The Brandon Act

The Brandon Act was created because our son Brandon Caserta, died by suicide on June 25, 2018.  He was bullied and hazed among many other things by his Naval command,  Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 in Norfolk, VA, to the point of no return.  No one in his command helped him and he felt he could not get help from anyone because of the retaliation he knew he would receive.  He told many people in his chain of command that he was depressed and all they told him to do was suck it up and go back to work.

Patrick who is a 22-year retired Navy Senior Chief, tried helping Brandon the entire time he was at HSC-28 but nothing worked.  Patrick called the command and Brandon was retaliated against for his father calling concerned for Brandon’s welfare and well-being.  They were going to take Brandon to Captain’s Mast for not driving.  Please read Brandon's entire story and what happened to him on Military Corruption website.  The link is on the "Additional Stories and Interviews" page of this website.

Brandon worked all day long on June 25, 2018.  The last flight ops of the day Brandon grabbed is cranial, ran up to the plane captain, yelled over the noise of the helicopter, “I’m sorry for what you are about to see”, ran to the rotating rear tail rotor, threw off his cranial, jumped, missed and then jump again and made contact.  He did this in front of the watchful eyes of his command and the flight line.  He was not even involved in the flight ops and was not even supposed to be on the deck.  No one stopped him, no one ran after him when they saw him.  After it happened, everyone on that flight line ran away.  No one gave him medical attention.  

 

We created The Brandon Act to allow the men and women who serve in the United States of America’s Armed Forces to get help without retaliation whatsoever from anyone in their commands and will hold people accountable for their actions, if it is deemed necessary.  It will allow them to get counseling for any issues they may have from bullying to sexual/mental/ domestic abuse among many other issues.  With “The Brandon Act” in place, we hope to completely eliminate suicides in the Armed Forces.  

The Brandon Act that was Introduced to Congress

116TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION To amend title 10, United States Code, to improve the process by which a member of the Armed Forces may be referred for a mental health evaluation.

 

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Ms. Martha MCSALLY introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee To amend title 10, United States Code, to improve the process by which a member of the Armed Forces may be referred for a mental health evaluation.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled: 

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Brandon Act’’.

 

SEC. 2. MANDATORY REFERRAL OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES FOR MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATION.

 

Section 1090a of title 10, United States Code, is amended

 

(1) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and

 

(2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following new subsection:

 

(e) PROCESS APPLICABLE TO MEMBER DISCLOSURE.—The regulations required by subsection (a) shall—  

 

(1) establish a phrase that enables a member of the armed forces to trigger a referral of the member by a commanding officer or supervisor for a mental health evaluation;

 

(2) require a commanding officer or supervisor to make such referral as soon as practicable following disclosure by the member to the commanding officer or supervisor of the phrase established under paragraph (1); and

 

(3) ensure that the referral process protects the confidentiality of the member in a manner similar to the confidentiality provided for members making restricted reports under section 1565b(b) of this title.

The original version of

the Brandon Act

The Brandon Act:

(Written by Patrick and Teri Caserta)

 

  • Mental health safe word for someone to say when they feel suicidal or need any kind of mental health help

    • They can go to medical or Family Services

    • Just say “I need to talk to someone about the Brandon Act”

    • Can be used for any civilian entity or military establishment

  • This safe word can be used for the following reasons not just mental health:

    • Suicide/Hurt others

    • Any type of Sexual Abuse/Assault/misconduct

    • Bullying

    • Hazing

    • Stress

    • Depression

    • Anxiety

    • Domestic abuse/violence

    • Physical/mental Abuse

    • Alcoholism

    • Drugs

    • Eating Disorders

    • Divorce

    • Financial/Debt/Gambling/Betting, etc.

    • Personality disorders

    • Anything

  • All that should be said is “I have to see or talk to someone about the “Brandon Act” and they can go or get taken medical or Family Services where it will decided who they need to see or where to go.

  • There will be no questions asked by anyone within the command

  • The person they tell, needs to keep quite and not tell anyone else

  • No discussion with anyone

    • If that person talks, then they will be written up or disciplined 

  • If they end up being suicidal or needs to be admitted to a hospital, the medical professional will call the CO only and the CO will inform the people who are on a need to know basis

  • No one can say anything about why their sailor/troop/airman is out due to HIPPA laws

  • When the sailor/troop/airman comes back to work, there will not, under any circumstances, be any retaliation on them for seeking help

  • No ridiculing 

  • No bad evaluations

  • No bullying 

    • No making them do all the dirty work

    • No holding back rank

    • No consequences done to them

  • The command will welcome them back with no retaliation

  • The sailor/troop/airman can opt to be sent to a new duty station if the command is doing anything that drives them to suicidal thoughts and ideology  

  • A criminal investigation will be done by an impartial, non-biased party

  • The FBI should be the entity who investigates crimes on a military establishment

    • The investigation will NOT be done by the command 

    • The investigation will NOT be done by the Inspector General

  • If the command is responsible for the suicide, everyone involved should be held accountable

    • Being relieved: during and after the investigations

    • Loss of rank

      • Rank withheld so they cannot make rank during an investigation

      • If they are deemed responsible, then they do not get the higher rank and will be demoted

      • Kicked out of the Military

      • Captain’s Mast

      • Admiral Mast

      • Court Martialed

      • Jailed

      • Thrown in Prison

  • Responsibility is defined as:

    • Anyone’s actions that drove them to commit suicide or are having suicidal thoughts

      • If they were the ones bullying

      • If they were the ones who were doing the hazing

      • If they were the ones sexually abusing or harassing

      • If they were the ones who were abusive in any way

      • If they saw what was going on to others and didn’t report it

      • If they were told about anything happening with others and did not put a stop to it

      • If they turned a blinds eye to what is going on in the command

  • The Brandon Act is designed to help the entire command by allowing service members to get help immediately before they do something drastic such as suicide or possibly murder others within the command or base.