A homophobic Drill Sergeant is paying the consequences after brutally harassing presumed LGBT soldiers during basic training.
Details after the jump.
The Drill Sergeant, publicly unnamed, targeted “Jon Smith” after he began Basic Combat Training (BCT) in Fort Benning, Georgia this past January.
Based an account from Smith’s mother, Cindy, during Week 2 of BCT, the Drill Sergeant “called Jon up to the front of the platoon and screamed ‘SMITH, are you a f*ggot?’ and Jon couldn't think on his feet fast enough to decide what to say- so he just stared. The DS (Drill Sergeant) screamed, ‘I KNEW it! I told you so!’, looking at the other boys. Then he yelled for Jon to identify ‘all the other little fruits who are here!’ which Jon refused to do.”
The harassment only continued to increase. The Drill Sergeant physically assaulted Jon with attacks ranging from choking him to throwing rocks, and firing blank bullets at him and other perceived LGBT soldiers during drills. In one instance the casing from one of these blank bullets hit a soldier in the eye socket, nearly costing him an eye.
At a certain point a group of Jon’s fellow soldiers had enough. After Jon repeatedly refused to “out” any LGBT soldiers, 6 soldiers came out the Drill Sergeant on their own. The twist? They were actually straight and showing their support and allegiance. They too became victims of the Drill Sergeant’s treatment.
According to Cindy, that’s when things changed: “A few days later I got a call from one of Jon's friends- he and a bunch of the other guys had gone over the DS's head to the company commander and complained. He is awesome, and apparently he was furious. He got the guy in charge of all basic training at Fort Benning to come in. That soldier interviewed every single guy in training in Jon's platoon, then called the DS into the office. He shut the door, but the boys could hear everything, he was yelling so loud.
By the time we got down there for graduation, the DS had been de-hatted. Then, he was thrown in jail. The CID (military investigators) came in, got sworn statements from each kid in that platoon, and told Jon and one other kid that when the trial occurs, they will be flown out to testify.”
Apparently this Drill Sergeant was a decorated soldier and had served in Afghanistan four times, which makes the Army’s decision to court martial him that much more notable.
Cindy writes, “The company commander told Jon he'd been brave to step forward in order to prevent other soldiers from being brutalized by the DS.”
Lt. Dan Choi brought this story to our attention, and we have to say, we’re impressed by the steps the US Military is taking to make it an LGBT friendly environment. It’s great to see they’re making an effort to weed out the bad apples. And how about those straight allies in uniform? Well done, Sirs.
What do you think, Instincters? In the midst of all that trauma, are we seeing progress?