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Navy ditches bread-and-water confinement option for misbehaving sailors: ‘It’s time for it to go’

December 27, 2018

Navy leaders will no longer have the option of punishing sailors with bread-and-water confinement with the start of the new year.

The age-old and nonjudicial tradition of straightening outjunior sailors with an unappealing diet in the brig will soon enter the history books. The policy was signed into law in 2016 under then-President Barack Obama but amended by President Trump this year.

Retired Navy Capt. Don Inbody told Stars and Stripes that he favors the move.

“I did it once,” he said Thursday. “It’s time for it to go, though.”

“We hold onto traditions,” added Chief Petty Officer Zach Winemiller, a sailor with a Tomahawk missile unit based in Naples, Italy. “It doesn’t seem to be very effective. It didn’t seem to bother them (prisoners). They didn’t complain. I thought it was one of those quirky customs that made naval service unique.”

Patty Babb, a spokeswoman in the Navy Justice Advocate General’s office, told Stars and Stripes that a military justice review group made the recommendation.

Its members said that punishments available under the [Uniform Code of Military Justice’s] Article 15, as well as through nonpunitive measures, were sufficient for maintaining discipline.

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