Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DADT Discharge Characterization

From a story in The Florida Times-Union about a Submariner from USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) being discharged for homosexuality:
The proceedings against Seaman Jarod McIntosh, a 21-year-old culinary specialist assigned to the gold crew of the USS Wyoming, began in April when he brought his camera phone along with him to work.
Photographic equipment is prohibited aboard the boat, where McIntosh had been assigned for almost three years, although it is not generally considered a major offense.
“They deemed bringing the cell phone down to the boat was not grounds for separation,” McIntosh said in a YouTube video he posted about the situation, “but being gay was.”
When the boat’s duty officer found the phone, it was confiscated and turned over to security agents who checked for classified information, McIntosh said. “I thought everything would be fine and it’d just go away,” McIntosh said.
The search didn’t turn up any classified information, but it did find pictures of his boyfriend — “some very personal pictures I would have rathered no one saw, but especially my boss, basically,” the sailor said.
Two weeks later the boat’s captain... told McIntosh he would be receiving an other-than-honorable discharge, the sailor said in the video.
[Emphasis mine] They also say the characterization of his discharge will "limit his benefits" in the video accompanying this story. As the man says, "That does not make sense". While the Navy spokesman says, correctly, that the Navy can't release any information on the characterization of an individual Sailor's discharge, here's what the instruction says:
WHEN during the current term of service, the member attempted, solicited, or committed a homosexual act with aggravating circumstances as follows:
· by using force, coercion, or intimidation;
· with a person under age 16;
· with a subordinate in circumstances that violate customary naval superior-subordinate relationships;
· openly in public view;
· for compensation;
· aboard a naval vessel or aircraft; or
· in another location subject to naval control, under aggravating circumstances that adversely impact good order and discipline; or morale-comparable to the impact created by such activity aboard a vessel or aircraft
THEN (the) separation type can be OTH per MILPERSMAN 1910-300

WHEN processing by reason of statement (see Note) or homosexual acts or marriage do not meet criteria for OTH consideration cited above
THEN the separation type may be GEN or Honorable (HON) per MILPERSMAN 1910-300
While I don't know if one of the aggravating circumstances existed, this seems like one of those times when the person being separated can basically say whatever he wants, and the Navy isn't allowed to respond. Based on my (admittedly limited) experience, everyone I knew discharged under DADT received a General or Honorable Discharge. Personally, I'll believe that he's really not getting an Other Than Honorable discharge unless and until he releases the discharge paperwork.

Update 1534 13 Aug: The story from The Florida Union-Tribune has been changed since I posted the excerpt; one of the changes is that they had the wrong name for the CO (the name they originally wrote hasn't been the CO of that crew for some time). I replaced that incorrect name with an ellipses, but left the original excerpt in place otherwise. You can click the top link above to see the updated article. The current CO mentioned in the article is CDR Diego Hernandez.


Blogger Free The Nucs said...

So... what the heck is a culinary specialist? My boats had cooks, and they were barely that.

8/12/2010 8:15 PM

Anonymous XEM2 said...

I got out before every cell phone had a camera, so I don't know how strictly the policies are enforced. Are camera phones routinely confiscated and turned over to security? I'm guessing nearly every sailor on board has a phone, and most probably have digital cameras with them on deployment.Wre they singling this guy out, or has security been stepped up after the WikiLeak?

8/12/2010 8:38 PM

Blogger Mike Golch said...

let's see if a strait person had committed the crime of bring a camera phone on baord wrod that phone had been gone throght is if pictures of the sailor's girlfriend been foung on the phoen being dressed in her B-Day suite would that sailor recieved the same kind of treatment?? Just askin

8/12/2010 10:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

XEM2, the camera rules are very strict. In fact, phones aren't even allowed in the off-crew building anymore (with or without a camera).

It is standard procedure for any camera phones that are confiscated to be turned in to check for classified info.

8/12/2010 11:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, they didnt know the guy was gay when they confiscated his phone, as the last person wrote, camera rules are very strict and yes it is common practice to have the phone confiscated and gone over with a fine tooth comb. If he was worried about having someone see the pictures he shouldnt of had them somehwere where they could be found

8/12/2010 11:29 PM

Anonymous Tsar Bomba FTMFW said...

First, Mike Golch, please learn how to spell. My soul hurt after reading your deck-div level spelling skills.

Second, I'm on the fence about this one. If the phone was confiscated in order to ensure that no classified info was on it, then that was the only purpose of the confiscation. Finding other damning images on the phone is outside the scope of why it was confiscated, and these images should be considered inadmissible re: his DADT status.

