Joshua Tabor, 27, has been charged with assault after admitting holding his daughter's head underwater three or four times, because he became angry when she failed to recite the alphabet.
Tabor was reported to the police by his girlfriend who said he was "irate, intoxicated and walking around the neighbourhood with his Kevlar helmet threatening to break windows."
His daughter was eventually found hiding in a cupboard, with bruising and scratches to her back and neck. When asked how she got the injuries, she replied 'Daddy did it'.
Waterboarding, as it is known, was a torture technique used by the CIA to interrogate suspects at Guantanamo Bay, but it has since been outlawed by Barack Obama.
The victim is forcibly submerged in water until they fear they will drown. Tabor is reported to have chosen the punishment specifically because his daughter is terrified of water.
The little girl's natural mother lives in Kansas. Tabor had been granted custody only four weeks ago, and his daughter has now been taken into care.
This latest news follows the shocking story of the mother who forced her son to kill his pet hamster as a punishment for not doing his homework, which was reported on this site recently.
Tabor, a soldier at the Lewis-McChord base in Tacoma, Washington, has a history of anger management issues. Whilst his military record has not been revealed, the base has units which have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With Tabor's history of aggressive behaviour could this case have been prevented, or are such acts of cruelty so rare and unusual that they cannot be foreseen?