Unfinished Business: Justice for Private Danny Chen
  • Petitioned Colonel Ronald Johnson

This petition was delivered to:

Commander, Fort Wainwright Garrison
Colonel Ronald Johnson

Unfinished Business: Justice for Private Danny Chen

    1. Petition by

      OCA-New York Chapter in coalition with OCA National Center, Asian American Justice Center, Japanese American Citizens League

Danny Chen was a 19-year-old Private from a Fort Wainwright unit who died after being subjected to 6 weeks of relentless hazing and mistreatment at the hands of his superiors in Afghanistan. Eight soldiers were found guilty in connection with his death. Four of the superiors have been discharged; the other four must be administratively discharged. Staff Sergeant Blaine Dugas, the second in command, was found guilty of using alcohol in a combat zone and dereliction of duty. Staff Sgt. Andrew J. VanBockel, Chen's squad leader and the "ring leader" of the mistreatment, was found guilty of hazing, dereliction of duty, and maltreatment of a subordinate. Sgt. Jeffrey Hurst was convicted of dereliction of duty. And Specialist Thomas Porter Curtis IV was convicted of hazing, two specifications of maltreatment, and two specifications of assault.

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    Reasons for signing

    • A PITT COLUMBIA, SC
      • 9 months ago

      Hello!

      I've started the petition "Barack Obama and Aaron Schock and U.S. Senate: Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership" and need your help to get it off the ground.

      Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/barack-obama-and-aaron-schock-and-u-s-senate-eradicate-us-army-toxic-leadership

      Here's why it's important:

      To Whom It May Concern,

      I was the immediate supervisor for SPC Annzala Pitt at C.Co 225 BSB. In the time that SPC Pitt was part of my squad she encountered numerous difficulties which I believe were entirely due to being mistreated by her senior leadership. When SPC Pitt arrived at 225 BSB she had a medical situation that required attention prior to her deployment to Iraq. When she voiced her concerns to 1LT Riglick not only were her concerns dismissed but her private health information was erroneously released to multiple parties. SPC Pitt filed a complaint for the HIPPA violation against the offending party, 1LT Riglick. A few months later 1LT Riglick was assigned to C.Co as our Platoon Leader. This is undoubtedly the situation that caused SPC Pitt to be labeled as a problem soldier by C.Co leadership. SPC Pitt was not protected from reprisal and was treated badly for the duration of her time with C.Co 225 BSB.

      The result of filing her HIPPA complaint against 1LT Riglick was having a stigma placed on her by the very leadership that was supposed to be protecting her. She endured rumors, attacks on her character, and even attempts at discrediting her intellectual capacities. She was even accused of having inappropriate relationships with multiple senior Non-Commissioned Officers by our Platoon Leader 1LT Riglick. SPC Pitt continuously sought only to do her job as a mental health specialist and as her first line supervisor I pushed for her to be moved from the company to the Troop Medical Clinic. When SPC Pitt was sent to the Troop Medical Clinic to preform her duties as a mental health specialist C.Co leadership made sure to let the incoming social worker know what their impression of her was. SPC Pitt then worked with Major Ball, who had already been told she was a problem soldier, and was subsequently treated horribly to include having to undergo a mental health evaluation without provocation.

      SPC Pitt requested on numerous occasions to be moved from C.Co 225 BSB to another company, battalion, or division to get out from underneath the stigma placed on her. These requests were heard by our Company Commander, 1SG, Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, and even Division Command team but nothing was done. Instead of helping the soldier 1LT Riglick and Major Ball ordered me to counsel her for their perceived insubordination. When I disagreed with these orders it was made clear that my military career was also in jeopardy. I was ordered by 1LT Riglick to counsel SPC Pitt for not properly using her chain of command to which, I informed the command that she had done exactly what procedures are outlined. The result of my not counseling her for this was to have my MEDPROS status changed to non-deployable by 1LT Riglick. This retaliation against me for defending SPC Pitt would have ended my career if I had not already been found deployable and fit for duty by the Medical Review Board in 2008.

      Despite her outburst which finally concluded her time in C.Co I would still recommend that she be retained by the United States Army. SPC Pitt endured being mistreated for months and still maintained a positive attitude. Her intellectual prowess combined with her willingness to work make her a viable asset. I believe that if SPC Pitt had been able to move to another command away from the toxic leadership of C.Co 225 BSB her military career would have flourished.

      SGT David Trapolsi

      You can sign my petition by clicking here.

      Thanks!

      A PITT

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    • Jonathan Jue-Wong ANN ARBOR, MI
      • 9 months ago

      It is shameful that a man who chose to serve his country died because of the horrendous treatment he was subjected to by fellow U.S. soldiers. Pvt Chen was an American and deserves justice.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nancy Vang SACRAMENTO, CA
      • 9 months ago

      What happened to Danny Chen is an injustice to everyone and anyone, regardlesss of race.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gloria Wong SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
      • 10 months ago

      It is incredulous that these men who were indirectly involved in the death of one man were given such light punishment. More must be done in order to prevent this from happening ever again.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cheryl Johnson MIDLOTHIAN, VA
      • about 1 year ago

      I taught in China and I think the attitude towards Chinese - Americans is appalling.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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