Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division

UPDATE POST COURT-MARTIAL

United States v. Pfc.Manning was conducted in de facto secrecy. The public was not granted contemporaneous access to court filings or rulings during her trial. In addition to reporting on her trial, I transcribed the proceedings, reconstructed the censored appellate list, and un-redacted any publicly available documentation, in order to foster public comprehension of her unprecedented trial.

As a result of a lawsuit against the military judge and the Military District of Washington brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights, as well as my own FOIA requests and research, an official court record for US v. Pfc. Manning was released seven months after her trial. That record is not complete.

The official trial docket is published HERE and the entire collection of documents is text searchable at usvmanning.org.

*During the pretrial proceedings, court-martial and sentencing of Pfc. Manning, Chelsea requested to be identified as Bradley and addressed using the male pronoun. In a letter embargoed for August 22, 2013 Chelsea proclaimed that she is female and wished to be addressed from that moment forward as Chelsea E. Manning.

General Description

This unidentified First Sergeant (1SG) of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division provided a sworn statement for the Secretary of the Army's 15-6 investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosures.

This unidentified First Sergeant (1SG) became the 1SG of the company in March of 2010, according to Defense's account of the unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division sworn statement. According to my own research of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, this First Sergeant (1SG) held this rank between March 2010 and October 2010, when MSG Teddy Perio took his position over.

The unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division is referred to in the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing defense's account of sworn statements for the Secretary of the Army's 15-6 investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosures provided by: First Lieutenant Elizabeth Fields, Special Security Representative (SSR) for the T-SCIF, S2 Section, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Ehresman, Officer in Charge of the T-SCIF, S2 Section, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Div.; and Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack, Brigade Fire Section, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

An unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division is also referred to in the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing testimony of Specialist Jihrleah Showman and Sergeant (former Specialist) Daniel Padgett

In defense's account of First Lieutenant Elizabeth Fields' sworn statement, "She also did not believe that the [Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division] Company 1SG [UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT (1SG)] cared about the S2 section because they were not co-located."

In defense's account of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Ehresman;s sworn statement, after he witnessed and physically involved himself in the alleged December 2009 incident with Pfc. Manning and Sergeant (former Specialist) Daniel Padgett, he "spoke to XXXXXXXXXX [AN UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT (1SG)] and recommended that he take the bolt from PFC Manning's weapon, send him to mental health and then get him out of the Army."

In defense's account of Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack's sworn statement, after becoming aware of the alleged December 2009 incident with Manning, Padgett and Ehresman, CW2 Hack "sought out XXXXXXXXXX [AN UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT (1SG)] to clarify what this soldier [Specialist Showman] had told him.

After learning what happened, XXXXXXXXXX [Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack] along with XXXXXXXXXX [AN UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT (1SG)] decided to counsel PFC Manning for about 45-60 minutes and referred him to Mental Health for evaluation. He will testify that could not recall if the referral was command directed or if Manning volunteered."

Padgett testified that he did not talk to the unidentified First Sergeant (1SG) concerning the alleged December 2009 incident with Pfc. Manning.

Showman testified that an unidentified First Sergeant (1SG) did eventually find out about the alleged December 2009 between incident with Manning, Padgett, and Ehresman, because Showman's commanding officer CW2 Hack told the unidentified First Sergeant (1SG).

Showman testified that she escorted Manning to meet with the unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), and that she told the unidentified First Sergeant (1SG) that Manning should have never deployed and that this was not the first time and that she was not surprised about the incident.

The government objected to the defense request for the testimony of unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at the December 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, stating his testimony was "not relevant to the Article 32 investigation and will only serve to distract from the relevant issues."

While there is no official public record of Almanza's denial of this witness' testimony, unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division did not appear during any open session of the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing. The public record shows that at least fourteen witnesses were granted to defense for the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing. In Lt. Col. Almanza's ruling on the Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses, 12 witnesses were granted to the defense, 10 of whom were also requested by the Government. Defense said in open Court on December 16, 2011, that Lt. Col. Almanza granted two additional witnesses to defense that morning.

Defense's account of the unidentified First Sergeant (1SG), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division sworn statement is contained in their Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses.

No. 26 on the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses

john-doe XXXXXXXXXX [UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT (1SG)] He became the 1SG of the company in March of 2010. He will testify that he was briefed on Manning having an issue with another soldier. He believed that PFC Manning had gone to Combat Stress and seen a provider. The next thing he heard about PFC Manning was the assault of XXXXXXXXXX [Specialist Jihrleah Showman]. After the assault of XXXXXXXXXX [Specialist Jihrleah Showman], PFC Manning was moved to the Supply room. He will testify that XXXXXXXXXX [Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Ehresman] did not talk to him about removing the bolt from PFC Manning's weapon. He also does not recall any discussions about sending PFC Manning back to the States or chaptering him out of the Army. He will also testify about CID coming into the unit and searching PFC Manning's living quarters and work space.

Other Resources

Alexa O'Brien Alexa O'Brien researches and writes about national security. Her work has been published in VICE News, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Guardian UK, Salon, The Daily Beast, and featured on the BBC, PBS Frontline, On The Media, Democracy Now!, and Public Radio International. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in the UK and listed in The Verge 50..