SAD END TO A LONG MILITARY CAREER
"MUSTANG" MAJOR, WHO ROSE THROUGH
THE RANKS OVER 26 YEARS, GETS
DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE AND SIX
MONTHS IN THE BRIG - ADMITS TAKING
BRIBE FROM THAI CONTRACTOR - MAJ
CARL DAVIS COOPERATES WITH (NCIS)
INVESTIGATORS BUT IS STILL TOSSED
OUT OF THE MARINE CORPS

He's 48 years old. A tough Marine "Mustang" officer who worked his way up the ranks from private to field grade officer over a span of nearly three decades. But now his plans for retirement with his young wife in Thailand are in ashes.

Maj. Carl Davis, who pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Thai contractors, is on his way to the brig. After completing his six month sentence, the officer - with an otherwise spotless record - will be drummed out of the Corps. No pension, no benefits, nothing.

Despite his admission he abused his position as a contracting officer for personal gain (100,000 baht or about $2300) and his cooperation in helping the NCIS build cases against other crooked officers, Davis got little in return.

It was a sad end to a long military career.

IT STARTED WITH A BRIBE DISGUISED AS A "LOAN"

The beginning of the end for the major occurred in June 2002 when, according to court papers, Davis made the worst mistake of his life. Short of money, he accepted a "loan" of the 100,000 baht to help pay for his wedding to his beautiful Thai wife.

Davis consented to "look the other way" when the Thai contractor delivered less bottled water than had been paid for. The major, then a captain, testified he accepted "ghost shipments" of water on five other occasions, enabling the contractor to pocket the profits.

It wasn't until five years later, in March of 2007, that Maj. Timothy Venable, then assigned to the 3rd Marine Logistics Group, was caught taking kickbacks and ratted out Davis as another officer in on the scams.

Venable was sentenced to four years in prison, a $25,000 fine and dismissal from the Marine Corps. He worked out a plea agreement whereby three years of the prison sentence was suspended.

ASSISTED NCIS INVESTIGATORS, BUT STILL KICKED OUT OF THE CORPS

NCIS Agent Greg Gross testified that Maj. Davis risked his life going into danger, meeting numerous times with criminal elements in Thailand, in order to help U.S. investigators build a case against them.

"He (Davis) was instrumental in supplying information that led to banning several Thailand contractors from doing business with the U.S. military and helping devise safeguards to prevent future fraud," Gross said.

Philip Stackhouse of Jacksonville, N.C., the major's defense attorney, pleaded that Davis be allowed to retire because of his help to the NCIS. But it was not to be.

As the Marine officer rose to his feet to hear sentence imposed in the courtroom at Camp Foster, Okinawa, he was filled with shame and regret that all he had worked for had been lost. Any Marine can do six months on the rockpile while hardly working up a sweat. But it's the lost pension and benefits that will impact Davis and his family for the rest of his life.