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Entire Unit Relieved After Hazing-Related Death In Afghanistan

File photo of soldiers filling sandbags

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN – An entire unit of soldiers with B Co, 1-65 Infantry Regiment, stationed in Southern Afghanistan, has been relieved Thursday following allegations of hazing that led to the suicide of Army Private DeMarius Jackson at an unnamed Combat Outpost (COP) in Zharay Province.

Five officers, 36 non-commissioned officers, and 61 lower enlisted soldiers have been removed from the remote base while they await the results of the final investigation into the death.

Private DeMarius Jackson, who was reprimanded for falling asleep on guard duty twice, posting mission times to his Facebook account, and a negligent discharge of his personal weapon that resulted in his squad leader being shot in the foot, killed himself by overdosing on methamphetamines during a guard shift.

Although the soldier had previously tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, his death is being billed as a suicide as a result of hazing. The allegation was made after Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), part of a visiting Congressional delegation, witnessed several senior NCOs savagely abusing the young private.

Chu spoke to the Duffel Blog about what she saw that day:

“A group of very large, scary looking non-commissioned officers were yelling at Jackson, who was doing his best to maintain his dignity by crossing his arms in front of him and refusing to look his tormentors in the eye,” said Chu. “I then watched them force the young man to carry sandbags with a line of other soldiers towards a tent, where they just stacked them up higher and higher around the outside. I couldn’t understand why you would make walls around a perfectly good tent. It was so pointless that we all knew it was obviously punishment related.”

She shook her head as if trying to forget a horrible memory.

“The punishments didn’t stop either. Later that evening we saw Jackson being forced through a series of humiliating physical activities with a small group of other soldiers, all wearing some type of reflective strap clearly meant to humiliate and set the men apart from their comrades during the abuse. All of the soldiers in the group were overweight, and the kind of activities they were being forced to do were clearly hazing, since people in that kind of shape have no business running or doing exercise of any kind.”

Since all the soldiers, NCO’s, and officers at the tiny outpost were witness to the event, the Army wasted no time in pressing charges against every single member of the company.  The outpost has since been turned over to the Afghan National Army (ANA), who has reported that despite the lack of U.S. forces there, is still secure with the help of soldiers from the local Taliban unit, who have manned many of the guard towers.

Further investigation has revealed that the deceased private was 1/18th African-American, leading investigators to declare the killing racially motivated.  Although there were 24 minority soldiers stationed on the outpost with Jackson, the Army is still determined to push for the maximum sentence allowable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), in order to prevent future losses of such exceptionally high quality soldiers.

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  1. Do you guys really think this is something to joke about? We have situations like these in almost every unit, so how about you stop laughing at these situations and help out your battles that are going through a tough time.

  2. Why weren’t the warning signs picked up on? If this Soldier’s leadership had used the suicide prevention counseling tools correctly they would have referred him to the help he needed way before any of this became an issue. I HAVE stated before though that any type of drug use (to include those ‘legal’ energy drinks like Snappy Cow) need to be included with alcohol on the suicide prevention counseling questionnaire. We need to be helping these Soldiers learn how to deal with their stress in a positive way through deep breathing exercises, iceberg breaking, and finding the good stuff. This was a classic failed leadership.

  3. “All of the soldiers in the group were overweight, and the kind of activities they were being forced to do were clearly hazing, since people in that kind of shape have no business running or doing exercise of any kind.”

    Uh, yeah. Fat people shouldn’t exercise. Right. Silly me for thinking otherwise.

  4. The biggest irony is even most of the “smart” posters probably don’t realize Pvt Jackson is based off Rep. Chu’s nephew (LCpl Harry Lew).

    • That can’t be. LCpl. Lew wasn’t fat. Also, I think cocaine should be issued to individuals on post, it makes you more alert.

      • More alert or paranoid…take your pick. But it does work as a good appetite suppressant. It was obviously prescribed by the nutritionist after entering on the “fat kid” program.

  5. Since this was obvious hazing on the part of the unit, and the soldier in question had to do meth, coke, AND heroin, due to his extreme emotional disturbance and physical abuse, the unit should have to make reparations to the soldier’s family financially. this stellar soldier’s family should receive at least $1,000,000 from each branch of the military since the soldier was serving here in the joint/combined combat area.

    • At the very least they should be compensated for the cost of the drugs he felt forced to use. That stuff is not cheap.

      • And let’s not forget the safe shooting rooms that the Military needs to set up at all COPs and FOBs in country, with full needle exchange programs so that our junkie soldiers aren’t put at unnecessary risk with dirty needles.

