The dispute apparently began over a parking space in what local media identified as a lot outside the sprawling Oglethorpe Mall, which is less than a mile from Hunter Army Airfield in the coastal Georgia city. Videos of the incident surfaced on social media Monday, quickly racking up tens of thousands of shares and over a million views.
On Tuesday, an Army spokesperson told the TV outlet WSAV that the man pictured was detained by military police in connection with his actions in the parking lot.
The viral videos show a soldier, who has not yet been publicly identified, dressed in fatigues and raging at a small group of women, one of whom tells him she was waiting on his parking spot. After a brief exchange he yelled at them to “shut up,” peppering his barks with profanity.
The man was loading the trunk of his white Ford Escort sedan and appeared to be traveling with a woman and at least one child. Videos begin as the soldier and two women bicker over a parking spot.
“B----, I’ll slap you in your f--king mouth,” he screams at one of them.
They continue arguing as the man wheels a baby stroller toward the open trunk of his car.
“Shut the f--- up!” he screams at the women across the parking lot.
The woman he is with can be heard trying to quietly calm him down, but he turns away, rips his jacket open and thrashes his arms out of its sleeves.
“I don’t give a f--- about the f--king Army or anything about it,” he screams at the woman he’s with, as he flings his jacket into the car. She tells him, multiple times, to “stop.”
He throws his hat and glasses into the trunk next. When the woman he's with places her hand on his wrist, he grabs her arm and twists it behind her back, saying, “Quit touching me.”
He forcefully collapses the stroller and slams it into the trunk.
“Oh my God,” one woman says. “And you have the nerve to serve our country?
“F--- your country,” he replies, pointing at her. “F--- America.”
As the soldier slams the car doors, a woman who was also filming and shouting expletives says, “Your child is right there, your child.”
The videos end after the man gets into the driver’s seat.
Online, active-duty soldiers and military veterans condemned the man’s actions.
“Hey @USArmy,” one Twitter user wrote. “Come get your boy who thinks acting a fool in uniform, threatening civilians and putting his hands on his wife is good times."
Another said he hopes the Army will “fire” the soldier.
The Fort Stewart Hunter Army Airfield public affairs office told local news that the “3rd Infantry Division leadership is aware of an incident involving one of our soldiers captured on video yesterday.”
“The soldier has been positively identified and has been detained,” the statement continued. “We are working with the appropriate civilian and military authorities to address this situation. This soldier’s behavior and actions are not condoned by the 3rd Infantry Division.”
It is unclear what disciplinary action the soldier will face — the public affairs office did not respond to repeated requests for comment — but he could be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A document known as the Marne Standard outlines expectations and codes of conduct for soldiers assigned to Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Benning, all Army posts in southern Georgia. Commanders there expect their soldiers to “strengthen the Army profession and live the Army values."
“We will earn and maintain the trust of our leadership, the American public, and our teammates through our conduct on and off duty,” the directive says. “We will meet and enforce standards and treat each other with dignity and respect at all times.”