Terry Davis — I dispute the United States Army claim on my DD214 Discharge Papers that my Character of Service for the 12 years I served on Active military Duty was Under Honorable Conditions and that the reason for me abruptly leaving the military was because of Conduct Triable by Court Martial.
I now state that I am not guilty of Conduct Triable by Court Martial and it’s never been proven in any court of law Military or Civilian that I am. Yet this slanderous, unproven and unsupported by any evidence allegation is boldly stated on the face of my DD214 Military Discharge Papers, as if it is a proven fact, for all potential employers to see during pre-employment background checks on me. This statement and others like it that were placed in my military records, without my knowledge, prevented me from obtaining gainful employment in civilian life after my forced resignation from the Army, for jobs in which I was totally qualified for. To this day, this is still the case.
FOR THE RECORD:
A Backgrounds Investigator for a Major Metropolitan City Police Force seeking to hire me, stated in writing, that I would need to get my military situation corrected before they could bring me on board. I was told this on many different occasions by same type agencies wanting to hire me if not for the unfavorable information they had received from the army via my military records.
After reviewing evidence submitted to them by me and my Military Records, the Veterans Administration (VA) disagreed with the Army’s claim that my character of service was: Under Honorable Conditions and ruled that my Character of Service was: Honorable.
This action opened doors to VA benefits that had been unavailable to me because of the gross injustices and cover up of them, I am the victim of.
In My Side of the Story, I am presenting some of the same documentation to my readers that I presented to the Veterans Administration to show how extraordinarily unfair I was treated for simply trying to prove my innocence of a series of lack of evidence or eye witness supported Bogus Court Martial charges I faced during the last eight months of my 12 year military career.
My Character of Service was Honorable the entire time I was on active duty. Again, my evidence supported side of the story will show proof of this. I am the innocent victim of brutal command abuse, slander, defamation of character and a gross miscarriage of justice. All committed against me while stationed at Katter Bach Army Airfield, Ansbach, Germany with the 3rd of the First (3/1) Apache Advance Attack Helicopter Battalion which was Commanded by then LTC David W Swank.
The plethora of injustices which led to my forced resignation from the army started in February 1990. I resigned in October of that same year under extreme duress after being put through what my then wife Debra and I, to this day, still describes as a living hell, by Army Prosecutor, then Captain Michael Smith, my Battalion Commander, then LTC. David W. Swank, my Company Commander, Then Captain Richard C. Stockhausen, who, under precarious circumstances, held this status over me, as needed, for Court Martial purposes only, as a result of illegally produced orders, assigning him as such, written and signed, by his best friend, then Captain James W. Arp Jr, who was the Battalion Adjutant and one of my accusers at the time said illegal orders surfaced onto the scene.
I held the rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CW2). I was an AH64 Apache Advance Attack Helicopter Pilot. In twelve years of service I had risen through the enlisted man ranks from a Buck Private (E1) to Sergeant (E5) with numerous Service Awards, to include Two (2) Good Conduct Medals. Because of my dedication to duty and “Can Do Attitude” upon successfully taking and passing a battery of Flight Aptitude Skills Test, my Chain of Command recommended me for selection to attend the U. S. Army Warrant Officer Flight Training Program, at Fort Rucker, Alabama. I completed Flight School in May 1985. At which time I received my Aviator Wings and promotion to Warrant Officer. I had fulfilled a boyhood dream of becoming an Army Aviator. Flight School was extremely challenging, but I worked my tail off and it paid off, I made it through the course, there were quite a few that did not.
After graduation, my career and life was smoothly moving along. In time I transitioned from the UH1 and the EH1X Huey Helicopters to the AH64 Apache Advanced Attack Helicopter. I was then assigned to Alpha Company of the 3/1 AAHB. My commander was then Captain (CPT) G Scott McConnell. His Executive Officer (XO) was then First Lieutenant (1LT) Mark Cullinan. I had no problems serving under these officers. They were both fair men. They went to bat for me in an attempt to save me from the injustices I am the victim of. At the still to be mentioned Article 32 Investigation hearing, on the strenght of their testimony, then 1LT David Astin, Chief Warratn Officer 4 (CW4) John Lewandowski the Witness Statements of then 1LT Daniel H. Howett, CW4 Randy Niesen, then CW2 Francisco R. Cristobal, Master Sergeant Salvador Soto Jr, Ms Mary Cooper, Mrs Maria Lubert, the Character Statements of my Peers, the good testimony given about me throughout the entire hearing plus the negative statements and recommendation concerning one of my accusers; Then Captain James W Arp Jr, made by the Article 32 Investigation Hearing Officer, I should never have been referred for Court Martial.
As stated, my career and life was moving along smoothly until on or about 19 February 1990. On this day, all elements of the battalion were conducting field training exercises. We had recently deployed to Germany from Fort Hood, Texas as part of the Army’s fielding of the Apache Helicopter overseas. I was approached by LTC Swank. He informed me that he had been receiving reports that my car was being seen in the wrong place at the wrong time. We were standing in outside in nearly two feet of snow with a bitterly cold north wind blowing hard on us. I had been feeling the effects of this wind until Swank approached me with his hearsay allegation, after which, I was no longer feeling the effects of the elements. Swank stated that my car had been seen parked in front of the house where the little German girl lives. I was to the point with Swank, because I knew instantly the seriousness of the allegation he was making against me. I asked him, Sir if someone is telling you they are seeing my car parked in the wrong place at the wrong time, then what the fuck were they doing there. He stated that he was just relaying to me what had been brought to him, as he was walking away from me.
On or about March 19, 1990, Alpha Company held a change of command ceremony. Captain Stockhausen took over command from Captain McConnell. Stockhausen had come down from Headquarter company 4th brigade. This was the same outfit that a Sergeant Diane Ternes was assigned. They knew each other. Ternes was the head legal clerk for the Post Jag Prosecutor, Captain. Michael Smith. In this position she also had strong ties to Swank. As my story unfolds, you will see the significance of why I am pointing out these relationships.
Once the company guidon was passed on to Stockhausen this marked the end of the ceremony. At which time we broke ranks and went over to greet the new commander with a welcome aboard handshake and introduction. You can tell by looking in the face and eyes of a person, coupled with their body language, how that person feels about you. Based on this, I felt a tremendous dislike for me in Stockhausen the moment I stepped up to him, looked him in the eyes and shook his hand that day. We never greeted and shook hands under fair and just circumstances again, after that day. All other meetings we had were always under extremely unjust circumstances that will be revealed in this story.
On March 29, 1990 Swank summoned me to his office. I was instructed to be there by 1000 hrs. It was 0930 hrs. My work office was in the battalion airfield hanger on Katter Bach Airfield, three quarters of a mile from Swanks office at battalion (bn) headquarters via the airfield road. Since I had thirty minutes to get there, I decided to get some exercise in by range walking this short distance. I went to my car, grabbed my gym bag and headed out. It was a nice day, a little cool but, not cold. There was even a little sun light peeking through the clouds. My plan after meeting with Swank was to proceed to the post gym, located directly across the street from the battalion headquarters and play basketball over lunch. This is what I did every work day. If I did not play ball, I worked out on the weights. Just about all the Bn Commissioned and Warrant Officers along with some of the enlisted men followed this same routine. The unwritten rule amongst the officers was that if you were not in the air or dead, you better be in the gym for grudge match basketball. A lot of times it would be enlisted against Officers. During some of these games, to a certain extent, rank went out the window. No matter what your rank, if you drove into the paint with the game on the line, you were taking your life into your own hands. A hard foul was the norm for such a bold move. Just about the only officer from the Battalion that did not play or come to the gym was LTC Swank; he suffered from a bad hip, so he was physically unable to participate. Unfortunately for me and my Military career, had this not been the case, he would have known of my whereabouts every day at lunch time. Since this was the time of day, on numerous occasions, I was allegedly committing one of six Court Martial charges he bought against me under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for officer misconduct.
So with my gym bag loaded with my workout gear weighing about fifteen pounds strapped to my back, I was still able to, walking at a brisk pace, make it to swanks office in plenty of time for our meeting. At the time I was six feet one inches tall and weighing two hundred and fifteen pounds. I was in excellent physical condition. I had never failed a required military Physical Fitness test. At thirty four years of age, I was turning in test scores equal to or better than those of nineteen year old soldiers.
After knocking and receiving permission to do so, I entered LTC Swank, my Battalion Commanders office, rendered him a salute and after receiving permission to do so, I went to the position of at ease. Upon completion of some small talk, as I stood before him at his desk, he informed me in writing that he was temporarily suspending me from flying for lack of proficiency, pending his decision to conduct a Flight Evaluation Board (FEB) to have me removed from flying duty. After reading his documentation I asked Swank the obvious question: What did he have to support his actions? Since I had never failed a check ride/pilot skills test in my aircraft and to date, I had never been advised by any of the battalion Instructor Pilots, Who’ s job it was to do so, of any such actions being taken against me. I further stated that nothing in my flight records supported his actions and in accordance with Army Regulations, he was putting the cart before the horse. These points got me nowhere with the man. When I left Swanks office, I was an illegally grounded, United States Army Helicopter Pilot. I instantly started losing approximately four hundred dollars monthly in flight pay and I never flew again.
My plans for the day, needless to say, had changed. There would be no basketball for me that day. I needed to get to my flight records as soon as possible. I had left my gym bag just outside the door of Swanks office in the hallway that ran the entire length of the battalion headquarters building. Directly down this hallway was the office of Swanks Adjutant/ Personnel officer, Captain James W Arp Jr, known in the battalion as Swanks right hand man. I grabbed my bag and headed out the building, destination, the battalion flight records office, located on the airfield from where I had just come, I needed to review my flight records. As I passed Arp’s office, I looked in to see if he was there, he was not; I looked at my watch and saw that if was nearly eleven a.m. I knew instantly where he was, the post gym, located directly across the street from the battalion. The entire building was just about deserted at the time. I jogged the distance back to the airfield, deposited my gym bag back into my car and proceeded directly to flight records. A review of my flight records confirmed what I already knew; there was nothing in them to support FEB actions against me. At that point I thought about filing an Inspector General’s (IG) complaint against Swank, I decided against that since not only me, but everyone, especially the Warrant Officers in the battalion, had seen firsthand that due to under handiness, committed in particular at the battalion commander level , this would have been a waste of time.
When I got home that night, I said nothing about my situation to my wife, Debra. She soon figured things out after I started leaving for work in Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) instead of my flight suit. We talked about it and that’s when she informed me that she had also noticed a change in my attitude.
The Battalion Instructor Pilots were Chief Warrant Officers 4 (CW4) Randy Nielsen, John Lewandowski and Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Jeff Vanderwart. None of these men had approached me about FEB actions pending against me. My relationship with all three of these Instructors Pilots was good. Their silence on the matter indicated to me that they were not in agreement with Swanks actions.
As time passed and no steps had been taken by Swank, towards convening the FEB, my frustrations grew; the man was illegally claiming that I was not sharp enough to fly for him. Of the sixty plus officers in the battalion, I was the only black in the group. I was somewhat of a role model for many of the young minority lower ranking enlisted men. My family and I lived about twenty miles from Katterbach in a German town call Muhr Am See. The grandson of my mother’s sister was a member of the battalion. This young soldier and his friends were always at our house. They respected and enjoyed being around me for the guidance on furthering their careers I always tried to provide them with. Now something like this was hanging over my head.
