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1st Lt. Mark Bashaw of Maryland, who in April was court-martialed for his refusal to comply with COVID-19 testing and masking requirements, was convicted but will not be punished.
As previously reported by The Defender, the U.S. Army charged Bashaw, under the Article 92, Failure to Obey an Order, with: failure to take a medical test, failure to wear a mask and failure to leave the workplace for telework.
Bashaw formerly served as the Army Public Health Center’s headquarters company commander.
The case, United States v 1LT Mark C. Bashaw, was heard April 28-29 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, home of the Army Public Health Center.
About 30 spectators attended the hearing, which was open to the public.
Bashaw plead not guilty to the charges (a telework work charge was dropped at the hearing). The Army recommended formal reprimand and $25,000 in forfeiture of pay.
Judge Robert Cohen found Bashaw guilty of the two charges but recommended no additional punishment beyond the conviction. Judge Cohen commented on Bashaw’s exemplary 16 years of meritorious service during sentencing.
“Receiving no punishment at a court-martial is not without precedent,” installation spokesperson Amburr Reese told Army Times.
“While the Army does not categorize court-martial convictions as felonies or misdemeanors, many civilian jurisdictions treat a conviction in special court-martial convened by military judge alone, which this one was, as a misdemeanor.”
Because Bashaw is not facing punishment, the flag on his records will be removed and he is now eligible to be promoted to the rank of Captain, which was withheld in November 2021.