Somewhere in the Middle East, long, long ago


Brown Belt
Nov 28, 2008
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This was between GW I and GW II/GWOT. I was a lowly A1C in the Security Police (this was prior to the name change to Security Forces) and was on my first tour to the sandbox. The extent of my police training was about a 16 hour block on everything from driving, to report writing, to ticket writing and traffic stops to investigation. That was okay with me at the time since I was a Security Specialist and not a Law Enforcement Specialist; what I am alluding to is my lack of adequate training in anything police related; at the time I was an underpaid, overtrained security guard with access to some very dangerous weapons (that would take an act of congress to allow their use:)).

So there we were, just getting back from a patrol of the footprint area (the area where aircraft are low and slow - take off or landing, and are more vulnerable to SAM fire) with a transport having just landed. The team leader, a SSG if I recall, decided we needed to do a drive through of tent city (no buildings yet).

At some point we learn that the chow hall/tent is open for business so that is where we gravitate. Everyone sits down to an early hot breakfast, it is about 0400 hrs in February so sleeves are rolled down and at this hour it is pretty cold. We sat there after breakfast drinking coffee and just talking until it was almost 0530 and it is getting noticably lighter outside.

Shift change is at 0700 so we decide to get another loop of the flightline area but before we mount up I decide to run to my tent and grab my nomex gloves and put away my cold weather ones. The route takes me past the men's and women's shower tents.

I want to make this quick so I am jogging, since I am the team 60 gunner (M-60) I dont have any gear or a gun so this is an easy 10 minute trot. So as I pass the shower tents I look over and see what looks like a black silhouette up against the women's shower tent.

I go past about three steps before my brain kicks in "this might be a clue." Walking backward I see a black clad figure with his head stuck between the flaps of the women's shower tent.

I yell something like "Hey! What are you doing?!" and this guy pulls his head out like he got burnt (I guess he did get burned). He takes one look at me and jets. By now my brain is mostly functional and I give rapid pursuit.

This guy can run but luckily a little slower than me but running and yelling "Stop, Security Police!" kind of takes my breath away. At some point this guy sprints right across the path of my Fire-Team driving toward my tent to pick me up. I am right behind him still but I could hear the doors to my Hummer open up and another member of my fireteam take up the chase; my FT leader and the driver were getting on the radio and driving for an intercept just dropping the one guy to help me out.

We zig-zagged through the tents for another 30 seconds before he goes down over a tent rope. He is coming up to a standing as I make contact with my right foot in a flying side kick to his chest sending him down again.

Before he can do anything else I jump on top of him until my fellow runner can catch up; he had his web-gear and a set of handcuffs. This guy knew the game was up and didn't fight anymore.

It was one of the most memorable things I have ever done in my military time and my first "arrest/apprehension" on active duty. He was a peeping-tom and he ended up with an Article-15.

Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Feb 8, 2009
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but what's an article 15?

Commanding Officer's Non-Judicial Punishment. Sort of a court-martial lite. You can lose a stripe, get restricted to barracks, lose some pay, and in general be made miserable for about 3 months tops. Used to also mean the end of a military career if you were considering one. A person can refuse NJP and demand a court-martial if they've got the stones for it, but if they do and lose, the potential punishments are much higher.

J Ellis

Green Belt
Dec 16, 2008
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You don't get many opportunities to use a flying sidekick, but it must have been nice to have it in the toolbox so you didn't have to tackle the guy.


Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Oct 13, 2006
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Good job! As peeping toms often escalate into sexual assault and even rape you may have prevented an even worse crime as I'm sure after being done for that someone will be keeping an eye on him!