Saturday, July 31, 2010

After 32 years, mother believes she will find out who killed her soldier son

Son was fatally shot on post in 1978; official says a suspect is identified, DNA evidence being tested


Patricia Bonney ran her fingers over a photograph of her son, Kirk Bonney.

“He sure did look good in that uniform,” she said, softly. “He really liked the Army.”

Now, 32 years after Kirk’s slaying on Fort Benning, his mother believes she might finally find out who killed him.

Read the entire article here

--submitted by Cilla McCain

Friday, July 30, 2010

Report links suicide spike to risky behaviors

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 29, 2010 16:17:09 EDT

After releasing a 300-page report designed to address the Army’s record suicide rates, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the service’s vice chief, acknowledged that the wars have caused leaders to lose sight of the needs of their soldiers.

Chiarelli said Army leadership made the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan its first priority — “as you would want us to” — but that means sergeants have learned more about training for war than about the resources their troops may need, such as financial assistance or substance-abuse counseling.

“We prioritized, as you would want us to, to fight our nation’s wars,” Chiarelli said during a Pentagon briefing Thursday. “Now as we come back … it’s time for the Army to take a long look at itself.”

Last fiscal year, 239 soldiers killed themselves; 160 of them were on active duty. Another 146 soldiers died due to high-risk activities, including 74 drug overdoses. And 1,713 soldiers tried to kill themselves, but were saved by a friend or by medical intervention.

The report will go out to all command sergeants major and battalion commanders to be used as educational material all the way down the chain of command.

Chiarelli said the Army’s biggest problem is a lack of accountability; soldiers who commit crimes slip through the cracks. From 2001 to 2009, there were 64,000 felony and death investigations, and 72 percent of those involved drugs. He expects 7,500 National Guard and reserve troops to test positive for marijuana in 2010. And no one is sure how many disciplinary and administrative actions have been taken because commanders and law-enforcement officials don’t always report them.

And, according to the report, only 30 percent of those involved in a DUI receive referrals for treatment, while 3,000 soldiers are expected to test positive for drugs for the second or third time in 2011.

The cracks have been bad enough that one chapter of the report is called, “The Lost Art of Leadership in Garrison.”

Many of the younger and mid-grade soldiers joined after 2001, when the country was already at war. “Before 2001, the focus was on the soldier,” an Army official said. “Now they’re so focused on the war fight, when they come home they’re not familiar with the services available to their soldiers.”

Officials say it’s hard to nail down the problem: Most who have killed themselves have deployed once or have never deployed. They are usually on their first enlistment. But 87 percent have one or more significant stressors: More than half of those have relationship issues, almost half have a behavioral health diagnosis, about a third have legal or law-enforcement problems, a quarter have an adjustment disorder, and a fifth have a substance-abuse diagnosis.

Army leaders “failed to hold soldiers accountable for their actions and allowed for risk-taking behavior—sometimes with fatal consequences,” Chiarelli wrote in the introduction to the report.

A similar study released 15 months ago brought 242 recommendations, and 240 have been implemented. This report has 247 recommendations, and about 240 of those have already been implemented. The report lays out what the Army has done and what still needs to be done.

Chiarelli emphasized resiliency training and said each recruit receives 10 hours of it in basic training. Resiliency training includes everything from developing personal strengths, addressing weaknesses and learning basic life skills, such as money management and proper behaviors in a good relationship.

“It is not the deployments that [are] causing this problem,” Chiarelli said. “It’s all the stressors that you see. For us to blame this on the war is just wrong.”

But he acknowledged that the in-theater suicides push the Army numbers up into record-breaking territory.

He said the report would allow his leaders to better understand who is at risk and how to help them.

“Soldiers need firm, consistent leadership,” he said.

--Source: The Army Times

Read the report here.

