A Special Forces officer charged with knowingly exposing a woman to HIV will face a court-martial.
The case against Col. Jeffrey Pounding was referred to court-martial by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, commander of the Military District of Washington and general courts-martial convening authority, on Jan. 9.
Pounding is accused of knowingly exposing a woman to HIV by having unprotected sex.
He is charged with assault, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer.
If he is convicted, Pounding could receive a maximum sentence of 15 years confinement, dismissal from the service, and total forfeiture of all pays and allowances.
Pounding is a Special Forces officer who is assigned as the deputy director of the National Guard Bureau's strategic plans and policy directorate (J-5).
The charges against Pounding stem from an affair that allegedly spanned Texas, Virginia and North Carolina, according to testimony during the Article 32 investigation in November at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
The woman who is accusing Pounding of exposing her to HIV said their relationship began when they were both at Texas A&M University. He was an Army fellow there, she said.
As policy, Army Times does not name alleged victims of assault of a sexual nature.
The pair continued their relationship for more than two years, even after Pounding completed his fellowship at the university and moved away from Texas, the woman said.
She also said she met Pounding in the Washington, D.C., area and near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, when he was on work trips.
The woman testified they did not use protection when they had sex, and he did not disclose his HIV status to her.
The woman said she was "devastated" when she received a call from a public health official to say she'd been exposed to HIV.
During her testimony, the woman said she had since been tested twice and is negative for HIV.
According to the charges, Pounding exposed his partner to the HIV virus, "a means likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm," through unprotected sex between Nov. 1, 2009, and May 31, 2010, in Bryan, Texas.
Charges cite another exposure between Dec. 6-9, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia. A third incident is alleged to have occurred Sept. 6-9, 2011, in Southern Pines, North Carolina, according to the charge sheet.
Pounding knew he had the Human Immunodeficiency Virus but did not disclose that fact to his partner, according to the charge sheet.
According to Army Regulation 600-110, soldiers infected with HIV are to receive a medical follow-up and evaluation every six months and as directed by an infectious disease physician.
Infected soldiers who don't show "progressive clinical illness or immunological deficiency during periodic evaluations will not be involuntarily separated solely because they are HIV infected," according to the regulation, which covers the identification, surveillance and administration of personnel with HIV.
These soldiers will be limited to duty within the U.S., according to the regulation.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.