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Old 11-11-2009, 06:59 PM   #61
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I think the first question that has to be answered to solve his disappearance is: what was Justin's mission? If we knew what his mission was, that would tell us why he may have disappeared. If he willingly disappeared, he probably left his dogtags behind to tell his family he was dead when he really wasn't; but if he left willingly, he probably went on a super secret assignment by the army and they had to fabricate his death so that he could complete his missions. If he disappeared against his own will, I think he was taken hostage by arms smugglers and his body was decimated to prevent it from being found.
I think the only "mission" Justin was involved in was in his own mind.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:28 PM   #62
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I wonder if Justin could have been schizophrenic.


Also, I wonder if this is his mom's obit, if it is, he's listed as dead (which I realize may be that they had him declared dead or the family has come to this conclusion)

http://www.mcnallywatson.com/archive...6201dec3eeb0d8
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:03 PM   #63
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The segment said Justin wanted to be an Army Ranger. The rangers are a specialized group in the Army, so maybe Justin's "mission" involved the stopping of illegal arms sales by a terrorist group or other kind of outlaws. This mission was probably his special initiation into the rangers, so when he was told "the mission's off" he was mad about it because he wanted to become a ranger that much. I think Justin carried the briefcase so he could pretend to look more like a spy instead of just a soldier, because the movie White Sands was similar to what his mission was. He told his girlfriend to watch the movie because he could not reveal the full details of his mission.

I think the first question that has to be answered to solve his disappearance is: what was Justin's mission? If we knew what his mission was, that would tell us why he may have disappeared. If he willingly disappeared, he probably left his dogtags behind to tell his family he was dead when he really wasn't; but if he left willingly, he probably went on a super secret assignment by the army and they had to fabricate his death so that he could complete his missions. If he disappeared against his own will, I think he was taken hostage by arms smugglers and his body was decimated to prevent it from being found.
***************
Not likely, to enter into Ranger Training what you had to do was apply and be able to meet physical and metal requirments to be considered for a slot, then you'd have to be recommended and pretested, then once you are qualified you just wait till there is a slot and there you go you get your shot, from there its a matter of passing all the tests as you go and when thats over you get sent back to you unit unless you get re-assigned to a Ranger Battallion.

I truly believe he was NOT "secret" service material, he just wasnt the type, he wasn't "Gung Ho", he hated the army life, he was a cook (not that there is anything wrong with it).
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:16 PM   #64
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I wonder if Justin could have been schizophrenic.
Service requirements are pretty stringent. Would such behavior have been found by the army earlier? Would he be disqalified from service?

I once went through the service physical for the air force, and they subjected me to numerous tests. They disqualified me because they said I had the potential to have vertigo. I would think that any prior history of mental disorder would disqualify him.

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I think the only "mission" Justin was involved in was in his own mind.
That doesn't explain why he is missing. If he was murdered, he was murdered by someone he knew, that needed to hide his body.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:23 PM   #65
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Service requirements are pretty stringent. Would such behavior have been found by the army earlier? Would he be disqalified from service?
The onset of schizophrenia is typically in young adulthood, late teens-early 20s. It is entirely possible he could be fine when he enlisted and have the issue arise at a later date.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:42 PM   #66
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Service requirements are pretty stringent. Would such behavior have been found by the army earlier? Would he be disqalified from service?

I once went through the service physical for the air force, and they subjected me to numerous tests. They disqualified me because they said I had the potential to have vertigo. I would think that any prior history of mental disorder would disqualify him.



That doesn't explain why he is missing. If he was murdered, he was murdered by someone he knew, that needed to hide his body.
There are plenty of mental disorders that you wouldn't be disqualified for when you apply for the service. It all depends on what it is and how severe it is. If Justin was suffering from schizophrenia, it had to have started after he joined the Army. Perhaps it was unnoticeable by his commanders and fellow soldiers because he was only having his hallucinations in his off duty time.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:38 PM   #67
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This mission was probably his special initiation into the rangers, so when he was told "the mission's off" he was mad about it because he wanted to become a ranger that much.
One doesn't get a "special initiation" into the Rangers. It's not like a fraternity. It's a posting with high prestige, and if someone were to slide their way in by some "mission," while everyone else went through the normal channels, that would not fly with the other Rangers. The "mission" thing could've been anything from some random person he met screwing with him, telling him he could get him into the Rangers or CIA, to something as mundane as a friend calling on a "mission" to simply go and do something. He took it incredibly bad when getting the news, which brings me to my next thought. Personally, I believe he had some sort of mental disorder. Maybe toward the end, he truly believed he was a spy, and needed to disappear.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:40 PM   #68
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Question?

I'm sorry if this has been mentioned already..but is Justin still considered AWOL?

