Demotion


While Joan tells of her promotion to SGT, let me tell you about my demotion to PV2. When I was 20, I was a PFC. I had just moved in with my boyfriend, and we didn’t yet have a phone (this was pre cell phone days). My car had broken down the night before, but I was able to get to drill on Saturday. I told my section sergeant that I would be needing a ride to drill on Sunday, as I had no other way to get there. I explained the situation to him, gave him my address, and assumed that when he told me he would be there, he meant it. Next morning at 0600 hours, I was ready and waiting. By 0900 nobody had shown up yet, so I finally got out of my uniform. We got my car towed the next day and life went on.

Since I had worked in the orderly room for extra duty as much as possible, I knew that I would be getting an AWOL letter in the mail. I didn’t think I deserved it, but I expected it. I figured I could get it all straightened out when I attended my next drill. I was wrong. My commander had other ideas.

He gave me an Article 14, in spite of the fact that I had witnesses to asking my section sergeant for a ride. Even my section sergeant admitted that he forgot to pick me up. The commander told me that I should have tried harder to get to drill. I explained that the nearest payphone was over a mile away, and I was a single woman. I wasn’t going to go walking all over creation when I had already made arrangements to be picked up. Then he said I should have bothered my neighbors. I explained that I wasn’t going to go knock on strangers doors at 0600 hours for a ride, when my SSG already said he would pick me up. Let me point out that I had not ever missed a drill up to this point, and that there were only 3 other times I did miss drill in my 10+ years, all 3 had me in the hospital.

So, CPT Scarey decided to take my rank, threatened me that if I attempted to appeal the Article 14, the rest of my rank would be taken from me as well. I was heartbroken and didn’t understand. Just the day before, a male had been brought in by the AWOL recovery team, and he got promoted to SPC while he was still drunk. It seemed so unfair.

At the end of the final formation on Saturday, CPT Scarey called me before the formation, and that is when he physically took my rank off my collar in front of my entire unit. Nobody had ever seen this done before, especially not for something like this. I was inconsolable to say the least. I will write later about what else happened that weekend and afterwards.

I think it very important to mention that I was the only female in that unit for over a year, and it was in this time frame that I was demoted.

Brigid/Bridget

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