Obviously, the UCMJ offers prosecutors greater leverage when it comes to "fruit of the forbidden tree" evidence, but this guy needs to at least fight the case based on the fact that the evidence against him was gathered through a search for non-DADT related images.

Side note, the reason I'm on the fence is that I don't think that open homosexuals should be serving in the military. However, if he has been discrete about his sexuality and does his job well, then they should consider the evidence gathered to be inadmissible and let him get back to cooking shitty meals.

8/13/2010 1:03 AM

Blogger Alexander said...

The whole phone thing is interesting. It is nearly impossible to find a phone that doesn't have one nowadays. People just need to learn to leave it in the car.

When I was a nub JO I got to ride the USS NEVADA for quals since my boat (USS MICHIGAN) was still in the yards. one of the CS's got caught with a camera phone. So of course, the command looked at the pictures. Long story short, several people went to captain's mast for hazing and under age drinking based off of evidence found on the confiscated phone.

8/13/2010 2:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee Heee, You said Seaman

8/13/2010 5:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Tsar Bomba, but your fruit of the forbidden tree analysis is incorrect. Even in the civilian courts, all evidence found during a legal search is admissable if found during a reasonable method of search based on the original warrant.

8/13/2010 5:39 AM

Anonymous T said...

Without knowing what's on the pictures it's hard to judge who's in the right and who's in the wrong. If it's him and clearly him engaging in a homosexual sex act, then yes, clearly the command probably has no choice but to separate him. However, if he was separated as OTH I think that is too harsh, really no matter what the circumstances. To be fair, OTH discharges are not nearly as damning to a person post-Navy as most Navy people would have you believe, as it is illegal for civilian employers to ask you about the type of discharge you received unless your position is some kind of government contracting position.

If however, the pictures are just pictures of naked dudes. He could probably offer up any number of semi-transparently lame excuses that should bring the case in doubt enough to get him off the hook. Something like, "I took these for my buddy so he could Sext them to a girl" or "It was a joke to put them on my other friend's computer desktop to freak him out" or something like that. Definitely the ownership of homosexual erotica, IMO, does not necessarily constitute actual homosexuality. Talk to the nukes if you don't believe me...

One things for certain, this policy is antiquated and needs to go. We lose too many good sailors because they happen to be gay.

8/13/2010 6:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or this could've been staged from the get-go. Not the first time a young bubblehead slobbered some guy's knob on camera to get the good deal. He doesn't seem to be putting up too much of a fight.

8/13/2010 7:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strangely, the excuses you suggest would constitute sexual harrassment or hazing, thing for which the Navy has zero tolerance, but simply being a homosexual is not against the rules as long as the Navy doesn't ask and the member doesn't tell.

heh heh, I said "member"!


8/13/2010 9:13 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

T gets it. Imagine a photo of (use imagination here) adulterated chow.

Considering we have only one side of a story, and the Navy is bound to keep personnel matters private, we know jack $hit about this case except the sailor claims to be gay.

If there is ever the slightest advantage to being anything (early out?), desperate volunteers will filter out of the crew.

8/13/2010 9:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barrel night just won't be the same without this guy.

8/13/2010 9:43 AM

Anonymous stuvet said...

OTH burns the GI Bill, huge these days.

8/13/2010 9:45 AM

Anonymous knownukes said...

I like the irony of a black CO kicking out a sailor for being different.

8/13/2010 9:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel -

Where did Roger Isom's name come from? It's not in the FTU story, and he left the ship about a year and a half ago (at least), and probably had nothing to do with this. Haven't watched the video (and don't intend to) but I think this should be corrected.

8/13/2010 11:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Isom left around 7-8 months ago

2) The "Model" sailor is "married" to a 19 yr old to scam the Navy out of BAH and did not put her in DEERS so she could benefit from medical, which was why she was doing it.

3) Word on the street is the pictures were undeniably him "in the act"

4) If a cop pulls a guy over and sees a dead body in his car, is he not able to be charged with murder? I mean seriously, how would you ever think that since the phone was searched for other reasons, he should not be held accountable.

5) Camera phones are NOT allowed on lower base. PERIOD! He disregarded that entirely. Oh and he was not "checking the time" when the phone was found.

