California National Guard Military Sexual Assault Bill Becomes Law

National GuardA new law passed today removes sexual assault investigations and prosecutions from the military chain of command.

California has just made a major change in the way sexual assault allegations are investigated in the state military department. On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires sexual assault cases to be investigated by outside civilian law enforcement, not by military commanders.

Read more here.

Related link: Military Women: We Got Fired for Being Rape

California Army National Guardsman Noah Pippin Disappeared in September 2010; Body Recovered in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana (2012)

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Noah Pippin, US Marine Corps, California Army National Guard

On September 11, 2010, the California National Guard called the parents of Noah Pippin, 31, to ask where he was because he didn’t show up for military duty and that wasn’t like him. Nonetheless, Noah was listed as Absent Without Leave (AWOL). It was this phone call that would set off a series of events for the family of Noah Pippin who also knew that he wouldn’t normally shirk his responsibilities but they were concerned about him. Noah’s parents knew that he once served in the Marines and deployed to Iraq three times. To them, he seemed troubled, preoccupied and depressed the last time they saw him. They wondered if he committed suicide. The family began to trace his steps. Noah left Michigan on August 25, 2010 in a cab to go to the airport to get a rental car. In October 2010, the family remembered they had a picture of the cab and the number. They called the cab company and it was confirmed that Noah did go to airport and rented a car. Records indicate that Noah drove to Kalispell, Montana. The family questioned why Montana instead of California and wondered what happened to him.

At his family’s insistence, Noah visited with them for a week in Traverse, Michigan prior to his deployment with the National Guard to Afghanistan. Noah drove from California to Michigan with a U-haul full of his belongings so he could store them while he was deployed. He had abruptly quit his job 3 months earlier at the Los Angeles Police Department where he had been working for a year a half as a police officer. He decided the job was not working out so he left the position and volunteered to go back on active duty with the Army. Noah volunteered to go on a 13 month deployment to Afghanistan. Noah became a police officer after getting out of the US Marine Corps so when he became disillusioned about the job, he went back to what felt comfortable. Noah got rid of his apartment in California and then when he got to Michigan, he started giving away everything he owned. Noah’s parents questioned his decision to give away all his belongings and told him he could store some of his stuff in their basement. They also knew he deployed to Iraq 3 times and as a result of their observations asked him about his mental health. But he assured them he was okay.

Noah’s parents were already concerned about suicide and worried when Noah didn’t show up for his National Guard duty. They contacted police on September 24, 2010. Initially it appeared the police didn’t share their same concerns about Noah and even made assumptions about his AWOL status as if he was a malingerer. But after the family shared the information they had confirmed with the cab company, the police began to take notice. The police investigated and learned from cell phone records that Noah called a taxi in Hungry Horse but the taxi didn’t know where he went to. On August 31, 2010, all activity stopped on Noah’s cell phone. The family and police wondered if Noah stopped in Montana to do some hiking as a form of rest and relaxation before he was deployed. Credit card activity showed that Noah checked into a hotel on August 28, 2010 and stayed for two nights. Aside from credit card activity at local stores for supplies and a couple restaurants for meals, there was no more activity on his cell phone and credit card and it appears that Noah Pippin disappeared on August 31, 2010. Noah’s dad couldn’t help but wonder if he went to Montana to die. Where Noah went after he left the hotel in Hungry Horse remained a mystery for two years.

In December 2010, the family felt like Noah was probably was dead. His mom continued to send messages to his e-mail but he never responded. Then Noah’s brothers reminded their parents that some of Noah’s stuff was in the basement. The brothers suggested they go through his belongings to see if there were any clues to his disappearance. Noah’s parents admitted it was hard to go through his stuff but they began the process and found a notebook that contained detailed directions to a place called Blue lakes which was south of Glacier National Park in Montana. They also found a list of supplies one would take on a wilderness trek. It appeared that Noah planned on going to Glacier National Park but didn’t mention it to his family. After learning this information, they couldn’t help but assume Noah went there to clear his head. Now the concern was why didn’t he show up for military duty and why haven’t they heard from him. The hotel in Hungry Horse called a month later and informed the police they found some of Noah’s property in the lost and found. This property included cell phone and computer chargers but the cell phone and computer were not present. At this point police thought maybe Noah was a victim of robbery and foul play, maybe even a homicide victim.

