Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid, Platoon Sergeant, Fort Huachuca


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.

Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid was a witness at Pfc. Manning’s Article 32 Pretrial Hearing on 12/17/11.

General Description:

Manning’s Platoon Sergeant between April to August 2008 was Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid. He worked on Bureau of Military Information (BMI) systems to exploitation, including PDA, laptop, phones.

He was a Platoon Sergeant at Fort Huachuca where Pfc. Manning received training to become a 35 Foxtrot Military Intelligence Analyst between April and August of 2008 in a 16 week, 3 day course.

Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid, became Pfc. Manning’s Platoon Sergeant two months before (February 2008) Manning (February 2008) arrived at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Madrid retired in August in 2010. It is unclear if Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid’s retirement was a result of an administrative action.

He is on December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses.

Individuals mentioned in the testimony of Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid, Platoon Sergeant:

  • Unnamed Instructors of Bradley Manning at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
  • Unnamed soldiers Fort Huachuca, including one whose computer Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid’s used to view one of three YouTube videos that the same unnamed soldiers had informed Madrid Manning had allegedly posted in June 2008, while in training there to become a Fox 35 military intelligence analyst.
  • Unnamed members of Bradley Manning’s unit at Fort Huachuca from April to August 2008.
  • Captain Ogletree (sp.), who Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid showed the three alleged YouTube videos to.

Article 32 Pretrial Hearing Transcript:

See Transcript of US v Pfc. Manning, Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, 12/17/11

[Next witness. Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid. Via telephone. Sworn in by Captain Angel Overgaard of prosecution.]

Prosecution:Are you alone, can you speak freely?

Madrid: Yes.

Prosecution:Notes related to case?

[Witness are not allowed to use notes while testifying, but the court cannot verify by telephone.]

Madrid: No.

[IO gives speech regarding notifying him if his answer is classified.]

Prosecution:When did you retired?

Madrid: Sept 1, 2010

Prosecution:How many years?

Madrid: 2 years. I work on BMI systems to exploitation…PDA, laptop, phones.

Prosecution:How do you know Manning?

Madrid:I was his Platoon Sergeant.

Prosecution:When did Manning attend…?

Madrid:April to August 2008

Prosecution:Platoon Sergeant?

Madrid:February 08 to August 10


Madrid:35 Foxtrot Military Intelligence Analyst.

Prosecution:What is the first instruction?

Madrid:Infosec…how to handle and contain classification.

Prosecution:How do you know?

Madrid:I would talk to instructors.

Prosecution:Do you need interim clearance for class?

Madrid:Yes. It’s a temporary classification.

[Prosecution asks a line of questions that lead Madrid to say in June 2008 he gave corrective training to Manning.]

Prosecution:Reason for corrective training?

Madrid:Soldiers informed me that Manning was hosting videos on YouTube with titles like “Classified” “SCIF” and “Top Secret”…Soldiers said they saw three videos…I couldn’t access YouTube through my work computer, so I viewed only one on of these videos on one of the soldier’s laptop. This one video was meant for family and friends of PFC Manning inside barracks room, “Well I work at this super secret SCIF, I handle…”

Prosecution:What was your corrective training?

Madrid:Presentation for Friday formation. Soldier needed to present it to me first to make sure its an informative product.


Madrid:A typed out product that he understood he wasn’t suppose to do that sort of thing…divulge his clearance would make himself a target…and a PowerPoint for Friday formation.

Prosecution:Presentation for the unit what was that?

Madrid:Infosec. How to handle it; if you are a person with access…how it could be dangerous. There are sources looking for info on military. Different types: foreign governments, enemies, spies, and hackers. Written product had references to regulations.

[Defense cross-examines Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid.]

Defense We spoke on the phone before?


Defense Platoon Sergeant at AIT?


Defense How long is the course?

Madrid:16 weeks 3 days.

Defense Part in field, part in classroom?


Defense Lots of students, probably hard to get to know them all?

Madrid:Don’t get to know all…But you know them.

[Defense asks how much he actually participated in the class with soldiers being trained vis a vis field. Madrid says he attends classes with soldiers.]

Defense When (Advanced Individual Training) AIT graduate they have a baseline understanding. Reasonable?


Madrid:Unreasonable to say they are an expert, but they are qualified by doctrine and standards.

Defense Expertise comes through honing skills?

Madrid:Yes, as with any job.

Defense Did you see all the videos that Manning posted?

Madrid:I saw one.

Defense Showed it to Captain Ogletree (sp.)?


Defense Did the video show any classified info?

Madrid:No, but he was using buzzwords. Said they were ‘Classified’.

Defense Videos intended for friends and family?


Defense Did the video say he missed his family?

Madrid:Don’t recall.

Defense Showed his barracks? March to class?


Defense How hard PT training was?


Defense Are ‘SCIF’, ‘Top Secret’, and ‘Classified’ – the buzzwords classified?

Madrid:No but they are taught not to do it.

Defense So corrective training?


Defense This incident…not so important that you suspend clearance?

Madrid:Don’t have that authorization.

Defense Do you know if his clearance was suspended?

Madrid:No it was not. He couldn’t have completed the course if it was.

[Prosecution re-examines Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid.]

Prosecution:Why shouldn’t they use buzzwords?

Madrid:If they identify themselves with their security clearance they can be targeted.

Prosecution:You had nothing to do with instruction but sat thru their courses.


Prosecution:All of the training?


Prosecution:Did you sit through the first block? Did you learn you are can’t transmit to someone unauthorized?


[Sergeant First Class Brian Madrid is permanently excused by court.

Other Resources:

  • Transcript of Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, Day Two, 12/17/11. (Source: Alexa O’Brien)
  • In Depth Notes (Source: Rainey Reitman, Chelsea Manning Support Network)
  • Live Blog (Source: Kevin Gosztola, Fire Dog Lake)