8/13/2010 1:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bad, Isom lest 1 year ago

8/13/2010 2:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see kicking the kid out because of the rules but not as less than honorable. Give him an admin and put him on his way.
I got out a while ago but I had a camera on all four boats. If you weren’t part of the crew, you couldn’t have one but I certainly did and took pictures of crewmembers at various stations but I also made sure I didn’t get anything classified. It’s sad that the Navy doesn’t trust it’s sailors to do the right thing.
It’s almost impossible to find a phone without camera capabilities and the rules got changed early this year at Defense Contractors about letting non-employees bring them in. They are trusted not to use the camera function but if someone wants to, they’ll find a way.
We have had this discussion before. There are gays on boats. If one in ten are gay, if the crew is 120, you do the math. It was never an issue unless the guy was a dirtball.
There were a few that only did it to get out. We had a nuc on my first boat that did that. It worked so fast that another nuc tried it and failed when challenged by the XO.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa.

8/13/2010 2:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this guy gets booted for being gay, but a few MTs circle jerking in MCC is alright? Or how about the nuke on PCU Wyoming getting caught "bopping himself" in the RC before the core went in?

8/13/2010 3:05 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

I could care less if a guy is gay. He's not going to hit on me and he's not going to try to fuck me in the shower. Can he do his job accordingly?...that's all I want to know.

What I just said is exactly how the majority of us feel who knowingly serve with other guys who pitch and receive for the same team. It doesn't have to be that big of a deal if you apply a little common sense to the issue.

As for the camera phone, well...that's the real issue here. He forgot to stop & think and then look around to make sure his ass was covered. Plus he had it on him in an area where he should not have. That alone can buy you a place in line for mast.

I can relate to the part of this episode, because a couple of years back, I forgot to leave my phone in the barracks on the way back down to the boat for a training session. The damn thing rang and the entire world's eyes were on me. I handed it over to my LPO and our COB said to me "I strongly suggest you pray they don't find anything on that fuckin' phone.

Well, the only picture which was on it (in question) was a pic of my girlfriend's tits as she was stepping out of the shower and reaching for a towel at a nearby hotel in KB. So now my Capt, XO, COB and a few guys from squadron knew what my girlfriend's tits and face looked like. I didn't stand mast for having a phone where I should not have, but COB explained to me that if caught again on his watch, I'll be made into a gelding...and that such end results would turn me into a definite sexual disappointment for the lovely young lady in the picture. That was the end of it.

Now...if the guy can do his job with a good attitude and it's clear he wants to be on board then leave him alone. He deserves a pop for not keeping his personal shit secure but that's all. From what I can tell he's on his way out. Hopefully, he'll be upgraded to Honorable so he take advantage of his benefits while PCSing back to CIVLANT.

8/13/2010 3:51 PM

Anonymous SubIconoclast said...

I suspect this sailor's entire history of performance at the command provided context that informed the CO's decision. The situation was sufficiently "in a gray area" that the DADT(and don't pursue) policy could have allowed dropping the entire thing (hey, maybe it was photoshopped... all I know is you don't always ask questions you don't want answered). On the other hand, if the guy has a history of being a dirtbag, there's just enough legal basis to pull the trigger.

Context matters in decision-making.

8/13/2010 4:37 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Guys, making an observation here. I think it is fantastic they are going to allow gays to serve their country, and I am equally pleased to realize that each and every one of you bubbleheads are tolerant of having gay men and women serving on board our submarines.

All it takes is a little bit of tolerance, patience, and understanding.

8/13/2010 6:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He he, Widgethead said cover his ass..

8/13/2010 10:46 PM

Anonymous Tsar Bomba FTMFW said...

Anon @ 5:39AM, get some sleep. If there is a warrant to search your home for evidence of espionage and those searching find some weed, you cannot be charged for the weed. They would need to have a separate warrant authorizing them to search for narcotics.

Anon @ 1:49 PM: Riding around with a body in your car makes you a murderer (probably). Having images of naked dudes on your phone makes you a homo (probably). These are two very different things. They took his phone to ensure he wasn't taking pics of anything classified, not to see if he likes dudes (that's the "don't ask" part of DADT).

If he's just scamming the system, F him, I hope he gets a dishonorable.

8/13/2010 10:52 PM

Blogger Old Salt said...

As for phones, the sign on the gate for most of these places says "anything that takes a photo is a camera"
A little epoxy, nail polish, (ask sonar for some), or modeling paint on the lens renders the camera part useless. After that, it's just a phone.
There are also professional places that will remove the camera and put a rubber plug in for a price. I think that void's the warranty though.

8/13/2010 10:54 PM

Blogger Old Salt said...

I'm not sure you are correct on that one Tsar Bomba... From the legal advice I found, this is less like a warrant, and more like a traffic stop. Anything found there is admissible, as long as consent is given. Consent is automatically implied when a person enters a security area, usually by posted sign. I'm not sure I agree with the magnitude of the punishment, but the evidence appears solid.

