A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

National Guard Among the Looters after Katrina

Twenty-one soldiers in the Louisiana Army National Guard have been court martialed for looting some of the very stores they were assigned to protect during the aftermath of the hurricane Katrina. Brigadier General John Basilica states, "We are very disappointed in these few because they breached a sacred trust, as we're there to help and support the citizens and they should not have taken advantage of their position, and they did." Over half of the guardsmen charged belonged to the 527th Engineer battalion of Ruston, Louisiana.

All twenty-one, including eleven officers were court martialed, and received separate sentences. Twelve received bad conduct discharges. Fifteen, including some who were given BCDs received a reduction in rank, while fourteen were given jail time.

One Guardsman, former Private Trey Battaglia, who was not charged with wrongdoing, recalled being on foot patrol in Chalmette, Louisiana. Outside Chalmette Shooting Specialties L.L.C. he heard a disturbance and found three soldiers looting the gun store. States Battaglia, "You know, we're lookin' for looters--that's what we're out doing, so I went to go scope it out, and when I arrived, I saw my platoon sergeant and a couple of my squad leaders rummaging through the weapons, the guns." Battaglia stated he saw Sergeants Patrick Platt, Christopher Barlett, and Matthew Maggio each take firearms from the empty gun store. All three sergeants were punished for misconduct. Others court martialed were Jeremy Foster, Chad Evans, James E. Holmes, Prater White, Ron Ellison, Christopher Figaro, Jeff Holloway, Theodore Chapman, Joseph Dunn, Michael Wohlfarth, Leopold LeBlanc, Jerrod Cooper, Johnny Boyette, Corby Moore, Ernest Miles, George Babers, and Glen Wallace.


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Blogger Citizen H said...

Somehow I'm not surprised. Guard-Tards at work.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Fodder said...

“And who shall guard us from the centurions?”
Julius Caesar, Emperor of the Roman Empire.

“First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, for I am not a Jew.
Then they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out…”
Anonymous, on the Holocaust and the Nazis.

“If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from law enforcement.”
Justice Scalia of SCOTUS on no knock warrants.

And so it ever was. At least “we” got the bastards this time.

“Although I fear the end is neigh, and the enemy has breached the gates, surrender not. Defy them to the last.”
Fodder, Ride Fast & Shoot Straight

11:04 PM  
Anonymous nature223 said...

that's disgusting....
hope the looter's who did this crime and got the punishment of jail and the BCD.
lost more then a career.
I hope they FOREVER see themselves as the worst kind of soldier...untrusted by his companions,and not worth the time spent distrusting,in short:"a shitbird."

11:47 PM  
Anonymous DickieT said...

THAT is really sad. Incidently this is the first I have heard of this and if it is being reported in New Orleans I missed it.
There WAS a report of two Guardsmen recently taking money from a motorist during a traffic stop. Since they were armed, they were charged with armed robery.
There has been no outcry about this and the Guardsmen are generally seen as the "Calvary" in Lakeview where we are rebuilding.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Ronin said...

This is good news. The bad guys were caught, military trials found the evidence they were guilty, and punishments are going all around. The Military is supposed to be self-policing, and the system is working.

It'd be better if it had'nt happened, but believe me, this example will not be lost on the military...there's always internal debate about values, ethics, and the Constitution.

This'll strengthen the dialogue that separates Patriots from Quislings.

And the owners of guns recovered as evidence have a whole lot better chance of getting their gear back than they would from most civilian agencies.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Hobie said...

11 officers. There's the problem, piss-poor command and control. It is unusual for STATES to pursue court-martial and I'm glad they did. Should send a message to the rest of the guard to do their job. Yes, I'm referring to the officers. Many if not most enlisted are prior service.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous cleanhead said...

We're with the government. We're here to help.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You, sir, are a dick. A handful of a-holes, out of 350 *thousand* NG soldiers are shitbirds, and you try to act as though they're all cut from the same cloth.

Shame on you! Artist, my ass. An elitist SOB! The regular Army has an equal percentage of shitbirds, so don't cast aspersions on the Guard, please.

Jon, in Minnesota (my MnNG son is in Fallujah as I write this)

11:17 AM  
Anonymous 308Mike said...

Thank God for people like Trey Battaglia, who do the right thing even when his superiors aren't. It's something called INTEGRITY, which apparently many others in that unit lack. I'm kinda' surprised the CO isn't among those being disciplined for not keeping a better handle on his troops.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Jingolaw said...


