Frederick had clean, proud history before abuse
Staff Sgt. Ivan “Chip” Frederick II, sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday for abusing Iraqi prisoners, matches the honorable man his family describes in at least one regard: he fessed up.
Frederick, 38, of Buckingham, Va., was taught to be responsible, according to his divorced parents, Ivan and Jo Ann. They say they raised him in the churchgoing traditions common to the rural Appalachian communities where he grew up, Oakland, Md., and nearby Elk Garden, W.Va.
“I feel proud that he says, ‘I do take responsibility, I’ll take my licks,'” Frederick’s father, who’s known as “Red,” said in August after his son announced he would plead guilty.
There is little in Frederick’s background to suggest that the 6-foot-2 former Virginia state corrections officer would enjoy the acts he acknowledged – attaching wires to the hands of a detainee who was told he would be electrocuted; stomping and punching prisoners; and ordering an inmate to masturbate. Frederick has said military intelligence officers ordered the degradation.
He had several speeding violations and a conviction for trepassing to go fishing, but his record at the Buckingham Correctional Center, in Dillwyn, Va., was virtually spotless, according to his wife, Martha, who still works at the institution. Frederick even was cited for saving the life of a prisoner who tried to hang himself, she said.
Frederick joined the Army National Guard at 17, after convincing his mother to sign the papers authorizing his enlistment. He started out in the engineer corps, but eventually switched to the 372nd Military Police Company based in Cresaptown, a western Maryland town about 150 miles from Baltimore.
He worked a smattering of different jobs during his 20s before studying criminal justice at a local community college. He wanted to be a state trooper, but failed the physical because of a bad knee.
He and Martha met at the prison and married in 1999. He helped raise her two daughters, and the family spent their free time fishing and following Frederick’s favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Jarrett.
In 2001, Frederick was called up to do security work at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. He came home for a short while before he was called up again in 2003 and sent to Iraq.