Saturday, August 18, 2012
On August 11, 2012, a Segeant First Class (SFC, E-7) was eating at a mess hall on Ft. Richardson (JBER). A Staff Sergeant sitting with him, said "look at that, you seeing what I am seeing?" Both were in agreement as to what they had observed. A young Private First Class (PFC, E-2) sitting in an Army mess hall in an airborne T-shirt with what appeared to be pajama bottoms sagging below his butt. On his head was a cap that plainly stated on the sides: "Melborne CRIPS". The dress was an obvious insult to all who wear the uniform, but, more importantly, the display of gang sign or gang name is prohibited.
The SFC immediately rose from his table and approached the PFC. The PFC stood up. He answered the SFC's questions regarding rank, unit and what was being advertised on the side of his hat. While the PFC answered the questions, he never recognized the SFC's rank in his replies. The SFC told the PFC that his dress was inappropriate, demeaning and an insult to his fellow soldiers and to the Army. After recording the PFC's name, rank, unit and the PFC's First Sergeant's name, the SFC returned to his table and his soldiers.
The SFC is a Platoon Sergeant (PLS). He is a family man, and a veteran of the Iraq war. He is also a veteran of the USMC. I consider him to be an unimpeachable source.
In "my day", the PFC would never have been allowed in the mess hall dressed in such a insulting and cavalier manner. However, this is the new politically correct military, where gang affiliation openly displayed is ignored and dress that is insulting and demeaning both to the PFC, his fellow soldiers and to the U.S. Army is also ignored by his NCOs and officers.
The open display of gang affiliation should have resulted in an immediate contact with the Military Police.
For several years now, it has been reported in the Army Times, Military.com, and other military blogs that the presence of gang members within the military is increasing. It has been previously reported that gangs are using the military to recruit and as a training resource for their members. Where else can you send your people to get them trained in combat arms, and have them gain combat experience to boot?
That a PFC would have the audacity to display his true loyalties in a mess hall in front of other soldiers indicates a confidence that should not be. This is a disturbing development.
Joint Base Elemendorf Richardson has a problem with gang members in uniform. These individuals need to be rooted out before there is a clash between competing gang organizations that turns deadly. The Base Commander and unit commanders need to put their duty and responsibility both to their troops and the community first over gang members in uniform.
The Crips PFC needs to be discharged and sent home. He obviously enlisted under false pretenses.
Joint Base Elemendorf Richardson is located adjacent to the city of Anchorage.