Relatable: you’re in the U.S. Army, you’re in charge of safely air-dropping the Humvees out of a C-130 Hercules, and every now and then you wonder, “What would it look like if these things just fell without a parachute?” But you’re not supposed to actually do it. That would be bad!
The Army agrees it’s bad, and this week one of its courts convicted a soldier who did exactly that during an exercise in southern Germany in 2016, according to news reports. NPR reports that Sgt. John T. Skipper, 29, was convicted in a court martial this week of deliberately cutting the parachute straps on three Humvees. The trucks were destroyed when they hit the ground.
Naturally, the incident was captured on video, and the ensuing YouTube viral clip was quite the embarrassment for the Army:
Skipper was convicted of destroying property and providing a false official statement, according to news reports. Exactly why he cut the straps remains unclear.
While not dishonorably discharged, he was demoted to the rank of private and dismissed from the military. As Stars and Stripes reported, he could have faced as much as 10 years in prison. Skipper served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
If you’re ever in this position, don’t do what Skipper did. Not worth it!