For more than 10 years, Petty Officer Second Class Richard Jackson served his country honorably as a machinist mate for the United States Navy.
“I never failed a PRT, never been to Captain’s Mast, never had a DUI, so I just figured I was fine,” said Jackson.
He planned to stay in for retirement, but instead, landed on the dreaded list of sailors kicked out of service by the Enlisted Retention Board—even though he had just re-enlisted and still had three more years on his contract.
“Personally, I’m disgusted by it. A contract is a two-way agreement. Sailors can’t breach their contract, but the Navy can toss us out at their convenience,” said Jackson.
Now, this sailor is just one of hundreds who plan on suing the Navy for that breach of contract.
Many have organized on the Facebook page, “Sailors Against ERB,” and all are using attorney E.W. Keller out of Oklahoma City.
“Once he heard of what the Navy was doing to us, he was very upset,” said Jackson.
Keller plans on filing suit for each sailor individually to try and collect any wages, retirement benefits, or healthcare coverage they lost by being tossed out before their contracts expired.
“I feel the lawsuit is the only option we have to right this wrong,” said Jackson. “Hopefully, the eyes of the country will be on the Navy, seeing what’s going on and what they are doing to their sailors.”