AWOL MOM, II

I got some grief last week for saying that Anna Holcomb should have known what she was getting into when she joined the Army despite having seven kids and a husband who was also in the Army. Rob Smith agrees with me, although he’s a tad bit more colorful in his expression.

The latest news: To avoid a PR nightmare, the Army has rescinded its AWOL charges–even though she refused to be deployed to a war zone–and has simply taken her off active duty and put her back in the National Guard. That’s a phenomenally good deal. Soldiers get Article 15’s for oversleeping and missing formations, let alone willful failure to repair. So what is she doing now?

She is considering taking legal action to be reinstated as a full-time soldier.

A clue for Ms. Holcomb: Full-time soldiers go where they’re ordered to go, when they’re ordered to go. That’s the nature of the business.

I don’t fault her for choosing to stay home with the kids under the circumstances; I do blame her for joining the military under those circumstances. Moreover, I blame the military–or the weasels in Congress–for a policy which allows such people to enlist in the first place.

Update (1230): The relevant sections of the UCMJ:

885. ART. 85. DESERTION
(a) Any member of the armed forces who–
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

866. ART. 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE
Any member of the armed forces who, without authority–
(1) fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed;
(2) goes from that place; or
(3) absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

887. ART. 87. MISSING MOVEMENT
Any person subject to this chapter who through neglect or design misses the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which he is required in the course of duty to move shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

892. ART. 92. FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION
Any person subject to this chapter who–
(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;
(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or
(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;
shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I agree completely. Don’t sign up if you’re not willing to do what’s required. Period.

  2. Pauly says:

    And then not praying to God and thanking her good graces that she didn’t get court-martialed or some other evil punishment…she sues to be reinstated? I think she has some serious mental issues here. Plus, what commander/peer is ever going to want her or take her seriously after all this? I’d just ride out my time and then disappear quietly.

  3. Acidman says:

    “Colorful?” I was just calling it the way I saw it, bro.

  4. Rey says:

    I’m with Acidman on this one. I did 20 years in the Navy and saw people do much less than this and get hammered for it. That bint needs to shut up and take the gift she has been given!