Military

Lackland Courts-Martial
4:45 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Deraas Pleads Guilty, Gets Bad Conduct Discharge

Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas
U.S. Air Force

A former military training instructor at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland has been sentenced following his court-martial that began Monday morning.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Derass pleaded guilty to charges of pursuing sexual relationships with five female trainees in another training class and to charges of dereliction of duty for forcing the recruits in his training class to fill their canteens with water from the toilet.

The case marks the first time an instructor was charged in connection with both male and female trainees.

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Army North
2:33 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Army North Commander Taking Post At Georgia Military College

U.S. Army North (5th Army) Commander Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston
Army North

U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston will be looking for a new commander now that Lt. General William Caldwell IV is leaving to become president of the Georgia Military College.

Caldwell has submitted his retirement paperwork to the Department of Defense and has announced to friends that he will leave Texas to become the next president of the military college in Milledgeville, Georgia.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
10:47 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Court Martial Begins In First Case Involving Physical Assault Charges

Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas
U.S. Air Force

Another court-martial began Friday of a former Air Force boot camp instructor accused of dereliction of duty, assaulting male trainees, and trying to develop unprofessional sexual relationships with female trainees.

In the Article 32 evidentiary hearing late last year, four female airmen testified that Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas found them on Facebook and began sexting them and sending them photos.

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Military Spending
10:20 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Department Of Defense Furloughs Loom At Joint Base San Antonio

Federal furloughs at Joint Base San Antonio require 22 days over the course of six months.
Eileen Pace TPR

Joint Base San Antonio has been working with its civilian workers to communicate the military’s instructions if sequestration kicks in this Friday.

A 20 percent across-the-board cut includes furloughs of federal employees at all military bases across the country.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the furloughs are part-time.

Joint Base San Antonio Spokesman Brent Boller said the sequester will cut $1.2 trillion from government spending, and about half of that will be cuts in Department of Defense spending.

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Military Voting
2:33 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Texas Making Voting Easier For Deployed Military Members

Efforts to improve voting numbers for members of the military, like Sen. Leticia Van de Putte's Federal Military Overseas Empowerment Act, are encouraging better voter turnout.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Texas is making it easier for troops to vote by simplifying the process in a new effort dubbed 'Boots and Ballots.'

Senior Airman Brittany Bohn said last year she thought she was registered in Texas, but found out at the last minute her voter registration was in Indiana. She wants her vote to count.

"I don't want to say that voting gets put on the back burner, but it does," Bohn said.

Email ballots and simpler forms have already made voting easier.

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Military Working Dogs
8:19 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Military Dogs Showing Signs Of PTSD From Combat Deployments

Soldier dog Lex alongside his handler. The pair were featured on an Animal Planet special focusing on military working dogs.
DoD Military Working Dog Breeding Program Facebook Page

America’s wars have long taken their toll on the people who fight them, and the recent attention to post-traumatic stress disorder has helped improve treatment for those who suffer; however, nightly newscasts and newspaper headlines never mention the military working dogs who are also changed by the combat zone.

"Ultimately we want these dogs to become military working dogs and go down range and save lives,” said Tech. Sgt. Joe Null, who fosters canine companions for the first few months of their lives to socialize them.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
9:13 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Update: Judge Grants Defense Motion To Supress Cell Phone Evidence

Lackland, the 'gateway' to the airforce, has been the gateway to court-martial for instructors engaging in activities against Air Force regulations.
Eileen Pace TPR

(Update: 2/22/2013) Military Judge Don Eller ruled the government’s 77-page list of cell phone data violates the instructor’s Constitutional rights, saying investigators extracted the information without a search warrant.

He added that at some point during the investigation, somebody at Joint Base San Antonio should have had a light bulb go on that told them to find a magistrate and file affidavits to get a search warrant.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
6:40 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Another Court-Martial, Another Article 32 Hearing At Lackland

The headquarters of the 37th training wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where court proceedings are held in the ongoing investigation.
Eileen Pace TPR News

The Air Force takes another military training instructor to court today in its broadening investigation of sexual misconduct at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Tech. Sgt. Samuel Wicks is accused of committing an indecent act and having unprofessional relationships with three trainees.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
8:53 am
Fri February 15, 2013

LeBlanc Acquitted Of Sexual Assault, Sentenced For Other Charges

LeBlanc was held in pre-trial lockup for 77 days due to continued misbehavior. That time will be deducted from his 30 month sentence.
Eileen Pace Texas Public Radio

(Update: 02/15/2013): The judge sentenced LeBlanc to prison for 30 months, reduced his rank to E-1 and issued an order for a dishonorable discharge. Seventy-seven days will be subtracted from his sentence, which LeBlanc has spent in pre-trial lockup due to continued misbehavior.

(Original Post: 02/14/2013): Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc was acquitted Thursday on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a female trainee who had just graduated boot camp, but the former military training instructor is facing punishment for 11 other offenses.

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Joint Base San Antonio
7:35 am
Fri February 15, 2013

JBSA-Lackland Hosts International DOD Journalism Competition

Mr Lance Cheung (via Skype), photographer for USDA, and Mr. Kin Man Hui, photographer for San Antonio Express News, discuss photo entries for the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs 2012 Media Contest.
U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Tori Hight

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland has been hosting the global Thomas Jefferson Award competition in the U.S. Air Force division for the past two weeks. The program recognizes top military and civilian employee journalists for furthering Dept. of Defense Internal Information objectives.

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