U.S. Officer jailed for joining French Foreign Legion

Kraut783

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Punishment does seem a bit harsh....I know real sexual assault suspects, child porn suspect...etc that have gotten lighter punishments in the Army. I give him credit for completing his 5 years with the Legion and turning himself in.

"Lieutenant Franks was sentenced to four years in prison and dismissal from the Army on charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer and desertion with the intention to shirk duty, specifically deployment."

Joining the Legion is not the way to avoid a deployment, it's a sure way to BE deployed to a third world country with much less support than the Army provides.
 

Rapid

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I wouldn't be surprised if Bergdouche doesn't get anywhere near this kind of sentence. While this guy screwed over the Army, at least he didn't hand himself in to the enemy... and at least he didn't make his country pay a heavy price for his release. On the contrary, he was still out there fighting the enemy in some capacity and his return cost 0 Taliban commanders.

As much as his actions deserves punishment, probably not on this scale. That is, given his good record in the FFL and the fact that he didn't bring any further discredit to the US...
 

RetPara

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In your worst nightmare.....
One thing to consider is just how long he will actually be in 'the long course'. If I remember a conversation from an earlier life with a MP corrections NCO - part of the in-brief for new prisoners is that the Warden/Commandant tell them he is cutting their sentence in half on the spot. It can be lengthened or further shortened depending on their compliance with the rules......
 

Viper1

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I have to disagree with a lot of the comments. The guy had a five year obligation that he got bored with so he went and did his own thing. He turned his back on an oath he made at school, his commissioning oath, and the Army Values e.g. Loyalty and Selfless Service. He could have served his five, resigned, and then joined the La Légion Étrangère. Instead he decided to be loyal to himself.

If he desired the rigorous life, he should not have branched medical service corps either. That is a not a branch that just gets handed to you out of school. That branch is reserved for maybe 20-30 of the top performers out a graduating class of over 900 new LTs. If he wanted the rough life, Combat Arms would have been the way to go.

As far as not seeking counseling (as per the article) I also call BS. A lot of us have paid out of pocket for civilian therapy so we wouldn't have to deal with the military therapy systems. If he needed help, there are more than enough avenues outside of the Army to get it, without medication either.

I'm glad he turned himself in, I'm glad he served well in the Legion, but I'm willing to bet his medical platoon was pissed as hell when he flew the coop. The punishment is fair. He'll serve it--or less--and he might be able to return to the Legion once he's done.

As a fellow O, I've got little sympathy for this guy. He made a witting decision to desert his Soldiers.
 

Gunz

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I have to disagree with a lot of the comments. The guy had a five year obligation that he got bored with so he went and did his own thing. He turned his back on an oath he made at school, his commissioning oath, and the Army Values e.g. Loyalty and Selfless Service. He could have served his five, resigned, and then joined the La Légion Étrangère. Instead he decided to be loyal to himself.

If he desired the rigorous life, he should not have branched medical service corps either. That is a not a branch that just gets handed to you out of school. That branch is reserved for maybe 20-30 of the top performers out a graduating class of over 900 new LTs. If he wanted the rough life, Combat Arms would have been the way to go.

As far as not seeking counseling (as per the article) I also call BS. A lot of us have paid out of pocket for civilian therapy so we wouldn't have to deal with the military therapy systems. If he needed help, there are more than enough avenues outside of the Army to get it, without medication either.

I'm glad he turned himself in, I'm glad he served well in the Legion, but I'm willing to bet his medical platoon was pissed as hell when he flew the coop. The punishment is fair. He'll serve it--or less--and he might be able to return to the Legion once he's done.

As a fellow O, I've got little sympathy for this guy. He made a witting decision to desert his Soldiers.

I couldn't agree more. And reading between the lines it almost sounds like he enjoys punishment...but maybe not the kind of punishment that involves getting shot at. He did two peacekeeping tours and was a General's bodyguard. General's bodyguards sometimes get to enjoy many of the same comforts as the men they protect. I think under the circumstances, desertion in time of war, 4 years is pretty lenient. And he may even enjoy it.
 
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Rapid

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I think it'd be a fitting punishment if people who've done far worse were actually punished in a manner consistent with this. But because this guy isn't gay, or anti-war, or a straight up traitor like Snowden... then he's an easy target, because there isn't a media circus/liberal campaigners swarming him. So I see it as being unfair in the sense that military justice is hypocritical. Otherwise, sure, it's absolutely right.
 

lindy

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The Mother Army is kicking out officers but yet prosecuting those that just walk away? :hmm:

Where's the prosecutoral discretion? The USG should simply charge him for his education (with interest or something) and move on. We have bigger fish to fry.
 

Kraut783

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Charged, yes...dishonorable discharge, yes...felony conviction on his record for the rest of his life, yes.

4 years, naw...not so much. 1 year served, and 3 years probation....better.

IMHO
 
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Totentanz

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The Mother Army is kicking out officers but yet prosecuting those that just walk away? :hmm:

Where's the prosecutoral discretion? The USG should simply charge him for his education (with interest or something) and move on. We have bigger fish to fry.
Why should he walk? Because we're too lazy to hold people accountable?
 

pardus

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He's a fucking dirtbag that deserted in a time of war, to join a foreign army (albeit an ally) no less. Fuck him, he deserves to be punished.

What sense does "I had to run away from an army and a deployment, in order join an army and deploy to drastically change my life" make?
 

Dame

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He's a fucking dirtbag that deserted in a time of war, to join a foreign army (albeit an ally) no less. Fuck him, he deserves to be punished.

What sense does "I had to run away from an army and a deployment, in order join an army and deploy to drastically change my life" make?
An ally in name at least. The French are always looking to steal technology. I'm thinking his choice of country may have something to do with the punishment.
 

pardus

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An ally in name at least. The French are always looking to steal technology. I'm thinking his choice of country may have something to do with the punishment.
Rubbish. Every country is trying to steal technology from each other. The French have been staunch allies when others have failed us. Don't forget that.
 

Gunz

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He's a fucking dirtbag that deserted in a time of war, to join a foreign army (albeit an ally) no less. Fuck him, he deserves to be punished.

What sense does "I had to run away from an army and a deployment, in order join an army and deploy to drastically change my life" make?

There it is.

It's not about whether or not he was a hero with the FFL, it's not about which country's army he joined, or whether they're allied with us or not. All that is irrelevant. His service record with France is irrelevant. His personal problems are irrelevant. Your duty to your Country comes first. Always. Always. He knew that.
 
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Dame

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Yes, you are guys are paragons of virtue when it comes to intelligence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_surveillance_disclosures_(2013–present)
Not saying we (NSA) are. Wouldn't dream of it.

Rubbish. Every country is trying to steal technology from each other. The French have been staunch allies when others have failed us. Don't forget that.
Also, not saying the French government is particularly guilty.
Unfortunately though, at this time, foreign contacts with certain countries are more scrutinized than others. French contacts raise red flags.

ETA: I'm sure there are other reasons but I wouldn't go into that even if I knew.
 

Totentanz

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Detention doesn't make financial sense. Levy a huge fine with a dishonorable discharge and move on.
If this were purely a financial issue, sure (e.g. ROTC cadets who ride the government dime and decide not to uphold their end of the deal). But it's not, it's an issue of discipline and a heavy bilateral commitment that has been flagrantly violated. I'll admit some morbid curiosity as to the "why" since it doesn't seem to fit the same mold as some of the other turds who've also decided that their commitment meant nothing. But at the end of the day, he's an individual who actively decided to desert from the United States Army, and should be punished accordingly.
 
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