Anyone know how gung-ho MPs are in pursuing AWOLs?
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:41 PM   #69
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Question?

I'm sorry if this has been mentioned already..but is Justin still considered AWOL?

Anyone know how gung-ho MPs are in pursuing AWOLs?

It really depends on the situation, person, and circumstances. In his case, I'm sure they probably aren't really looking for him, anymore. He was an E-4 cook who went UA, and hadn't really committed any other crime. He might still be on the books for CID, but most likely just as a formality. I doubt anyone is still bothering with this case, as far as the Army is concerned. Not to mention, he's been gone long enough to be declared legally dead, and there have been no sightings or any evidence he's actually still alive.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:51 PM   #70
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I doubt anyone is still bothering with this case, as far as the Army is concerned. Not to mention, he's been gone long enough to be declared legally dead, and there have been no sightings or any evidence he's actually still alive.
If I remember correctly, it was the family who were most interested in finding him.

If he really was involved in any of this "White Sands" style stuff the army would take no interest in pursuing it no doubt.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:49 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by zack007attack
The segment said Justin wanted to be an Army Ranger. The rangers are a specialized group in the Army, so maybe Justin's "mission" involved the stopping of illegal arms sales by a terrorist group or other kind of outlaws. This mission was probably his special initiation into the rangers, so when he was told "the mission's off" he was mad about it because he wanted to become a ranger that much. I think Justin carried the briefcase so he could pretend to look more like a spy instead of just a soldier, because the movie White Sands was similar to what his mission was. He told his girlfriend to watch the movie because he could not reveal the full details of his mission.

I think the first question that has to be answered to solve his disappearance is: what was Justin's mission? If we knew what his mission was, that would tell us why he may have disappeared. If he willingly disappeared, he probably left his dogtags behind to tell his family he was dead when he really wasn't; but if he left willingly, he probably went on a super secret assignment by the army and they had to fabricate his death so that he could complete his missions. If he disappeared against his own will, I think he was taken hostage by arms smugglers and his body was decimated to prevent it from being found.
I realize I'm digging up an old thread, but a recent post got me reading the posts I haven't yet read here.

As some of you know, I'm a military officer. I've spent nearly five years in the Army and really want to set the record straight here.

Here's the deal on Rangers:

1. The Rangers are not a separate MOS (military occupational specialty) in the Army. For example, a soldier may enter the Army as an 11B (infantryman), 19D (cavalry scout), or 35F (intelligence analyst), but he will NOT enter the Army as a Ranger. It is a distinct qualification that is only added to your basic role in the Army. To be a Ranger simply means you have passed Ranger School and are thus authorized to wear a Ranger tab.

2. There is no "special initiation" into the Rangers. And it CERTAINLY doesn't involved a potential Ranger going on "secret missions" to "prove" himself. Bottom line up front: in Ranger School, you are trained in advanced infantry tactics under great duress (which usually, in short, comes down to little food, little sleep, and a lot of physical activity)--nothing unheard of, and nothing that qualifies as Top Secret or Classified. It is barred for females and, again, typically takes soldiers from combat arms branches (ie Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, etc).

Ranger School is a 52 day course divided into three phases--Benning Phase (named so for the installation it's held at), Mountain Phase (held in another part of Georgia), and Florida Phase (again, named for the location). Before you even begin the course, you must pass a special physical fitness test that includes pushups, situps, pullups, and a five mile run. After this, you must pass a three week "pre-Ranger" course before you are allowed to continue. Most soldiers are cut from the course here.

3. You are not sought out and "asked" to become a Ranger. If you are in a combat arms branch--specifically the Infantry--you may be slotted involuntarily for Ranger School at the end of your basic Infantry training. You do NOT, however, have to pass it. If you want to go, you must ask if there is a "slot" available for you and it must be approved by your commander. In most non-combat arms units, it's almost a guarantee a slot will not be available to you--and, frankly, the School is rather unnecessary by virtue of your occupation. (Burgwinkel, being a cook, would've been under the Quartermaster branch--which is definitely non-combat arms.)

4. Rangers do not carry out missions in the vein of international law enforcement. Although they may support such missions as, in zack's words, "stopping illegal arms sales", that is not a Ranger "job." Rangers (and by that, I mean a team size or larger of Infantry soldiers who are Ranger qualified) typically conduct direct combat and special reconnaissance missions--not looming, ominous, secretive cinematic "secret squirrel" mission we often see in the movies or on TV.

Now here's the deal on the Army:

1. We are not going to ask you to fabricate your own death. Certainly no offense intended, but I am chuckling as I type this. That's ludicrous.

2. If SPC Burgwinkel really was involved in a sensitive mission (I would bet the entirety of my personal property he wasn't), he broke a plethora of federal and military laws by running his mouth to God, everybody, and his girlfriend. As a 92G (cook), Burgwinkel wouldn't even have had the security clearance nor the training necessary for involvement with or the handling of classified information.

