G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate
Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired
3 September 2008
SFC Rodriguez was a 39 year old, married, Hispanic male, who deployed to Iraq in 2006. Since his return in 2007, he has been in constant trouble with his unit. However, his unit has been generally very tolerant of his behavior. He was perceived by the command and fellow Soldiers as a hero. While on patrol in Iraq, SFC Rodriguez stopped a suicide bomber from entering his unit’s area of operation. He spotted an intruder running towards his patrol. He yelled “Halt!” at the intruder; however, the person kept running in his direction. When he realized the individual was not going to stop, he opened fire, killing the intruder. The insurgent fell to the ground, setting off an IED. SFC Rodriguez was hit by shrapnel and rendered unconscious. At the time, he was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury. He received an ARCOM with valor and was credited with saving the lives of many fellow soldiers.
Since his return from IRAQ, SFC Rodriguez has begun to abuse alcohol. His drinking has had a negative effect on his marriage, and he has twice been referred to the Family Advocacy Program for spouse abuse. During one week-end drinking binge, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident which caused some minor injuries. He has been referred to the Behavioral Health and the Drug and Alcohol treatment programs, where he was diagnosed with alcohol dependence and depression. Given his diagnosis he has been provided with medications to improve his mood. Because of his continued nightmares, sleep problems, irritability, and frequent flashbacks to the IED event, he was finally diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. In the Fall of 2007, he was referred to the Warrior Transition Unit for treatment and monitoring. He is to be medically discharged from the Army.
Shortly after being assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit, SFC Rodriguez got into another argument with his wife, accusing her of infidelity. During that argument, he threatened to kill himself. At this point, his wife became very concerned and decided to seek the help of a neighbor. When his wife returned, SFC Rodriguez was sitting on the bed holding his pistol. Mrs. Rodriguez called the MP’s and the WTU caseworker, who persuaded SFC Rodriguez to give them his weapon. He was eventually seen by Behavioral Health in the hospital emergency room.
Scenario #2 – Warrior in Transition