Posts Tagged With: U S Coast Guard

Save Our Heroes, The Case Of CDR Benjamin Strickland, USCGC Vol 01, Nr 01

The Case of CDR Benjamin Strickland

A different time, but the same corruption…

Such was the case of CDR Ben Strickland, a military man who was punished for helping a victim of sexual assault. CDR Strickland was a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Coast Guard with a promising career ahead of him, however, that all came to an abrupt halt when a young Sailor/victim of sexual assault approached him for help. Despite working in an environment that encouraged commanders to cover-up allegations of sexual assault, CDR Strickland made the morally courageous decision to support the victim; he personally ensured the young woman got the help she so desperately needed.

As such, CDR Strickland soon found himself in the cross hairs of his leadership and the victim of military witch-hunt.

The assorted details of this commander’s ordeal can be found on Amazon in the book “The Case of CDR Benjamin Strickland” written by Judge L. Steverson, USALJ (Ret).

http://www.amazon.com/Judge-London-Steverson/e/B006WQKFJM

Save Our Heroes has tracked down the honorable CDR Strickland (now retired and working in the Washington DC area) who made the following statement about his ordeal:http://www.amazon.com/Case-CDR-Benjamin-Strickland-Unrestricted/dp/1514682737/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

“The book you mention is indeed about me and the retaliation myself and my family endured at the hands of senior Coast Guard officials. On 23 May 2013, I was serving as Acting Commanding Officer of USCGC MUNRO (WHEC-724) homeported in Kodiak, Alaska. When I reported an allegation of a sexual assault to my Immediate Superior in Command. The allegation included a female E-3 (victim) and a male E-3 (accused) and involved multiple incidents of inappropriate (and potentially unlawful) sexual contact occurring over a period of several months pertaining to the same individuals. Under the authority granted to me as Acting Commanding Officer under Coast Guard Regulations as well as Coast Guard sexual assault prevention and response policies, I predicated an investigation by Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding what I believed to be potential sexual assault(s). My reports of an allegation of a sexual assault (as well as my subsequent complaint of mismanagement of the investigation predicated under my authority) are considered “protected communications” under 10 USC 1034, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. The statute prohibits retribution against an individual who files a report of waste, abuse of authority, gross mismanagement, or a sexual assault to “any person or organization in the chain of command”.

Despite the accused E-3 (male) having confessed on the second day of the investigation, CGIS investigation remained open for months without resolution. I also received multiple first-hand reports from my subordinates of potential misconduct by CGIS agents as well as second-hand ones from USCG Pacific Area staff members regarding potential abuse of authority and unlawful command influence by CGIS and senior Coast Guard officials (to include the Pacific Area Chief of Staff and CGIS Director who were having daily telephone conversations regarding my report). This gross mismanagement culminated after the ship’s change of command weeks later on 18 Jun 2013 in which my new Commanding Officer, CAPT Jeffrey W. Thomas suggested I depart the ship on leave, and the very next day had CGIS agents conduct an unlawful search of my private living quarters without written authorization by a military judge in accordance with the Manual for Courts Martial and the USCG Military Justice Manual where they seized my government computer and portable hard drive. Upon my return I expressed concerns to CAPT Thomas that CGIS agents were not properly investigating the alleged sexual assault; he dismissed my concerns and refused to discuss the matter further with me. Instead of focusing on protection of the victim and prosecution of the accused, CGIS and Coast Guard Legal representatives sought to retaliate against me. They made me an unlawful target of investigations which stemmed from my report when they searched my stateroom where I, as a witness and not having been a subject or accused in any duly authorized investigation at any time, had a reasonable expectation of privacy per the Constitution and existing case law. The extent of their targeting consisted of over 20,000 emails and instant message (IMs) communications dating back to October 2011, almost two years prior to my report of a sexual assault – IMs they sought to use as a pretext for which they could have me removed from my position.

Months later – in January 2014 – CGIS and Coast Guard Legal gave these IMs to Pacific Area senior management and the Commanding Officer for them to use as a basis for a derogatory OER from which they could have me removed from primary duties as Executive Officer (XO). Beyond my complaints of mismanagement by senior Coast Guard managers and CGIS and seeking guidance from my professional network about preparing a complaint to the DHS Office of Inspector General, these IMs had no nexus/connection to the sexual assault. Moreover, but for my report of a sexual assault CGIS, PACAREA and the Commanding Officer would never have retrieved and reviewed my IMs. These IMs were not only comprised of purely private conversations unrelated to official government business, but were previously routinely monitored by CG IT support with no issues or allegations of impropriety. Furthermore, there was no valid reason for CGIS and Pacific Area to make me the target of investigations I had requested in the first place. These IMs unlawfully reviewed without probable cause in many cases not only fell outside the reporting period for the OER, but also included protected communications with the Base Chaplains Office, Work-Life/HSWL staff, and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC).