Mystery Surrounds Shooting Deaths In Armenian Army

July 30, 2010
YEREVAN -- Six Armenian Army servicemen have reportedly been shot dead this week in two separate noncombat-related incidents, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported July 29 that an "incident" involving the "use of firearms" and resulting in an unspecified number of casualties took place at one of its military bases on July 28. It gave no details, saying only that military investigators have received the "strictest orders" to clarify all circumstances of the incident.

A source close to the Armenian government told RFE/RL that the incident occurred at an Armenian Army unit in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The source said a soldier serving there shot dead four officers before turning the gun on himself. The report cannot be confirmed.

On July 26, another officer was found dead at an army outpost on Armenia's border with Azerbaijan. Citing "preliminary information," the Defense Ministry said Lieutenant Artak Nazarian shot himself for unknown reasons.

But Nazarian's relatives have rejected the official theory and accused the military of a cover-up.

Nazarian's cousin, Narek Gharibian, was present at a forensic examination of his body conducted at a Yerevan morgue on July 27. Gharibian told RFE/RL that forensic medics found numerous injuries on the dead officer's face, hands, shoulders and feet. He said they believe the injuries were inflicted several hours before his death.

Sources told RFE/RL that military investigators have questioned several officers from Nazarian's unit. No one has been arrested or charged so far.

The Armenian armed forces have been plagued with hazing and other abuses resulting in at least a dozen noncombat deaths each year since their establishment in 1992. Senior and midranking army officers have rarely been prosecuted in connection with those crimes. Those who are put on trial usually get off with short prison sentences.

The Armenian military insists it is doing its best to address the problem in earnest. It says the number of such incidents has steadily and significantly declined since the late 1990s. According to Defense Ministry data, at least seven Armenian soldiers died due to abuse and mistreatment and 11 others committed suicide last year.

--Source: Radio Free Europe

Thursday, July 29, 2010

6,600 Arlington graves might be mixed up

Database flaws are 'contracting gone wild,' senator says at hearing

WASHINGTON — Some 6,600 graves at Arlington National Cemetery could be mislabeled, the senator whose subcommittee is investigating potential contracting fraud there said Thursday. The number surfaced at a hearing where former cemetery officials were accused of incompetence, ignorance or fraud.

"We now know that the problems with graves at Arlington may be far more extensive than previously acknowledged," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said in her opening testimony.

"At a conservative estimate," she added, "4,900 to 6,600 graves may be unmarked, improperly marked, or mislabeled on the cemetery’s maps."

The estimate far exceeds one given last month by Army investigators, who examined a small section of Arlington and found some 211 remains could be affected. The review found lax management of the cemetery and a reliance on paper records to manage the burial sites.

"This is not complicated. It's called keeping track of who you bury where. That is not a complicated task," McCaskill told former Superintendent John Metzler and his deputy Thurman Higginbotham.

"Those staffing losses were to be offset by increased opportunities for outsourcing to private contractors," Metzler stated. "As experience has shown, however, that approach does not always result in the most effective or efficient solution."

But McCaskill — who issued subpoenas to force Metzler and Higginbotham to testify — said the problems went beyond those issues.

"We have also learned that there has been no review of Arlington National Cemetery for the last decade," she stated. "No review of the contracts. And, what is even more appalling to me, as a former state auditor, no one has performed any audit whatsoever."

McCaskill noted that the military has spent more than $5.5 million over seven years in its unsuccessful attempts to computerize the cemetery's burial records.

"The Army contracting officials who were responsible for these contracts awarded sole-source contracts with ensuring that the contractors were able to do the work," she added. "They failed to make sure that the government was paying a fair price.

"In addition, the responsible officials outside the cemetery failed to conduct even the most basic oversight."

Higginbotham responded to some questions but when it came to the contracts he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating testimony.

McCaskill called Arlington's procedures "contracting gone wild."

"We are here today because people who worked for you had had enough and they blew the whistle," she added.

On Monday, McCaskill said of the scandal: "At the very essence here you have waste. There may be fraud — we don't know at this point."

Perched along the Potomac River across from the nation's capital, Arlington National Cemetery is considered among the country's most revered burial sites, with more than 300,000 people interred with military honors. An average of 30 funerals occur each day.

