Yongsan MP demoted for fraternization
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The former first sergeant of a military police company here was demoted one rank after pleading guilty Wednesday to fraternization and making a false official statement, according to proceedings at his court-martial.
Master Sgt. Glen E. Gibbons was demoted to sergeant first class and must submit his resignation from the U.S. Army within 90 days, according to a plea agreement. He was the first sergeant of the 142nd Military Police Company, 94th Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade.
Gibbons, who has served more than 18 years in the Army, also had faced charges of adultery with two different soldiers and one charge of cruelty and maltreatment. In that charge, he was accused of threatening to transfer a female soldier if she continued to talk about their relationship. He pleaded not guilty to those charges, the military prosecutor dismissed them and the judge accepted the plea.
On Wednesday, Gibbons admitted in court he let a platonic relationship with a junior female soldier grow from a mentorship into a close friendship that included giving her rides on off-duty time, letting the soldier and her boyfriend stay at his off-base home to avoid curfew violations and sharing a room with her on a group vacation to Thailand.
Gibbons said the relationship, which lasted from May to November last year, spurred gossip within his company, lowered his soldiers’ morale and gave the appearance of favoritism.
“I chose her friendship, so to speak, over the good of the company,” Gibbons told Chief Judge for the 6th Judicial Circuit Col. Patrick J. Parrish.
Gibbons said that during the time they spent together — volunteering for a youth sports program, working out, shopping out of town and escorting her to a modeling photography shoot — he didn’t feel he was doing anything beyond helping a younger soldier as he had been helped earlier in his career. As the rumors grew, Gibbons said he later realized there was an impact on the company.
Parrish sentenced Gibbons to reduction to staff sergeant, a two-step demotion, but the plea agreement guaranteed Gibbons could lose one rank at most.
Gibbons also admitted that when first questioned about another relationship with a female soldier, he lied to an investigating officer. In that Nov. 30, 2005, statement, he said the female soldier had never eaten at his home or spent the night at his home.
“I was wrong for answering the question the way that I did,” Gibbons said in court. “I gave up something I’ll never get back.”