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Banned places for Fort Bliss soldiers; What it takes to make the list
By: Gina Benitez
FORT BLISS, Texas
Fort Bliss has a list of banned establishments for soldiers.
It's handed to them during the newcomers brief.
Currently, there are 11 places on the list.
The spots range from smoke shops, to convenience stores, to bars with a history of violence.
"They're small places, who will end up there? Unless they are really no place or doing something else that they're not supposed to be doing," said Joshua Charles, a Fort Bliss soldier.
Charles said every installation he's been on has a list of places that are off-limits to soldiers.
"I've always known it to actually help quite a bit. And it does, it's enforced quite well," Charles said.
But what does it take to get on that list?
It's a case-by-case basis. Fort Bliss said there's an armed forces disciplinary review board that meets as needed.
"They review any establishment that leaders think may put a soldier at risk," said Maj. Joe Buccino, Fort Bliss spokesman.
Then it's brought to the commanding general, Maj. Gen. Sean MacFarland.
"If he deems it appropriate, a warning notification is sent to that establishment," Buccino said.
That establishment then has 30 days to make changes, present itself before the board, and show it shouldn't be on the list.
If that's not enough, MacFarland has the authority to ban those places.
"Most of them, in fact, 10 of them, are detrimental to the welfare of soldiers in that they allow items to be sold there that do not support combat readiness...quite the opposite," Buccino said.
And if a soldier is caught inside one, they could face punishment.
"That would be up to the soldier's commander, anything within the uniform military code of justice that's appropriate based on the soldier's previous behavior, based on his history, based on his conduct," Buccino said.
Buccino said an establishment on the list can appeal to be taken off.
"I actually went to some of those places just to look at them, you know, the addresses and whatnot, and I found out that they were really small and no they really don't affect me at all," Charles said.