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Discharge Dropped for Bed-Sharing Sailor

Discharge Dropped for Bed-Sharing Sailor


A sailor who was notified he would be discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" for falling asleep in the same bed as his colleague will be able to keep his post.

Petty Officer Second Class Stephen Jones, stationed at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, S.C., was notified that the Navy had decided to rescind his discharge orders.

According to earlier reports, he fell asleep in the same bed as Petty Officer Bryan McGee after the two spent the evening watching television. Jones's roommate walked in to find them lying on the bed, though both Jones and McGee contend that they were both clothed and that they did not engage in any sexual conduct. The situation made the roommate feel uncomfortable, prompting him to move to another room the next day.

McGee and Jones were originally to be punished by a nonjudicial procedure, which McGee agreed to, but Jones did not. This prompted proceedings to discharge him.

Jones, 21, received his discharge orders in March for "willful failure to exhibit professional conduct," said his lawyer, Gary Myers.

A Navy spokesman said last month that Jones did not come under fire for sexual behavior, but he said it was considered a violation of the Command Instruction to share a bed in Navy barracks.

Servicemembers United executive director Alexander Nicholson commended the Navy's decision in a statement Friday.

"We strongly suspected that his command was trying to find a round about way to discharge Jones because it suspected him of being gay, and we simply were not willing to stand by and watch a new version of 'don't ask, don't tell' emerge under the new label of 'unprofessional conduct,'" he said.

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