It was the end of April and I had made countless trips to Swanks office pleading for action on the FEB, all to no avail. Then on 27 April of that year, I received notification, in writing, from my Brigade Commander, Colonel Patrick Bodelson, informing me that he was extending Swanks thirty day grounding for an additional (6) months.
As I read the second paragraph, I became extremely hurt, angry and embarrassed. Col. Bodelson, to this day, has never met me. His low opinion of me as stated in his grounding orders is based on tainted and self-serving slanderous information LTC Swank, Captain Stockhausen and the Prosecutor, Captain Smith had forwarded up the chain of command about me. Low Moral Traits of Character, is what Col Bodelson said I possessed, without ever knowing me and refusing to meet with me or my civilian defense attorney to hear my side of the story and to get to know me for himself, before assassinating my person and character in writing, for everyone in the community to see. My Division Commander, six months later, did the same thing, based on the same tainted information when he unknowingly extended Swanks illegal grounding of me, indefinitely pending Court Martial actions based on trumped up and bogus charges. I requested a transfer from under Swanks command and control after receiving Bodelson’s unjust and undeserved rating. My request was swiftly denied by Swank, without being forwarded up to High Command for their say so on the request which by law, was proper procedure.
On 3 May, 1990 I was again summons to Swanks office. Since I had been in the man’s office so many times in the last month or so, we had our subordinate to superior greeting down pretty well. I would enter, come to position of attention before him, at his desk, render a salute, he would then acknowledge me with a salute in return and then invite me to take a seat so he could hear me out on my pleas for him to move on the FEB, so I could get back in the air. I was dying to fly again. On this day, the rules of engagement abruptly changed. After saluting him, Swank ordered me to remain at the position of attention. He stood from his chair, came around to the front of his desk where I was standing, approached me from my left side, standing inches away from the side of my face and asked me, why are you sniffing up behind the wives of my enlisted men and what is your relationship with the German woman down the road. I stated; Sir I am in a state of total confusion as to where you are coming from. Is that right, was his reply. He then rattled off a series of he had been told this and he had been told that about me from what he considers to be pretty reliable sources. After which, he returned to his chair. I was glad as hell when he did; the man’s breath reeked with the smell of stale tobacco. As a non-smoker, this smell had been killing me. Swank then offered me Article 15 (Art.15) Punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for Officer Misconduct.
The sole supporting evidence for the allegations made against me in the Article 15 arestatements alleging that I had tried to initiate an improper relationship with a woman named Joyce Shorter who was the wife of Aaron Shorter, a junior grade enlisted man in the battalion and for having sex with a German National. As I read the Art-15, I was in absolute disbelief. Swank had initiated Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) criminal actions, against me, without ever questioning me as to what I had to say about the accusations. Years later in a federal Court of Law, to distance himself from his illegal Transgressions against me, he falsely stated, under oath, that his actions throughout my Courts Martial were based on orders from his superiors. Swank knowingly lied on Colonel Bodelson and General Griffith that day.
Documented Facts: No AR15-6 investigation on the above mentioned charges had been conducted and none ever was, as required under Rule 303 and 405 of the Rules of Courts Martial. This fact shall be mentioned throughout my story.
I did not know that Swank was exposing me to double jeopardy, which is illegal in any court of law, military or civilian, because the allegations he was offering me punishment for had already been looked into months earlier and properly disposed of, in a timely manner, in accordance with the rules of courts martial, with no UCMJ actions recommended, by my than Commander, Captain G Scott McConnell. This was kept from high command by Swank and the JAG Prosecutor. The true facts of the entire Article 32 Investigation hearing were deliberately kept from high command.
NOTE: An Article 32 Investigation Hearing is the Army’s version of a Grand Jury Investigation.
The record of the Article 32 Investigation Hearing clearly shows that witnesses’ testimony at this so very important fact finding legal proceeding, exonerated me and implicated my accusers. The hearing showed beyond a reasonable doubt that No Evidence or Eye Witnesses to prove my guilt of any of the charges were ever produced by Swank, Stockhausen or the Jag Prosecutors. The only persons that testified against me were my accusers, then Captains James W Arp Jr, Richard C. Stockhausen, then LTC David W Swank and Joyce Shorter. SFC Diane Ternes, the prosecutions sole source for the adultery charge, failed to appear at the hearing to face me and be cross examined under oath so that she could produce whatever evidence she had to support her allegation against me. The Investigation Hearing Officer and the Prosecutor deliberately failed to give me and my civilian defense counsel, Mr. Edgar R. Jones advanced notice that Ternes would not be at the hearing. This unjust act violated my Civil Rights, my rights to Due to Process under the law, my Constitutional Rights and it violated established Military Rules, Regulations and Procedures governing Court Martial. More importantly, said rules, rights, procedures and laws violations acts demonstrated just how Grossly Unjust and Unfair the entire Court Martial Proceedings and the Constitutionally Flawed Article 32 Investigation Hearing was towards me then and still is, to day.
Over the vehement objections of my civilian Defense Attorney, Mr. Edgar Jones, Major Kenton L. Ashworth, the Article 32 investigation hearing officer, acting on the advice of the prosecutor, then Cpt. Michael Smith, then Sergeant First Class (SFC) Diane Ternes’ boss, allowed SFC Ternes sworn statement to stand as proof of my guilt on her adultery allegations against me.
My JAG Defense counsel, at the time, then Captain Barry L Williams betrayed me also. He knew in advance that Ternes would not be at the hearing, but failed to alert Mr. Jones or me of this. He also failed to contact witnesses that would have appeared at the hearing on my behalf to further contradict the Joyce Shorter allegations. We already had two of her co-workers on record as defense witnesses.
SFC Diane Ternes, as my accuser, was also the appointed Legal Clerk to Major Ashworth and she was Captain Smith, the prosecutor, Head Legal Clerk in the Jag Office, at the same time.
After reading the sexual misconduct charges to me, Swank motioned me to take a seat. At this time, he revealed to me the sources of the Article 15 allegations as Aaron and Joyce Shorter. Aaron was a junior grade Non Commission Officer (NCO) assigned to the Battalion Headquarters Company; Joyce was his wife, whom I had allegedly been making improper advances towards. SFC Diane Ternes, who was assigned to the same organization in which Captain Stockhausen had come from was accusing me of having had sex with a woman other than my wife. Right then and there, I had to decide whether to accept Article 15 punishment under the UCMJ or request trial by courts martial, the only other option available to me. I knew I was not guilty of the allegations, so I requested Trail By Courts Martial. I wanted to have my day in court to face my accusers and prove my innocence. I did not realize that Swank and the JAG Prosecutor would, by way of absolute deceit and total disregard for my rights as the accused, unjustly stack the deck in their favor against me, for doing so.
One of the first questions I asked Swank was: Why am I just now being made aware of this situation? I pointed out that it was May, the alleged Ternes and Shorter garbage surfaced in February. Swank stated that it took him that long to decide whether or not he wanted to pursue UCMJ action against me.
The truth really was that, He had waited for Captain McConnell to leave and Stockhausen, a brand new commander, to come on board so he could do just what he did. Which was bring` the same already adjudicated fore mentioned allegations back up against me. I than asked for a copy of the AR 15-6 investigation report. At which time Swank stated to me that since both, the Shorters and SFC Ternes, my only two accusers at the time, had been so adamant in their allegations, he felt no investigation was necessary. So based on a whim, Swank put me in a corner where my only way out was to put my career and liberty on the line, by demanding trail by Court Martial.
Swank had been trying to convince me to sign the Article 15 and let him decide whether or not to give it to me. As he is making this false pitch I’m sitting, listening and thinking, if you had not decided to punish me, than why am I in your office facing the charges? I had already figured out what Swank was unjustly setting me up for with his actions on this day.
First, I realized then that these allegations was the reason Colonel Bodelson had trashed my character and credibility when he extended Swanks illegal grounding orders on me from thirty days to six months. I did not know that Swank and Stockhausen, in order to get their support for UCMJ action on me on the Diane Ternes and Joyce Shorter allegations, had told Bodelson and Griffith that I had gotten a Young Girl Pregnant at another military installation, this was a blatantly false claim and they knew it. These men even placed this fabricated claim into my Official Military Records. It was years later before I found out they had did this.
Secondly, Swank knew there was nothing in my Flight records to support his FEB actions. This was not known to his bosses, Col. Bodelson and Gen. Griffith. Had I signed the Article 15 accepting responsibility for crimes I was not guilty of, Swank was going to turn right around and use that as grounds for sending me before a Flight Evaluation Board with his recommendation to said board members that I be eliminated from flying for the U. S. Army. Low Moral Traits of Character, adultery, etc., would be his reason for making the request. When I left Swanks ‘office, I was pending Court Martial, at stake, my Career, Livelihood and Liberty. Which by way of Command and Prosecutor Abuse and Deceit, far worse than what has already been mentioned, ended up happening?
To this very day, I wish my Brigade commander then Colonel Patrick J. Bodelson, and My Division Commander, then Major General Ronald H. Griffith, the only two men that could have saved me and my family from the months of unjust command abuse LTC David W. Swank and Captain Richard C. Stockhausen subjected us to, would have allowed me and my civilian defense attorney, Mr. Edgar Jones, the opportunity to meet with them and explain our side of the story. These men low opinion of me was based on self-serving and tainted information Swank, Stockhausen and the Katterbach JAG Prosecutors provided to them. We never got the opportunity to meet with either one of these Commanders.
As previously stated, testimony giving at the Article 32 Investigation hearing cleared me of all charges and resulted in a recommendation that an AR15-6 investigation, for Officer Misconduct be conducted on one of my accusers, Captain James W Arp Jr. Colonel Bodelson and General Griffith were never made aware of this. By letter, in his advice on disposal of the charges against me, General Griffith was amazingly misled about the true outcome of the Article 32 Investigation hearing by his Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) when in this letter the SJA advised him that all prosecution allegations against me were warranted by the evidence indicated in the Article 32 Investigation Hearing Report. The truth to this day, is the exact opposite of what the SJA told him in a SJA letter and General Griffith’s response letter Officially Approving sending me up for Court Martial based on the documented Bad Advice he received from his Staff Judge Advocate.
The treacherous and illegal actions on the part of the prosecution caused The Boss, General Griffith, to sign off on bogus Court Martial charges against me, for allegations of wrong doing that I am totally innocent of.
Anticipating the already stated treacherous move by the SJA , my attorney submitted his Defense Matters and Consideration to General Griffith requesting a meeting with him to explain my side of the story. Specifically by pointing out the many unjust shortcomings of the prosecution’s case against me that the SJA for obvious reasons, deliberately omitted. Although I can’t prove it, I do not believe, Defense Matters and Conderations ever made it to Colonel Bodelson or General Griffith’s desk, since it had to get there via Prosecution channels. In his one page letter, there was no evidence or testimony from the Article 32 report that the SJA could have pointed out to General Griffith to support the advice he gave him on referral of the charges against me. As documented by the contents of Defense Matters, this was not the case for the defense.
