Thursday, October 19, 2017

Uncle Has A Long Memory

h/t Kenny

So, some douche who deserted 40 years ago found out there's no statute of limitations on the UCMJ:
(Frozen Hell, ND)An Airman who disappeared from an Air Force Base in North Dakota 40 years ago is in custody of the U.S. Air Force after he was discovered last week living in Florida.
Jeffrey Michels, 64, was arrested Thursday on charges of desertion after he failed to report for duty at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base on July 6, 1977,

I don't know how the Air Farce plays the game, but I can tell you how the Marines did it in the mid-1980s, and probably still do.

Back in the day, In Swamp Lejeune, the MPs marched in some $#!^bag who'd taken a powder 10 years earlier, after he'd been popped by the cops for a traffic violation, and he'd been ID'ed as somebody wanted for Unauthorized Absence 10 years prior.

They brought him back to us, because we were his former unit (in 1975), just long enough to get his paperwork stamped and signed by the current OIC, ran him by the barber shop to get him shaved back to bootcamp bald, then issued him a lovely set of cammies with huge white "P"s on them, and as he'd had 2 years and 3 months left on his enlistment when he'd decided to take a powder, he spent 2 years and 3 months shoveling mud and snow and picking up trash while he was prosecuted for UA, and then separated via a Bad Conduct Discharge. Rain or shine, six days a week, the MPs ran him everywhere on base on foot, with Sundays off, and he was still there when I was transferred out for my tour in Japan.

See if you can guess how long that little morality play affected UAs in the regiment and division for the next few months as the story spread.

When you sign on the line, you're gonna do the time. Even if you're 64 years old.
Michaels might have known that in his head, but soon he's going to feel it in his bones. Especially this winter, when he's out cleaning up the base and the wind chill gets down to negative numbers.


Anonymous said...

But isn't the air force the honorable alternative to service? So he'll probably get the honorable alternative to punishment.

- BAP45

Anonymous said...

"...pour encourager les autres"
Now... let's see what kinda deal that shithead bergdahl gets
Boat Guy

loren said...

You'd think some dude with enough presence of mind to avoid law issues for 40 years would have picked up a birth certificate from a dead kid. Easy enough to do (apparently) 40 years ago, got a drivers license, bank account, credit cards and passport, went overseas to a Western country, married a local, got residency, got citizenship, got a new passport and lived his life not looking over his shoulder?
Guess if you can't serve in the AF in the 80's then you're pretty much no much to begin with.

DTG said...

Had this come up in the early 80's while stationed in upstate NY. Guy walks in off the street, USAF, deserted in '69.

Bottom line? Paperwork, BCD, and off he goes. 6 months later can apply for upgrade to discharge. In a few years, he's got a General under Honorable conditions.

No big deal.

This guy's gonna get off Scott-free, as much as it pains me as a retired USAF First Sergeant.

They do not give 2 shits about who didn't go to Minot 40 years ago....

Unknownsailor said...

What DTG said. Paperwork drill, BCD, and off he goes.
DoD doesn't go looking for deserters any more, and just writes them off if and when they get caught. There just isn't the time, interest, or money to do much of else.

Every now and then someone shows up with an interesting twist, though. One case I know of, guy right out of boot camp reports to his ship in San Diego on a Friday, gets his orders stamped, and is told to come back Monday. He comes back, ship is gone. He keeps calling the base, asking what he should do, base blows him off.

16 years go by...

Guy finally gets fed up with it eating on him, turns himself in to March ARB, and demands adjudication. The other brig running team at 32nd St dutifully schleps up there to pick him up. Because he had his original stamped orders, he got retired at PO1, with back pay.