8/13/2010 11:11 PM

Anonymous Tsar Bomba FTMFW said...

Old Salt, I agree with you that he entered a security area and thereby exposed himself (yep, I said exposed) to tighter restrictions than the constitution, or even the UCMJ, protected him from. However, being a homo isn't illegal in the civilian world. Well, maybe it is in some places, but it's never enforced.

This is where DADT comes into play. "Don't ask" means don't seek evidence of someone's homosexuality. If his phone was taken in order to ensure he wasn't taking picture of the plant, and homosexual evidence was found, that means it was found through search, and it is inadmissible through DADT.

I'm not a lawyer, or even a sea-lawyer, but in this case I think this guy could justifiably fight the case based on the core tenets of DADT.

8/13/2010 11:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . as it is illegal for civilian employers to ask you about the type of discharge you received unless your position is some kind of government contracting position.

You would be wrong.

8/14/2010 3:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are gays on boats. If one in ten are gay, if the crew is 120, you do the math. It was never an issue unless the guy was a dirtball.

It ain't one in ten. That number was concocted by the pedophile Kinsey in some of his studies. A little investigation into Kinsey's "research" would open a few eyes.

8/14/2010 3:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:39AM, get some sleep. If there is a warrant to search your home for evidence of espionage and those searching find some weed, you cannot be charged for the weed. They would need to have a separate warrant authorizing them to search for narcotics.

You don't know what the hell you are talking about.

8/14/2010 3:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsar...again, you are incorrect. If they are searching for espionage evidence and the weed is found in a place that is either plain sight or within the scope of where you would look for the other evidence, you are dead meat. Period.

8/14/2010 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, look at today's Kitsap Sun concerning HMJ CO. There is something big going on there. Let's see if the newspaper will dig into the story.

8/14/2010 7:46 AM

Blogger ping jockey said...

He's a Trident Sailor I dont think the fact that he is gay was ever in question. I say let him serve with the rest of the ladies of the bush league portion of the submarine force. There's no pride in a Trident ride.

All joke aside, I don't agree with any portion of that lifestyle but I say hold him to the same Navy standard concerning sexual harrasment. Our subfor (including the lesser half) needs quality Sailors. I'd rather have a quality/squared away gay Sailor than a sh!@bag Sailor who happens to not be gay. I don't care who they pitch (catch) for, I want dedicated professionals who are commited to the mission

I agree this guy might just be looking for an excuse to get out. He should've considered eating for freedom.

Fastboats forever!

8/14/2010 8:58 AM

Anonymous T said...

Anon @ 3:40 AM:

Actually, to be more specific it is illegal to discriminate against someone for employment solely based on their discharge status. The EEOC said this violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This does not apply in positions where you work for the government (I think both federal and state, but definitely federal), and if you work in a position where you are working on a federal contract or hold a security clearance, or your discharge characterization is somehow connected to your work). For example, McDonald's or Wal-Mart cannot hire someone because they have an OTH discharge. This obviously extends to several thousands of other companies that have no government ties.

I suppose they still COULD ask for your DD-214, but in order to CYA would probably just want the short form in most cases, which does not include discharge information. Otherwise, they're opening themselves up to possible lawsuits and EEOC complaints.

Note that at least in TAP class here, they put out the information not to be expected to be asked about your discharge characterization when applying for civilian employment that's not government or government-related.

I'm not an expert on this subject, but I've done enough research to know that there's a whole lot of mis-information in the military about how "horrible" an OTH discharge is (and yes, I do expect an honorable discharge when I separate). The submarine force, at least in the officer community, uses what essentially amounts to scare tactics or even outright lies about military benefits and what life is like outside of the military. I don't think it's necessarily intentional, but quite frankly, a CAPT in the Navy doesn't know fuck-all about being a civilian with the sole exception of having possibly some knowledge about working in government or government contacting.

Anon, I might be partially wrong, and if you have some actual relevant experience I am interested in hearing it.

Also, I did not know about the GI bill benefits, that sucks for him.

Also, for those of you criticizing the guy's "sham" marriage. I've met many other straight people both in and out of the military who've had marriages that weren't really working anymore but were still married out of convenience. Similarly, every marriage has some element of financial and convenience factors to it. Everybody is manipulating the system to their advantage somewhat, but maybe not quite as blatantly as this guy. The only difference her is that the guy is gay, and you're bigoted.

8/14/2010 11:47 AM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

"Anon @ 5:39AM, get some sleep. If there is a warrant to search your home for evidence of espionage and those searching find some weed, you cannot be charged for the weed. They would need to have a separate warrant authorizing them to search for narcotics."

