Col (ret) Owen Ray may lose his SF tab and Green Beret

| February 15, 2022

COL Owen Ray

It’s been a little while since we talked about Green Beret Colonel Owen Ray (USA, ret.). At the time he first came to news it was because he allegedly held his family hostage at gunpoint, threatened them, then engaged in an armed standoff with local police. Since then, while he’s facing trial on those charges, it seems he’s been allowed to quietly retire honorably with his full rank.

There are those within the SF community that take issue with a perceived lightness in Colonel Ray’s military punishments. They are seeking to have his coveted Special Forces tab and beret revoked for failing to live up to the code of honor expected of a quiet professional.

There’s also some disturbing legal shenanigans going on too.

Jeff LPH 3 sends in the Army Times piece on it;

A retired Green Beret colonel could lose his Special Forces tab, as his civilian criminal case over kidnapping and domestic violence charges took a turn last week when the former officer’s defense attorney exposed the names, ages and an address for the prosecutor’s children, who are also victims of domestic violence, according to court documents.

Col. Owen Ray’s attorney also exposed the dates of birth and other identifying information for Ray’s own children, who are victims and witnesses in the ongoing case, through an “unintentional oversight,” the defense acknowledged in court filings.

Ray, a former 1st Special Forces Group commander, faces trial in Pierce County, Washington, on charges stemming from an hours-long armed police standoff in December 2020. During the standoff, Ray allegedly held his family hostage at gunpoint, put on his boots to stomp his wife’s face and chest in front of their children, and threatened to kill police and himself.

The Army quietly allowed Ray, who last served as chief of staff of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord-based I Corps, to retire on Sept. 30 with an honorable discharge.

“Many people [in the special operations community] generally aren’t happy with the outcome” of Ray’s military discipline, explained a source directly familiar with the move to revoke Ray’s Special Forces tab and Green Beret. “The perception is that he got off scot free…whereas a [staff sergeant] in his position would have gotten fried.”

Special Forces officials “initiated tab revocation in recent weeks,” the source said. Ray has approximately two weeks to appeal the decision to Maj. Gen. Thomas Drew, the chief of Human Resources Command.

According to Army awards regulations, the commander of the Special Warfare Center and School can revoke the tab and beret if a soldier “has committed any act or engaged in any conduct inconsistent with the integrity, professionalism, and conduct of a SF Soldier.” The regulation isn’t clear on who initiates that action for a retiree, though.

According to the source, 1st Special Forces Command created an internal policy in 2021 to initiate tab revocation for domestic violence incidents, sexual assaults and gun crime.

Ray’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the retired officer’s Special Forces tab.

More at the source about the “oversight” that lead to the reprehensible doxing of personal information of the prosecutor’s children.

Category: Army, Crime, Green Beret

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President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Retire at full rank? Bullshyte!
He needs The Big Chicken Dinner, busted to PV1, forfeiture of all pay, allowances, and retirement, and kicked out with a big boot print on his ass!

I would whole heartedly agree, if he were single with no dependents. Allowing him to retire means his wife and kids can draw his retirement to live on while he is in the grey bar hotel.


One purported endorsement comes from former President Barack Obama, for whom Ray carried the “nuclear football” for more than two years. From the article. Kind of says it all.


Yep! Wonder if that could be classified as “undue Commander’s Influence”? Naaww, Barry wouldn’t do anything like that, would he? Sounds like something that only Trump would do.

Hammer his ass! Individuals like him just piss me off.


It is still astonishing how limited the knowledge of barracks lawyers is.

Keep in mind if they revoke his tab that is it. He has been punished and nothing else will ever follow even if the civilian prosecution fails.


It’s a nice sendoff from the SF community.


Most of us who have had angry arguments with our wives, or the women of our dreams, have had thoughts of physicality in the heat of the moment. But real men don’t abuse their women. Assholes who do deserve the most extreme punishment available. His lack of control shows he should never have been a Special Forces officer. This dude deserves a BCD dismissal in addition to the state charges.


You know, down at the VFW after a few beers, it’ll turn into this:

Prior Service

Officer here, formerly enlisted. My opinion: officers should automatically be subject to the average of enlisted punishments for similar offenses, plus 10-20% “more punishment” at appointing official/judge’s prerogative. If you can’t lead by example, don’t lead.



If you’re in a position of “special trust and confidence” and an example for others and then willingly commit a heinous crime, you should continue being an example – by having your keister absolutely nailed to the wall. More should be expected (and demanded) of those to whom much has been given.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

Kind of goes with RHIP. Noblesse oblige and all that.


Soapbox rant time.

This kind of hühnerscheiße outcome is IMO at least in part due to a defect in the UCMJ.

Under the UCMJ, commissioned officers convicted by court-martial of any crime cannot be reduced in rank or given a punitive discharge other than dismissal – which is the equivalent of a Dishonorable Discharge. This means an officer convicted either loses everything (including retirement, if eligible) or returns to duty at their current rank. Officers convicted by a court-martial (or facing court-martial charges) thus often seem to be “cut a break” by the court-martial panel or prosecutors.

