May 21, 2015 --
Two Albany, Georgia, businesses were recently placed on the off-limits establishment list -- a compilation of businesses that all active-duty service members are prohibited from patronizing, entering or being on the premises.
Big Daddy's Lounge, located at 300 E. Broad Ave., and the Sandtrap Club and Lounge, located at 911 E. Oglethorpe Blvd., both met the criteria for being placed off-limits.
The decision came from Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, following a recommendation from the installation's Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board. After an initial investigation, both businesses were given an opportunity to correct identified problems, base officials indicated.
A subsequent re-evaluation found there were still deficiencies in one or more areas of ensuring the health, safety, welfare, morale or discipline of active-duty service members. This evaluation was in accordance with Base Order 1620.1, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, according to Donnie Baggs, command inspector general, MCLB Albany.
Baggs said although some corrections were made at the locations, all deficiencies must be resolved in order to stay off or be removed from the off-limits list. He said the lounges can request a re-evaluation in the future.
"We have not had any reports of active-duty personnel being involved in any type of illegal or criminal activity at any local establishment,” Davis pointed out. “However, I must take the necessary precautions to protect all active-duty service members under my charge.”
The base order indicates every business in the city of Albany and surrounding community is subject to monitoring. Any establishment found to engage in questionable business practices and behavior is subject to becoming a candidate for the base’s off- limits establishment list.
There are nine specific areas of concern outlined in the base order used as a guide. They are: unfair commercial practices; prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases; alcohol and drug abuse; racial and other discriminatory practices; activities involving cults, gangs or hate groups; areas susceptible to terrorist activities; areas involving human trafficking; illegal gambling; and other undesirable conditions that may adversely affect service members and their families.
Baggs explained once a location has been investigated and determined to be engaging in one or more of those practices, the owner is notified and given an opportunity to become compliant. While owners are under no obligation to change their business practices, failure to comply will result in the establishment being listed on the base's off-limits list.
Baggs stressed there aren't any local businesses that are exempt.
"It does not matter what type of business you operate--a restaurant, a car lot, a club or whatever-- if you engage in questionable practices, your establishment may become a candidate for the base’s off-limits list," he said.
Davis added, "The health, safety and well-being of our uniformed and civilian personnel is a top priority of any installation commander. Any business listed on the base’s off-limits list must be made known to all armed forces personnel."