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LiberalNation
04-10-2007, 05:59 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070410/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/army_deserters

WASHINGTON - With the nation fighting two wars, the number of soldiers deserting has increased and the Army is stepping up prosecutions.

Army statistics released this week show the number of desertions rose in the four years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America prompted the Bush administration's war on terrorism. Desertions then fell for three years but they have been rising steadily again in the last three years as the increasingly unpopular campaign in Iraq has worn on.

Even with the recent increases, less than 1 percent of the Army's active duty force of 507,000 soldiers desert, according to Army data. That compares with 3.4 percent of the 1971 force that fought the Vietnam war, Maj. Anne Edgecomb, an Army spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

And even with a sizable boost in the rate of prosecutions, the overwhelming majority of cases still are handled through administrative discharge. Some 5 percent of cases go to trial, Edgecomb said.

Junior enlisted soldiers are the most likely to desert, Army researchers say.

More than 60 percent of deserters over the past 1 1/2 years had less than a year in service, Edgecomb said. More than 80 percent have less than three years of service.

"The three primary reasons deserters cite for their actions are dissatisfaction with military life, family problems and homesickness," she said.

The problem "tends to increase in magnitude during wartime" and the Army treats the offense more seriously during war, she said, because it can affect a soldier's unit and its mission.

"We prosecute for desertion much more heavily in a time of war than in a time of peace," said Paul Boyce, another Army spokesman.

Army statistics include the following:

_Desertions rose steadily from about 1,800 in budget year 1998 to about 4,400 in the budget year ended Sept. 30, 2001.

_After the Sept. 11 attacks, desertions trended down for three years. There were roughly 4,000 in fiscal year 2002, 2,600 in 2003, and 2,450 in 2004.

_Desertions rose in 2005 and 2006 and appear to be slightly higher again in the 2007 fiscal year that started Oct. 1. They went from approximately 2,700 in 2005 to 3,300 last year and are at about 1,700 for the first half of this budget year.

_Army statistics for prosecutions were impossible to match exactly against the number of desertions because deserters were counted by fiscal year and prosecutions by calendar year. But as an example of the increased rate of prosecutions in recent years, the Army said 167 soldiers were prosecuted in the calendar year started January 2002 against roughly 4,000 desertions counted in the fiscal year started October 2001. That compared with 59 prosecuted the previous year out of 4,400 desertions.

When a soldier is reporting missing or AWOL absent without leave the military attempts to find him or her. After 30 days of consecutive absence, the soldier is classified as a deserter, Edgecomb said.

When the soldier returns or is apprehended, a commander has discretion to prosecute the deserter through a court-martial, discharge, retain and rehabilitate, as well as apply a wide range of administrative punishments.

"Our primary course of action is to attempt to rehabilitate the soldier reintegrate him/her back into their unit," Edgecomb said.

Administrative actions include counseling, a reprimand, forfeiture of pay, reduction in rank and involuntary discharge.

Dilloduck
04-10-2007, 06:18 PM
The three primary reasons deserters cite for their actions are dissatisfaction with military life, family problems and homesickness," she said.

Interesting stats---I don't see anything in there about them being opposed or confused about thier mission. That's gotta piss off the cut and runners something terrible.

Mr. P
04-10-2007, 06:21 PM
More Army deserters are being prosecuted
Good!

Dilloduck
04-10-2007, 06:28 PM
Good!

and recuitment was met and in some places exceeded. The desperate attempt to portray our troops as poor, dumb, and discontented is pure shit.
And yes--I'll even call it unpatriotic

glockmail
04-10-2007, 07:10 PM
and recuitment was met and in some places exceeded. The desperate attempt to portray our troops as poor, dumb, and discontented is pure shit.
And yes--I'll even call it unpatriotic I'd call it treason.

Gaffer
04-10-2007, 07:17 PM
Deserters do so because of personal problems not because of war or politics.

Kathianne
04-10-2007, 07:24 PM
Deserters do so because of personal problems not because of war or politics.

Fewer deserters result in more prosecutions. Seems reasonable to me.

Gunny
04-10-2007, 09:58 PM
Deserters do so because of personal problems not because of war or politics.

Just for clarification purposes, do you mean because of mental malfunction? or personal circumstances that extend beyond the military?

Gaffer
04-11-2007, 12:05 AM
Just for clarification purposes, do you mean because of mental malfunction? or personal circumstances that extend beyond the military?

ahh yes I should clarify that. I knew a few that had mental malfunctions but most have family matters they can't deal with in the service. Money problems, wife/girlfriend problems, those are the most common. some just get homesick.

Most would either turn themselves in or get caught shortly after leaving. Those guys usually got some sort of company punishment. The ones gone a long time would get more serious charges put on them. A charge of desertion means your in deep shit.

Gunny
04-11-2007, 10:38 AM
ahh yes I should clarify that. I knew a few that had mental malfunctions but most have family matters they can't deal with in the service. Money problems, wife/girlfriend problems, those are the most common. some just get homesick.

Most would either turn themselves in or get caught shortly after leaving. Those guys usually got some sort of company punishment. The ones gone a long time would get more serious charges put on them. A charge of desertion means your in deep shit.

That was pretty-much my observation as well.

A charge of desertion during the 80s usually meant a court martial bust to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, restriction and extra duty during the time they were with the unit, and an OTH discharge. This usually lasted about 3 months. So the OTH was only "deep shit" if it meant anything to you.

I didn't know any deserters during Desert Storm, so I can't say how that stiffens up to max penalties during a time of war.

5stringJeff
04-11-2007, 09:21 PM
I had a PVT go AWOL once. He was a POS, though, and we knew he was staying with one of the local mama-sans, so we sent a couple of letters home to his parents (his dad was a Vietnam vet) saying 'your son is wanted by the MPs,' etc. etc. He eventually hit 30 days AWOL, so we processed desertion paperwork. He came back about two weeks later, we threw his crap in the parking lot and sent him to outprocess.