January 12, 1979 - March 26, 1981
Private First Class Dahmer, Jeffrey L. stretched out his full six-foot length on the wool blanket covering the thin mattress of his steel bunk and reached for his tunes and his briefcase. It was Friday night and his work for the week was done. It was snowing on the German plains and the temperatures outside were frigid. The weekend was his and he intended to spend it right where he was, indoors, warm in his rack and stone drunk.
Dahmer had joined [the Army] after dropping out of Ohio State following a single brief and boozy quarter… Despite the Ohio State fiasco, Dahmer came to be considered a bright guy in the all-volunteer army. Although he was only a PFC, consistently staying right down there with the beginning ranks, his army buddies marveled at the way he could devour books as well as brews. They guessed his IQ to be around 145, which would be on the genius level, because he read so much. But it was also noted that some of his favorite books were children’s classic fairy tales of trolls and goblins.
The near-genius was a mystery to the men of the Second Battalion of the U.S. Army’s Sixty-eighth Armored Regiment of the Eighth Infantry Division, Mechanized. Here was a soldier who wore the uniform with pride, who had all these brains, was a good medic, and who was going nowhere fast.
His drinking finally became more than the usual dose of suds that any GI posted in Germany could be expected to absorb. The alcohol-induced wildness, the fights, the hangovers and the missed duty days finally got to him in his second year of service, as Dahmer lay abed, drinking. The army decided it might be better of PFC Dahmer departed for the civilian world back home… There was no court-martial, but Dahmer was outprocessed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on March 26, 1981, two days after being shipped back from Germany. Instead of the full three-year hitch, he left the army after only two years, two months, and fifteen days.
-Excerpts from Chapter 5 of The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare by Don Davis