Fact: On Swank’s Flight Evaluation Board actions, based on his false claims that I lacked proficiency and possessed low morale traits of character, when his successor took command, he talked with me personally and he reviewed my Flight Records. After seeing for himself that there was nothing in them to support FEB actions and that I was not the bad soldier and person that I, by way of Immediate Chain of Command and Prosecution deceit, had been trumped up to be, reinstated me back to flight status and awarded me full back pay for all the months that LTC Swank had illegally kept me grounded. Because my forced resignation letter was already at Headquarters Dept. of the Army, there was nothing he could do for me there.
The accusations made against me were false and LTC David W. Swank knew this, Captains Richard C. Stockhausen and James W. Arp Jr knew this, JAG Prosecutor Michael Smith, knew this. Bodelson and Griffith did not because the truth about me was deliberately kept from them by the very people they depended on and payed to provide them with, before they made decisions on matters pertaining to anyone of the legions of soldiers they had command over.
After leaving Swanks office, I went to the Post JAG office to obtain defense representation for my trial. As I was heading there, I kept asking myself, how in the world this can be. I had no idea who SFC Diane Ternes was and I knew the Shorters in passing only. This was May, I had seen Aaron Shorter once that year in the battalion mess area. I had seen Joyce Shorter at the pizza parlor just outside the gate leading onto the base. She had been one of three people working the counter when I placed my order. As usual, I had played basketball over lunch that day. During the game, I collided with a fellow Warrant Officer name Tony Davis and as a result, Tony suffered a broken hand. I was upset about this, Tony and I were good friends, so I left work early that day. I stopped in at the pizza parlor to get pizza to take home for my kids. That was the one and only day and time I ever saw Joyce Shorter at that pizza parlor or anywhere else in the community that year. When I entered the building, I did not know Joyce Shorter worked there and I did not know her husband Aaron Shorter was away in the states attending school. It was a chance meeting that lasted a few minutes at the most and it was well after lunch time. A fellow member of my unit, Master Sergeant Salvador Soto Jr, was with me that day. He submitted a statement to my JAG Defense Attorney who forwarded it to the Article 32 Investigation Officer’ verfying this. Everybody that knew me knew the only place you could find me over lunchtime, unless I was out flying on a mission, was at the gym. Aaron Shorter was even aware of this. By way of hearsay, I discovered that said fact concerning my where a bouts during the times I was supposedly coming on to Joyce, was pointed out to Aaron by fellow members of his unit and soldiers throughout the battalion and community.
When I left the Pizza Parlor that day, the next time I found myself in the direct presence of Joyce Shorter was at an Art 32 Investigation Hearing, five months later. Where I sat and painfully listen as this Boss Lair tearfully testified for over an hour, that in Aaron Shorter’s absence, I started coming on her job, on numerous occasions, making unwanted advances towards her about having an affair with me and that I had called her house on two (2) occasions for the same reason. She testified that the in person advances took place inside the pizza parlor, mostly at the employee break table between February and March of that year at Lunch Time. According to Joyce, none of her co-workers, supervisors, or customers, ever noticed me there harassing her to the point where would cry and get so mad, terrified and bothered by my alleged unwanted advances towards her, that she often got up from this table and ran to the office phone to call Aaron to let him know I was there. Joyce Shorter, a White Woman claimed that me, a Black Man, came into her place of employment daily at the same time and in plain sight of scores of customers and all her co-workers reeked the havoc in her life as stated above without a single person, other than herself being a witness to it all is, on the face of the record, An Incredible Lie. Swank knew this. That is why he trumped up more allegations of wrongdoing on me and added them to Joyce’s already stated tail.
Upon my arrival to the JAG office, I was met by a thinly built mal-nourished looking caucasion female soldier. She introduced herself as SFC Diane Ternes. She stated that she was the Non Commission Officer In charge (NCOIC) of the building and that her primary job was head legal clerk for the JAG Prosecutors. She said she knew who I was and why I was there. With this information, coupled with her name, I realized that this aged, frail looking little busy body standing before me was the sole source of Swanks adultery charge against me. She then set me up with an appointment to meet with, at a later date, my assigned Defense lawyer, Cpt. Barry L Williams.
At home that night, I briefed my wife on the new and devastatingly embarrassing developments. Our days and nights had already been long and stressful. Peace and harmony in our household had long been things of the past. We had been on pins and needles since March waiting for Swanks decision on whether or not he would commence his, based on nothing in my flight records to support it, FEB actions, and now this.
Just like me, my wife Debra had no idea who Diane Ternes was and she knew the Shorters in passing only. That night, we went over the Article 15 document. Since we did not have a few of the statements yet or any other evidence to support the charges in this article, we were under the impression that Aaron Shorter was claiming that he had witness me trying to force myself on Joyce and that the German National had told Ternes that she and I had had an affair. This was because all the charges in were being stated as fact. For example: You did was the lead in to each charge. Even though no required by military law AR15-6 investigation of them was ever conducted after Swank illegally reintroduced them against me once Cpt. McConnell left and Stockhausen became my commander.
On the day my wife and I met with Cpt. Williams, we had been escorted to his office by SFC Diane Ternes. Who, despite being one of my accusers and head legal clerks for the prosecutor was still being allowed to work administratively on my case. She was later assigned legal clerk for Major Kenton Ashworth the Article 32 Hearing Investigating officer. Once we were in Captain Williams’s office and with introductions and small talk over we got down to business. Captain Williams gave us Joyce Shorter sworn statement and an unsworn statement by SFC Ternes, although adultery charges had been filed against me already, Ternes did not submit a sworn statement until July, nearly sixty days after the fact. After being denied by Williams on my request for a change of venue because of conflict of Interest and in the interest of justice, due to the fact that SFC Ternes, as my accuser was barred by law from being administratively involved in my case. So assertive was Captain Williams denial of my request, the subject was never breached again, per his warning to me not to. SFC Ternes remained in her assigned job of legal clerk to Major Ashworth and the prosecutor throughout the many months in which Swank kept the FEB and Courts Martial proceedings going against me.
When we left Williams office, we now knew that Joyce Shorter, as previously pointed out, was accusing me of wrongdoings and not her husband. And that Ternes was alone in her allegation. Swank was truthful when he told me there had been no investigation. So, on the strength of Joyce Shorter and SFC Diane Ternes words alone, Swank was subjecting me to criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A second request for transfer from Swanks command was denied on the spot, just like the change of venue request. So I was locked in under LTC Swanks command and control.
The Diane Ternes and Joyce Shorter allegations and the illegal grounding were gut wrenchingly embarrassing events in my life. Daily, I dreaded reporting to work with these things hanging over my head. Joyce Shorter,s allegations was and is to this very day, due to the nature of them, excruciatingly painful. I would never do to any woman, let alone another man’s wife, what Joyce Shorter, from the bottom of her Cold Blooded Lying Heart, set on the witness stand and claimed I did to her. Except for in passing, I did not know Joyce Shorter and Joyce Shorter did not know me. Had she knew me, in her lies, she would not have claimed that all my alleged unwanted transgressions towards her, occurred during lunchtime at her place of employment, because she would have known that I was in the gym every day at that time. Fellow soldiers, to include her husband Aaron Shorter, could have verified this. Joyce Shorter saw me in her place of employment that one time and off of this chance meeting, concocted her said allegations against me.
Since Swank had initiated said actions against me, with no evidence to support them, I decided to do what I could to help me clear me. My appointed Jag defense counsel was being of no help at all. I had already confirmed that my flight records did not support Swanks FEB actions. So I moved on to the Shorter and Ternes Allegations.
My wife and I, after conferring with my Jag defense counsel and getting his approval, contacted the woman that Ternes claimed I had an affair with and briefed her on the situation. This lady was a realtor in the area and was known to just about every military family in the community. After hearing us out, she denied, in writing, Diane Ternes allegations. She even hand carried her statement to Swank in his office. She later appeared at the Article 32 investigation hearing and under oath denied Ternes allegations. Diane Ternes, the sole source of Swanks adultery courts martial charges against me, failed to appear at the hearing. Still, Major Ashworth, the Investigating Officer, recommended I be Courts Martialed over her allegations.
I then went to the pizza parlor where Joyce Shorter worked, which was the scene of my alleged transgressions against her. I wanted to talk to people who knew and worked with Joyce Shorter and to get statements from them indicating whether or not they had ever seen me there talking to Joyce Shorter or any other female employee in the building.
I first spoke to Ms. Mary Cooper, a co-worker of Joyce Shorter, who submitted a statement contradicting Joyce Shorter’s claims against me. ( see her statement identified as this lady and I had been sitting together for a minute or less, in that short period of time, we had been noticed by just about all of the other employees there. This was proof positive that Joyce Shorter’s claim that I, on numerous occasions, in that place, without being seen or noticed by anybody, had made unwanted advances towards her attempting to get her to be my girlfriend, which in turn, caused her to become so upset, terrified and mad that she would run to the office phone and call her husband, was Pure Bull Body Waste.
After telling Ms. Cooper my reason for being there, she called over her supervisor, and another employee. These people were not at all surprised to hear that Joyce Shorter was involved in what I was telling them. One of them stated that Joyce is always lying about something. None of them had anything good to say about Joyce Shorter. After hearing me out, these employees referred me to their supervisor at another location. After speaking with this supervisor, she promised me she would investigate the matter. After leaving Joyce Shorters place of employment I went straight to Swank to relay what I had found out. He was not in his office on this day. I had discovered that Joyce’s reputation for truthfulness amongst her co-workers and supervisors was not good at all. That night I briefed my wife on what I had found out about Joyce. Her immediate response was, go back to Swanks office first thing the next day. With what the lady, who, according to Diane Ternes, I had committed adultery with had done and now the revelation about Joyce Shorter’ lack of credibility, we were, for the first time, in a long time, experiencing some feelings of relief in our house.
We were able to sleep in piece that night. Our feelings were that Swank would drop the Courts Martial charges and moved on the FEB without delay, so we could get everything over with and move on with our lives. For months, Swank had had me in his dog house, abusing the hell out of me, stripping me of everything I had worked for and for what reason, to this day, I Do Not know. Physically and mentally this was killing me and my family. I still suffer mentally from what I am now stating. Not a day goes by in which I do not think about what Swank and his two co-conspirators, Arp and Stockhausen did to me. Every day I agonize over the fact that the Army has chosen to keep covered up the wrongs these people committed against me instead of seeing that justice is done and I am made whole again.
Where we lived there was a manmade lake called Lake Muhr Am See. The total distance around this lake was about six miles. I had been walking around Lake Muhr Am See about three to four times a week in the middle of the night. Cold weather in all, I did not feel it. My mind was on the defaming actions going on against me. I just could not sleep. My wife could not sleep, the stress and strain of my immediate chain of commands unjust actions was eating us alive. We needed to get out of Germany, but, Swank would not give me leave back to the states, I could not afford to send my family home out of pocket and I could not get help from anyone, so we were all stuck there.