The police needed an eye witness who may have seen Noah. In February 2011, the family shared developments in the case with the media while the police contacted the Forest Service. The police talked to people who occupied cabins in the area but no one had seen him. Some witnesses thought they saw Noah walking on the road but couldn’t confirm it was him. At this time, police had no more leads to follow and they all had to wait for the snow to melt before they could begin searching for him. In June 2012, Noah’s parents went to the Blue Lakes to look for him. They noted that they were pleased Noah’s last known location was in such a beautiful place. Eventually witnesses contacted the family to share that Noah showed up to their camping spot. They provided details that he talked about being in the military and deploying to Iraq, therefore he was positively identified. It appears that Noah followed through with his plans to hike to the Blue Lakes and then he headed to the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Noah’s parents were relieved to know he was alive two weeks after his cellphone activity stopped. But now it appears Noah deliberately didn’t go back to active duty with the National Guard. Shirking his responsibilities was not like Noah so why would he go AWOL?

It was September 15, 2010 when the witnesses ran into Noah while they were setting up their camp. They said it appeared that he only had a day pack which wasn’t the norm for someone so far back in the wilderness. Noah said he was going to hike along the Chinese Wall where there was no trail. The family offered Noah dinner and to put him up for the night but he declined and insisted on continuing on his hike. The next day, the weather pattern changed and the family sensed a snow storm was on the way so they left immediately and got caught in blizzard like conditions on the way out. The family thought if Noah got caught up in these conditions, it could be dangerous. A ranger also contacted the family and confirmed that he witnessed Noah sleeping on the trail on September 15, 2010 and it appeared he was heading towards the Chinese Wall. The ranger observed Noah wasn’t equipped for the trip too. Everyone acknowledged that a two day’s hike from civilization could be very dangerous in winter conditions. It was hard to anticipate what could happen in the mountains in blizzard like conditions and the outlook was bleak. Police began a recovery mission after learning this information and a helicopter search team looked for him in August 2011 but he was not spotted.  The inconclusive search gave the family hope but they wanted closure.

On August 24, 2012, Noah Pippin’s body was recovered and reports indicate that Noah died from exposure. Noah Pippin froze to death in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Related Links:
Missing Hiker Last Seen in Montana Backcountry
Missing Hiker: Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT
Why Noah Went to the Woods
Into the Woods: The Noah Pippin Case
Ex-Marine from Michigan missing since last year
Missing Marine story to air on cable Feb. 27
Did Noah Pippin Go AWOL? | Disappeared
A Soldier’s Story: Noah Pippin | Disappeared
Noah Pippin Investigation Continues
Human remains found in Montana wilderness believed to be missing Iraq war veteran who vanished two years ago
Search party finds body of Suttons Bay man missing in Montana wilderness since 2010
Lost son found
Missing Marine’s Remains Identified
New evidence found in Marine’s wilderness death
Missing Marine likely died of exposure during blizzard in Bob Marshall Wilderness
Former Suttons Bay High School Graduate’s Body Found in Montana After Two Year Search
Missing Iraq war veteran’s remains found in Bob Marshall Wilderness
The Disappearance of Noah Pippin – Part 1: Vanished Into Thin Air
The Disappearance of Noah Pippin – Part 2: Nothing Shall Be Impossible


In August 2010, 31-year-old ex-marine Noah Pippin left Michigan to report to the California National Guard. But Noah never shows up. Police trace his path to the forests of Montana, leaving Noah’s parents to wonder why he is venturing into the wild. -Investigation Discovery

September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (2005)

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09/30/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Daniel Arnold, 27, George Pugliese, 39, Eric Siebodnik, 21, Lee Wiegand, 20, and Oliver Brown, 19, Iraq, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

09/29/2005:  DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty: Elizabeth Jacobson, 21, Iraq, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas

09/29/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Steve Morin Jr, 34, Iraq, Texas Army National Guard

09/29/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jason Benford, 30, Iraq, Fort Benning, Georgia

09/28/2005:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Robert Macrum, 22, NCD, Arabian Gulf, USS Princeton

09/28/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Robert White, 34, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

09/28/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Tulsa Tuliau, 33, and Casey Howe, 32, Iraq, Fort Drum, New York

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Andrew Wallace, 25, and Michael Wendling, 20, Iraq, Wisconsin Army National Guard

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Andrew Derrick, 25, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Mike Sonoda Jr, 34, Iraq, California Army National Guard

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Howard Allen, 31, Iraq, Arizona Army National Guard

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Shawn Graham, 34, Iraq, Texas Army National Guard

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Elijah Ortega, 19, Iraq, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

09/27/2005:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Steven Valdez, 20, Afghanistan, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

09/26/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: John Flynn, 36, and Patrick Stewart, 35, NCD, Afghanistan, Nevada Army National Guard

09/26/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Adrian Stump, 22, and Tane Baum, 30, NCD, Afghanistan, Oregon Army National Guard

09/26/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kenneth Ross, 24, NCD, Afghanistan, Giebelstadt, Germany

09/26/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Daniel Scheile, 37, and Paul Neubauer, 40, Iraq, California Army National Guard

09/26/2005:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Brian Dunlap, 34, Iraq, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)

