An Army officer on Fort Campbell, Kentucky was sentenced to four months in prison after being found responsible due to negligence for the death of a private.
Legal records released by the Army state that aviation officer, Captain Christopher Peeples was court martialed and found guilty of dereliction of duty on April 13. Investigators determined that Peeples failed to adhere to the Army’s prescribed safety precautions as the officer in charge of the training event in 2018.
Peeples was with Bravo Company, 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
"In addition to not rehearsing proper medical responses, Peeples also did not have enough noncommissioned officers to oversee safety on the range, according to the court." #miltwitterhttps://t.co/GQvhqTO8cq
— DCR 🇺🇸 (@GenuineDCR) June 22, 2022
The court martial ultimately determined that Peeples “negligently failed to ensure the overall safe conduct of training and proper use of the installation training complex.”
According to court documents, the Army officer:
- failed to secure medical care for the range at which the Soldier was killed. was available at the Fort Campbell range during training, and that his conduct was “likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm”
- “failed to rehearse [medical evacuation] routes and procedures, and negligently failed to ensure the overall safe conduct of training and proper use of the installation training complex”
- failed to have enough range safety officers (one NCO for every four shooters) to oversee safety and observe and intervene in any unsafe acts
- failed to ensure that all weapons systems were locked and ensured to be cleared of all ammunition when not designated to be “hot” on the firing line
While the Army redacted the deceased private’s name from the court martial and elected to not disclose the exact cause of death, the Fort Campbell Courier reported in 2018 on the death of one Private Jeremy J. Wells who was killed on August 1st of that year during small arms training — the same date on which CPT Peeples was found to have been negligent in his duties.
According to the same article, Private Wells was treated on site, then evacuated to a hospital where he died.
Private Jeremy J. Wells was 19.