My wife started developing little sores on her legs, some as small as a dime and others as large as a silver dollar. These sores would get infected and become pus filled holes in her legs. We went to the hospital in Nuremberg, Germany, she got treatment, the sores would dry up somewhat but, redeveloped again. Today, Debra and I are no longer together, but we remain friends. I understand that she is on disability. I firmly believe that her current medical conditons are directly connected To the Stress and strain we suffered through over what I am now stating happened to us. Just like me, she is still bitter over the fact that we were held against our will in a foreign country and subjected to the abuse and humiliation in which we were and the army has chosen to keep it covered up, by conducting investigations of what happened to us where they only talked to my accusers, Swank, Stockhausen, Arp and the Prosecutor and after getting their sides of the story only, put whatever they said into my military records and without talking to me or any defese witnesses, close the investigation.
The next day I was in Swanks office with the news. After hearing me out, Swank was in agreement with me on Joyce Shorter’s lack of credibility. He even stated to me that he realize Joyce Shorter was not all she cracked herself up to be when she came to them with her story. It is my belief that the people from Joyce Shorter’s place of employment had already talked to him about her. He said nothing about Ternes allegations. After all that had transpired in our favor, as previously stated, My wife and I was expecting Swank to dismiss the Shorter and Ternes charges and move on the Flight Evaluation Board. This would have been the fair and proper thing for him to do. But he did not. Instead, He reloaded and came at me with additional, bogus Court Martial charges.
Once I had talked to Joyce Shorter’s co-workers, news of her allegations against me spread through the community like wild fire. As a result, more negative talk about Joyce Shorter’s lack of good character and credibility started surfacing by people that knew her in the community and at other military installations. It was revealed to me by a soldier that knew them elsewhere that she had accused another soldier of the same thing she was accusing me of, for fear of command retaliation, this young enlisted soldier would not put anything in writing. Fortunately for that soldier, his immediate commander investigated her allegations, found them to be false and promptly dismissed them. Just like Captain McConnell, who was my commander when said allegations first surfaced, had done months earlier. Apparently, Joyce Shorter liked telling Aaron Shorter, other men were trying to talk to her behind his back.
Had Swank not illegally re-hashed her allegation along with SFC Ternes allegation, and then add them to the allegations that is yet to come in my story, all the pain and suffering, the mental anguish and embarrassment my wife and I went through for all those months Swank illegally held us hostage in a foreign country, while he, on the face of the record, stacked bogus courts martial charges on me, one after the other, without ever conducting the required by military law, AR15-6 investigation on any of them, too, in the interest of justice, get to the truth of matter, would never have happened. The mental conditions I am being treated for present day would not be and my marriage and military career would not have been destroyed.
The fact is, Swank, Stockhausen and the prosecution could not do an investigation of these charges or the ones to follow because they knew they were all based on lies.
As a result of my illegal grounding from flying, pending a Flight Evaluation Board (FEB), I had been reduced to nothing but a potted plant in Alpha company and the Battalion. I was completely stripped of all my meaningful Additional Duties as a Warrant Officer in the United States Army and Pilot of the AH64 Apache Attack Helicopter, which, at that time, was the most advanced helicopter in the Army’s inventory. Another pilot was already flying in my seat, so orders were cut transferring me to the Battalion Headquarters Company (HHC), commanded by then Captain P. Kelly.
Captain Stockhausen was no longer my commander. This move brought instant and desperately needed relief to me. I was welcomed aboard by Captain Kelly and his Executive Officer (XO), First lieutenant, David Astin with open arms. They knew what I was going through. The relationship between me and Stockhausen had not been good from day one of him becoming my company commander. I had a good relationship with Stockhausen’s Executive Officer (XO), 1LT Mark Cullinan, although I rarely saw him after I was grounded because I was always somewhere doing behind the scenes duties instead of flying my aircraft.
Captain Kelly made me his arms room officer and things moved along well from there. But I still missed being in the air. I was under a lot of pressure with the ongoing Court Martial charges and FEB actions continuously hanging over my head. All I could do was sit and wait, Swank and the prosecutors held all the cards. And as long as my side of the story was not getting to high command, that’s the way it remained. By now, my wife was not coming on base to shop or visit friends. She was driving nearly two hours out of the way to another military installation to shop and just unwind. Her involvement in officer wives functions was a thing of the past. She was just as embarrassed and stressed out with events as I was.
Throughout this entire nearly one year unjust assault of my character and credibility and my fitness for flying military helicopters, Swank as my Battalion Commander showed no mercy on me. In spite of the fact that the woman he was Court Martialing me for allegedly having an affair with denied the allegation to him in writing, and when Joyce Shorter’s track record of lying on men to her husband and her poor reputation for truthfulness became known, plus the absolute fact that he and the JAG Prosecutor, Captain Smith had not one single eye witness or evidence to confirm Diane Ternes or Joyce Shorter allegations, Swank still pursued Court Martial actions against me. The just and proper thing for him to have done was order a dismissal of both said allegations, in the interest of justice. Swank saw the negative impact his actions were having on our lives. I was in his office almost daily pleading with him to get on with the business of resolving everything. He just would not let up or move on anything.
On May 20, 1990, while performing my assigned duty of Range Safety Officer during aircraft live firing training exercises, on Grafenwohr Firing Range, Germany. I tried to prevent a major range safety violation from happening. And by way of unjust retaliation, conspiracy and absolute deceit, I ended up having four additional courts martial charges added to the two existing Joyce Shorter and SFC Diane Ternes charges.
Then Captain James W. Arp Jr, who was the range safety officer, was notified by CW4 J. Lewandowski , a veteran Instructor Pilot, participating in said exercises that he was observing German civilians standing down range in the line of fire. As the Range Safety Officer for the range, I immediately advised Cpt. Arp to bring the range to cold status, meaning, Cease All Weapons firing, and notify Grafenwohr Range Control of the situation. This in accordance with range Standard Operations Procedures (SOP) , was the correct and proper thing to do. Captain Arp instantly refused to follow my advice to go to cold status and remain that way until range control arrive and conduct a sweep of the range, to make sure that no persons was still in harm’s way. Cpt. Arp stated that since CW4 Lewandowski had reported that he was trying to signal the persons off the range from his aircraft, there was no need to notify range control. His position was that he wanted to get the phase of training in which we were conducting out of the way that day and that having to wait on range control to come out would prevent him from doing so. My reply was, No Sir, we cannot do it. I informed him that range control must be notified of the circumstances going on and that we cannot send another round down range until they come in, conduct a sweep of the range and give us the go ahead to commence firing again.
Captain Arp ordered me off the range in response to what I wanted him to do as the range Safety Officer. I asked him to notify range control of my departure, per his orders. Since, by regulations, Army wide, the range could not operate without a Safety Officer. He ignored me. So I gather my gear and departed the range.
Cpt. Arp, in violation of established range operations procedures, ordered the range back to Hot Status. In accordance with Army Regulations, as Range Safety Officer, and with the backing of Swanks Battalion Safety Officer, Senior Instructor Pilot and the pilot that reported the unauthorized persons on the range, I filed an Operational Hazardous Repot (OHR) on Captain Arp’s already said unauthorized actions and orders of that day on the range.
In their investigation reports, LTC Swanks Safety Officer, CW2 Francisco Cristobal, his Senior Instructor Pilots, CW4 Randy Nielson and John Lewandowski, all confirmed that Captain Arp had violated Standard Range Operation Procedures as stated in the OHR.
Keep in mind, that this was an in house OHR which would have gone down as lessons learned and let’s not do it again. No careers were on the line as a result of this OHR, unless, loss of life would have occurred that day as a result of Cpt. Arp’s callous and unguided missile like actions. If that would have been the case, for sure as Captain Arp’s Battalion Commander, LTC Swank’ s career progression in the military would have surely came to an abrupt halt.
The OHR became an issue only because we wanted to show that it was the reason behind Cpt. Arp and his best friend, Cpt. Richard C Stockhausen series of disrespect charges they later filed against me. And Swank, without conducting an AR 15-6 investigation of said charges, endorsed and forward them to higher command with his recommendation that they be added to the Ternes and Shorter charges and that I be court martialed for all of them.
Cpt. Arp submitted a statement denying having committed said range safety violations. He, also, falsely accused me of being disrespectful and belligerent towards him on that day in his statement. His version of the location of the unauthorized persons on the range was absolutely false. His statement proved he had committed the violations pointed out in the OHR when in it, he said that he made the decision to resume firing on his own, without notifying range control, Because it was the prudent thing to do. By established regulations, because of the situations, Captain Arp was not authorized to resume firing without, since he had ordered me off the range, a Range Safety Officer present and without permission from Grafenwohr Range Control, which, as the Range Safety Officer, I tried to point out to him.
Because LTC Swank covered it up, Colonel Bodelson and General Griffith never found out about the OHR. At the still to be mentioned Article 32 Investigation Hearing, Major Ashworth, refused to accept the findings of the OHR into the record as defense evidence against the still to come, bogus disrespect Court Martial charges Captains Arp and Stockhausen vindictively, filed against me.
On the morning of 1 June, after having walked and jogged around Lake Muhr Am See twice the night before, due to the fact that, I simply could not sleep, I found myself at Battalion headquarters trying to get in to see Swank and Arp. I wanted to discuss recoupment of lost flight pay with Arp and my overall situation with Swank. It was early but I had seen Swank going down the hall to his office, so I waited a while to give him time to get settled at his desk. I then proceeded down the hall to his office. As I was coming down the hallway, Arp stepped out of his office. When he saw me coming, he stopped dead center of the hallway, facing me as I approached. Just before I got to where he was standing , I passed another office, inside I noticed 1LT Mark Cullinan and a group of approximately six or more enlisted men. Coming up to Arp, I stated, Sir, you are just the man I need to see, along with Col. Swank. Arp instantly went off on me. Coming right up in my face, we were nearly kissing, and stating to me that I had nothing coming from him, so I need not be there. I told him that finance had sent me to see him about my flight pay. As the Battalion Adjutant he had to initiate the paper work I needed to address my pay problem. Terry what did I tell you, was his response. Seeing that I would not be getting help from Arp, I asked him to step aside so I could go speak to LTC. Swank, He stated that Swank was not in his office. I then said, in a pleading tone of voice, come on sir, I just saw him go in. All the times that I had been to Swanks office, this was the first time I had run into this kind of interference. Captain Arp than brushed by me, walked over and closed the door to that part of the hallway we were in, this put him and me out of view of 1LT. Cullinan and the other soldiers that was present with him.
When Arp closed this door, only he, I and Swank were left behind it. He then spun around, walked back to me, put his finger in my face and referred to me as a Low Life Mongrel that he could not stand and stated that I had nothing coming from him. Before he could say another rage infested word, I cut him off, by stating, Captain Arp, I know you out rank me, but this is some bullshit you are pulling off on me here. I was not whispering as I said this. Right about that time, Swank step out of his office and ordered both of us into his office.
Had Arp not closed that door, everyone there would have seen him approach me and stick his finger in my face and heard him call me a mongrel. Although I have no proof of it, I do believe LTC Swank heard what Arp called me on that day.
Once we were in his office, Swank asked Arp what was the problem. Arp stated that I was bothering him about a finance problem that he could not help me with, because my business was with the finance office, this was not true and Swank knew it. He then informed Swank that I was asking to speak to him. LTC Swank stated to me that it appears there was nothing his Adjutant could do for me, he then ask what I needed to see him about. With that, Once again, I stated my woes to Swank for a leave back to the States so I could get my family, especially my wife, some relief from the gut wrenching embarrassing predicament he had us in. I re-briefed him about my wife suffering from whatever it was that was causing her to break out with sores on her legs. I let him knew how much he was hurting me financially with his unjust freezing of my flight pay. I again asked him to move on the FEB actions, so we could get this thing over with and I could get back in the air, since this was June, and I had not flown since February. Again, I knew there was nothing in my flight records to support Swank grounding me, so I was not worried about appearing before a Flight Evaluation Board.
