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Zama chaplain gets Article 15 for adultery

An Army chaplain at Camp Zama, Japan, has been given a Field Grade Article 15 for adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Capt. Mike Myers, who represents the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ and has served with the 500th Military Intelligence Battalion, received the nonjudicial punishment Nov. 20, said Army officials, who declined to provide specifics in the case.

Stars and Stripes was made aware of the matter in December by Joanne Ruffner, a 33-year-old Arizona woman who claims she had a relationship with Myers.

In a telephone interview with Stripes, she said Myers told her he was single and an intelligence officer. The woman said she notified Army officials after she said she discovered Myers was married with two children and was a chaplain.

She said she complied with requests from Army investigators and turned over documentation, photographs and e-mails that detailed their relationship.

Ruffner said she and Myers met in Huachuca City, Ariz., in May 2004. Myers was stationed at Fort Huachuca at the time. Myers did not respond to an e-mail from Stripes seeking comment.

Contacted Dec. 21 at his home on Camp Zama, he declined to speak with a reporter.

“I’m getting ready to leave. I don’t have any time right now. Thank you,” he said. Numerous attempts to reach him again by telephone were unsuccessful.

Maj. Martha Brooks, a U.S. Army Japan spokeswoman, said last week the Army’s look into the matter is complete. She also confirmed the FBI is investigating the matter, but neither she nor the FBI would say what allegations were being probed.

“We can’t talk about it at all,” she said.

Brooks said the FBI bureau in Arizona could be contacted for further information. FBI agents reached there by telephone would neither confirm nor deny that Myers or Ruffner were subjects in any investigation. Brooks has said she believes Myers still is at Zama but isn’t certain about the chaplain’s present status.

Asked whether the Army would issue a statement about the Article 15 charges, Brooks confirmed the action but would not be more specific.

“We take each and every case very seriously. Adultery is not tolerated throughout the military whatsoever, or any of those charges for that matter,” Brooks said. “The military stands behind the fact that we do what’s right for all parties at hand.”

Sgt. 1st Class N. Maxfield, a U.S. Army Japan spokesman, said recently that an Article 15 is not a court-martial and doesn’t necessarily signal imminent dismissal from the military.

“An Article 15 could lead to further action, and that further action could include a chapter board,” Maxfield said. “It’s at the beginning of the process. … Getting kicked out of the military is not going to be the end result from solely an Article 15. There has to be other action. A chapter board might meet if someone shows a pattern of misconduct.

“It’s way too early to come to any conclusion — to even discuss what his options are,” Maxfield added. “Right now, the situation is still being investigated. We can’t speak to what the results will be if certain allegations are found to be true.”

Ruffner said she received an e-mail on Nov. 20 from Col. Allen Blake Boatright, the U.S. Army Japan command chaplain, stating that there will be further repercussions regarding Myers’ “endorsement and status as a Chaplain” but he could not speculate on what they might be. A copy of the purported e-mail later was forwarded to Stripes.

Last week when Stripes contacted Boatright by telephone, the colonel would not say whether Myers still was assigned to his office and deferred all questions to the U.S. Army Japan public affairs office.


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