Master Sergeant John “Jay” Hasenbein gets dressed for trial in his Army dress uniform, shiny, with more medals than most can imagine, his combat Infantryman’s Badge squeezed in near the top of his shoulder. MSG Hasenbein and his family come to the Fort Campbell, KY gate, and are treated like criminals. They and his vehicle are searched diligently.

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) John Haake, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group Commander, convinced the Campbell Police Chief to put MSG Hasenbein on the BOLO list behind his chain of command’s back without meeting any of the four criteria required. The Judge took note and informed the prosecutor of his illegal actions. LTC Haake’s lawyer convinced the Police Chief that MSG Hasenbein was a threat to him, his family, and the installation. He also had a Violent Person File (VPF) made on MSG Hasenbein. The BOLO could take MSG Hasenbein years to lift.

LTC Haake attempted to have MSG Hasenbein put into pretrial confinement, never informing the Group Commander. Haake was scared of retributions against himself and wanted MSG Hasenbein to be locked away. He further lied in his statement to the Provost Marshall about his time working with MSG Hasenbein. He claimed to have worked with MSG Hasenbein from 2007 until 2010; however, he never worked with MSG Hasenbein after 2007.

In a courtroom full of public witnesses, the combat-proven Special Forces Green Beret with 15 years of ODA time enters the courtroom. The Prosecution challenges the Judge over the article written by SOFREP but to no avail.  Every one of the witnesses shown by the Prosecution is immediately challenged and torn apart by MSG Hasenbein’s lawyer. All witnesses presented by the Defense benefitted MSG Hasenbein’s case even more. In a phone interview with SOFREP, a witness at the trial described it as, “very favorable towards MSG Hasenbein [and] I don’t know how anyone would convict him.”

The Prosecution shows the video of the F3EA roleplayer, a former Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Force (ICTF) commando with cauliflower ears and decades of raids against terrorists in Iraq. The footage was severely cut, only showing a brief glimpse of the MSG delivering blows to subdue the subject after he had escaped twice from his zip cuffs. The roleplayer was previously given a safe word and told to immediately give up so he could be taken off-target and questioned. He fought hard against the A/1/5th operators, never speaking the safeword. He broke out of his restraints twice before MSG Hasenbein and four other operators forcibly restrained him for the final time.

MSG Hasenbein fights back and files charges against his command

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Mr. Altameemi, the F3EA roleplayer.

At A/1/5SFG(A), everyone is put on a gag order by LTC Haake. All pictures of the poster boy (MSG Hasenbein) are removed by the order of USASOC and put into the SGM’s office. In court, the SGM lies to the Judge saying that remodeling was taking place, but when questioned by the Defense as to why he didn’t put them back up, he faltered to answer. Eventually, the Judge had heard enough and said that the Defense was beating a dead horse, fully knowing that the SGM had lied under oath.

On 26 September 2019, LTC Haake went to the military police station. There he told military police that MSG Hasenbein “…believes he has done nothing wrong and has already shown that he will influence potential witnesses and that it is the chain of command that is ‘out to get him.’ His Defense Counsel has only reinforced his perception of not doing anything wrong.” LTC Haake requested that the MPs conduct “…due diligence to be paid for the potential for an incident to occur.” LTC Haake’s statement to the MPs resulted in a BOLO being put out on MSG Hasenbein. He has been stopped and searched at the gate several times over the past few months and treated as if he was placed in the NCIC Violent Person File.

In e-mails to the Military Police before LTC Haake made a sworn statement, CPT Evin Stovall (the prosecuting attorney), reported that MSG Hasenbein had been arrested in Clarksville for stalking and making threats and for an on-post assault in Yuma. These were blatant lies. MSG Hasenbein was a witness in both referred instances. He was never arrested or put into a vehicle: he was only questioned, which caused his name to be part of the report.

When in the Company area on 13 December 2019, SFC B, who was with MSG Hasenbein, was told by SGM Hanks to “take that shit away from the Company,” or words to that effect. SFC B testified in court that this occurred and that the SGM had removed all photos with MSG Hasenbein on them. Since filing an Inspector General’s report, MSG Hasenbein has continued to be hassled at the gate every time he enters Fort Campbell. He and his family have dealt with anxiety and depression because of this issue. MSG Hasenbein felt like he was being treated as if he were guilty even before his trial had started.

The Inspector-General responded to MSG Hasenbein, stating that the command “…addressed the allegations” and that no further action would be taken. Since the charges, MSG Hasenbein and his wife have been excluded from many informal activities and the FRG. Mrs. Hasenbein has been told by soldiers that “the Command told members that they could not talk to MSG Hasenbein,” effectively placing them under a gag order.

LTC Haake cited no legitimate purpose for listing MSG Hasenbein as a dangerous individual and putting him on the BOLO list. He mentioned the fact that MSG Hasenbein refused to accept responsibility and that his defense counsel was reinforcing his innocence. LTC Haake also listed that he signed the charge sheet, had previously worked with MSG Hasenbein, and that he felt he was a crucial part of the Defense’s strategy. Finally, he cited that MSG Hasenbein has lashed out at people in the past and has shown that he will influence witnesses. Importantly, LTC Haake cites no threats that MSG Hasenbein made to him or any member of the 5th Special Forces Group at any point in time.

MSG Hasenbein posing for a 5th SFG recruiting poster. 

Special Forces operator hounded by leadership catches a break

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CPT Stovall notified the Defense that because of a miscommunication, MSG Hasenbein was treated as if he were in the NCIC Violent Person file. LTC Haake was working directly with the Provost Marshall to designate MSG Hasenbein as a dangerous person in NCIS. LTC Haake also cited that MSG Hasenbein’s past as a reason for his and his family’s safety concerns — to subject MSG Hasenbein to intrusive gate searches and public humiliation because of these inaccurate reports is entirely unreasonable.

MSG Hasenbein has requested confinement credit for the baseless BOLO that was placed on him, for the number of individuals who saw this BOLO, and for the numerous baseless searches that were conducted of him in front of other individuals and his family. MSG Hasenbein has also requested confinement credit for the public treatment he has received from SGM Hanks. This includes saying, “fuck you, you can stand there,” and “take this shit out of the company,” in front of other people and soldiers, and removing pictures of him from around the company area.

CPT Stoval asks explicitly from the Watch Commander, Provost Mashall for the approving authority to place increased scrutiny on MSG Hasenbein. Additionally, LTC Church, Commander of 716th Military Police Battalion, has increased patrols near LTC Haake’s home and also ordered the Police Chief to be on the lookout for MSG Hasenbein and his vehicle until the court-martial is completed.

MSG Hasenbein has requested confinement credit for the general treatment he has endured. He has been locked out of his company and ostracized from his support group. His Command has treated MSG Hasenbein as if he were already convicted and no longer care about his and his family’s well-being.

The Judge has a number of options: She could, for example, bring up criminal charges against Lieutenant Colonel Haake, or altogether drop the charges altogether against MSG Hasenbein. The Judge is expected to make her decision in the coming days.

In an apparent culture of tab revocations, GOMARs, and toxic leaders, when are leaders held accountable? LTC Haake committed crimes, was told so by a Judge, and still is in Command. 5TH SFG(A) retention is at an all-time low, and combat warriors are doing everything to get out of there by either getting out the military or by volunteering to become instructors.

F3EA was recently awarded a $245m contract. Could MSG Hasenbein be the fall guy so 5th SFG can escape full blame and responsibility for this action?