They drug-tested the personnel office at my duty station in Idaho, in the mid-80s. I had forgotten until reading your memory today.

Three people failed the test. One female (might have been low-level NCO, or high-level airman --forget which, now) was almost immediately let go. She might have been on thin ice anyway -- at this point, it's too far back for me to remember.

An A1C who'd been airman of the quarter fought it vigorously, and was able to delay his departure for a few months (he admitted to his girlfriend that he legitimately failed).

The third one, though... one of our captains, who had a good reputation among the troops as being caring and fair-minded. He fought for almost a year before he was let go. Interestingly enough, he had been about to leave the personnel office for a new job on the base - as head of the drug & alcohol abuse program. Yeah, that never happened.

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Aug 23, 2023Liked by Juliette Ochieng

This is your book you are writing. I like it.

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Aug 22, 2023Liked by Juliette Ochieng

I was active Navy then, and while nobody in my chain of command got busted, there were a few guys (sea duty was exclusively male back then) who just... disappeared one day. Everyone assumed that they had popped positive, and that was certainly what happened. But again, none of them were in my chain of command so I didn't really give it much thought.

As an officer, nobody was dumb enough to say to me "Hey Sir, we're all going to the beach after knock off to smoke some weed, wanna come?" And nobody in my division was busted for drugs while I was there (not to say there were never any personnel issues... just not drug related).

But it was my next tour, at a naval air station in Central CA. I had a young female airman who was assigned to my division as general duty, and she was basically an admin assistant. Her boyfriend was a corpsman at the hospital on base, and he always seemed "off" to me. And then one day, my airman popped positive. Given the bad feeling I had about her boyfriend, I wasn't really surprised, and I spoke with her about it afterwards. She freely admitted that she messed up, and told me somethign really odd - her boyfriend claimed that he had a foolproof way to avoid a positive result - after toking up, he'd drink ginseng tea until he was pissing clear.

I was bemused... by which I mean aghast. It's one thing is Seaman Snuffy blurbs out a bit of barracks wisdom like that, but a corpsman? Really made me question how he got through school and what other bits of medical knowledge he had stored away. On the other hand, it did explain why he got busted. Anyway, I attended the airman's Captain's Mast as her division officer, and was prepared to testify to her superior work ethic and attention to detail and argue for a second chance, but the Captain didn't even ask me or her chief. He read through the jacket, let her have her say, and unloaded on her. Discharge. She was out inside a week.

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Crazy stories!

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I agree. This would be a riveting book.

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