The cemetery includes the graves of former presidents as well as U.S. Supreme Court justices.

"We owe our veterans better," McCaskill said Thursday. "We owe their families better. We owe better to the Americans who expect their government to not fritter away their money on wasteful contracts. And the officials who let this happen — whether through ignorance, incompetence, or denial — need to be held accountable."

NBC's Courtney Kube and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Army Releases Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report

The Army today released the Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention (HP/RR/SP) Report, the result of a focused 15-month effort to better understand the increasing rate of suicides in the force. This candid report is intended to inform and educate Army leaders on the importance of recognizing and reducing high risk behavior related to suicide and accidental death, and reducing the stigma associated with behavioral health and treatment. This report represents the next phase in the Army's ongoing campaign to promote resiliency in a force that has been at war for nearly a decade.

"The dedicated effort behind this report sends a clear message to our force that we take the resiliency of our soldiers and families very seriously," said Secretary of the Army John McHugh. "This effort is part of our culture to look closely at ourselves, and to make continuous improvements in our capability - but most importantly, to reduce the number of soldiers we lose to suicide."

"This comprehensive review exposes gaps in how we identify, engage, and mitigate high-risk behavior among our soldiers. After nearly a decade of war we must keep pace with the expanding needs of our strained Army, and continuously identify and address the gaps that exist in our policies, programs and services," said Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey.

Casey told the Army's two- and three-star commanders and command sergeants major recently that "our challenge over the next several years will be to maintain our combat edge at an appropriate tempo while reestablishing garrison systems to better care for our soldiers and families. The combination of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness with these health promotion efforts provides the foundation to improve the resilience of the force."

Unprecedented operational tempo has dictated that leaders remain primarily focused on preparing for their next deployment. As a result, enforcement of policies designated to ensure good order and discipline has atrophied. This, in turn, has led to an increasing population of soldiers who display high risk behavior which erodes the health of the force.

The report grew out of a series of visits to six Army installations directed by Casey and led by Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli in Spring 2009 to look at suicide prevention efforts in the force. "What we witnessed were real indicators of stress on the force, and an increasing propensity for soldiers to engage in high risk behavior," Chiarelli said. "We recognized almost immediately we had to widen the aperture - risk in the force cannot be mitigated by suicide prevention alone."

The Army's inward and transparent review is documented in this report. It addresses the full range of issues related to HP/RR/SP, outlines and defines the problem, documents actions taken, and makes recommendations for the way ahead.

Key findings include:

gaps in the current HP/RR/SP policies, processes and programs necessary to mitigate high risk behaviors;
an erosion of adherence to existing Army policies and standards;
an increase in indicators of high risk behavior including illicit drug use, other crimes and suicide attempts;
lapses in surveillance and detection of high risk behavior;
an increased use of prescription antidepressants, amphetamines and narcotics;
degraded accountability of disciplinary, administrative and reporting processes; and
the continued high rate of suicides, high risk related deaths and other adverse outcomes.
"These findings demonstrate that many of our programs are unbalanced and lack integration, while reinforcing recommendations that will help us improve the quality of our programs and services," Chiarelli said.

McHugh has directed that leaders at all levels become familiar with the report. It informs leaders throughout the force about the consequences associated with high risk behavior; provides a candid, transparent and balanced review of HP/RR/SP issues; documents the Army's actions to date to improve programs and services; integrates policies, processes and programs for oversight of the force; and recommends solutions to eliminate gaps and unnecessary redundancies.

Programs must be realigned to improve support to the soldier, family and unit. Reporting and data-sharing on high risk behavior among unit commanders, medical and garrison service providers, and law enforcement officials must be synchronized. The report also promotes continued use of the Department of the Army's Health Promotion Council which has aggressively addressed this issue for a year-and-a-half.

