Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cloud Strife, Jan 14, 2010.
this is just wrong!
That just sucks all around. I don't think she should be put in jail. However, she should have thought this all through. I can't take a job then say I can't do it and not expect ramifications. If she was active in the military she should have taken that into account.
Agreed. While I think she will be charged with a lot more than she deserves, she DID sign up and had to know deployment was a possibility, so yeah. If you sign up for the job you are expected to do it. If you didn't have anyone to take care of the kid, then you shouldn't have signed up for active duty.
18 year vet of the Army here. And I've worked in JAG as well as Brigade levels with court marshalls and Article 15s.
I see cases like this all the time - but fortunately most never make it to court marshall, a level of common sense from a Command keeps that from occurring.
True, she signed up for military duty and, as a single parent, she would have been required to file a Family Care Plan for her child. However, the person who is listed as the primary care giver is who is at fault here, for backing out of their duty. In this case that's her mother. Her mom's actions are causing her daughter potential jail time. I hope she feels good about that.
Additionally, there are secondary care givers that are usually named. Although not necessary for a legal, binding plan, I usually kick them back from my Soldiers asking them to at least name the other parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, etc. for instances exactly like this one. So, in that regard, the Soldier's chain of command failed her as well. They should have explained that if a deployment arose and her mom failed to take th child, that legal reprocussions could result.
It's failure on the Soldier's unit and her mother, not her. She's doing what she has to do as a mother. If she legitimately had nobody else to take care of her child, she had to do what she had to do. I don't agree with a court marshall in this case but, unfortunately, it was started by her Commander (showing a lack of common sense, not a requirement in the Army BTW). Once reviewed it's probably going to be dismissed and the Soldier discharged. She'll most likely have an option to re-enlist down the road. It's not guaranteed, but it's the outcome I've seen in these cases. It sucks on her to miss out on some military time, but she's still young enough to miss a few years, re-enlist, and make a career out of it (if that's what she wanted).
I do have to wonder if her unit had backups for the deployment. I'm assuming they may not have since they are persuing charges. If they had a back fill for her it wouldn't be such a big deal that she didn't go. The two times I've gone overseas we always had an extra 2-3 people that went through mobilization station with us. If someone got hurt, had an emergency, or wasn't able to deploy for medical reasons we had backups to fill their position.
Fuck her. She swore the oath, she took the pay, she should get on the fucking plane.
You are my hero. Maybe she needs some wall to wall counseling?
Wow. I'm glad you aren't in my unit.
You do realize that, on occasion, someone has a true emergency. On occasion, the military doesn't take priority. On occasion, you have to do what's right as a person.
Signing a contract doesn't take away your obligation to be a good parent.
At the risk of sounding callous, I don't see why someone would sign up for the military without knowing they had a reliable guardian for their child at home, especially considering joining the military carries a risk of injury or death which could mean that that guardianship may need to become permanent. I mean, even if she only had the child after she signed up, couldn't she have realized that having a child in her current situation would be an extremely poor idea?
Sure, this relative kind of left her twisting in the wind, but isn't this the kind of thing that should have been worked out long in advance? Surely joining the military wasn't the only conceivable career choice she could have gone with.
As cruel as it sounds, I (who, as a caveat, have no military experience) don't think I'd want to have to rely on someone in my unit who can't even be responsible enough to arrange care of their own child.
Bingo. On a side note, years ago, my family was nearly thrown out of military housing because my Dad's Med Cruise was continually extended. The ship was contacted and a copy of orders sent home. The wonderful cause of all this? Other wives complaining that my parents had divorced. Nobody said the Military was stupid its the bureacracy within thats retarded and in play here.
Seriously, she never said that she would not go she said that without child care she could not go even though it wasn't said I believe that if childcare was squared away she'd be on the next plane. Jeez, I really feel for the kid, she's doing everything right and still being punished. WTF?!? Go Army.
As much as I sympathize with the single mother, I have to agree with some of the other posts. She made the choice to sign her life away, knowing full well that if called upon she'd have to leave.
One of those "you made your bed now lie in it" situations.
On a side note though, I would think the military could make arrangements for this sort of thing though. Of course no longer than I was a part of the military I dont really have much to contribute.
No sympathy for the woman, joining the army is serious business and she should have thought of this before signing up or having the kid. Sucks for the kid though.
