FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Multiple sources in Bravo Co., 4-9th Infantry Regiment claim that their company commander, Capt. Mark Jackson, was "definitely shitfaced" during his safety brief on Friday.
Jackson, 30, has been widely regarded as an excellent officer who took care of his unit and was especially cognizant of troop welfare in the past, Army officials said, although lately he has been "off his game for some reason."
"He's really changed and no one can really nail down why," said Sgt. Miles Anderson, the Bravo Co. Training NCO, who spoke candidly with Duffel Blog since he was being kicked out of the Army due to his second drunk-on-duty charge last week. Anderson decided to consume a fifth of tequila during breakfast and showed up to work without his boots, records show.
2nd Lt. Jarvis Demile, the platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, said that when he first took command Jackson could be expected to arrive at work promptly at 4:30 a.m. each day, diligently poring over the weekly training schedules and adjusting key events to best maximize the soldier’s time during the workday.
“However," said Demile, who had been demoted for stealing 19 cases of MREs from the supply room, “the CO is now one of the last to show up, walking into the office about 30 seconds before his morning meeting is supposed to begin, unshaven and smelling like he just used mouthwash. Sometimes he just sits there and stares at us.”
Pfc. Jesus Martinez, a soldier in 2nd Platoon in the process of being separated from the Army due to heroin usage, described to reporters Jackson's "strange behavior" at the liberty brief.
“He wasn’t slurring or anything, but there was something about the way he was standing there looking at us all with a mixture of pity and hatred, that made me think he’d been hitting the bottle," Martinez said. "Plus I smelled something like bourbon."
Another Bravo Company source, who spoke on condition of anonymity since his larceny charges had not yet been finalized, agreed with Martinez’s assessment, adding that, “I knew something was wrong after the CO listed all the things we shouldn’t do over the weekend, like drunk driving, cheating on our wives, rape, murder, you know the usual stuff. Then he started laughing. He didn’t stop either, just wandered out of the formation and back to his office, giggling like a crazy person while we all stood there. It was pretty uncomfortable.”
The most damning condemnation came from Spc. Steve Mayberry, the newest member of Bravo Company.
“Shit just wasn’t right man. CO’s got no standards,” said Mayberry, who had arrived at the unit two weeks ago and was already facing charges for sexual relations with a local 16-year-old high school girl.