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Leader
30 Dec 03,, 19:00
Army drops cowardice charge against soldier

But future military career still uncertain

The Associated Press

FORT CARSON, Colorado - The Army dropped a charge of dereliction of duty against a Special Forces soldier who was accused of cowardice, but the soldier’s military career is still in limbo.

Staff Sgt. Georg-Andreas Pogany, 32, has returned to his unit and was awaiting word from prosecutors on whether the case was over or if he still faced a court-martial, his lawyer said Monday.

Pogany, an Army interrogator assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, was charged with cowardice Oct. 14 after suffering what he described as a panic attack from seeing a mangled body of an Iraqi man who had been cut in half by American gunfire in Iraq.

After he asked for counseling, Pogany’s commanders sent him back to Fort Carson to face a court-martial on a cowardice charge, which can be punishable by death. The Army later replaced it with the lesser dereliction-of-duty charge, which could have put Pogany behind bars for six months.

‘Some might say he has received national notoriety. How do you fix that? How do you reinstate your integrity?’
— Richard Travis
Lawyer for Staff Sgt. Pogany

The Army dropped that charge Dec. 18 and offered Pogany a hearing on nonjudicial punishment, called an Article 15, for dereliction of duty. Instead Pogany requested a court-martial, which is much like a civilian trial in which a judge or jury decides the suspect’s fate.

The Army is reviewing its options, officials said. The Army could refile charges or let the matter die, said Richard Bridges, a public affairs officer at Fort Carson.

Pogany’s lawyer, Richard Travis, said the accused has fewer legal rights in an Article 15 hearing than in a court-martial, and Pogany feared his fate in such a hearing would have been decided by the same officer who brought the dereliction charge against him.

An Article 15 conviction could have resulted in military confinement, docked pay and rank, and a less than honorable discharge, Travis said.

Pogany is a five-year veteran who had a stellar service record until this fall.

Normal combat stress or anti-malaria drug?

Two Army psychologists say Pogany has no psychological disorders but that he showed symptoms consistent with normal combat stress reactions. Pogany has said his panic attack may have been caused by an anti-malaria drug he and other Fort Carson soldiers took in September before leaving for Iraq.

Travis said Pogany had regained his security clearance and personal gun, both taken from him after he was charged with cowardice, and also would be able to carry his Army weapon.

But he said some soldiers in Pogany’s unit have treated him like a “pariah.”

“Some might say he has received national notoriety,” Travis said. “How do you fix that? How do you reinstate your integrity?”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3840267/

Blademaster
31 Dec 03,, 18:05
THe people who brought these charges against him are SUCH FUCKING HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everybody worth its salt knows the line between courage and cowardice is a very very fine line.

Nobody knows what they are made of until they are tested in battle.

Bill
31 Dec 03,, 18:49
Shit like this happens.

Sounds to me like their is either more to the story here(a distinct possibility), OR, the guys CO is a real fucking hardass.

Officer of Engineers
01 Jan 04,, 05:53
Two words here jumped right out at me - Special Forces. In other words, prima donas who think themselves god's right hand in soldiering.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Staff Sgt is really an asshole.

Blademaster
01 Jan 04,, 15:24
I am kinda surprised that the USMCJ has a charge of cowardice. I thought that kind of thing was long outdated when they introduced the concept of killing fields with machine guns, artillery with heavy firepower.

I can understand the concept of dereliction of duty, but charge of cowardice??

It sounds to me that it was drawn up by a prissy REMF who never dare to venture out onto the battlefield and hides behind the men that he sent out or uses the authority that came with the desk job.

If I was the president of US, I would do away with charges of cowardice.

In this age and technology, there is no such thing as cowardice when facing the onslaught of the rain of fire and steel and seeing bodies being blowed up into smithereens. If I hear a B-52 plane coming my way, I would drop the gun and get the hell out of dodge. No way in hell I can face the thing and come out intact in any recognizable form.

Bill
02 Jan 04,, 04:52
Except that this guy didn't face the impending doom of incoming TACAIR or arty.......just a bunch of poorly trained rag heads.

Officer of Engineers
02 Jan 04,, 05:28
The general charge of cowardice is brought to bear upon those who refuses to even enter a battlefield.

This is not the first time a combat veteran lost his nerve. I've got a guy who after two tours in the Balkans just couldn't do another one. After we talked, it was decided the best course for him was to leave the army.

Even if he didn't want to leave, I would have tossed him out. I couldn't afford a billet being occupied by a non-effective. I've got a job to do and babysitting someone who's supposed to do his job ain't it.

I can well imagine the Capt who brought on the charges. He's under intense pressure to get everybody ready and here's a guy who's not only not wanting to get ready and actually not ready, he wouldn't step aside for someone else to take his place.

TopHatter
02 Jan 04,, 23:28
Originally posted by Officer of Engineers
Two words here jumped right out at me - Special Forces. In other words, prima donas who think themselves god's right hand in soldiering.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Staff Sgt is really an asshole.

From what I've read, this guy is not really Special Forces but some kind of specialist attached to them. But the media just loves those two words "Special Forces" and so has used it frequently without mentioning that the guy probably hasnt even gone through any SPECFOR training.
Then again, the media probably thought anybody wearing a beret (like that 17 year old kid that cleans the studio after the broadcast) is Special Forces:doh!