After, once again, hearing me out, Swank stated, that because I had Court Martial charges pending, my records had been flagged and because of this, he could not order Captain Arp, who as the Bn S1, job it was to do so, to cut orders authorizing leave back to the state for me or my family. He stated that he would sign leave orders for us going anywhere in Germany we wanted, but not back to the states. I knew Swank was lying, but, what could I do. I was getting no help from my congressman, my JAG defense lawyer and anyone else. At that time, I had only the Joyce Shorter and Diane Ternes courts martial charges hanging over my head and the FEB, all three based on lies. According to Swank, he could not commence FEB actions until the Joyce Shorter and Diane Ternes UCMJ actions were completed. For months and months this was the case. He just kept things hanging over my head. When I stated to Swank that he was in violation of Article 98 of the rules of courts martial because of how he was purposely dragging things along, Swank stated that he was article 98 of the rules of courts martial, so what was my point.
On June 5, Captain Arp called me to his office. When I arrived, he and Cpt. Stockhausen were waiting for me. I knew instantly, that for me, nothing good was to come out of this meeting. The memory of what had happened between Arp and me, days earlier and what he had called me was on my mind. Once the door closed behind me, Cpt. Stockhausen got right to business. I was ordered to position of attention. He then notified me that I was being preferred over for Court Martial on Joyce Shorter and SFC Diane Ternes allegations. Cpt. Stockhausen then read the courts marshal charges to me and then asked me if I had any questions. Upon examining them, I saw that Stockhausen had sworn to his best friend, Arp, that as my commander, he had investigated and found the Shorter and Ternes allegation to be true. I asked Stockhausen for a copy of the AR 15-6 investigation report. Arp then took over and stated that the report was at JAG being finalized and I should be getting a copy from my JAG defense counsel soon. I then asked Stockhausen the following: Sir, where in the world did you find witnesses to confirm these allegations against me. I stated that Joyce Shorter’ s co-workers are going to testify on my behalf against her and the Ternes charges is based solely on her word alone, and has already been denied, in writing, by the woman she is claiming I had an affair with, So how can all this be?
I never received a copy of the AR15-6 investigation because none was ever done. Later that same day, I was served with copies of the charges with Swanks signed endorsement of them. Swank had already forwarded the charge sheet to higher command with his recommendation that I be court martialed. Had Swank not done this, said charges would have went nowhere, but, back in the trash can where they had unjustly re-surfaced from, compliments of him. Swank committed this deceit against me on his own and for his own personal reasons. I point this out because, again, in a Federal Court of Law in Montgomery, Alabama, Swank stated under oath to a Federal Judge that his involvement in the already mentioned courts martial, and the initiation of illegal Flight Evaluation Board actions, for alleged lack of proficiency and the still to be presented additional courts martial actions he levied against me, was based on orders to him from High Command. In making that statement to Federal Judge Ira Dement, by way of perjury, Swank shifted the blame for the cold blooded and grossly unjust Humans Rights Violation that he, as my Battalion Commander, committed against me and my family, on Col. Bodelson and Gen. Griffith, his bosses, the very men whom he deceitfully withheld the truth from throughout his entire bogus Courts Martial and illegal FEB proceedings against me. Again, on that day, March 17, 1995, in Federal Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Montgomery, Alabama, Swank distance himself by way of perjury, from the conspiracy that he and then Captains James W Arp Jr and Richard C. Stockhausen committed against me, while I served under them, overseas. Court Records that I have in my possession support what I am stating.
ON 15 June 1990, I was headed to work in the battalion arms room at battalion headquarters. As I entered the building, Arp stopped me, He looked to be in a real good mood, we greeted, after which, Arp informed me that Stockhausen wanted to see me. This was the first one on one contact between me and Arp since the incident in the battalion hallway, where he had called me a low life mongrel. I was tempted to mention the incident to him, in the hopes of garnishing an apology from him as a way of burying the Hatchet, I decided not to though. Since no one had approached me lately with any new trumped up allegations of wrongdoing and this guy was acting as if we were friends again, I let my guards down and allowed myself to think that something positive was about to happen for me with Arp’s message that Stockhausen wanted to see me. I asked Arp if he knew what it was about. Arp stated that he did not know and that he was just the messenger. I jokingly stated to Cpt. Arp that maybe I am going back to flying. This guy gave me a smile and stated that that would be a good thing for me, because he kind of missed me in the gym. I called Cpt. Stockhausen and got a show time to report to his office. I asked him what was it he wanted to see meabout. He stated that he was busy at that moment so he would rather wait until I got there to talk to me. He sounded upbeat over the phone. So when we hung up, I was sure this meeting would be about me going back on flight status. In my excitement, without discussing it with my commander, Captain Kelly or my XO, 1LT Astin, I went to see Cpt. Stockhausen. I failed to see and realize that I was being unjustly: Set Up, by these two so called Officers and Gentlemen. I had not spoken to Swank in a while. I had seen SFC Ternes coming and going from his office, so I knew something was up, whether or not it concerned me was the question that I had no answer to. I called my wife and briefed her on things. I advised her to, “Stand By” for I would call her when I knew something. I then headed to Stockhausen’s office at Katterbach Army Airfield.
When I got there, Stockhausen had 1LT Cullinan in his office with him. Stockhausen’s office had a glass door leading into it. One could see inside before entering. It appeared to me that they were going over personnel records. I tapped on the door and was waved in by Stockhausen. We all greeted. Stockhausen moved to his chair behind his desk facing me, LT Cullinan was seated in a chair to my left. Since I had not been invited to take a seat, I remained standing. On my way up to Stockhausen’s office I had checked out my designated aircraft, the AH64 Apache Attack Helicopters, parked and tied down in neat formation, in their designated spots within the aircraft parking area. Others were being run up in preparation for flight, or taxing into position for takeoff. The sight, the sounds and the smell of the airfield environment was so invigorating to me, I was pumped. While high stepping across the airfield parking lot that led to Stockhausen’s office, I was saying to myself, Lord please let it be that this man is calling me out here to inform me that I am going back in the air. I was reasoning that the bogus Ternes and Shorter allegations were going to be dropped and I would start aviator refresher training, since it had been so long since I had flown.
As I stood at Stockhausen’s desk, I began to worry. This situation was not shaping up to be what I had hoped and prayed for. I thought to myself, I should have contacted my (XO) LT Astin before I came out here. It was too late. I had now noticed the green folder. In the center of this folder was a white label with my name and rank. It resembled the case file folder that was kept on me at the JAG Prosecutor office, containing the Ternes and Shorter lies, the one that my wife and I always saw one of my accusers , SFC Diane Ternes carrying when she escorted us to Captain Williams office. During the time I was observing this folder, Stockhausen was putting aside the things he and Lt. Cullinan had been working on. Once he had done this, he grabbed the folder with my name on it and opened it up, that’s when I saw the single charge sheet . I instantly asked, “Sir, what is going on here?” Stockhausen stated that he hated to add to my woes, but he had additional charges to prefer on me. I looked at LT. Cullinan, he shrugged at me. I turned back to Stockhausen and asked, what in the world are you charging me with now? The charge sheet lay directly in front of me. He flipped the sheet over so that I could read its contents. I saw, once again, Cpt. Stockhausen had falsely sworn to a Major Shivers that he had investigated and found to be true, Two counts of Disrespect to a Superior officer charges, brought against me by his best friend and co-conspirator in this situation, Cpt. James W Arp Jr.
The charges are as follows:
Count One: Violation of Article 89 of the UCMJ for saying, don’t try to pull that rank bullshit on me, I am tired of this.
Count Two: Violation of Article 90 of the UCMJ for refusing to go to the position of at ease.
Both counts stemmed from the already stated encounter I had with Arp in the Battalion Hallway on 1 June. I immediately asked to see the AR15-6 investigation report and I asked why I had not been questioned by him, as part of his investigation, to get my side of things. Stockhausen ignored me and ordered me to position of attention, I instantly complied. He then began reading the charges to me.
As Stockhausen gleefully read Arp’s charges to me, I was locked in at the position of attention, thinking to myself, Arp and Stockhausen with Swanks knowledge and behind the back of Cpt. Kelly, have set me up. Captain Arp lied to me when he told me he did not know what Stockhausen wanted to see me about. I interrupted Stockhausen by stating to him that had I known I was coming to his office for something like this, I would not have come, because he was not my commander, Cpt. Kelly was, I stated that I have orders to prove this. Stockhausen snapped at me to shut up. I did so and he again started reading Arp’s charges. When he got to where Arp is alleging that I said to him: Don’t Pull That Rank Bullshit on Me, I, knowing full well that that was a blatant lie, could not take it anymore. I stated to Stockhausen, Sir, I got to get out of here, this is not right, you are not my commander, you have not shown me anything in the form of evidence to support your actions and since you are not my commander, you have no authority to have me here under these circumstances.
I further stated to him that I should have been notified of the charges. I asked him why he did not tell me said charges were coming when he and Arp had me in on the Shorter and Ternes charges. With no truthful answers coming from him, I got the hell out of Stockhausen’s office. Had I been given advance notice of what was to happen in this man’s office that day, my reaction to Stockhausen’s actions would have been different and For sure, I would not have went there without the company of my true commander, Captain Kelly or his XO, Lieutenant Astin. After I left Stockhausen’s office, I went to see Captain Williams, but he was not in. I contemplated going to see Cpt. Kelly, but decided against it, with Swank riding shotgun over the conspiracy, there was nothing he could do for me now. I close the arms room for the day and went home. After I briefed Debra on the new charges, her question to me was, so what do we do now? Since we had already contacted every agency we knew of for help, to no avail. I even wrote the Oprah Winfrey show. The kids were still in school, so we walked the lake halfway around, as a way to deal with the pressure from the ongoing siege we were living under.
NOTE: A few years later during a State side Investigation on Swanks FEB and court martial actions against me in Germany, on the already mentioned charges Captain Arp, in a sworn statement, once again lied to Army Criminal Investigators (CID) at Fort Rucker, Alabama, by giving them a totally different version of events that allegedly transpired between he and I in the 3/1 battalion hallway in Germany, on 1 June, which led to his charges, when he wrote that:
I physically assaulted him that day.
I had been so disrespectful and belligerent to him and Col. Swank, that Swank had threaten to call the Military Police on me that day.
I was there seeking information from him about the Joyce Shorter and Diane Ternes charges. which would have amounted to obstruction of justice on my part, this is what he was accused of in Germany as a result of the mounds of negative testimony given about him in support of me at the Article 32 investigation Hearing on his and his best friend Stockhausen’s revenge motivated Disrespect Charges against me.
Swank had told him that I had threaten to come to Fort Rucker and “Get him and Swank.”
During his testimony in a Federal Court of Law, and at the Article 32 investigation hearing, LTC Swank contradicted all of Arp’s Allegations made against me in his sworn statements.
