A decorated US military officer had to resign after his battalion went off the rails in a Polish city, Stars and Stripes reported, citing an investigation report it had obtained. According to the newspaper, the 1st Battalion Army Apache helicopter unit went to Gdansk to visit World War II sites. The trip was aimed at improving "cohesion and morale", writes Stars and Stripes.
While it's hard to say whether the trip had an effect on the servicemen’s morale, it seems that it did improve their cohesion, as 40 members of the unit organised a party that then ended in a search operation for one of the officers.
The servicemen were initially celebrating the 40th birthday of a sergeant major. Then, they went to an "off-limits" strip club. There, Major Matthew Conner and several other servicemen got "heavily intoxicated". Conner went AWOL and was found 48 hours later in a hotel.
The serviceman told investigators that he believes the strippers spiked the champagne he drank with drugs. He then claimed they "bit his nipples to keep him awake, and repeatedly had his credit card swiped".
According to Stars and Stripes, Conner’s receipts from the strip club totalled 50,000, although the newspaper says it is unclear whether the sum was in dollars or in Polish zloty, the latter of which would amount to more than $13,200.
US media writes that several officers are facing administrative action, which may see them discharged from the Army. The news about the officers' escapade sparked many rumours, some of which suggest that a group of servicemen had visited an "alleged sex dungeon", where tens of thousands of dollars were spent.
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Fix, which helmed the battalion, has resigned following the scandal.