Three-stars tighten liberty, alcohol policies

Determined to put a stop to misbehavior on the part of servicemen and women in Japan, the two three-star generals responsible for the country have been reining in liberties and privileges.

Saying his intent is “to reinforce responsible behavior and support our continued positive relationships with the local communities we live in,” the Okinawa Area Coordinator for U.S. Forces Japan, Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck, has unveiled and instituted refined instructions for all U.S. service members in Okinawa.  Gen. Glueck also serves as the III Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general.

The following measures apply to all U.S. installations and service members on Okinawa, effective immediately, says Glueck, noting that detailed instructions for implementing these policies have been issued to commands:

1. On-base alcohol sales are banned from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily.

2. Service members are prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol off-base, except in their own off-base residence.

3. Service members are prohibited from departing military installations or their own off-base residence under the influence of alcohol. Service members found with a Blood Alcohol Content of .03% or greater will not be allowed off base liberty.

4. General Glueck says these measures remain in effect until further notice, and are in addition to other existing policies issued by Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, Commanding General, U.S. Forces Japan. The USFJ 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew issued by Gen. Angelella remains in effect.  He’s gone beyond that initial curfew, extending his orders that all U.S. service members in Japan are ordered not to leave military bases unless accompanied, particularly at night, under his newly declared “Buddy Program”.  It spells out that all military personnel stationed in Japan are to be accompanied by someone, an adult associate, colleague or friend, whenever they leave a base at any time, day or night.

Exact times the Buddy Program requirements are in effect have been left, for the moment, to base commanders.  The general’s office says it’s working on a comprehensive set of rules for the program that will be announced in a matter of days.  Gen. Angelella says he plans to keep the nighttime curfew in effect for the foreseeable future, until he’s satisfied that “service members understand the implications of their actions.”

Clubs operating on base have been given instructions to stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. to all patrons, including civilians.  Last call is being issued at 9:50 p.m. or earlier, with each service’s club systems implementing their own specific directives.

The Commander, Seventh Fleet, a three-star admiral, has gone another step further, directing that sailors be off the streets and in their quarters by 10 p.m. daily, and that they not be allowed to consume alcohol in their quarters.   The directive says no alcohol consumption is permitted after 10 p.m. anywhere.  Vice Admiral Scott H. Swift has set no end date for his directives, either.

General Glueck says “This policy recognizes that the overwhelming majority of American service members, dependents and civilian employees are law abiding, honorable and respectful. We continue our unwavering commitment to support them and the communities we live in by educating service members and encouraging
exemplary standards of professional conduct, on and off duty.”