In this same state side investigation, then Captain Richard C. Stockhausen lied to Army CID at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in his sworn statement when he said that, in Germany, he had conducted an investigation of the Joyce Shorter allegations that consisted of him talking to me, my co-workers, Joyce Shorter and her co-workers. And based on this investigation, it was revealed to him that I had a pattern of allegations of extra-marital affairs. Like his co-conspirator and best friend Arp, Stockhausen is covering up the criminal wrongs he committed against me overseas, while pretending to be my company commander, with claims that are not supported by the record, because they are Not True. If you let then Captain Stockhausen tell it, the only women I was not sleeping with or trying to sleep with, according to these fictitious investigations of his was his, Swank and Arp’s. Lying about me under oath, which is a court martialable offense, meant nothing to these men.
Again, the record of the court martial proceedings show, that none of Joyce Shorter’s co-workers supported her in the claims she made against me. One of them testified against her at the hearing, one submitted a statement contradicting her and had it not been for fear of command retaliation, all of them would have come to the hearing to state for record that Joyce Shorter was lying on me and that all she does is lie on people. The record also shows that all of my co-workers supported me throughout it all. There are two copies of the many character statements submitted by my fellow Officers and Aviators in the Battalion in support of me against the injustices I faced. Stockhausen never talked to me about any of the six court martial charges he preferred against me, his own uninvestigated ones included, the record proves this. The record also proves that I was never disrespectful to then Captains Arp, Stockhausen or any other Officer Superior in rank to me, and that prior to the Joyce Shorter and Diane Ternes allegations, no such allegation had ever been rumored or made against me during my entire time in the army. On the face of the record all the claims in Stockhausen’s state side sworn statement to CID is clearly false. It seems to me that Military Investigators taking all these false sworn statements from these individuals should have picked up on the fact that they were being lied to. Prior to talking to them, they had to have reviewed the record of the Article 32 Investigation Hearing Report from Germany, which proves that no AR15-6 investigation was conducted by Stockhausen, Swank, Arp, Military Police or CID on any of the six court martial charges and that the results of the Article 32 hearing does not support the claims these men made in their sworn statements. They should have talked to me and some of the many defense witnesses identified in the Article 32 report and heard our side of the story, before closing their investigations and placing sworn statements, given to them by my accusers that deliberately misrepresented the truth, into my Official Military records for all future employers to be made aware of. I have never been able to make myself whole again as a result of the devastation these documents has caused in my life by being on display in my Military Records and on the face of my Discharge Papers. Believe me, I am trying. But it is impossible to outrun all the unproven charges of Disrespect to a Superior Officer, Assaulting a Superior Officer, Making Threats, Belligerence, Adultery, Attempted Adultery and Child Molestation that currently saturates my military records. The thing that leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth and anger in my heart is the fact that these are all documented false charges, that were initiated against me by the same three men: Swank, Stockhausen and Arp over a six (6) month period of time, while I was illegally held hostage under their command and control in a Foreign country. Over the years, since my forced resignation from the army, on background checks of my service record, for good pay and benefit jobs that I applied for, these extraordinarily false allegations killed my chances of getting the job, every single time I went for it.
Never once did Swank, Stockhausen, Arp or the JAG Prosecutor Captain Michael Smith, in their statements to these stateside investigators, utter one word about the series of Bogus Disrespect Court Martial Charges Stockhausen and Arp with Swanks blessing and support, filed against me by way of absolute documented deceit, or the Range Standard Operation Procedure violation OHR that Captain Arp is guilty of and Swanks cover up of it from high command, or the AR15-6 investigation for Officer Misconduct that Major Ashworth, the Article 32 investigation Hearing Officer recommended be conducted on Captain Arp, for Obstruction of Justice and other officer misconduct due to the plethora of negative testimony he heard about this Officer at the Article 32 hearing Or the fact that I never got the opportunity to face one of my accusers, SFC Diane Ternes in a court of law, to have the opportunity to cross examine her on allegations she made against me. In spite of this, they still moved against me with UCMJ court martial actions based solely on her word. Never once did they mentioned how the lack of character and credibility for truthfulness of Joyce Shorter was so thoroughly exposed to the point that the only grounds used to support her allegations against me was that she cried while on the stand testifying on what I had allegedly did to her. Never once did they mention the Conflicts of Interest that existed throughout the entire bogus court martial actions against me by SFC Ternes and Captain Arp as my accusers, being administratively involved on the case. Never once did they mentioned the illegal orders Arp, as my accuser, without the knowledge of High Command, illegally typed up assigning Court Martial Jurisdiction over me to Stockhausen so that his charges against me could be acted on or the fact that Swank falsely stated under oath that no such orders were cut.
Recently, I discovered in my Official Military Records an extremely slanderous and false statement which was forwarded to High Command, written and signed by Captain Stockhausen and Swank falsely accusing me of getting an unidentified “Young Girl” pregnant at Fort Hood, Texas. This allegation, according to the statement, is based on what an unidentified source allegedly told Stockhausen I had done. Stockhausen, once again, is lying on me in the worst way. No one told this so called Officer and Gentlemen anything like that. Also In this statement these men changed the circumstances in which I allegedly harassed Joyce Shorter by stating that all the alleged harassment took place over the phone. They knew full well that that was not the truth. As for their allegation that I got a young girl pregnant at another installation in the states, Neither Stockhausen, Swank or the prosecutor ever mentioned this viciously false claim to me or my Civilian Defense Attorney in Germany, said allegation never surfaced over there. They secretly slipped it by us and into my military records, where it remains to this day. As previously stated, this false allegation was submitted to High Command as grounds for their support of Article 15 punishment under the UCMJ on the Ternes and Shorter allegations. This document proves that from the very beginning the Court Martial proceedings was based on lies told about me by members of my Immediate Chain of Command to their Superiors. And they continued such unjust tactics against me throughout said Bogus Court Martial. Even today they would have to lie about the situation in order to keep their documented illegal transgressions against me covered up. By telling My Side of the Story, I seek to prevent them from slandering my name with lies again, now and forever.
When I did see Cpt. Williams, My JAG Defense counsel, I briefed him on what had happened and I asked him why he had not informed me of Arp’s charges. He stated that he did not know anything about them.
I showed him the orders transferring me from Stockhausen command to Cpt. Kelly. Cpt. Williams stated to me that I was right in what I had done because Stockhausen had no UCMJ jurisdiction over me under the circumstances. He stated that Kelly would be the person to prefer charges on me and he did not believe that will happen. We talked some on matters concerning my request for leave back to the States being denied, I told him about my wife’s illness and the negative impact the Courts Martial charges and FEB actions was having on our lives. He said that he understood and that he would do what he could to get things moving. I thanked him and left his office. He never made good on helping us.
For the next few days, nothing happened on the Arp’s Charges or the event in Stockhausen’s’ office. Cpt. Williams, whenever Debra or I would contact him, claimed he knew of nothing going on with my case. During this time, Debra had paid a visit to Swanks office to show him the condition of her legs and to let him know the pain and embarrassment his actions against me were causing us. She informed him of her desire to get back home, so she could be seen by her family doctor and be with her mother. She told him how badly we needed a break from the pressure cooker he had us in. She let him know how embarrassing the adultery and attempted adultery charges he had hanging over my head was to us, especially since evidence in his possession clearly showed that they were based on nothing. She, just like me, had made quite a few visits to Swanks office, besides this one. Swank still refused to give us leave orders back to the States. When my congressman inquired as to why my leave request were denied, he was told it was because my presence was needed daily In Germany because of the pending Court Martial and that none of my rights were violated. A few more untruths were given also. So in the end, he went away. What my Congressman was not told is that my accusers were allowed to travel as they so pleased. Swank knew that if he would have let me come back home, I was going to do everything I could to Blow the Whistle on the illegal Command abuse he was subjecting me and my family to. I would not have return to Germany until persons at Headquarters Department of the Army, interested in seeing that justice was done, looked into my case.
On 18 June, I received two sets of orders. All signed and issued by Cpt. James W Arp Jr. as My Accuser , and with Swanks full knowledge and approval and without the knowledge or approval of High Command or The Department of the Army, Arp had:
Rescinded the orders previously issued, assigning me to the command and control of Captain Kelly in Headquarters Company.
- He then issued new orders assigning me back to Alpha Company, commanded by his best friend and co-conspirator, Cpt. Richard C. Stockhausen for: UCMJ SUPPORT.
- Stockhausen, now having Illegal Courts Martial authority over me, wasted no time in moving against me, but not only with Captain Arp’s additionalfabricated charges against me. Incredibly, the man added two fabricated charges of his own, mirroring those of his best friend, Captain Arp.
Above actions on the part of Then Captain Arp is a gross miscarriage of justice, illegal, a conflict of interest, abuse of authority as an S1, a denial of my rights to due process, violation of my civil rights and an obstruction of justice. As my accuser Captain Arp was barred by the rules of court martial, The Law and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures from being administratively involved in any and all behind the scenes actions concerning my case, he and Diane Ternes. But they both were administratively involved throughout the entire Courts Martial. My assigned Jag Defense lawyer made no objections to Arp or Ternes illegal participations in as stated, at all.
Captain Arp illegally produced said orders, with Swanks full knowledge, because he knew Cpt. Kelly would not be a party to his deceit. Again, because of Arp and Stockhausen’s documented unsavory actions, they had lost the protection of the very articles they were Court Martialing me under for alleged Officer Misconduct against them. Their documented deceitful actions on the face of the record, amounts to Pure Officer Misconduct, Command Abuse and Abuse of Authority. Punishable under the same Articles of the UCMJ in which they were falsely charging me with violating. I should have never been recommended for punishment of any kind under said circumstances. This is boldly stated in article 89 and 90. And because of the lack of any supporting evidence or eye witnesses, the same holds true for the Joyce Shorter and Diane Ternes allegations.
On 27 June 1990, as expected, nine days after Captain Arp’s illegally produced orders entered into the conspiracy; I got the call to report to Captain Stockhausen’s office. When I got there I was greeted by Lt. Astin and Lt Cullinan. I assumed Captain Kelly had sent Lt Astin there to make sure I did not become the victim of anymore additional courts martial charges, on top of what I was already there to face. To our surprise, Additional charges already existed, with no AR 15-6 investigation conducted on them and with no advanced notification of them having been given to me and as far as I know, Captain Kelly and Lt. Astin. The charge sheet was laid out on Stockhausen’s desk, in addition to Arp’s two counts of disrespect under Article 89 and 90 of the UCMJ, as previously stated, Stockhausen had added the same two counts of his own against me for the already stated events of June 15th in his office.
Captains Stockhausen and Arp had stacked two (2) each, like bogus court martial charges against me, without conducting a single AR15-6 investigation of them. In less than two months, I was charged and recommended for courts martial for (6) counts of violations of Articles under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Except for a statement written by a Sergeant Sterns, a Junior Grade NCO whose commander was Cpt. Stockhausen, stating that it sounded to him like I was being disrespectful to Arp that morning in the battalion hallway, without one single piece of evidence or eyewitnesses to support them. As I stood at attention in Stockhausen’s office while he preferred Arps original two (2) counts of disrespect charges and his additional like charges, I was thinking, I am the victim in this entire situation yet, I am the one being prosecuted for alleged wrong doings. I wanted to ask Stockhausen if he was going to recuse himself from the matter since he was now one of my accusers, which would have been the just and proper thing for him to have done, I decided not to. I knew that would not happen. Since he was the only officer in the Battalion that was willing to stoop to the low level that he was now at in order to help His best friend, Cpt. James W. Arp Jr. bring bogus and vindictive UCMJ action against me. I could see the hatred and absolute disdain for me in Stockhausen’s face as he went about the business of burdening me down with his and Arps lack of evidence supported additional court martial charges. By law, Stockhausen was supposed to recuse himself from preferring charges against me once he himself became an accuser against me.