Report recommendations represent the next phase of the campaign which has already implemented more than 200 separate initiatives over the last 15 months. For example, the Army tightened enlistment standards; established a Community Health Promotion Council at each installation; improved access and coordination between primary (medical) care and behavioral health providers; worked to stabilize unit leadership after redeployment; expanded behavioral health screening; instituted a confidential alcohol treatment program; aggressively recruited new behavioral health counselors; and created 72 new positions for chaplains, among other things.

"Continued focus on mentoring and training our leaders and service providers is key to fixing these problems. Part of leadership is creating an environment where it's okay to ask for help - and where it's our duty to extend a helping hand," Chiarelli said. "This, too, is in keeping with the Army Warrior Ethos to never leave a fallen comrade."

Report findings indicate there are no universal solutions to address the complexities of personal, social and behavioral health issues that lead to suicide.

"We've often said that the Army is a reflection of society, but we have soldiers today who are experiencing a lifetime of stress during their first six years of service. Army leaders at all levels remain dedicated to promoting resiliency, coping skills, and help-seeking behavior across our force," Chiarelli said.

The full report is located at .

Source: Department of Defense announcement (verbatim)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nothing is Too Good For Our Boys So That’s What We'll Give Them: Nothing: Part 3

This is a link to an article about suicide which mentions the problem with Marine suicides. Marine suicides and other non-combat deaths are not categorized as such in the current Department of Defense announcements.

article submitted by Pamela Baragona Robinson

Bragg Steps Up Suicide Intervention Program

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let's Question the Accuracy of Current Military Suicide Statistics

Cilla McCain has written an article on Military Suicide Statistics.

Click here to read the article.

June was worst month for Army suicides, statistics show

By Mike Mount, CNN Senior Pentagon Producer
July 15, 2010 8:03 p.m. EDT


Washington (CNN) -- More U.S. soldiers killed themselves last month than in recent Army history, according to Army statistics released Thursday, confounding officials trying to reverse the grim trend.

The statistics show that 32 soldiers killed themselves in June, the highest number in a single month since the Vietnam era. Twenty-one of them were on active duty, while 11 were in the National Guard or Army Reserve in an inactive status.

Seven of those soldiers killed themselves while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Army numbers.

The spike comes after the monthly suicide numbers had dropped following a January high of 28, and Army officials admit they still haven't answered the question of why troops are committing suicide at a record rate.

"There were no trends to any one unit, camp, post or station," said Col. Chris Philbrick, head of the Army's suicide prevention task force. "I have no silver bullet to answer the question why."

He said he could offer only what he has said before: "Continued stress on the force and the opportunities we have been facing in terms of the challenges in the Army continue to cause these events to take place."

Including the June numbers, 145 soldiers have killed themselves this year, more than half of the total number for all of 2009, according to Army statistics.

In 2009, a record-breaking year for suicides in the service, 245 soldiers killed themselves.

In another attempt to put a halt to the trend, the Army released a suicide prevention video, a follow-up to one released last year. The updated video is designed to "hit home" with soldiers and instill the importance of getting help, Philbrick said.

The video, titled "Shoulder to Shoulder: I Will Never Quit," begins with the compelling story of a soldier whose wife said she was divorcing him. The soldier, Spc. Joseph Sanders, says his wife was his whole world.

"I grabbed my rifle, put it under my chin and pulled the trigger," Sanders says.

The gun did not fire, he says, and when he took the rifle apart he discovered that a key part was missing.

His Army buddy then tells viewers he removed the part because Sanders was showing signs that he could kill himself.

Asked why the Army thinks this video will be more effective than the first one, Philbrick said the soldiers will relate to it better.

Watch the video on the Army's Suicide Prevention website

The first video, made up of a mix of actors and real soldiers, "sucked," he said. It was rushed out, and troops did not believe in it. He said some even openly laughed at it.

"This video has all real soldiers with real stories," Philbrick said.

The video is part of a series of efforts to cut the suicide rate. Last year, the Army required all soldiers around the world to stop working and spend a day watching the first video and receiving suicide prevention training.