Most of you assume she signed up as a single parent. She may have signed up while she was still married, then got divorced. Maybe she's a widow (otherwise you'd assume the father would have been the primary caretaker on her plan). In either case, as a single parent, she had to fill out a Family Care Plan. According to the article, that stated her mom agreed to take care of the child. That's the contingency plan. You don't have a contingency plan for the contingency plan; which is why I said in my first post that I usually try to get a secondary supporter on a Family Care Plan, just in case something like this happens. Unfortunately that's not required - maybe it should be.
The mother backed out of that agreement at the last minute, leaving the Soldier hanging. What else could she do? The Soldier made a plan, she did everything right, and her mother agreed to it then backed out. Unfortunately, neither the Army nor the Soldier can force her to take care of the child.
The Soldier's getting screwed on this by her own mother; that's who needs to be blamed.
Anyways... there could be more to this story. I wonder if she really, truly could not find care for her child, or is she using it as a way out from duty. Either way I don't really feel sorry for her as she has made her perverbial bed.
It may sound callous, but I have to agree with you that she's at fault here. She got the money that army pays her but she is not fulfilling her part of the deal. If she can't find someone to take care of her child then don't sign up dammit!
If she's not a douchebag soldier, and she made an effort to adjust her FCP, and in fact, it was her leadership that failed her, that'll come out in the wash.
But this stuff comes up all the time--charges are virtually never filed (which I'm sure you know) unless there's some serious misconduct or failure on the part of the soldier.
Isn't there an old military saying that "The first casualty is always the plan"? Sounds like having multiple contingencies is a pretty useful thing to have.
Don't get me wrong here, like I said, the mom didn't really live up to her end of the bargain, but if her mom only had the kid for two weeks before deciding "Nope, can't do this", it sounds like more time and effort should have been spent on the Family Care Plan, and preparing for deployment. As I read it, it kind of came off that the mother was unreliable or really not committed to taking care of the child (and if she couldn't deal with the kid for over two weeks, what would have happened if the soldier in question, god forbid, was killed in action?), and were I the soldier, I'd hope that I was damn sure my kid would be in good hands before I even signed up.
You're right in that there's a lot of details we don't know, and you've got a much better handle on American military bureaucracy than I do. Still, I would imagine that even were she divorced or widowed between the time she signed up and the time she deployed, that her records would have changed to reflect this, and that she would have been notified as to any necessary changes. You said yourself that she filed the Care Plan, so (and once again I likely sound callous in saying it) the army had no way of knowing what her family situation was in detail or if there was any issue, or at the very least they should have been notified sooner.
I understand the soldier was in a tight spot, and I understand that she acted in the best interest of her family, what I'm questioning is how she allowed things to get to that situation in the first place.
You can't make assumptions about her conduct. I've been in too many units where you do the best you can as a Soldier and the leadership just hates you. You know, as well as I do, that a vindictive Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Leader, or Commander can get away with murder. We can't assume the Soldier was at fault here.
For those who continue to think she signed up as a single mom, re-read the article. It says she's been in four years and has an infant son. The last I checked, not too many people referred to a child over four as "infant". I'm betting she had the kid after enlisting and the father more than likely bailed on her.
I'm sticking with the Soldier's mother being to blame here. She had an obligation with her daughter to take care of the baby and she failed.
And Aernaroth, there's no way the military would know that the Soldier's mother wasn't going to do what she agreed to. There's no way the Soldier may have known. Sometimes people just change their minds at the last minute for no reason and catch everyone off guard. It's not fair that the Soldier be punished for it.
The only one posting sense in this thread is DeathStorm, who coincidentally has the most knowledge and experience with these sorts of situations.
It's a mess all around, no winners. Everyone involved in that situation should work on a solution that causes the least harm all around, that's the only sane and "be a f#%ing human" approach.
I agree with Death storm the soldier's mom let her down and no way should a single parent solider have to put there child into foster care, they are serving this country and the military needs to step up and offer ways to serve in country for the these parents if it is impossible to find some one to care for the child(ren) while they are over seas
If that's the case, and I DO hope it is, hopefully she'll be let off the hook and given a domestic position or some form of honorable discharge. What's the usual result in a situation like that? It's probably not going to be "Work it out and then fly over there ASAP", is it? I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm laying all the blame on the soldier here, I'm more interested in how things GOT to this point.
And since she's been in the military for a number of years, and I imagine the infant son is the child we've been talking about, my question in my original post remains, though: If she is in the military, and surely in the last two years she must have realized deployment was an option, why did it seem like a good idea to her to have a child? Does the US military consider a mother ready to serve immediately after her child is born, or is there some sort of maternity leave?
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