After being officially charged, I rendered a salute to Stockhausen and promptly departed his office. I left wondering to myself, how can Cpt. Arp’s self-serving and illegal orders that were issued after the fact make it right for me to be court martialed. Stockhausen was wrong for having me in his office reading bogus, uninvestigated courts martial charges against me that had been handed to him by his best friend. furthermore, since his actions were illegal, and had nothing to do with official military business, the Mission of the 3rd of the first Attack Helicopter Battalion, or, Troop Morale and Discipline, my career and liberty should not be in jeopardy behind such deceit and blatant officer misconduct .
At the Article 32 hearing, Stockhausen admitted that at the time he had me in his office charging me with Arp’s bogus disrespect counts, he did not realize he hadNO UCMJ authority over me, to do so. He lied when he stated that he was operating off Vocal Orders, from Swank, that he was my commander. Even if that was the truth, No one told me about any vocal orders. He also confirmed under cross examination that the extent of his investigation of the Joyce Shorter and Diane Ternes allegations was that he read their statements and decided, in his mind, that I was guilty of them. In a just situation, these admissions, coupled with the pounding Captain Arps character and credibility took, during the hearing, would have been grounds for dismissal of all charges. Stockhausen’s testimony confirmed that he was out of line the day he had me in his office on Arp’s charges. I tried to tell him that, before he viciously yelled at me to shut my mouth. Since there was nothing just about the entire court martial proceeding, this did not happen. Swank went so far as to falsely state, under oath, that no orders had been cut taking me from under Stockhausen’s command and that I lied on Arp concerning the range incident. He stated that no range safety violation had occurred. Major Ashworth, the Article 32 investigation hearing officer, in spite of having copies of said orders, assigning me away from Stockhausen’s command, in his possession, and the OHR , contradicting Swanks testimony denying it, accepted Swanks testimony as the truth. Swank testified that Arp had a good reputation and was well liked in the battalion. Every single witness that followed Swank, with the exception of Stockhausen, contradicted these claims. The hearing revealed that because of his dishonest and vindictive traits, Arps was not liked in the battalion at all.
Once Swank and Cpt. Michael Smith, the JAG prosecutor had sweetened the pot in their favor with Stockhausen and Arp four (4) additional disrespect counts to go with the one (1) adultery and the one (1) Attempted adultery charge. And after Captain Smith had illegally assumed the role of investigator, long enough to have his legal clerk, SFC Diane Ternes swear to him, in writing, at the eleventh hour, that I had committed adultery, a date of 30 July was finally set for the Article 32 investigation hearing to determine whether or not there was enough evidence to support the six (6) charges.
The situation involving these illegal UCMJ actions against me had advanced this far, without one single AR15-6 Preliminary investigation of the charges ever being conducted. I keep pointing this out because it is legally so important to make note of, without conducting said investigations, to this day everything concerning disposal of my case was and is illegal and stands in violation of all my rights and in violation of Established UCMJ Rules and Procedures. Because of this and in the interest of justice, my Forced Resignation from the Army should be overturned and I should be re-instated to active duty with full back pay and benefits and my military records be purged of every single document pertaining to said Bogus Court Martial I am the victim of.
Because of all the already pointed out deceit and unjust acts committed against me, without not one objection or counter move on my behalf by my JAG defense representation, my wife and I decided to hire civilian defense representation. We did so with the last of our savings. We had already spent a lot of money calling various agencies in the states and my Congressional representative seeking help. I had also been spending money on gas driving all over Germany trying to get help. We hired Attorney Edgar R. Jones. This turned out to be a real good thing. For whereas my JAG Defense attorney refused to document on paper any of the many unjust shortcomings of the prosecutor and my immediate chain of command in this situation, or push for investigation reports and evidence, Attorney Jones did.
The very first thing Mr. Jones requested from the JAG Prosecutor was copies of AR15-6 Investigation reports on all the charges. None was ever produced. Attorney Jones, on the record, objected to holding an Article 32 investigation hearing on allegations where no AR15-6 Preliminary Investigations of the charges had been conducted and no evidence or eye witnesses existed. His objections were ignored by the Article 32 Investigation Officer and the Prosecutor.
On 31 July, 1990 at approximately 0800hrs, the Article 32 Investigation Hearing commenced. Major Kenton L. Ashworth was the assigned Investigating Officer. Right off the bat, we were hit with another unjust and blatant Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Rules of Court Martial violation. Major Ashworth, who was Pro Prosecution to the core, informed Attorney Jones that Diane Ternes, the sole source of the adultery charge, would not be available for cross examination. Off of this news, Mr. Jones requested a dismissal of the charge, and postponement of the hearing, so that the lack of AR15-6 investigation reports, on any of the allegations could be addressed. In response to Mr. Jones requests, the prosecutor stated and Ashworth agreed, that as long as my Command feel, in their minds, that I am guilty, No AR15-6 is investigation was necessary.
On the Ternes situation, Major Ashworth informed Mr. Jones that he had already accepted a recently sworn statement from Ternes, ( The one Captain Smith had her swear to him at the eleventh hour) and that he planned to use it as evidence of my guilt or innocence. Over the objections of the defense, Major Ashworth then moved on with this now, thoroughly defective and constitutionally flawed Article 32 investigation hearing.
This was a devastatingly unjust blow to me as the accused. I suffer mentally today, thinking about the total disregard for me, my family, and my career Major Ashworth repeatedly showed by his unjust decisions and actions against me on that day. The Article 32 investigation Hearing became a no win situation because of this. Rules 405 governing the rules of Court Martial states that, in the interest of justice, the Article 32 Investigation Hearing be fair and impartial. By no stretch of the imagination did Major Ashworth investigation hearing meet this requirement.
Major Ashworth was supposed to notify us well in advance of the hearing that a key witness like Diane Ternes would not be present. My JAG defense representation should have warned Mr. Jones in advance also that Ternes would not be at the hearing. There was no way he could not have known she would not be there. He also failed to notify the witnesses I wanted to use against the Joyce Shorter Allegations. These witnesses would have verified the fact that every single working day at lunch time, if I was not flying with them, I was in the gym playing basketball or lifting weights with them. Said witnesses were all fellow officers and enlisted men from the 3/1 battalion. Lunch time is when Joyce Shorter claimed I was showing up, on numerous occasions, between February and March of that year, on her job, without ever being seen or heard talking to her by any of her co-workers, supervisors or customers, about she and I having an affair while her husband Aaron Shorter was back in the States. Captain Stockhausen and LTC Swank was Court Martialing me behind this obvious lie. They knew she was lying, that’s why they lied to high command about the circumstances of her allegations against me and also why they added false claims about me having conceived a child with a Young Girl at Fort Hood, Texas in said initial request to high command for UCMJ action against me. As already stated, the punishment by Article 15 Swank tried to give me at the very beginning of everything, was based on the lies he and Stockhausen forwarded to high command.
Throughout the investigation hearing, Major Ashworth heard nothing but good things about me as an Officer, Gentlemen, Soldier and family man from witnesses and devastatingly bad things about the character and credibility of my accusers especially about Then Captain James W Arp Jr. This man’s lack of character and credibility for being a truthful person came to light so much so, it prompted Major Ashworth to state for the record the following:
It should be noted that during the course of the hearing and after the hearing, numerous witnesses made statements to the I.O. discrediting CPT Arp’s allegations. It appears that CPT Arp’s allegations, specifically, Additional Charge I, Specification 1, Art. 89 and Additional Charge II, Specification 1, Art. 90, will be difficult for the prosecution to prove.
It is my opinion that Captain Arp has used his rank and/or position to influence testimony provided prior to, during and after the hearing. Regardless of the outcome of the trial against the accused, it is recommended that a formal AR15-6 Investigation be conducted on Captain Arp to determine if this officer has used and/or continues to use his rank/position to influence people and decisions to his personal and professional benefit. Ironically, Major Ashworth was affording Captain Arp his right to due process by recommending a formal AR15-6 Preliminary Investigation be conducted on him for alleged wrong doing before being charged, while denying me the same right by commencing his investigation hearing without seeing the results of a single AR15-6 Investigation Report on what I was being accused of. This was pointed out to him by Mr. Jones. Acting on the advice of the prosecutor, Ashworth disregarded him and moved on with the hearing .
When Major Ashworth, as the fact finder, made the above statements on the record about Captain Arp, in accordance with Rule 405 of Rules of courts martial, all charges against me should have been dismissed. Captain Arp’s signature is on just about all the Court Martial documents, either as my accuser, or the person who verified that charges against me were true and he was responsible for producing the illegal orders assigning me to Stockhausen, so that his bogus disrespect charges against me could be acted on. He was a Major Player in the Court Martial action initiated against me. Testimony and statements from the Article 32 hearing clearly shows that James W. Arp Jr. is an unsavory person whose word you cannot trust.
Rule 405 of the rules for Courts Martial, makes clear that, in the interest of justice, a thorough and impartial investigation into the truth of the matter set forth in the charges be made before making any recommendation on the disposal of the charges. Major Ashworth recommendation that I be court martialed on all charges, as a means of disposal, prior to him having matters concerning Captain Arp and SFC Diane Ternes cleared up and without ever hearing testimony from a single eyewitness or evidence of any kind to support the allegations against me, to this day, is in direct violation of this so very important, due process and rights violation protection rule.
Attorney Edgar R Jones, my civilian defense lawyer, at the end of the hearing , pleaded with Major Ashworth to not make any rulings on referral of the charges until fair and impartial AR15-6 investigations, in the interest of justice, could be conducted on everything, including Captain James W. Arp Jr, for documented Officer misconduct. The JAG Prosecutor advised him not to, because I was on trial, not Captain Arp or any of my accusers. Once again, Major Ashworth agreed with the prosecutor and continued on with his, thoroughly Constitutionally Flawed and unjust hearing.
On the Joyce D Shorter allegations, One of her Co-workers, who was brave enough to appear at the hearing, as a defense witness, testified to Major Ashworth, that all Joyce’s supervisors and co-workers know she is lying and that is why they are not at the hearing to support her. She further testified that lunch time is the busiest time of the day and no employees are on break or lunch during that time period. Another co-worker stated in writing that Joyce told her a white man was the person allegedly harassing her. Major Ashworth ruled that both these people liked credibility, so he disregarded their testimony and statement. He stated that because of the way Joyce Shorter cried while she testified, he do not believe she was lying in her claim that I tried to get her to cheat on her husband with me. He stated that you don’ t cry the way she did if you are lying. He then promptly recommended that I be Court Martialed For: Attempted Adultery, Based solely on the strength of Joyce Shorter’s word and tears. He did this because he could not get any of Joyce Shorter’s co-workers to come forward as witnesses to support her allegations or a single person in the community or on the planet to appear before him and serve as character witnesses for her.
