SGT MAJ COURT-MARTIALED IN IRAQ
You don't see a sergeant major, let alone a command sgt. major (CSM), get court-martialed every day of the week, month or even year! We can recall one "first shirt" E-8 getting reduced to SP4 because he beat up the son of a Chicago judge who had pull with U.S. Sen. Charles Percy of Illinois. And we recall a sergeant-major busted for black-marketing while we were in Vietnam. But it's rare indeed for a "top-ranker" among NCO's being disciplined for anything.
Usually the E-9 is the colonel's pal, getting him coffee, laughing at his jokes and generally creating the illusion that all command sergeant majors care about is the welfare of their troops. Most do, but some certainly do not, and the time they spend hanging around the headshed sucking up to the brass or getting drunk in the club does not go unnoticed by the lower-ranking GI's.
In the case of CSM Edward Ramsdell, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 411th Engineer Brigade at LSA "Anaconda" in Iraq, his behavior was so blatant that the brass had to act. Caught with a big stash of booze and pornography in his quarters, Ramsdell foolishly tried to outrun the CID and lost the race.
BUSTED DOWN TO SPC E-4 - CSM AVOIDS "BAD CONDUCT DISCHARGE"
At his court-martial, he was convicted of having "improper relationships" with two junior soldiers; "mistreating" another; attempted escape from custody; and impeding an investigation, as well as the porn and booze raps.
The crimes for which Ramsdell was convicted occurred between Oct. 14 and 24 last year.
The command sergeant major lucked out in one regard - he won't lose his pension. He stays in the Army but was busted down to SPC E-4. It'll be quite an adjustment for the former E-9 as he gets a taste of how "the other half" live. It's been a long time since he hasn't worn stripes. Ramsdell also has 40 days in confinement to think his predicament over. That's part of his sentence as well.