Airman sentenced for desertion

  • Published
  • By Capt. Mark Scabavea
  • Aissistant Staff Judge Advocate
On June 19, 2009, an airman first class from the 91st Missile Security Forces Squadron pled guilty to desertion at a general court martial. He was sentenced to reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, a reprimand, confinement for 157 days, and a discharge from the service with a bad conduct discharge. The crime of desertion involves leaving one's place of duty and making a conscious decision to never return. Desertion is a crime punishable under Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

On October 15, 2008, the Airman was scheduled to appear for guard mount duty. However, instead of going to work, he decided to drive back home to Plymouth, Michigan. The Airman then made up his mind to never return to Minot Air Force Base. Upon learning of the Airman's absence, the 5th Security Forces Squadron and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI) conducted an investigation and then turned the case over to the federal government which issued a warrant for his arrest. More than five months after his initial absence, local law enforcement caught the airman in Plymouth, Michigan. The Michigan local law enforcement then turned the Airman back over to the Air Force.

The Airman was escorted back to Minot Air Force base. Upon his arrival, the Airman was placed into pretrial confinement. He remained in pretrial confinement until the date of his general court martial where he was sentenced.