Skip to content

Monkey Business: Our Broken Army


20 August 2013

The senior sergeant at the Army’s Warrior Adventure Quest (WAQ) at Fort Hood has been fired after allegedly endangering the lives of Boy Scouts.

The accusation comes from a staff member at WAQ who claims that the Army Master Sergeant abused his position while using Army kayaks, without lights or permission, on a lake with Boy Scouts on the night of 13 August.

Lights are important safety measures to prevent collisions with speedboats.

According to Texas law, “All vessels including motorboats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, rubber rafts, or other vessels when not at dock must have and exhibit at least one bright light, lantern or flashlight visible all around the horizon from sunset to sunrise in all weather and during restricted visibility.”

Fatalities involving unlighted boats are common.  At another Texas lake in 2011, a boat crashed into three unlighted kayaks killing a man.  Unlighted boating accidents are so frequent that some attorneys specialize in those and related cases.


Email from Army WAQ staff:

From: ###
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 1:36 PM
To: ###
Subject: MSG Grisham Incident (UNCLASSIFIED)
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Mr. ###,

Today I received a phone call from ### ###, stating that last night around 2030 MSG Grisham, the WAQ NCOIC [Non-commissioned Officer in Charge], was on the lake in the dark with a group of boy scouts in the kayaks. When ### approached him about this he explained that this was dangerous because the kayaks have no lights on them and they cannot be seen by boats, MSG Grisham said that I gave him permission to be on the lake in the kayaks. I was not even aware of this and he stated last week that he would be on leave this week and out of town. I am afraid that someone is going to get hurt and then the WAQ is going to suffer because of this. I will be getting the set of keys back from him and changing out the locks. I have my set of keys and he, being the NCOIC, has a set for WAQ purposes only, not for personal use.  The other kayak cage key is locked up in a lock box and signed out to the team leader when we have a kayak group. We have had issues in the past with him that have been addressed. He is currently bringing attention to himself with his gun control case and the YouTube video that is currently being streamed. As for being a leader here, he is never around to assist. SFC Hall has been our acting NCOIC because we cannot depend on him to be here to help with facilitating activities.

Here is the information you asked for:  ### [Personal information redacted by Michael Yon]

Let me know if you need any more information.


img003-1000Master Sergeant CJ Grisham at a Texas McDonald’s.

Unauthorized use of government property is illegal.  If the allegations are accurate, and someone had been killed, liability could have fallen to the Army, to Grisham’s chain of command, and to the Boy Scouts if the event was sanctioned.

img004-1000US Army Master Sergeant CJ Grisham arrested and disarmed during alleged Boy Scout hike.

Earlier in 2013, in Temple, Texas, the same Master Sergeant was engaged in an alleged Boy Scout activity with his son when he was arrested on a weapons-related charge.  Grisham made his 15 year-old son videotape his arrest.  His son began crying while taping.  Trial is pending.

During his arrest, Grisham bragged about being an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran.

In fact, he was unable to complete an Afghanistan tour in 2011.  He was sent home early after publicly complaining on his blog about mental health issues and fear of enemy attacks.  He never left the sprawling base of Kandahar Airfield, and saw no combat.

At the same time, just nearby, the unit I was covering was taking many wounded and killed.  Grisham was in his safe, air-conditioned office, with his intelligence unit, blogging.

It would have been healthier for the Soldiers I was covering if Grisham’s commander had stuffed the monkey business and made his staff labor on figuring out who was blowing us up and shooting and killing US troops just nearby.   Some of our dead and crippled Soldiers might be healthy today if 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (BfSB) was more focused on its mission.

The chain of command of Grisham’s outfit, the 504th BfSB, was too weak and broken to discipline their outfit.  While Grisham was busy playing up war theatrics on his blog, we were in firefights.  The closest Grisham came to Taliban is on the History Channel.

img005-1000Ever vigilant: Master Sergeant Grisham of 504th BfSB found no zombies in this Texas Starbucks.

At one point, Grisham published a strange photo of himself with a pistol attached with a bayonet, saying he was preparing for the zombie apocalypse.  He published another image buying anti-zombie ammunition.

While facing fresh allegations of misuse of government property, Grisham is today parading around Texas with a rifle over his back, which is legal in Texas, but when considered in light of his other behaviors, even the staunchest gun advocates increasingly find his conduct objectionable.

Grisham is not a Second Amendment icon, despite his efforts.  He is setting us back.

img006-1000Master Sergeant CJ Grisham of the US Army 504th BfSB found no zombies in this Texas department store.

After the alleged dangerous kayaking and misuse of government property, Grisham has been fired as NCOIC of WAQ, and returned to his unit, the 504th BfSB.

img007-1000Bradley Manning severely damaged US national security.

Remember Bradley Manning?  Manning radiated signs of instability that many people pointed out in advance.  He struck a female officer and personally warned people about his mental health.

That we put a mentally unstable soldier into a position to harm us is our fault.

After Manning severely harmed the United States, we tantamount tortured him with prolonged solitary confinement and a long delayed trial.  The kid is not all there.  That we put him into a position where failure should have been expected, then he failed, and we locked him into a veritable hole, is a disgrace.  Manning’s chain of command should be on trial with him.

The Manning debacle is like recruiting a monkey as a helicopter pilot, then punishing the monkey for stealing and crashing the helicopter.  Who put a monkey into the cockpit?  Only a Monkey Commander would do that.  Who put the Monkey Commander there?  It had to be yet another Monkey Commander.

Manning is hardly to blame.  He is mentally astray and weaker than noodles.  These issues were not discovered post facto.  They were known before the crime.  We hired a weakling, he was bullied, and he got his revenge in a massive way, and so we beat him, all while suffering national-level damage.

Today, many people see Manning as a hero.

Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

Delivering accurate information is not Free. Your support makes it possible.

Your gifts ensure that you will continue to get unfiltered reports of what’s happening on the front lines of this fight for freedom. This will be a long journey. The struggle is just beginning. I am asking you for your support. Thank you.

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Engage The Mission

Support The Mission

Join The Mission

Join Michael on Locals
Follow Michael on Gettr
Follow Michael on Twitter
Follow Michael on Facebook

Email (Dispatch) List

First Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.