Some of the communities that surround military installations have unscrupulous businesses where the proprietor’s intention is to take advantage of military patrons in ways that are highly unethical.
Fort Bragg is no different. However, there is an organization on post whose mission it is to be a consumer advocate on behalf of the military personnel and their Families who live and or work on Fort Bragg — the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board.
The board meets with community leaders, law enforcement officials, the Better Business Bureau, chambers of commerce and representatives of small businesses. Col. Chad B. McRee, commander of the 16th Military Police Brigade and director of Fort Bragg’s Directorate of Emergency Services, serves as the board’s president.
The board, together with their community partners, compiles, publishes and distributes a list of establishments that have been deemed off limits.
“The list is given to every person when we in-processes Fort Bragg,” said Spc. Brandon K. Gonzales, a crime statistic and intelligence analyst with the 16th MP Bde.’s military intelligence section. “It’s also posted online and in every unit area,” he said.
“This list heightens awareness of areas where our people could get in trouble or be taken advantage of,” said Lt. Col. Michael J. Johns, Fort Bragg’s provost marshal.
There are many types of business on the list, from tobacco shops to single-home dwellings. These places have been put on the list for any number of reasons, including the sale of drug paraphernalia and rental property not up to code.
“The board is looking at proper business practices versus business practices that negatively affect our Soldiers,” said McRee. “(The community) needs to know what (Fort Bragg) views as the standards for our personnel, so it’s important that businesses who want to do business with our servicemembers and their Families understand what the rules are and the expectations we have of them,” explained McRee.
The process of putting a business on the off limits list isn’t a decision that is made lightly.
“The board doesn’t put businesses on the list automatically, first we discuss, visit and send them a notice first via certified letter,” said McRee. “Then they have an opportunity to come and discuss their case with us.”
If the business doesn’t meet with the board or decides not to comply with Fort Bragg standards, the board will vote and recommend to Fort Bragg’s commanding general that the business be placed on the off-limits list. If the commander concurs, the office of the staff judge advocate will inform the business that is off limits to military personnel.
“We know that (being on the list might hurt the business) and we give them an opportunity to fix what needs to be fixed,” said McRee. “We give them an opportunity to be aligned with our values and what we view to be acceptable business practices … so it’s their choice if they’d like to get in compliance and treat our folks right; and if they choose not to, they’re certainly risking their own businesses and livelihood.”
Fort Bragg isn’t the only military installation to have these issues or an AFDCB.
“For years and years we can show history that (certain business people) have disadvantaged our communities,” said McRee. “In fact, Holly Petraeus (as director of the Office of Servicemember Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) is very involved with promoting better business practices that directly impact our personnel and their Families — so it’s not just a Fort Bragg issue, it’s a national issue.”
But not all businesses that hope to attract military patrons prey on them.
“We have a lot of great businesses in our great military community and they absolutely support us,” said McRee. “(Most military-friendly) businesses self-govern themselves and with the chamber of commerce and the BBB, they police that up themselves. But it comes to our attention that (some) businesses are taking advantage of our people and their Families — we’re not going to tolerate it.”
Many servicemembers know which kind of places to avoid, even if they may not remember if an exact establishment is on the list or not.
It comes down to education, said McRee. “(Servicemembers must be) educated about the dos and don’ts and they can pretty much guess for themselves if they walk in somewhere and they see (something like spice, bath salts or) drug paraphernalia for sale, they should know that they need to turn right around and walk back out, knowing that would not be a place that the Department of Defense would approve of them patronizing,” McRee said.
Even out of uniform and on or off duty, servicemembers are representatives of the armed forces and are expected to act in a way that reflects well on their service.
“(Some servicemembers) don’t recognize the impact of what they do in their off-duty time, (so this list) takes the grey area out and makes known what is acceptable and what is not,” said McRee.
Servicemembers found visiting establishments that are on the off-limits list are referred to their chains of command and subject to Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which covers disobeying an order or regulation.
“There will be people out there who might take the risk, but they need to know that there will be consequences,” said McRee. “Our goal is not for our servicemembers to get in trouble and we aren’t out there actively policing every off-limits area; this is an honor system and military personnel are expected to abide by the rules.”
To get a copy of the off-limits list, visit www.bragg.army.mil/directorates/DES/pmo/Pages/OFFLimitsEstablishments.aspx.
Off limits list
Below is a sampling of the list, not including residential properties:
• Acapulco Lake, S. River Road, Lillington, N.C. (Off Limits to recreational swimming/camping, SCUBA diving only with a current and certified dive instructor.)
• Brooks Property, the swimming area located approximately 150 yards east of Highway 210 on McArthur Bridge Road, Spring Lake, N.C.
• 3 Hebrew Boys, L.L.C. aka Capital Consortium Group, L.L.C, 1013 Broad River Road 275, Columbia, S.C.
• ABC Bartending, 1308 Morganton Road, Fayetteville.
• All unlicensed tattoo parlors
• All places selling drug paraphernalia
• Alternative Learning (online)
• Asian Odyssey, 5173 Bragg Boulevard, Fayetteville
• Capital Consortium Group, L.L.C, aka 3 Hebrew Boys, L.L.C., 1013 Broad River Road 275, Columbia, S.C.
• City Limits aka Carolina Live, 6323 Raeford Road, Fayetteville
• Crazy Dave’s Cabaret, 2889 Owen Drive, Fayetteville
• Executive Auto Repair, 1805 Shaw Road, Fayetteville
• Executive Club, 5560 Murchison Road, Fayetteville
• Exquisite Construction, 201 North Reilly Road, Fayetteville.
• Fort Video and News Adult Entertainment Center, 4431 Bragg Boulevard, Fayetteville
• Hot Spots Club aka Paradise Club, formerly at 5701 Murchison Road, Fayetteville, current location(s) unknown at this time
• I & J Investments, P.O. Box 749, Fayetteville, N.C. 28302 (PO Box indicated is now used by a local attorney’s office. Current location is unknown.)
• Ikolas Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge, 129 North Main Street, Spring Lake, N.C.
• J & J Fast Mart Gas Station, 5001 Bragg Boulevard, Fayetteville (Bonnie Doone area)
• Modern News and Video Center, 1115-B Swain Street, Fayetteville
• Pavilion, 2527 Gillespie Street, Fayetteville
• R’s Gems and Rocks and Smoke Shop, 4429 Bragg Boulevard, Fayetteville
• Rage of Fayetteville aka Smokey’s Pipe Shop, formerly at 2805 Raeford Road, Fayetteville, now located on Sycamore Dairy Road, Fayetteville
• Roses Lounge, aka Boogies Room, 5113 Bragg Boulevard, Fayetteville
• Showgirls Private Exotic Dancers, 5303 Bragg Boulevard, Fayetteville
• SmartBuy Computers & Electronics aka Britlee, Inc.; The Military Zone; Laptoyz Computers and Electronics, Fayetteville, with two locations in Cross Creek Mall, Fayetteville
• South Beach/Palomino, 2869 Owen Drive, Fayetteville