3. If there really was anything sensitive in that briefcase (again, my bet still stands), it never would have left post. Period. It would be in a secure facility and its every movement would be tracked.



It was put best earlier: the only mission Burgwinkel was "on" was in his mind. UM, like a number of entertainment outlets, plays on civilian misperceptions of the military and makes what is elementary to those of us who are in or have been in seem like looming governmental mysteries shrouded in enigma. And it pisses many of us off tremendously.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:01 PM   #72
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Question?

I'm sorry if this has been mentioned already..but is Justin still considered AWOL?

Anyone know how gung-ho MPs are in pursuing AWOLs?
AWOLs are typically declared such 48 hours after they fail to report at their appointed duty time. It does depend on the situation somewhat, but after the first 48 hours have passed, the Army is exceptionally "gung-ho" at pursuing AWOL soldiers. That's why the majority of them are found so quickly--the Army possesses all one's personal information, from one's social security number to the VIN on one's vehicle. As Burgwinkel still hasn't turned up, he is, unfortunately, very likely dead.

He is still considered AWOL. Until a soldier actually reports or is found, he or she remains as such. Now that so many years have passed, however, it's doubtful anyone is actively pursuing the case.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:22 PM   #73
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Hmm Meg the Egg, I am not going to tell you are wrong, you are in the Army not me and you are an officer at that, so I will take your word for it. I do agree that Burgwinkel in all likelihood, as in I am 99.999 percent sure that he was not on a mission, certainly not on a government mission. I mean if he truly was doing shady stuff, my guess, it was lower level drug dealing and crap like that, that had nothing to do with the military but he wanted to seem much more exciting and dramatic and impressive than he really was.

I am not actually convinced Burgwinkel is dead but if he is it was probably because he screwed over some fellow drug dealers and it caught up with him. However his car just being abandoned in the middle of no where? No. I think Burgwinkel was a guy that had been in the Ranger school which to him was a big deal, he washed out of that by screwing around and shop lifting, in a foreign country nonetheless, and he went from being an E-4 which is what a Corporal/Specialist? It goes, buck Private, Private, Private First Class, Corporal/Specialist, Sergeant and so on right? Officer enlistments at least in the Army are easy to remember 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, etc.

It seems looking at it, Burgwinkel at the time of his disappearance had been in the military, what, 3 and a half years? For him to be an E-4 after 3 and a half years, it seems his military career and his climb up the ranks were proceeding at an average pace. It seems where this crazy behavior of his started was when he learned he was going to be transferred from Fort Ord, California to Fort Lewis, Washington. That took him a long way from his girlfriend and I think he was unhappy about the transfer.

Now, the reason why Justin was transferred from what I understand, had nothing to do with his performance. It was because Fort Ord was slated to close in September of 1994. In fact that recommendation for it to be closed had been made in 1991, the transferring of the soldiers was to begin in 1992 but was delayed because of the LA Riots. In the fall of 1992, the Army began transferring soldiers slowly off the base in preparation for its planned closure in September of 1994.

But yeah, I mean Justin, he was 22 years old, I think he wanted to seem flashy and show off for his girlfriend and make it seem like he was involved in all of this stuff when he was in fact a lowly cook or at least in his mind it was lowly. He was acting out all these fantasies of his that he wanted to be true but were not. But I suppose he could have had mental issues too. I mean his behavior seemed to get more and more erratic in the weeks before his disappearance.

Driving from Fort Lewis to Santa Clara, California to his girlfriend's apartment all in one night, I mean that is not a short trip. Fort Lewis being in between Olympia and Tacoma. Tacoma being about 30 miles south of downtown Seattle. Santa Clara is gosh, probably anywhere from 650 to 700 miles south of Fort Lewis. Then Justin going AWOL like he did, I mean his behavior was just very erratic so it is unclear whether he was having mental issues or whether he set up his own disappearance or what the issue was? But I do not believe he was on any secret mission.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:56 PM   #74
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Hmm Meg the Egg, I am not going to tell you are wrong, you are in the Army not me and you are an officer at that, so I will take your word for it.
https://www.benning.army.mil/rtb/rtbmain.asp

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I am not actually convinced Burgwinkel is dead but if he is it was probably because he screwed over some fellow drug dealers and it caught up with him. However his car just being abandoned in the middle of no where? No. I think Burgwinkel was a guy that had been in the Ranger school which to him was a big deal, he washed out of that by screwing around and shop lifting, in a foreign country nonetheless, and he went from being an E-4 which is what a Corporal/Specialist? It goes, buck Private, Private, Private First Class, Corporal/Specialist, Sergeant and so on right? Officer enlistments at least in the Army are easy to remember 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, etc.
I agree with you on the possible drug dealing, but Burgwinkel was never even IN Ranger School. He couldn't have washed out if he wasn't in to begin with. And you can't get booted out of there for shoplifting--you don't have anywhere to shoplift in the field!

