VILSECK, Germany — The Army may never know what became of more than 2,000 Meals, Ready to Eat that went missing from the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment Dining Facility at Hohenfels last year.

First Sgt. Kevin Young, the dining facility’s food service sergeant, was found guilty at a Nov. 17 court-martial in Vilseck of negligent dereliction of duty over the disappearance of 2,124 MREs on Dec. 6, 2005. The missing MREs were in 177 cases and worth $15,000.

Young was also found guilty by a military jury of filing a false official statement to Criminal Investigation Command investigators and of obstruction of justice for telling staff to lie to investigators and commanders at Hohenfels about the MREs.

Young was not convicted of larceny, something Army prosecutors were trying to achieve during the court-martial.

Grafenwöhr Legal Center senior trial counsel Capt. Derrick Grace, who acted for the prosecution, said the Army believes the MREs were sold on the black market.

Young’s statement falsely claimed that the MREs were eaten by Czech soldiers who trained alongside 1-4 troops at Hohenfels in December, Grace said.

George Bauer, a German civilian who worked for Young at the DFAC, told the court during the trial that Young gave him detailed instructions on what to tell CID investigators about the MREs after they went missing.

“Young was a very strict supervisor. He told me I should explain to CID that these MREs were assigned to a Czech unit training with 1-4 at that time,” he said.

Judge Col. Peter Masterton sentenced Young to be reduced in rank to staff sergeant and docked a portion of his pay for six months.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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