IMO it’s well past time for the UCMJ to be altered to allow courts-martial to (1) prescribe lesser punitive discharges and/or order an administrative discharge of “other than honorable”, and (2) to reduce commissioned officers in rank on conviction. IMO were that to happen, we’d see far fewer of this kind of travesty.

Yeah, this guy was never court-martialed. IMO he should have been.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo


You wrote:

“Under the UCMJ, commissioned officers convicted by court-martial of any crime cannot be reduced in rank or given a punitive discharge other than dismissal..”

Did I misread what you wrote?

I could have sworn that there HAVE been US Military Officers reduced in rank because of Court Martials. Here is one of them:

There are others. MG David Hale is possibly another one. Also, BG Roger P. Duff. Additionally, there are also other US Military Officers who were reduced in rank, not necessary via Court Martial.



‘Retired Army major general reduced to second lieutenant for sex crime conviction’

Retired Army major general reduced to second lieutenant for sex crime conviction (

‘The defense secretary reduced a retired Army major general to the rank of second lieutenant after he pleaded guilty last year in a Virginia court to sexually assaulting his daughter while in uniform.

“The Secretary of Defense changed the retired grade of then-Major General James J. Grazioplene, United States Army Retired, to second lieutenant after determining that second lieutenant was the highest grade in which he served on active duty satisfactorily,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lisa Lawrence told Army Times in an email Monday.




Yeppers on Grazioplene.

Another one: US Army BG Jeff Sinclair was court martialed and was allowed to retire an an O5/LTC.

As stated, there are other Military Officers.


ninja, Mick:

Um, no.

The UCMJ is absolutely clear on the matter. For a commissioned officer, a court-martial panel DOES NOT have the authority to reduce a commissioned officer in rank and may impose no punitive discharge other than dismissal. See MCM (2019 edition, R.C.M. 1003(c)(1)(C)(2)(A)(i), page II-150, and R.C.M. 1003(c)(1)(B)(ii)(8), page II-149, respectively. The 2019 MCM can be viewed online here:

(you may need to cut/paste the entire link above into a new browser window)

A commissioned officer (or warrant officer or enlisted soldier, for that matter) may be found not to have served satisfactorily at one or more grades due to an instance or continuing pattern of misconduct. If that is determined to be the case – and that is an administrative action, not a legal one – they may indeed be retired at a lower grade than their final active duty grade. (cont)

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo


This is what you initially wrote:

“Under the UCMJ, commissioned officers convicted by court-martial of any crime cannot be reduced in rank or given a punitive discharge other than dismissal..”

This is what you later wrote:

“For a commissioned officer, court-martial panel DOES NOT have the authority to reduce a commissioned officer in rank and may impose no punitive discharge other than dismissal”.

Do you now understand why I asked if I misread your initial statement?



Sorry. I thought I’d made it clear that the context for my initial comment above was UCMJ actions – e.g., court-martials and/or NJP. I thus thought it unnecessary to state explicitly that I was referring to court-martial sentences above. In retrospect, perhaps I should have said that explicitly to prevent misunderstanding.

Retirement at a lower pay grade due to unsuccessful service at a higher grade is not a UCMJ action. Rather, it’s an administrative determination that someone failed to fulfill the requirements to retire at a particular grade.

Yes, all the individuals you and Mick named did end up retiring at a lower grade than the highest rank they held. But it wasn’t directly due to their court-martial convictions (in Graziopene’s case, he wasn’t even convicted by a court-martial). Rather, it was because an admin board at HQDA did the right thing and determined they had not “served successfully” at one or more grades due to documented misconduct.

That doesn’t always happen.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

While a court-martial conviction can be used as evidence of unsatisfactory service (and if testimony at court-martial or evidence during investigation supports it, to show a multi-year pattern of unsatisfactory service), that reduction is administrative in nature. It is NOT a part of a court-martial sentence.

The examples you two quote here were all admin grade reductions due to unsatisfactory service occurring at retirement. The only exception is Graziano; his reduction occurred after he had been ordered back to duty from retirement. In that case, the investigation(s) preceeding his conviction for sexually abusing his daughter apparently demonstrated a pattern of misconduct stretching back to his 1LT days. But even that was an administrative grade determination – not part of a court-martial sentence.

Technical point? Yes. But IMO if courts-martial could reduce commissioned officers, we’d see far fewer get off with fines for serious crimes. (cont)

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

Why? Because IMO many court-martial panels, convening authorities, military judges, and prosecutors simply seem unwilling to hurt the family of the individual convicted by “maxing them out” with a dismissal – which as a DD equivalent removes all rights to military and VA benefits, including any retirement pension and medical coverage – even when that’s deserved. Ditto for sentencing them to long confinement. Currently the only other option for a commissioned officer (and commissioned warrant officers) is a fine (or restitution) and return to duty at current rank, with the hope that an admin board will “do the right thing” and reduce them in grade at a later time.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

Bust him to Buck Private.
Revoke any benefits.
The Big Chicken Dinner using rancid chicken.

We expect more from SF Green Beret folks. We need to demand more.
That said, we need to also provide help to any service member in need. Real help, not some never-served female “counselor” who does not understand a man’s viewpoint, other than what she’s read in a psyc book in college, and who can barely speak English.


In other news…angry cops has covered down on that Cavanagh C*nt.