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  • Adam DeRito

The Post Deployment Update: Recalibration

This is a difficult update for me to write as I am approaching the fourteen-year mark of this journey for justice with the United States Air Force Academy. With that being said, this is going to be an encompassing update since it's been over a year since the last update and blog; that is due to a combat deployment to the Middle East, and as well as some significant changes in my personal life which I will lightly elaborate on.

In October of 2021, I was activated by the Colorado Army National Guard to deploy to CENTCOM in the Middle East to support Operation Inherent Resolve (Counter ISIS mission) and Operation Spartan Shield (Iranian Aggression Deterrence mission). After enduring a long engagement with my then fiancé, I was recently married in August 2021. My wife had been extremely supportive of my case over the years and will be featured in several audio updates for Dark Sabre Season 2 while the case continued on before I was set to deploy.

While I was in the Middle East, I was assigned as an Intelligence Analyst for a HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) in the Area of Responsibility and obtained a lot of experience working directly with the Battalion Commander due to my background experience in the oil and gas industry, which is a critical economic consideration within the Middle East. As they always say; follow the money.

Working with multiple partner nations and allied forces was an incredible endeavor, and it became apparent with the Russian invasion of Ukraine that things were going to continue to become more complicated as the deployment raged on as the foreign influences from Russia and China within Central Command (CENTCOM) are significant. The men and women I was deployed with ended up becoming lifelong friends, and it became an unforgettable experience. We successfully completed our mission and returned home a year later.

A tale as old as time, I discovered my then wife had an affair while I was deployed with a married man who had three children, as well as a felony conviction. With the expectations of having children and becoming a dad within the last year after deployment, this was a significantly difficult season of my life. Everything I knew about my relationship for the last ten years with my significant other was apparently a lie, and I suppose years in the field in the oil and gas industry and being away with the military finally reached a breaking point with my spouse. She made the decision not to reconcile the marriage, and I filed for divorce. She moved to Texas to continue her profession, and I have slowly been rebuilding myself spiritually and physically for the last several months from two significant post deployment surgeries due to injuries I received while in CENTCOM. I am very lucky that I have a very supportive family and friend group, because despite how difficult the situation was to deal with, it definitely was the right decision.

Over the last few months, it was reported to me by Cadets that General Richard Clark was forcing Cadets to sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent them from talking about sexual assault, harassment, diversity inclusion, etc., to anyone outside the Academy; especially anyone from the Dark Sabre Team. General Clark then decided to write a letter to the congressional members investigating my case telling them that I was not disenrolled for mental health records or retaliation; but in fact, was disenrolled for misconduct. This gave us new evidence to file another appeal to the Air Force Board of Corrections for Military Records and is currently in progress. According to my Cadet Disciplinary Records obtained by a FOIA request, the 90 or so demerits that pushed me over the so-called limit were due to refusing to remove my Eagle Globe and Anchor Device from my uniform after completing Marine Officer Candidates School by my then Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Gregory Christiansen. Since this was an authorized uniform device, I refused and claimed that it was Unlawful Command Influence. Since my commander at the time was not following the uniform manual or the Air Force Instruction for demerits at the Academy, this has now opened another avenue for appeal to the case.

I will be travelling to Washington D.C. this September to have several meetings with Congressional members and staffers to get more action on my case since the Judicial and Executive branches have refused to become involved in my case and resolve it justly. I will continue to provide more updates as they become available.

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