Navy Times reports on the verdict and sentencing in the court-martial of the Senior Chief Master-at-Arms from the USS GHWB:

The former top cop on the carrier George H.W. Bush was busted from senior chief to petty officer third class and sentenced to 179 days’ confinement late Friday night by a military jury that earlier convicted him on four charges of cruelty and maltreatment of junior sailors he supervised from 2008-2010.

The panel, which began its deliberations late in the day on Apr. 7 and returned its verdicts late Friday afternoon, also found Senior Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Kevin Curtis guilty on one count of disrespect toward a commissioned officer and one count of soliciting a monetary loan from a subordinate, . . . Curtis earlier skirted a much harsher sentence when the six-member panel, which included four enlisted members, cleared him on the 26 other charges he faced during a week-long general court-martial at Norfolk Naval Station.

15 Responses to “Mixed Verdict in Master-At-Arms Case”

  1. soonergrunt says:

    Why 179 days? Why not 180? Is 179 intended to be one day short of a trigger of some type?

  2. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    It will be interesting to see whether the convening authority grants any clemency. It seems from the sentence and an apparent compromise verdict that the members already took mitigating circumstances, such as they were, into account.

  3. Snuffy says:

    Tell me again why you are so interested in this case?

  4. Phil Stackhouse says:

    180 days triggers automatic forfeiture of pay.

    However, the sentences does trigger auto reduction to E-1.

  5. W says:

    Interesting that the members took seemingly took into account automatice forfeitures – but not reduction.

    More fodder for judicial sentencing?

  6. bill almett says:

    What triggers the automatic reduction to E-1?

  7. soonergrunt says:

    Thanks, Phil!

  8. Phil Stackhouse says:

    Not more fodder for judicial sentencing. It was a great mover going members. Judge probably wouldn’t have had the same findings. I never recommend judge alone unless it’s purely a legal case. – it seems like this was a fact case.

  9. John O'Connor says:

    Agree with Phil. You don’t want the law-talkin’-guy handling findings in this case.

  10. Not me says:


    Article 58a and Section 152(c) of the JAGMAN provide for automatic reduction if more than 90 days confinement is approved by the CA, whether suspended or not.

  11. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    Snuffy–Please tell me that you aren\’t asking me why I am interested in a court-martial that is receiving national media attention?

  12. W says:

    I defer to your assessment on the the choice made by the defense wrt the merits.

    My question pertains to whether or not the sentence adjudged by the members reflects an incomplete understanding of the penalty landscape, an issue that would be ameliorated by removing sentencing from members all together.

  13. k fischer says:

    No Man,

    Perhaps Snuffy’s question was more rhetorical, i.e. do you have a penchant for stabbing subordinates in the back with a stapler?

    Sounds like a good result for defense counsel: 30 specs and acquitted of 26? Winning!

  14. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    K Fischer–That's what I don't get. My interest was never about wanting any particular result, it was about the case and the issues it raised. Heck, I was pulling for the Senior Chief hoping the stuff wasn't true as I don't think any ship needs that happening to its MAA. As it turns out, while the members didn't find him guilty of many specs, they did believe some of the specs. You do have to wonder what the members were trying to do on sentence, but I am not sure its an argument for judicial sentencing, particularly not in the military where there are so many factual issues that go into determining the max punishment.

  15. W says:

    No Man,

    While I agree there are different factual issues at work, I don’t see military sentencing as any more complex than what occurs routinely in Federal court.

    Regardless, why do you not think a military judge would not be able to sort those issues out?