Our neighbors to the north appear to take negligent discharges by active duty servicemen very seriously. No matter what their rank may be. “Col. Paul Scagnetti pleaded guilty Tuesday to negligently discharging his rifle — specifically, of ‘conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline’ — during a security exercise in Afghanistan last May.” Scagnetti retired in November after a distinguished 30-year career. He appeared this week as a retired civilian and was fined $2,000 at Tuesday’s court marital proceeding. Col. Scagnetti was stationed in Kabul and the ND happened during a surprise drill…
In May this year, he was in his office with two Afghan interpreters when a security drill unexpectedly sounded.
As Scagnetti readied himself, he squeezed the trigger of his C8 assault rifle and a live round lodged itself in a concrete wall.
“No one was injured but that was only a fortunate consequence. It could have been otherwise,” (presiding military judge, Lt.-Col. J.G.) Perron, said during sentencing.
The article at the link, above, has a highly detailed description of the incident. Col. Scagnetti took immediate responsibility for what happened, securing statements from the two Afghan interpreters and making one of his own.
Prosecutor Capt. J.C. Maguire during the court martial Tuesday commended Scagnetti for launching an investigation immediately, having statements gathered from witnesses and taking full responsibility.
There seems to be a contrast between the way NDs are handled in the Canadian and US armed forces. We’d welcome comments from Armed Intelligentsia members with direct experience in this area. In the mean time, props to the Colonel for his stand-up approach to the incident and here’s wishing him a long and happy retirement.