Philbrick said the alarming June numbers will not bring another Army-wide training day, called a stand-down. He said the new video will be incorporated immediately into the standard suicide prevention training for new troops and the yearly training all soldiers go through

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Honoring the service of soldiers who commit suicide

By Greg Jaffe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 18, 2010

There was only the subtlest hint that this memorial service was different.

The Baker Company first sergeant called his men to attention in front of a ragged rock wall, built to shield troops from incoming mortar fire. A chaplain read an invocation, followed by a brief recitation of Staff Sgt. Thaddeus S. Montgomery Jr.'s biography. He had spent three years in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Humvee gunner, a sniper and infantry squad leader. He loved reggae music, camping and fishing and wore his hair in dreadlocks before enlisting.

"Monty was someone I could talk to when things got tough," said one of his men, according to a video of the ceremony, which was held early this year in eastern Afghanistan. "He brought laughter to the squad and a bright outlook on life."

He was a "fearless leader," his company commander said.

"I'll never know why Monty did what he did on the 20th of January," said his best friend in the platoon.

On that day Montgomery, 29, aimed his gun at himself and pulled the trigger, Army officials said.

The Pentagon doesn't tell units how to mourn soldiers who commit suicide in combat, but it makes distinctions between suicides and other war deaths. The families of those who die of combat wounds or in noncombat accidents receive condolence letters from the president. The families of suicide victims do not.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

'Scary' growth of gangs in war zones

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Chicago cop who served in Afghanistan and Iraq has warning: Gang members are coming home with military training

July 17, 2010

BY FRANK MAIN Staff Reporter

Being in a street gang is now forbidden for members of the U.S. armed forces. But you might not guess that if you were to visit U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to soldiers who have recently served there.

Jeffrey Stoleson, a Wisconsin corrections official, returned from Iraq in January with photos of gang graffiti on armored vehicles, latrines and buildings. Stoleson, a sergeant with a National Guard unit, was there for nine months to help the Army set up a prison facility outside Baghdad.

"I saw Maniac Latin Disciples graffiti out of Chicago," Stoleson said, adding that there was a lot of graffiti for Texas and California gangs, as well as Mexican drug cartels.

A Chicago Police officer -- who retired from the regular Army and was recently on a tour of Afghanistan in the Army Reserve -- said Bagram Air Base was covered with Chicago gang graffiti, everything from the Gangster Disciples' pitchfork to the Latin Kings' crown.

"It seems bigger now," said the officer, who previously served a tour in Iraq, where he also saw gang graffiti.

Now back in Chicago, the officer said he has arrested high-level gang members who have served in the military and kept the "Infantryman's bible" -- called the FM 7-8 -- in their homes. The book describes how to run for cover, fire a weapon tactically and do the "three- to five-second rushes" seen in war movies.

"It's scary," he said.

In 2006, Stoleson saw similar graffiti in Iraq during another tour of duty there. That year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on gangs in the military -- and published several of Stoleson's photos of gang graffiti.

Congress eventually banned members of the military from belonging to street gangs. And last November, the Defense Department added the ban to its rules.

Spokesmen for the Army and Defense Department said they could not provide figures on how many soldiers have been thrown out of the military or otherwise disciplined as a result of gang membership.

Stoleson, who stressed he was not speaking for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections or the Army, said it appears the problem is worse than ever. He warned that soldiers who return to gang life back home are especially dangerous because they know military tactics that they can use against the police and the public -- as a Marine did in 2005 when he killed a police officer and wounded three others in a California ambush.

"Gang members are coming home now with one or two tours," he said. "Some were on the field of battle."

Civilian contractors in Iraq are part of the gang problem overseas, Stoleson said. He said he was involved in destroying a large quantity of drugs confiscated from U.S. contractors in Iraq.

Stoleson, who is a member of the International Latino Gang Investigators Association, said some police departments in California are now tracking whether gang members were in the military.

