A Germany-based cavalry scout was convicted Wednesday of destruction of government property and making a false official statement for his role in a botched Humvee air drop that destroyed three of the vehicles during an April 2016 training exercise.
A judge found Sgt. John Skipper, who was in charge of verifying that the parachutes were properly rigged, had intentionally cut their straps, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, according to a 7th Army release.
“Skipper was sentenced to a reduction in grade to E-1 and a Bad Conduct Discharge by a court-martial panel consisting of enlisted soldiers and officers,” the release said.
Video of the incident made the rounds on social media soon after the C-130 drop, which was part of the Saber Junction exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany. The soldier filming on the ground could be heard cheering and laughing.
He received a letter of reprimand last year for his unprofessional conduct both on camera and in sharing the video.
Skipper was a member of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, part of the Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
He had faced up to 10 years confinement for the three charges of destruction of government property and one charge of lying to investigators.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.