CGIS, PACAREA and the Commanding Officer acted against me without proper authority. The Commanding Officer admitted to me when I challenged his unlawful actions on 23 Jan 2014 that I was at no time ever the subject of any criminal or administrative investigation; no formal investigation was ever initiated against me in accordance with the Administrative Investigations Manual or the Military Justice Manual. Nevertheless, the chain of command unlawfully searched my stateroom, seized my work computer, retrieved my personal communications, and then improperly used IMs they obtained for the purposes of retaliation against me for my having reported an allegation of a sexual assault and for my later disclosure of what I (and many others at the O-6 level at the PACAREA staff) reasonably believed to be internal wrongdoing on the part of multiple Coast Guard management officials

I was removed from primary duties and sent to a junior officer billet inconsistent with my rank as a senior officer. At this time, no action whatsoever had been taken against the accused – clearly giving insight that the Coast Guard’s priorities did not lie in protection of the victim and prosecution of the accused, but rather retaliation. I filed a complaint with the DoD Inspector General who conducted a preliminary inquiry and found sufficient evidence to refer my complaint to the DHS Inspector General for investigation. Having several opportunities come my way in the maritime industry last year, I opted to retire from active duty.

It is important that Coast Guard personnel recognize the corruption and misconduct that exist at the highest levels of the organization and CGIS. Reforms are desperately needed in order to prevent the use of criminal investigations by senior leadership as a form of reprisal for those who report sexual assaults and participate as witnesses. As it stands now, CGIS and Coast Guard legal are managed more akin to a criminal syndicate, “serving” a purpose of providing political hit jobs for the top brass, than existing as entities interested in the pursuit of military justice.

Respectfully,
Ben Strickland, CDR, USCG (Retired)”

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The Case OF CDR Benjamin Strickland, USCG, coming in Black & White

The Case Of CDR Benjamin Strickland, Black & White Edition

A new Black & White Edition of The Case Of CDR Benjamin Strickland will be released shortly by Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. Look for it.
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The Case of CDR Benjamin Strickland

General David Petraeus, a 4-star general with over 37 years in the military, was the most senior officer to be prosecuted during the politically correct era. He was just one of many distinguished senior officers to be purged from all branches of the military services during that period. Commander Benjamin Strickland, U S Coast Guard was caught in this web of insanity.  This is a purge.

Consider the Case of CDR Benjamin Strickland.

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To this day the list continues to grow.The Unrestricted Coast Guard Chronicles (UCGC) are a series of bio epics of interesting and sometimes strange events in the lives of Coast Guard personnel. This is the Case of CDR Benjamin Strickland.

This is a must read for all right thinking Americans, and people of goodwill everywhere.

Sales of NEW BOOK began July 7, 2015. Send check or money order for $27.00, includes shipping and handling to: Steverson Books, Box 606, Haymarket, VA. 20168.

Get the full story. The Case of Commander Benjamin Strickland, 114 pages. All pictures are full color. Many distinguished senior officers are being purged from all branches of the military services. To this day the list continues to grow.

On June 26, 2015 Commander Benjamin F. Strickland departed on Terminal Leave pending retirement from the U. S. Coast Guard. This Unrestricted Coast Guard Chronicle (Volume 01, Number 01) was designed to coincide with that date. 

He will not be forgotten. His name will live on in the Chronicles of Coast Guard History. His story will forever be told around the Forecastle, at the camp fires, and in the restaurants and bars where retired service members gather to reminisce about life in the Nation’s oldest continuous seagoing armed force, the U. S. Coast Guard.

His brilliant and distinguished career was brought to an abrupt halt for no explicable or rational reason, except that he did his job as he was required to do it. In doing so he became a victim.

No good deed goes unpunished. This means that life is unfair and people can do or try to do good things and still end up in a lot of trouble. Bad things happen to good people.  

Terrible and unexpected things happened to CDR Strickland.

. Power was misused; discretion was abused; authority was exceeded; rights were trampled; resources were mismanaged; and, our posterity has been neglected.

We are at the mercy of the powers that be, and they appear to be devoid of all mercy. Heaven help us; and, God Bless America.

Categories: Coast Guard Cases | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Coast Guard Headquarters At Saint Elizabeths

 

 

New Coast Guard Headquarters, Almost Heaven

Coast Guard Headquarters is Striking, Surprising, and Sustainable

The new, state-of-the-art U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters on the site of historic St. Elizabeths Hospital is a dream come true. The U S Coast Guard has finally found itself a home worthy of its own lofty opinion of itself. It is not Heaven, but it is as close as one could possibly hope to get in this world.

Like Heaven, one has to pass through Hell to get there, daily. It is in Anacostia the worst, low rent, crime infested area of South East Washington, DC. A majority of the inhabitants of Anacostia appear to be over fed, under nourished, and unemployed. It is a crime infested area that most people would not be caught dead in after dark. Most D.C. metro area residents recoil in fear at the sound of infamous “Anacostia,” known mostly for its extreme poverty, high homicide statistics, and the ever lurking danger of getting lost in its maze of streets.

 

http://wikitravel.org/en/Washington,_D.C./Anacostia

The building was designed to house the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agencies. The U S Coast Guard was intended to be the lead agency. However, in the hearts and minds of most Coast Guard members, this is the Headquarters of the Department of the Coast Guard and DHS is a sub-agency, along with o ther agencies; such as, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Defense, Interior, and Health and Human Services have contributed components.

