Tactical

Keep soldiers out of our creek, farm owners tell Fort Liberty

Officials at Fort Liberty recently unveiled a revised index of establishments deemed off limits to base personnel due to concerns stemming from health and safety, patron behavior and unethical business practices, Army officials announced in a memo.

The list, for the most part, comprises the usual suspects known to attract the episodic interest of impressionable young misfits, such as those stationed at the North Carolina installation. Strip clubs, an adult boutique bearing the moniker “Peaches,” unlicensed tattoo shops, spurious taverns frequented by drug dealers and gangs, and premises known for parading sex workers were all present — to the surprise of none.

And yet the aforementioned enterprises do not an eyebrow-raiser make. For that, attention can be turned toward the family owned and operated McCormick Farms, where, on numerous occasions, base personnel have reportedly trespassed and gone for a dip in the property’s creek, according to local outlet CBS 17.

Beyond apparent service member affinity for creek-based aquatics, (presumably) junior enlisted free of the daily oppressor known as Police Call have also left trash behind for the owners to pick up themselves.

So prevailing is the trespassing activity that it was the property owners themselves — not base leadership, as was the case with the other establishments included in the memo — who requested that the farm be added to the Army’s expansive catalog of thou-shalt-nots.

According to Fort Liberty’s Morale Welfare and Recreation website, the base currently “operates 5 swimming pools … and offers a large number of aquatic classes and programs throughout the year.” Yet none apparently offer the swim qual results yielded by the ol’ McCormick tributary.

The memo, which was authored by Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board President Col. John M. Wilcox, goes on to state that military “personnel observed in off-limits establishments are in violation of a lawful order and are subject to apprehension and prosecution for violation of the UCMJ.”

Whether soldiers will remember the “no trespassing” order on those sweet, warm Carolina summers while sipping lemonade underneath a shady tree remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, McCormick Farms remembers.

Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.

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