Just finished this article about the Fourth Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and the brigade's disciplinary issues at Ft Bliss.
During a pre-departure briefing this spring to about 360 troops at Contingency Operating Base Adder in southern Iraq, Colonel Newell paced in front of them, saying he felt uncomfortable about their impending return to Fort Bliss.
“I have a little stress over sending a brigade home,” he said. “The sad truth is that it is safer for me to keep you in Iraq drawing combat pay with people trying to kill you than it is for me to take you back home.”
One by one, he ticked off cases in which one of the unit’s soldiers had ruined his life at Fort Bliss before the brigade’s deployment to Iraq last year: four suicides, a drug overdose, a murder committed with a baseball bat, fatal drunken-driving offenses, cases of domestic violence, and a shooting after an argument in a bar.
At least six of the unit’s former soldiers are serving 15 years or more in prison for those crimes, and more trials are pending.
As part of a housecleaning, Colonel Newell dismissed more than 150 soldiers from the Army and brought formal disciplinary charges against more than 10 percent of the brigade’s 3,500 troops. In one company, 39 of 150 soldiers were court-martialed.