The U S Coast Guard is the World’s preeminent International Law Enforcement Agency.

By law, the Coast Guard has 11 missions:

Today’s U.S. Coast Guard, with nearly 42,000 men and women on active duty, is a unique force that carries out an array of civil and military responsibilities touching almost every facet of the U.S. maritime environment.

http://www.uscg.mil/top/missions/

In 50 years the Coast Guard has reached its pinnacle among other Washington DC Federal Agencies. In the 1960s, it was located in the Volpe Building, at 7th and D street SW, as the lead Agency in the Department of Transportation.

I know from experience how much the Coast Gard has wanted its own building in Washington, DC. Having worked in the Volpe Building as a Coast Guard officer in the Legal Office and the Office of Personnel from 1972 to 1979, I am aware of the numerous times senior Coast Guard officers have lamented the fact that the Coast Guard did not have its own building.

http://www.constitutioncenterdc.com/

The Coast Guard finally was able to move up among the hierarchy of Federal Agencies when it moved to the Buzzard Point location. The accommodations were not up to those of the Volpe Building, but it was not co-located with lesser Federal agencies. Because of the undesirable location, many saw this move as a sort of fall from grace. However, location was not as important as exclusivity.

http://dc.citybizlist.com/article/navy-set-officially-occupy-former-coast-guard-hq-buzzard-point

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2013/08/as-coast-guard-settles-into-new-home.html

Now, the Coast Guard has it all, location and exclusivity. And, on top of it all, the DHS appears to not be coming to share the new building due to a shortage of appropriated funds.

http://perkinswill.com/work/us-coast-guard-headquarters.html

In one sense, the vassals have taken control of the castle, erected a moat, and the drawbridge is up. Next to the Pentagon, this new Headquarters is a paradise and it is the most expensive building in Washington,DC. It has a newly constructed physical plant with all of the latest high tech gadgetry. The exterior is ecological eye-candy; it is architecturally beautiful with large spacious recreational green areas for loitering and refreshing the spirit. There are deer and other natural wild life running through the trees and plants. This new building repairs and reflects the surrounding landscape.

http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB101617

 

The interior sports acoustically low noise in the common areas, and large individual cubicles for the support staff so that each can have their own space. The offices are large and comfortable. Getting an office with a window is no problem because the construction material of smoked glass and steel affords maximum visibility for even the clerical personnel. The style is reminiscent of the steel and glass construction found in Hamburg, Germany and some of the banks built in Hong Kong by I M Pei.

http://www.pcf-p.com/a/f/fme/imp/b/b.html

The conference rooms and auditorium are well equipped with high tech and high definition accessories. They rival the large screen instant replay monitors in the most modern sports arenas. There is no bad seat in the auditorium. Even the farthest removed spectator to any presentation or ceremony has instant and constant visual and acoustical access to the proceedings. The Coast Guard which is renowned for pinching pennies and trying to save the Government money, spared no expenses in designing and building this new state-of-the-art facility. But, that is usually what happens when one is spending someone else’s money.

 

The co-educational workout rooms are top of the line. They include steam rooms and showers with large screen high definition televisions in front of the exercise machines. The facility is of the same caliber as one would expect to find in any Hilton or Ritz Carlton five-star luxury hotel.

 

http://perkinswill.com/work/us-coast-guard-headquarters.html

Much of the credit for the relocation and the modern construction belongs to VADM Manson K. Brown. His last act of grace to the Coast Guard before retiring in May of 2014. It was only fitting and proper that he bequeath to the Coast Guard this new and perhaps final resting place, as a token of his appreciation for allowing him to write his name and story across a large page of American and Coast Guard history. VADM Brown did well and his performance of duty was above and beyond the call of duty, but he was deprived of writing one final large piece of History; he was denied the honor of going down in History as the first Black Commandant of the U S Coast Guard. Nevertheless, the milestones that he left along the road of History will not be surpassed in the near or distant future. He had a good ride and it was a mutually respectful and loving parting from active duty to a much deserved retirement for VADM Brown.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/vice-admiral-retires-from-us-coast-guard-as-the-top-ranking-black-officer/2014/05/14/95fd2ba4-db95-11e3-bda1-9b46b2066796_story.html

 

The physical address of Coast Guard Headquarters is 2701 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S.E. This address cannot be used for mailing or visiting the campus (if using GPS, this address takes you to Gate 1, which can only be used by Coast Guard personnel accessing the campus via bike, over-sized vehicle or walking).

The new Coast Guard Headquarters GPS address is 2699 Firth Street SE, Washington, DC, 20593.

Download a map of the St. Elizabeths campus.

 

 

http://www.uscg.mil/baseNCR/pages/maps.asp

 

 

http://www.uscg.mil/baseNCR/documents/visit_instructions.pdf

 

 

 

 

http://www.uscg.mil/strategy/docs/HeadquartersLogisticsInformation_20140401.pdf

Categories: American History | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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