Just so ya know. My career after retiring from USN was as an evidence guy for the Great State of X. Assisted in serving/executing many search warrants over those 16 years. If during the search we discovered evidence of another crime, whether or not it was the crime for which we were executing the warrant, that evidence was also seized, and added to the charges.

8/14/2010 11:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 0746, I think you might be on to something. They went out on sea trials, and came right back. Heard there was a problem on the dive. Also, heard cleaning house over there.

8/14/2010 12:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harder to dive with a vent cover cover on. After that, people start looking into your business. No boat, no matter how good on the outside can withstand people digging.

Cleaning house and on the brink of losing the keys to the boiler maker...ouch!

Then there is the Kentucky CO...wouldn't be suprised to hear something about that in the near future.

Fun times in boomer land!

8/14/2010 3:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose they still COULD ask for your DD-214, but in order to CYA would probably just want the short form in most cases, which does not include discharge information. Otherwise, they're opening themselves up to possible lawsuits and EEOC complaints.

Not sure what universe you are living in, but in my universe a DD-214 most assuredly specifies the Character of Service - and I just checked mine to verify.

BTW, I'm not bigoted - I just don't associate with faggots.

8/14/2010 4:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are two DD214 forms. Short form and long form. At least in the old days, there was carbon paper between the short form and the top of the long form.

Short form didn't list your discharge type or RE code. Long form did.

I've been out since the late 1990s, and have never been asked for a DD214 by any employer. No one cares.

New GI bill, however is pimp. If you qualify for that, its certainly a big deal.

And yes, you are a bigot.

8/14/2010 5:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if the West is anything like the East, The boat that loses it's keys will be the Battle E boat this year......

8/14/2010 5:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh they already lost the keys. Rumor is ADM Donald pulled them himself. Wouldn't want to be on that side of the pier.

and BTW, a bigot is "a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own"

Sounds like you are a bigot to me.

8/14/2010 6:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW - don't hold your breath waiting for the Kitsap Sun to report something the Navy would prefer not be reported, even if the word gets out in other venues. The Nebraska suicide never made the Sun; the death itself was barely reported. It is kind of interesting though, seeing the needling they get in the online comments though.

8/14/2010 7:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's crazy, it's almost as though a newspaper might not be interested in printing rumor and innuendo.

Maybe you can interest Fox News.

8/14/2010 7:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh good, a self-righteous liberal - we don't have enough of those. I responding to the suggestion that the Sun investigate the issue, not that they should go ahead and print rumors. And you can be damn sure they knew the deal on the Nebraska - the Sun has quite good contacts with the Navy brass around here.

8/14/2010 9:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

*self-righteous liberal rolls eyes*

There used to be a time when the submarine force was the silent service.

But I'm sure it's more important to you that your vaguely defined Navy brass start sharing the latest inspection results and crew PFA scores with the local media so you can gossip about it.

Grow up.

8/14/2010 9:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There really seems to be a lot of loose lip gossip around here.....
Some of these comments (especially those containing ship schedule info) should NEVER be mentioned by word of mouth much less over the internet! Shame on you. So much for the "Silent Service"

8/14/2010 10:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am ashamed!

8/14/2010 10:17 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Deleted a comment.

8/14/2010 10:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a retired ETC/SS ANAV and work for the VA in information technology. Many jobs are open in this field and to receive VET preference, a DD214 is a wise choice to submit along with your resume, transcripts, etc.. All government employers (not just DOD contractors) realize what that discharge code is on a DD214. Depending on the code issued, this person might seek employment with a non-government related entity.

8/15/2010 3:16 PM

Blogger Jarrod said...

1) Anything found during a legal search can be used against you. This is why you should never consent to a search if you have the opportunity (and you always do off-base unless they have a warrant). Poisoned tree only comes into play for illegal searches, and it's pretty good for you if you get it because they can't even use the "fruit" as probable cause to get a warrant.

2) Ping jockey- as a crewmate once said, you can call me a (boomer) fag, but call me at home!

8/15/2010 6:05 PM

Blogger lonestarboi said...

This is complete BS. What person doesn't have a lewd picture on their cell phone. I was in the Navy, and people watched porn, disgusting porn in plain site and the staff never cared because it was straight porn. I'm not the type to scream "discrimation", but this is blatant. Anyone who thinks that what they did to this kid was just and that straights would had been treated the same, are DEAD wrong. God Bless the boy, hope everything is going okay now.

1/14/2011 10:13 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/14/2011 10:18 PM

Anonymous Jeanine said...

Thank you for the article, very worthwhile material.

8/30/2012 10:36 PM


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