01 January 2007

Where did I fail?

So it is now the first day of the New Year (07001 to use the Julian calendar system) and my first problem popped up. I had checked out on leave at 2359 last night and rolled over and went to sleep. At about 0300 I get a phone call from a friend of mine at the local police telling me that they had arrested a guy from my command and my shop specifically for DUI. He had been pulled over just as the street he was on went from the county to city jurisdiction. What caused him to be pulled over was that a headlight was out, and when the officer walked up he noticed an open container in the back seat with a couple of his passengers and smelled alcohol coming off the breath. Needless to say I get a phone call at crack of morning asking if I wanted to come out and bounce him out of jail. I had thought about it for about 30secs and told my friend to let the joker rot in the holding cell until it was the end of his shift, which was going to be about 0800. I rolled back over and went to sleep till about 0715 when I got the call the shift was going to be over and I could get my moron. I turn got up threw on a some clothes and grabbed my check book.

I should say this before going on, that in the Navy and US military in general getting arrested because you are drunk is a bad thing. Those of us in leadership positions constantly harp about not to commit a DUI/DWI. Some skippers or OIC's have used public Captains Masts (NJP for you non-Navy military folks) to get the point across about not to do a DUI . A Mast is where we can take a military member to an administrative punishment with out going completely to a trial situtation. The most that can happen is they will be sent to the Brig for 30 days, lose pay, and lose rank and possibly process to be sent out of the service. That is the hardest we can apply under these situtations. Otherwise they have to be taken to a court martial and harsher punshiments are pushed. One of the more interesting things that we can do is try and help the person by ordering them to attend to counseling at a military hospital. Sort of like the militaries own version of AA.
Now back to the story.
I roll into the front desk at the police station and ask how much to bounce my moron out. Talking to my friend he says it is on the house since this is his first crime and had nothing else outstanding against him. Not even a parking ticket. This kid (he just turned 21 on Thanksgiving) came up to me and said he was sorry. He had that sort of sheepish, "ah dad I screwed up" look on him as he came out of the hall way leading to lock up with his head hung low. On the way over to the hangar I went through the riot act with him.
I pulled up to the hangar with him and after talking to the ASDO we contacted the SDO. In turned went through the process of reporting that he had been arrested. The Skipper, Department Head, Division Officer, and the Chief and just about everyone else in the chain of command. Since he lived in the barracks I turned around and walked him to his room and told him that if the BPO even catches him bringing any more booze to his room well there would be hell to pay on top of the hell that will be paid for waking me up from a good sleep to get his sorry butt out of jail.

What really bothers me is the fact that I had mentored this kid for a while until the commands mentorship program had been revised by our new CMC. One of the things that I had constantly harped on him that if he didn't feel up to driving give me a call. I would rather come get him from BFE at the O dark 30, then come and bounce him out of jail or roll up to the M.E.'s office and try to ID a body. I have explained time and time again as well if you look at myself when we have been on detachments that I only take a couple of drinks and either walk home or not drink at all if I had to drive. I guess the idea of "It won't happen to me" goes so well with being young and dum. I also have to wonder if everytime that we were sitting back some place enjoying the day BSing about nothing if this kid was blowing me off and just giving me an answer that I was looking for about not doing dum things. It is a shame too, because now he will have to at least repeat a rank and be subjected again to going TAD during the up coming workup cycles. Maybe I should try and take him under my wing again and turn him around from going down the path of the dark side. Be a Yoda to his Luke?

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