And as a SGT, I've refered to everybody from my platoon leader up as an idiot before, sometimes worse.
I don't see how that has any relevance on the case.
It isn't. Neither is that the guy is a MSgt, veteran, or that he was hiking where there were hogs and cougars, that it was purportedly a "Boyscout hike" of 10 miles. Nothing about the situation changes based on any of this information, but Grisham was sure to include all of it, playing up irrelevant issues in order to play up the situation. These are all emotional ploys to gain favor. It changes nothing about whether or not he acted accordingly or if the officers acted accordingly.