A second Chicago Police officer, who searches homes for drugs and guns, said gang members targeted by his team are sometimes current or former members of the armed forces. That becomes part of the team's pre-raid briefings because the suspect is an increased safety risk with military training, the officer said.

"We recently arrested a guy in the reserves for crack [cocaine]," the officer said. "He was a gang-banger."

Stoleson said that, on his previous tour in Iraq, he was friends with a soldier who associated with the Maniac Latin Disciples when he grew up in Chicago.

"We talked a lot about it. He said the military was the only way he could break free," Stoleson said.

But those aren't the people Stoleson worries about.

"My problem is the guys who go into the military to continue the lifestyle," he said.

T.J. Leyden, a former white supremacist, was one of those guys. He said he recruited fellow members of the Hammerskin Nation into the Marines when he was in the corps in the late 1980s and early 1990s and sent stolen Kevlar body armor and helmets to fellow skinheads back home.

"I wore white supremacist T-shirts, and I hung a swastika flag out of my barracks," said Leyden, who was kicked out of the Marines for drinking and fighting. "I hated America. The only reason I was a Marine was because they were the baddest of the bad."

Leyden, who lives in Utah now, said he quit the white-supremacy movement in 1996 because he was worried "my sons were becoming me."

He began working against the movement and founded Straight Talk Consulting, giving lectures to students and advising the FBI, the National Guard and other organizations about gangs in the military.

Leyden said his informants have told him that skinheads and street gangs are still entrenched in both the regular military and the National Guard.

"The military needs to wake up," he said.

--submitted by Cilla McCain

Friday, July 16, 2010

Army Releases June Suicide Data

The Army released suicide data today for the month of June. Among active duty soldiers, there were 21 potential suicides: one was confirmed as a suicide, and 20 remain under investigation. For May, the Army reported 10 potential suicides among active duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, four have been confirmed as suicides, and six remain under investigation.

During June 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 11 potential suicides: one was confirmed as suicide, and 10 remain under investigation. For May, among that same group, there were 13 total suicides. Of those, two were confirmed as suicides and 11 are pending determination of the manner of death.

For reference, the Army's total for the first half of calendar year 2009 was 88 for active duty and 42 for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty. For the first half of 2010, the totals were 80 for active duty and 65 for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty.

"Our suicide prevention efforts must continue to be directed at all members of the Army family – our soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and families – during the busy summertime transition period," said Col. Chris Philbrick, director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. "The crucial elements are still caring, concern and decisive leadership. There will never be a substitute for a noncommissioned officer, first-line supervisor or friend who knows when a person is suffering and has the moral courage to act and get that individual the help they need. That ability to make a positive difference is the best method to render effective suicide prevention in the Army," Philbrick said.

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental United States. is 1-800-342-9647; their Web site address is . Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.

The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at .

Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at .

Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).

The DCoE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at and at .

Information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at .

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: .

Suicide Prevention Resource Council: .

Source: Department of Defense announcement, verbatim

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Obama's New Rules for PTSD: How Much Trauma is Enough?

Cilla McCain has written a piece on PTSD at the Huffington Post:

Click here to read the entire article.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Interview with Michael Hastings

Troops 'have no rights on a battlefield'

By Simon Usborne

Thursday, 1 July 2010

British troops are not protected by human rights laws on the battlefield, the country's highest court has ruled.

The family of Private Jason Smith, who died of a heart attack after being exposed to extreme heat while serving with the Territorial Army in Iraq, had argued that troops should be given human rights protection while overseas.

But the Supreme Court has now quashed previous rulings by the High Court and Court of Appeal that legislation should apply to soldiers at all times.

Pte Smith was deployed in Iraq in June 2003 and repeatedly told medical staff the heat was making him unwell. He was later found lying face down after suffering cardiac arrest.

Jocelyn Cockburn, a lawyer representing Pte Smith's mother, Catherine, called the decision "shocking", adding: "It is artificial to assert that rights can be protected on-base but not off-base."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff, said: "This outcome is not about denying rights to our people, it is about ensuring we have a clear... set of rules."