German Army Camp Cracks Down on Drunks

By McCarton Ackerman 06/25/13

Chronic boozing at the base in Afghanistan has already caused one accidental death.

A dangerous workplace for on-the-job drinking
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A German army camp based in Afghanistan is attempting to crack down on the drunken behavior of some of its soldiers, who have been reportedly passing out in ditches, driving service vehicles while intoxicated and accidentally firing weapons. The camp commander of the Bundeswehr's Mazar-i-Sharif camp in northern Afghanistan, Jörg Vollmer, has made an effort to push for temperance since taking over control this past February. “The commander is very strict here and misbehavior in this regard is not acceptable to him and every matter is looked into, cleared up and if confirmed, punished, regardless of rank or function of the soldier,” a spokesman told German newspaper Der Spiegel. One soldier in the camp who accidentally took his own life by shooting himself with his own weapon was found to have been drinking heavily beforehand. Soldiers are allowed two cans of beer or two glasses of wine per day as stated by Army rules, but the soldiers have been reportedly violating these rules by hoarding their rations for late night binge drinking sessions. To keep an eye on things, Vollmer has since been touring the barracks late at night. More than 17 cases of disciplinary action related to alcohol consumption have already taken place, while soldiers have been sent home due to extreme misconduct in 14 cases.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.