09/26/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kevin Jones, 21, Iraq, Mannheim, Germany

09/23/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pierre Raymond, 28, Iraq, Pennsylvania Army Reserve

09/23/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Travis Arndt, 23, NCD, Iraq, Montana Army National Guard

09/23/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Scott McLaughlin, 29, Iraq, Vermont Army National Guard

09/22/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Lawrence Morrison, 45, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

09/22/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: William Allers III, 28, Iraq, Kentucky Army National Guard 

09/21/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: William Evans, 22, Iraq, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

09/21/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Michael Egan, 36, and William Fernandez, 37, Iraq, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

09/21/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Mark Dooley, 27, Iraq, Vermont Army National Guard

09/20/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Alan Gifford, 39, and David Ford IV, 20, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/20/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Regilio Nelom, 45, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

09/20/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Deckard, 29, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/16/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Alfredo Silva, 35, Iraq, California Army National Guard

09/16/2005:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Shane Swanberg, 24, Iraq, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)

09/14/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kurtis Arcala, 22, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/13/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeremy Campbell, 21, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

09/13/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Everett, 23, NCD, Iraq, Texas Army National Guard

09/08/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeffrey Williams, 20, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

09/08/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Jude Jonaus, 27, and Franklin Vilorio, 26, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/07/2005:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Robert Martens, 20, NCD, Iraq, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

09/07/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Bohling, 22, Iraq, Fort Benning, Georgia

09/06/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Luke Williams, 35, NCD, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/06/2005:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Ryan Nass, 21, NCD, Afghanistan, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

09/05/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Lonnie Parson, 39, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/05/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: George Draughn Jr, 29, and Robert Hollar Jr, 35, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

09/03/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Derek Hines, 25, Afghanistan, Vicenza, Italy

09/02/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Lowell Miller II, 35, Iraq, Mississippi Army National Guard

09/02/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jason Ames, 21, NCD, Iraq, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

09/02/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Monta Ruth, 26, Iraq, Fort Benning, Georgia

09/01/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Gregory Fester, 41, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (2003)

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08/30/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Mark Lawton, 41, Iraq, Colorado Army Reserve

08/29/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Anthony Sherman, 43, NCD, Kuwait, Pennsylvania Army Reserve

08/28/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Gregory Belanger, 24, Iraq, Massachusetts Army Reserve

08/27/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Rafael Navea, 34, Iraq, Fort Sill, Oklahoma

08/27/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pablo Manzano, 19, NCD, Iraq, Bamberg, Germany

08/27/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Darryl Dent, 21, Iraq, Washington D.C. Army National Guard

08/26/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Ronald Allen Jr, 22, NCD, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/25/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Michael Adams, 20, NCD, Iraq, Baumholder, Germany

08/25/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Stephen Scott, 21, and Vorn Mack, 19, NCD, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/22/2003:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Kylan Jones-Huffman, 31, NCD, Iraq, I Marine Expeditionary Force

08/22/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Bobby Franklin, 38, Iraq, North Carolina Army National Guard

08/21/2003:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: David Tapper, 32, Afghanistan, SEAL Team 6, San Diego, California

08/21/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kenneth Harris, Jr, 23, NCD, Tennessee Army Reserve

08/19/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Eric Hull, 23, Iraq, Pennsylvania Army Reserve

08/18/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Kirchhoff, 31, NCD, Iraq, Iowa Army National Guard

08/15/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Steven White, 29, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/14/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Taft Williams, 29, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/14/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Timmy Brown, Jr, 21, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/13/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Daniel Parker, 18, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/13/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Richard Eaton Jr, 37, NCD, Iraq, Fort Meade, Maryland

08/12/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Brandon Ramsey, 21, NCD, Iraq, Illinois Army National Guard

08/12/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Perry, 36, NCD, Iraq, California Army National Guard

08/11/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Floyd Knighten Jr, 55, and Levi Kinchen, 21, NCDs, Iraq, Fort Polk, Louisiana

08/11/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Bush, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/11/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Duane Longstreth, 19, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/08/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kyle Gilbert, 20, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/08/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Leonard Simmons, 33, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/07/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Brian Hellerman, 35, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/07/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Farao Letufuga, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/07/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Zeferino Colunga, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Polk, Louisiana

08/07/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Loyd, 44, NCD, Kuwait, Tennessee Army National Guard

08/04/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Michael Deutsch, 21, Iraq, Armstrong Barracks, Germany

08/04/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: James Lambert III, 22, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/04/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Justin Hebert, 20, Iraq, Camp Ederle, Italy

08/01/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Leif Nott, 24, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

Related Links:
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2002)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2004)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2005)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2006)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2009)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2010)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2011)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2012)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2013)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2014)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2015)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2016)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)