An E-4 is a Corporal/Specialist, yes. (From Sergeant, the progression is Staff Sergeant, Sergeant First Class, Master Sergeant/First Sergeant, Sergeant-Major/Command Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major of the Army. Also, we as officers aren't enlisted--we're commissioned.)

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It seems looking at it, Burgwinkel at the time of his disappearance had been in the military, what, 3 and a half years? For him to be an E-4 after 3 and a half years, it seems his military career and his climb up the ranks were proceeding at an average pace. It seems where this crazy behavior of his started was when he learned he was going to be transferred from Fort Ord, California to Fort Lewis, Washington. That took him a long way from his girlfriend and I think he was unhappy about the transfer.

Now, the reason why Justin was transferred from what I understand, had nothing to do with his performance. It was because Fort Ord was slated to close in September of 1994. In fact that recommendation for it to be closed had been made in 1991, the transferring of the soldiers was to begin in 1992 but was delayed because of the LA Riots. In the fall of 1992, the Army began transferring soldiers slowly off the base in preparation for its planned closure in September of 1994.
Three and a half years is typically the maximum amount of time you spend at any one duty station--most soldiers move every three years or so. It seems more likely that Burgwinkel was simply about to be transfered to his next assignment, nothing unusual.

Ft Ord is still quite open and is most notable for being home to the Army's National Training Center (NTC). It is also quite near the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey. Those BRAC closures never seem to ever take shape, and the ones that aren't slated seem to be the ones that shut down! Ft Knox, Naval Submarine Base New London, and Minot Air Force Base have all been scheduled for closure for years at one time or another, but all are quite operational as of this date.

Quote:
But yeah, I mean Justin, he was 22 years old, I think he wanted to seem flashy and show off for his girlfriend and make it seem like he was involved in all of this stuff when he was in fact a lowly cook or at least in his mind it was lowly. He was acting out all these fantasies of his that he wanted to be true but were not. But I suppose he could have had mental issues too. I mean his behavior seemed to get more and more erratic in the weeks before his disappearance.

Driving from Fort Lewis to Santa Clara, California to his girlfriend's apartment all in one night, I mean that is not a short trip. Fort Lewis being in between Olympia and Tacoma. Tacoma being about 30 miles south of downtown Seattle. Santa Clara is gosh, probably anywhere from 650 to 700 miles south of Fort Lewis. Then Justin going AWOL like he did, I mean his behavior was just very erratic so it is unclear whether he was having mental issues or whether he set up his own disappearance or what the issue was? But I do not believe he was on any secret mission.
Yeah, I think he was probably incredibly unstable. (He'd have to be--I'd take a transfer to Ft Lewis any day!) In all seriousness though, I agree with your assessment. It's difficult to discern what the issue was, but it's pretty apparent there WAS an issue.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:58 PM   #75
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Looking at Burgwinkel's case more, I would not say he was schizophrenic or seriously mentally ill. I think the issues though, I do think he had mental and emotional issues to a degree. When I say that, I mean I am talking about his confidence. He knew right from wrong, but I think he always felt there was something lacking in himself. I mean it seemed he had many friends, that he got along with people well, he had a girlfriend that he appeared to be very much in love with and happy with and she seemed to feel the same towards him, so the only thing I can think of is, he lacked confidence and felt he needed to say and do these outlandish things to try to impress people.

This would make Justin different than a con artist, a con artist would act this way to steal something from someone, be it money, property, whatever. Justin it seems did not do that. It basically seems to me that Justin Burgwinkel was the type of person that was his own worst enemy and if anyone was going to sink Justin Burgwinkel or make sure Justin Burgwinkel did not do something, it was Justin Burgwinkel himself.

But the big thing, like I said, it seemed he always had an interest in weapons, especially nuclear weapons, long range missiles, things of that sort. When Justin first joined the Army in 1990, the Cold War was just winding down and I think that Justin probably felt cheated that he missed out on being in the military during the Cold War. It didn't say where Justin went to basic, but he was in South Korea for several months before getting transferred to Fort Ord in 1991. In early 1993, Burgwinkel was transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington as Fort Ord's manpower was being dwindled down in preparation for the base's closure.

I also found Justin's former girlfriend, Iolanda Antunes on facebook, did not try talking to her but here is her profile. It looks like her. http://www.facebook.com/people/Iolan...nes/1663657571

Iolanda appears to be doing good these days from what I can gather, she has for several years been Director of Global Operations at IMPAC Medical Systems in Sunnyvale, California which is just a stone's throw from Santa Clara.
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