Again, because I had fellow officers who could have confirmed the fact that I was at the gym every day
at lunchtime, We asked for time to get these people to the hearing. Major Ashworth refused to allow us time to get said witnesses testimony or statements. Fellow Officers of mine, voluntarily showed up at the hearing to testify on my behalf, Ashworth refused to allow them in. Ironically, Captain Arp inadvertently verified my lunchtime location in the already mentioned in a sworn statement he made to Fort Rucker investigators on this matter, when he said that: He and I played basketball often in the gym at: Lunch Time. This, along with his name and social security number, are the only truthful claims he made in that entire statement. This is true for the statement his best friend, Captain Stockhausen made during same investigation.
The Article 32 Investigation report proves that LTC Swank was less than honest when he testified under oath that:
- Arp had a good reputation in the battalion and he had never heard him threatening anyone before
- That I had not been reassigned to the Headquarters Support Company (HSC) and that Captain Stockhausen not Captain Kelly was my commander on the dayStockhausen had me in his office illegally preferring Arp’s bogus disrespect courts martial charges on me.
- He had a meeting with his Warrant Officers over rumors about them “Fucking Around” when the meeting had been about Captain Arp and hisdisrespectful attitude towards the battalion Warrant Officers.
- That I had lied on Arp in the OHR and No range safety violation was committed.
- That he asked me to leave his office because he was afraid I would become disrespectful to Arp.
The Article 32 Investigation report proves that Captain Arp was less than honest when he testified under oath that:
- He never put his finger in my face.
- He read Sergeant Stearns statement before he wrote his statement, but could not remember
what it said, as my accuser he never should have had access to Stearns statement.
- He never threatened a fellow Officer .
- He always stick with what is right.
- He did not commit a range safety Violation.
6. That his disrespect charges against me were not in retaliation for the OHR
The Article 32 Investigation report proves that Captain Stockhausen was honest when he testified under oath that:
1. He did not realize he was not my commander when he had me in his office on Arp’s
disrespect allegations so at the time he had no UCMJ authority over me.
2. No AR15-6 investigation on the charges against me was ever conducted.
The Article 32 Investigation report proves that then First Lieutenant (1LT) Mark Cullinan was honest when he testified under oath that:
For nearly two years, then Captain G Scott McConnell and Lt. Mark Cullinan had been my Company Commander and Executive officer. these two men knew me better than Swank, Arp and Stockhausen. Both of these men testified as to my good character and credibility as a Warrant Officer in the United States Army and my respect for rank, at the Article 32 investigation hearing.
My fellow officers submitted character reference statements in support of me. Again, all of this was totally disregarded by the investigating officer. None of my accusers was able to accomplish any of this. All rulings against me were based on the words of my accusers only and no evidence or eyewitnesses. And in the case of SFC Diane Ternes allegations, I was recommended for courts martial based on nothing at all. On the day of the hearing she was on leave in the United States with her family, enjoying a privilege my family and I was denied, because of the unproven allegations of wrongdoing she made against me.
Major Ashworth had the audacity to state for the record that he strongly felt that the appearance of Diane Ternes at the hearing would not have had an impact in his final decision on disposal of the charge I faced, based on her word alone. He then promptly ruled that I was guilty of the charge. His statement and action proved his biasness towards me which was a disqualifying factor against him for conducting the investigation.
The record of the Article 32 investigation report shows that Swank, Stockhausen and the JAG Prosecutor’s court martial actions against me had nothing whatsoever to do with insuring that justice was served and morale and discipline is preserved in the ranks. Had this been the case, based on the true outcome of the Article 32 Investigation Hearing, all disciplinary actions against me would have been dismissed and a truthful investigation into the many documented acts of officer misconduct committed by my immediate Chain of Command would have been conducted. If not for Statue of Limitations this would be the case today.
On 1 October, 1990 after being arraigned on all six already stated court martial charges and after being chastised by the Arraignment Judge for steadfastly professing me innocence of all the charges to him, after being threaten with more disrespect charges, and being told that: I Fucked Up when I hired a civilian attorney by my appointed JAG defense counsel, I was presented a resignation statement by him. When I refused to sign it, he threatened to add disrespect charges of his own against me. He said that in my zeal to convince him of my innocence, I had used tones of voices that he felt was disrespectful to him. This attorney made it clear to us that he had his own career to think of when I questioned him on why he had failed to take actions challenging the constitutionality of the entire Courts Martial as Mr. Edgar Jones, my civilian defense counsel had done. He stated that he had his own career to think about and that the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures prevented him from documenting the shortcomings of military prosecutors.
My wife and I set in disbelief as this guy badgered us for hours on me resigning from the army, right then. I told him more than once that resigning from the army was not what I wanted to do. I had no choice, the powers that be wanted me out, was his reply. I was not even afforded time to complete a separation physical or receive mental help for the mental anguish and feelings of hopelessness I still suffer through to this day, as a result of the illegal command and prosecutor abuse I am the victim of.
I was then and I am today still bitter over the fact that the Army has chosen to keep what happened to me and my family covered up instead of correcting the situation. As previously stated, In the days after Major Ashworth’s Constitutionally flawed Article 32 Investigation Hearing was convened Mr. Jones wrote a letter to General Griffith respectfully requesting that he meet with him so that my side of the story, the truth to the matter, could be revealed to him. Attached to that letter were Sworn Statements given to him by Specialist Kelly O Hara, who was a prosecution legal clerk and 1Lt Mark A Cullinan, my former XO in Alpha Company documenting the threats and intimidation of witnesses by one of my accusers, Captain James W Arp Jr. Again he never received a reply to the request because the prosecutor more than likely never presented it to him. That thought weighed heavily on my mind.
My wife medical condition during the many months of LTC David W. Swank’s unjust and Gut Wrenchingly embarrassing Bogus Court Martial actions against me, did not improve at all. They kept getting worse, my immediate chain of command knew this, but refused to deal with matters in a timely manner as we had requested of them over and over and they would not issue orders authorizing leave back to the states via Free Military Transport for her.
I had grown tired of seeing her suffer from the pain that the pus filled sores on her legs were causing her and I was angry over how all my requests for help from the Command Abuse Swank and Stockhausen was subjecting us to went unanswered.
Weighing on my mind was the fact that my Civilian Attorney, Mr. Edgar Jones had done his job and had it been a fair and impartial situation, all charges against me would have been dismissed based on the record of the Article 32 investigation hearing which, amongst other thing, documented the fact that the Prosecution did not produced one single piece of evidence or eye witnesses to support their charges against me.
The stress and strain from the embarrassing nature of the Court Martial charges that hung over my head for so long and was known about throughout the community had taken its toll on Debra and me. We became an extremely miserable couple and the Good Quality of Life and Peace and Harmony that existed in our house before the unjust negative attack on my Person and Character had, long ago, all vanished.
The agonizing thought of my illegal grounding that prevented me from performing my assigned duty of U.S. Army Apache Advance Attack Helicopter Pilot, of being stripped of all my major additional military duties and the unjust act of being hung out to dry in front of the entire Battalion and military community we had to exist in, weighed heavily on my mind constantly, that day, just as it does today.
I had wreck my car while driving to work one morning, thinking so hard about all the unjust acts being committed against me, I completely forgot what I was doing. The next thing I knew, I was being pulled out of my over turned vehicle by a group of German Farmers.
I was having serious thoughts of lashing out with violence against my uniformed accusers, for lying to me and about me Throughout their conspiracy against me, that I was powerless to do anything about.
As result of all these things and not based on the merits of his case against me, as JAG Prosecutor then Captain Michael Smith stated to investigators in the already mentioned state side investigation, that I under extreme duress, put the letter T at the bottom of a pre written resignation statement and swiftly walked out of the room with my wife while my so called JAG Defense Counsel went to make copies of said resignation. Within days of this, Swank gave his authorization for orders to be cut for Debra and our two children to travel, at government expense, back to the States.
I did not voluntarily resign from the army, Because of the precarious situations my immediate Chain of Command and the JAG Prosecution put me in via deceit, I had no choice.
I had a wife and two young children, ages six and eight years old to provide for and my military income, the only source of income I had, was comfortably allowing me to do so. I had made major career accomplishments going from enlisted man to officer and Pilot of the most Advance Helicopter in the Army inventory at the time, I loved being a member of the United States Army and I was within eight years of being eligible for a Military Pension. So why would I abruptly voluntarily resign from all that my family and I had going for ourselves.
As proof of this, the first thing I did once back on American soil, was file a law suit in Federal Court seeking Re-instatement back into the U. S. Army, based on the documented criminally unjust circumstances surrounding my discharge.
It is falsely stated in my records and discharge papers that I voluntarily resigned In Lieu of Court Martial. A review of the record shows, that had I been treated fairly in the least bit, there would not have been Court Martial charges for me to resign in lieu of. A fair and impartial review of the record will also show that Swank illegally abused his Rank and Powers of his office, to destroy the career of the wrong Officer.
If fact finders at the Veterans Administration were able to investigate and confirm for themselves that I am a Military Veteran who has been wronged, surely Army fact finders with the goal of seeing that justice is served, can do the same. And if they do investigate, I pray that they go by the testimony and Sworn Statements of witnesses contained in the record of the Article 32 investigation Report, which clearly shows beyond a reasonable doubt, I am innocent of all the allegations of wrongdoing currently sitting in my Military Records, masquerading as the proven truth. I pray that they not go by what David W. Swank, Richard C. Stockhausen, James W. Arp Jr and JAG Prosecutor Michael Smith tell them about the matter. For these men, like they have done in the past, will steer fact finders as far away from the truth as they possibly can, by way of false swearing, in order to keep covered up all the criminal wrongs they committed against me throughout the entire Court Martial proceedings.
I can and will, upon request by any of my readers truly wishing to help me in my pursuit of justice, submit the following records in support of my story:
- Copy of the Article 32 Investigation Report
- Character Statements from fellow officers.
- My application and evidence submitted with it, to the Army Discharge Review Board and the Army
Board for the Correction of Military.
Nearly Five years after I submitted my application to the Army Discharge Review Board challenging the fairness and legality of my Forced Resignation from the Army, the Board arbitrary and Capriciously ruled that I had been treated fairly and none of my rights were violated.
I pray that My Side of the Story makes it to the attention of Then Colonel Patrick Bodelson and General Ronald H. Griffith, since all the easy to see injustices I am the victim of happened on their watch, unbeknownst to them. I feel that they be willing to help me in my goal to clear my name in this situation. With utmost respect, I request that if possible, they do what ever they can to help me.
I pray that the Federal Judge whose’ Court Room Colonel David W. Swank got on the stand in, wearing his Dress Green Military Uniform and took the oath to Tell the Truth and then via perjured testimony, deceived him into believing that the prominent role he willingly played in said Bogus Court Martial and Flight Evaluation Board actions against me was based on orders to him from Colonel Bodelson and General Griffith and that he had been the one trying to help me and my family, read My Side of the Story. hopefully it will make him see what a mistake he made when he stated for the record that he found Swank to be a Creditable witness and based on this, declared Swanks perjured testimony concerning his role in my Court Martial to be the truth.
END OF STORY
TERRY H. DAVIS