        Oh yeah… can we PLEASE get purple hearts issued to all of them! Those needle puncture marks are wounds received in a combat deployment! Quick, someone jump on that!

        • No joke. You ever see a ‘cut down’ get infected. Damn things spray pus everywhere. How hard can it be really to get good quality shit? Joe Blow can make the shit in his garage at home and they’re sitting in the heart of heroin land right? All they need is a few ‘clean needle exchanges’ and maybe some better quality shit.

          • Any good right seat ride is going to include a meet & greet with the ANA smack hookup. Clearly what we are seeing here is the ripple effect cause by the failures of the outgoing unit. Continually strive to improve your AO for the benefit of those who will replace you.

  6. I can’t tell if the “serious” posters are actually that stupid, or that brilliant in their playing along. Either way this is hilarious.

  7. I guess the one and only thing he did right was do what he was told after one of the other guys told him to kill himself for being such a shit bird ha ha ha ha ha…..ah Judy Chu…you should fallow suit and do the same….now that will a be story worth reading sober

  8. Didnt read the story. The comment section was more than enough entertainment for me. My special thanks goes.out to the most of you morons that poured your heart and souls into denouncing a story about a situation that ….could have happened. Nothing about the Army surprises me anymore…stay strong.

    • Wait a minute are you being serious or sarcastic I have really lost count… I don’t even know I am being serious anymore. Oh crap…

      • Pink satire cards must be issued to all posters and prominently displayed when appropriate to avoid these confusing comments.

  9. First of all if he fell asleep on guard duty twice he should have been courts marshelled and peeing hot 2-3 times again art 15’s and courts marshell. I don’t know about this congress woman and what she knows about the military ,but it must be very little . Sand bagging tents in a COMBAT ZONE is something that is highly recomended with RPG’S ( Rocket Propeled Grenades) AND 106MM ROCKETS FLYING IN ON YOUR COP (Combat Out Post). As far as the reflective belt ,it is part of the PT uniform and is also required to be worn at nite in most places in county at night while on the place of duty for safety to be seen be vechile oprerators so they don’t get ran over. MAYBE CONGRESSWOMAN CHU SHOULD REALLY FIND THE FACTS AND READ READ THE ARMY’S REGULATIONS ON WHAT THIS POOR EXCUSS OF A SOLDIER DID WRONG AND I QUESTION IF IT WAS TRUELY SUICIDE AND NOT A SIMPLE OVER DOSE.

    • Obviously the poor soldier in question was being hazed which led him to commit suicide. No one with experience in the use of drugs would ever purposely kill themselves with their own supply.

    • It is Obvious that he was forced to partake of more than his normal hit due to the extreme emotional stress of the hazing. I can see him spiraling downward as the emotional storm rises forceing him to hit it again and again until in a tragic turn of events, he lost his life. It was not suicide. Those others should be charged with murder.

    • Your post is so full of awsome. Thanks for telling us what a COP and an RPG are. I would ask my husband but he is deployed, so I will ask “Jody” instead. He’s been “helping out” around the house. Someone will be along to explain this site to you soon. Place take a knee and face out until then.

      • RPG is ‘role playing game’ right? Jody is such a helpful guy. He keeps coming around to help my wife with the plumbing. Something about ‘snaking a pipe’ I think. I wish I could think of some way to say ‘thank you’ to the men who help out while the husband is away.

    • Well this is an absolute outrage! As a witness to the brutal sandbag hazing, Congresswoman Judy Chu had a duty to use her authority to swoop in and rescue that poor tweaker, ahem, Private from those awful Sergeants and get him the prescription for medical marijuana that he obviously needs…. and hugs.

  10. Sure he fell asleep and put all their lives at risk but a fat boy doper can’t be expected to stay awake. His physical make-up won’t permit it.//This lad should have special treatment from the beginning. Thank God Congresswoman Chu is on the case. She’s really the patron saint for military fuckups.

      • Doesn’t it suck when that happens. What is worse is when you leave the bait and forget about it, then you have a 900lbs troll on the line for a month. When you finally do come back poachers have got it or your line has been overloaded with trolls… I had this happen on the More Women Need to be Killed in Combat article. Well…I am going to leave some bait here…even though I have written this it will be ignored.

  11. Out-freakin-standing!!! I believe all boots should be issued a Death-By-Meth suicide kit when they first check in. Make things quicker, easier, and funnier.

  12. Another soldier kills himself, and the hazing was permitted, even after Representative Chu witnessed that savagery; and the article doesn’t let us know how he got crystal meth to overdose himself into suicide. Why wasn’t someone watching for this? Where were is battle buddies?

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