Unrestricted Coast Guard Chronicles (UCGC) Vol. 01, Nr. 01: The Case Of CDR Benjamin Strickland 

This case is historical. It is a Case of First Impression. Maybe this is not the first time something like this has happened in the Coast Guard; but, this is the first time it has been thoroughly documented. This Book is the result of hundreds of hours of research, eye witness interviews, and analysis. The actual parties in this tragedy were painstakingly interviewed and interviewed again. The facts were checked and re-checked. The facts are absolutely accurate and indisputable.
The Time Line is accurate right down to the day, the minute and the hour.
General David Petraeus, a 4-star general with over 37 years in the military, was the most senior officer to be prosecuted during the politically correct era between 2008 and 2016. He was a West Point graduate and former Director of the CIA. The 62 year old General Petraeus pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information and was sentenced to a fined of $100,000 and probation for three years. How could such a celebrated general be treated so badly? Well, he was not alone. He was just one of many distinguished senior officers to be purged from all branches of the military services during that period. What was a noticeable purge of commanders, by 2009 had topped 197. Why were these officers being fired? From dereliction of duty to not saluting properly, there was much speculation. Other reasons given were “leaving blast doors on nukes open” , and “loss of confidence in command ability” to “mishandling of funds” to “inappropriate relationships” to “gambling with counterfeit chips” to “inappropriate behavior” to “low morale in troops commanded” to politically incorrect speech. Commander Benjamin Strickland, U S Coast Guard was caught in this web of insanity. There was Cmdr. Derick Armstrong, Commander, guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans;Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak, Commander, USS Vandegrift;Cmdr. Jon Haydel, Commander, USS San Diego; Cmdr. Diego Hernandez, Commander, ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming; Cmdr. Michael Ward, Commander, USS Pittsburgh; and, Cmdr. Jeffrey Wissel, Commander, of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1. Not all of the victims wore the military uniform. There was Jeffrey Sterling a former CIA Officer and whistle blower. To this day the list continues to grow.
This Book captures a piece of living History. It hits the nail right on the head. There has never before been a CDR Benjamin Strickland in the Coast Guard Officer Corps, and there will never be again. What happened here will probably never again be repeated, partially because it was recorded and exposed.
Just like the first time a Coast Guard Academy cadet was court-martialed (The Case of Cadet Webster Smith). It too will never happen again. The book about that case exposed the fallacy, and the utter futility of it all.
The Case of CDR Benjamin Strickland will go down in history as being one of a kind, unique. The story will be told again and again. Rumors will abound. People will embellish. But, here is the book. Here are the facts, the Truth, the piece of living History. It is eternal. It will live in infamy.
This book was written for posterity, not for profit.

About the Author

Judge London Steverson,USALJ (Ret) is a 1968 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and a 1977 graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University. He was a Coast Guard Law Specialist until he retired in 1988. He was appointed U. S. Administrative Law Judge in 1990. He retired again in 2009. He made a personal donation of his private collection of new and used books to the American Corner of the U. S. Embassy in Hungary. On 23 April 2009 at Opening of The Steverson Collection Book Club in Veszprem, Hungary, he was awarded a Cultural Diplomacy Award by the U. S Ambassador to Hungary.
  • File Size: 608 KB
  • Print Length: 87 pages


Amazon Reviews:

A huge eye opener to the United States Coast Guard Investigation Team also known as CGIS.

This book was an eye opener to corruption into the United States Coast Guard Investigation Team and highers in command. I am surprised so many people got away with dishonest actions and investigations. It did seem like a witch hunt. People in power should not get away with abusing power given them by their job.

Very Powerful Book

Very powerful book exposing the dark side of Coast Guard politics. Thank you Judge Steverson for taking on this story. I can’t wait to get the next in the series. As full disclosure I served with Ben Strickland aboard Sherman when he was a junior officer and I was a Master Chief. I have also written two books about the Coast Guard. And in my second book on the subject I detail a sea rescue that Ben and two other shipmates conducted off the coast of South Africa. During my career I served as an enlisted man reaching the rank of Master Chief and commissioned officer reaching the rank of Lieutenant. The Judge is correct in his statement that the UCMJ is stacked against the accused. In the military you are guilty until proven innocent and subject to double jeopardy; being punished by civilian and military authorities for the same infraction. And as I state in my first book, making it through the service is like walking through a mine field of military politics, political correctness, and luck. I for the most part had the luck of serving under great people. Officers and enlisted who were driven to mold me into the next generation of the service. People who were concerned with helping me grow in my career and learn from my mistakes.They were not interested in scrutinizing every event to see how well it would play out in their OER/EPR or effect their next assignment. There are good people in Coast Guard leadership. But it seems that today’s military culture has morphed into an “everyone out for themselves” and “one mistake and your ruined” service. I see the line as being when your willing to sacrifice your career for what is right. Sadly to many are not willing to cross that line like Ben.

A story that needed to be told.

First and foremost buy this book! Why you say, because if you’ve done anything righteous in life, there should be no
problem explaining to whomever inquire, what was your rationale behind your actions and most importantly you should be recognized for doing what’s Right. The very essence of that statement is the basis of this book in my opinion.

As an retired CG Officer and former Enlisted with over 20 years service of in personnel matters, assignments, counseling, investigating various complaints/offenses of the UCMJ, etc. at different levels and assignments, I feel very confident to critique these matters. It was drilled into our heads that the leadership from the top sets the tone and in this case it seems the leadership was either grossly lacking, some subordinate(s) chose to dictate the scenario without being challenged or the Leadership was duped into believing and subsequently supporting another story. Race was not an issue. All officers concerned were Caucasian and of the same race and sex. So Racial bias was not a factor in this situation. Which still leaves a bad taste in my mouth because simply put, right is right and wrong is wrong. And there was some wrongs done without ramifications to the doers, although the one right was met as though it was the wrong. A once rising career was dispensed as though the time spent cultivating it was not valued at the least.

A riveting story that will have you questioning how, when, who and ultimately why certain things took place with Commander Strickland’s career. The Author (the retired Honorable Judge London Steverson) will guide you through the maze of incidents so that you will be able to formulate some opinions and conclusions based on the facts at hand.

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