Posted on Sep 13, 2018
SGT Brigade Public Affairs Ncoic
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I've read a few other posts about barracks inspections, but I couldn't find what applies to the situation that was brought up to me. A SM that trusts me came up to me and told me that on several occasions their barracks room was open. Now, this barracks is a "suite" style where there is a shared common area, but the sleeping areas have separate doors/locks. On more than one occasion they have gotten off work to walk into the common area to find the door to their sleeping area wide open. Later that day they found out that their 1SG did a "barracks check" while ALL the SM were at work, with no notification to the SM's. This feels terribly wrong to me. As a junior enlisted I was always notified (even if only minutes before) that a barracks inspection was taking place. Can leadership go through a barracks room without the SM under the guise of a "barracks check"?
Posted in these groups: Vc iwcc w415 Barracks
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SGT Training Nco
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I ran into that same situation here with one of my previous detachment sergeants. I consulted with JAG and they said the only way they can go through a SM room is for a legitimate health and welfare inspection or furniture inspection. Even the furniture inspection thing is kind of a gray line. Because like someone else mentioned earlier, that SM could mention something was missing or damaged after someone went through their room with them being present. Some leaders think that because a Soldier lives in the barracks that they can go in their room whenever they want whether the SM is there or not. A GOOD leader would already know to check with JAG before doing something like that. With that all said, there’s no reason to go through a SM room without them there unless it’s for a health and welfare check or they have some kind of warrant or probably cause to do so.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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When I was at Bragg the guidance was that JAG required the SM to be present in order for them to be held accountable for anything found. I believe the line of reasoning was that a SM could claim the contraband was placed there while the door was left open.
This isn't something I verified in writing, only the explanation a 1SG gave to me.
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SSgt Joseph Baptist
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Edited >1 y ago
Yes, but the 1SG in this case needs to face some serious disciplinary action for irresponsibly/criminally leaving the rooms unsecure.

The 1SG, PSG, etc. can do a "walk through" inspection while SMs are not present, but should not be opening drawers, lockers, etc., or handling personal possessions*, and certainly needs to secure the room afterwards. A "walk through" inspection is generally used to ensure that there are no major problems - rotting food, moldy laundry, garbage piled up on the floor, leaky pipes, broken windows or walls, etc. - and any deficiencies would be confirmed in a follow up inspection of the more regular variety (unless there was a serious safety hazard that needed to be dealt with immediately).

I had 1SGs do such walk throughs, usually with the CQ or the 1SG's driver when I was in the Army (open bays, shared rooms, and suites), and 1Sgts that did such walk throughs with their clerk when I was in the Air Force (shared/private rooms). They never did this alone, and always brought a second person who could act as a witness. This allowed the 1SG/1Sgt to regularly check on the condition of the barracks/dormitory without wasting SMs' time with frequent "stand by" inspections.

What the SMs need to do in this case is call the military LE on the installation and file a report of breaking and entering - that someone entered their quarters and left the doors unsecured. The LE personnel can conduct an investigation to determine who, exactly, is entering the rooms and leaving doors unsecured - and thus leaving the SMs open to having their property stolen. This way, if any personal items (or issue items for that matter) turn up missing, the 1SG can be held accountable.

* There are certain times when a more complete inspection may take place without the SM present, but these require documentation, and a witness from the SM's chain of command (supervisor, SL, PSG, etc.) or members of military LE.
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SGT Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
SGT (Join to see)
2 y
Yrs ago while stationed in Hawaii, our Unit(Not Named) went thru a Health and Welfare on a Tues evening. It turns out it was due to an SM checking out his personal firearms on the Friday before. He was using them over the weekend for target practice. He had not turned them in by then. The whole Company, yes even the Brown Baggers, had to stay. but only if they maintained a Wall Locker in the Company Area. A whole lot of EXTRA Magazines for the M-16's, Porn stashes, Alcohol(for the under age SM's) was found. I was one of the extra magazine Hoarders, If i remember they collected and redistributed around a dozen M-16 magazines just from me alone. And yes they found the SM's missing Pistols in his Wall Locker. He Spent 2 weeks in CCF( Correctional Confinement Facility) Loss of 1 rank and forfeiture of 1/2 Months pay for 2 months as punishment for failure to secure his weapons in the Arms Room. So there are reasons for these searches and reasons they must be done correctly. If you feel that this is retribution for something you have or have not done, then by all means find out. If not then suck it up and be glad that an armed gunman or suicide bomber may have been averted by these actions and be glad for the So Call Health and Welfare exists
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SSgt Joseph Baptist
SSgt Joseph Baptist
2 y
CPT William Jones - The E-7 I had who played the stomping dirt/mud on the floor "game" did it so he could justify giving weekend duty to the single soldiers from the section as a punishment for "failing" barracks inspections - so the married soldiers always had weekends off.
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SSG Infantryman
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>1 y
CPT William Jones I think the difference between you, Sir, and the 1SG in question, is that you informed people later, and followed rules and regs by securing what was unsecured.
This 1SG is clearly doing things wrong, and it needs ti be brought to higher.
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CPT William Jones
CPT William Jones
10 mo
That e7 might find himself out of the army if I found him doing that sort of stuff but defiantly get an art 15 ( I did pass out two to different e7. And I would try to get him out of my companySSgt Joseph Baptist
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