I was unable to confirm this report. Would you please post a link to the original source?

Thanks for all your support,

Jingolaw (Eric), Office of Legislative Counsel, National Rifle Association

2:29 PM  
Anonymous 308Mike said...

I just found another report of crime by two soldiers while working security in New Orleans. These two face armed robbery charges:

"The two guardsmen were accused of taking money out of wallets from two individuals during a traffic stop," Schneider said in a release issued Friday. "During the course of the investigation, the two soldiers confessed to committing the crime."


4:17 PM  
Anonymous 308Mike said...

Jingolaw, if you go to the link in my previous post to the Shreveport Times, you'll find the following information beginning about 1/2 way down the article (to the end of the article):

This is not the first time state Guard soldiers have been arrested for misconduct connected with storm-related duty.

In November, two veteran Shreveport National Guard members, deployed to New Orleans with other members of the Minden-based 1083rd Transportation Co., were convicted by court-martial, barely two weeks after they were apprehended loading a Humvee with boxes of liquor from a flooded luxury home in a gated New Orleans community.

Staff Sgts. George Babers and Glen R. Wallace, both of whom had earlier deployed to southwest Asia, were tried for the Nov. 14 offense under the Louisiana Code of Military Justice by military authorities through "an agreement between the Louisiana Army National Guard and the District Attorney," state military spokesman Maj. Ed Bush said at the time.

Babers, 49, with 32 years of service, and Wallace, 40, in the Guard 19 years, received 90-day sentences, loss of a month's pay, reduction in grade and bad-conduct discharges. Had they been tried under the state's criminal code for looting, a felony, they could have received sentences of up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000.

According to published reports, the Nov. 14 looting was the second such instance involving National Guard troops. About a month earlier, two soldiers were apprehended for allegedly taking items from a Circuit City store.

And from the time of the storm through March, 17 Guard members have been court-martialed for charges that ranged from dereliction of duty and unauthorized entry of a place of business to larceny and simple burglary of a pharmacy. Some also faced drug charges or assault charges, according to records.

Of these, eight were from units based in West Monroe, five from Gonzales, two from a Marrero-based unit, one from Pineville and one from Ruston, according to reports.

"The individuals received various punishments from bad conduct discharges to loss of rank and pay," Schneider said.

If convicted of the felony armed robbery charges, the soldiers arrested this week face at least 10 years and up to 99 years in prison, with no chance of probation or parole.

I hope this helps.

NRA Life Member

4:53 PM  
Blogger Jingolaw said...


Thanks for bird-dogging down that link for me. Well done. I can get any other info I need from the Shreveport Times reporter.

Your membership and support are important to us, and much appreciated.

Jingolaw (Eric), Office of Legislative Counsel, National Rifle Association

12:08 PM  
Blogger BigDog said...

I think the key word here is "Loisiana." Its a state noteworthy fro corrupt governance at all levels, it shouldn't surprise anyone that all intitutions are similarly affected. Criminals in positions of power are not going to be comfortable with honest people anywhere near them, including the national guard.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Shooter said...

Well now, I see there is alot of uninformed discussion going on here. Well let me start out with I cannot tell you who I am because of the job I hold, I can say I was there with the 527th and intimately familiar with their operations. Yes there was some soldiers that betrayed the confidence of their uniform but they were dealt with. The recent accusations that Pvt Battaglia and his friends are voicing were never brought to light back then, no evidence was submitted, no sworn statements given, in fact I dont even think it happened except in their minds. First off, Pvt Battaglia is confused on his mission during the time in question. They were not patrolling the streets looking for looters, they were clearing mud and debris from the streets! The battalion NEVER had the mission of stopping looting. In fact their instructions as far as looters went was to take information and report looting to the civil authorities or our MPs. Pvt Battaglia is a multiple time drug offender in his unit and has a history of civilian trouble to include some time in OCC (Ouachita Correctional Center) that he does not talk about! In fact his views on what was to be accomplished are very distorted. The Carr guy that was in the news as "serving an honorable tour of duty in Afghanistan" was in fact court martialed while there and reduced in rank for Hashish use and possession. Hardly a "honorable" tour dont you think? I guess the media just didnt think about the credibility of these people. For sure they were not discharged for being model soldiers! The guy that stole pharmecuticals because he felt bad. Now that is a crock of shit! I was there within 10 minutes of them being discovered. They had a rucksack (backpack) full of Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. 8 large brown bottles to be exact! That much was a little excessive just because they felt bad dont you think?

5:44 PM  

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