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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 15
Navy reverses decision on bed-sharing sailor
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Navy reverses decision on bed-sharing sailor

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

For the second time in two weeks, U.S. Navy officials have dropped DADT charges against sailor who, a few short months ago, would've been given the boot under the discriminatory policy that prohibited open Gay service.

Petty Officer Second Class Stephen Jones, who was notified he would be discharged under DADT for falling asleep in the same bed as his colleague, will be able to keep his post, the Navy announced.

According to earlier reports, Jones, 21, fell asleep in the same bed as Petty Officer Bryan McGee after the two spent the evening watching television in a barracks room at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jones' roommate walked in to find them lying on the bed, though both sailors contend that they were both clothed and that they did not engage in any sexual conduct. The situation made the roommate feel uncomfortable, prompting him to move to another room the next day.

Originally, the Navy was to punish the two men by a nonjudicial procedure, which McGee agreed to, but Jones did not, prompting the officials to begin the process of discharging him.

In March, Jones received his discharge orders for 'willful failure to exhibit professional conduct,' said his lawyer, Gary Myers.

A Navy spokesman says that Jones did not come under fire for sexual behavior, but he said the sailor violated a command instruction of not sharing a bed in a Navy barracks.

Servicemembers United Executive Director Alexander Nicholson isn't buying it, saying, 'We strongly suspected that his command was trying to find a round about way to discharge Jones because it suspected him of being Gay, and we simply were not willing to stand by and watch a new version of DADT emerge under the new label of 'unprofessional conduct.'

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