for an infraction of some family rule. No one calls the police when they need to discipline a family member. There is a paternal relationship between the Superintendent and the corps of cadets. Cadets should not have to worry about facing criminal action for college pranks. Their behavior might indicate that they will not make good officers, but they should not get sent to jail for falling short of the Academy standard. When you subject a cadet to a General Court-martial, you are trying to send him to jail for life. That is just plain wrong.