nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Army removes 588 troops from sensitive jobs

Obama's Unilateral Disarmament

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army removed 588 soldiers from sensitive jobs such as sexual assault counselors and recruiters after finding they had committed infractions such as sexual assault, child abuse and drunken driving, officials said Wednesday.

The move resulted from orders by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last year that all the services review the qualifications of people holding those jobs as part of an effort to stem a rising number of sexual assaults in the military.

The Army said it reviewed the qualifications and records of 20,000 soldiers and found 588 unsuitable for their jobs as recruiters, drill sergeants, training school instructors and staff of sexual assault prevention and response programs. The Army said in a statement that 79 soldiers are leaving the service and "others could face further actions from their commands." The statement did not say whether the 79 are leaving voluntarily.

Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman, said examples of soldier infractions found in the review included sexual assault, child abuse and drunken driving. It was unclear whether those had happened during their military service or before.

"We will continue working to better ensure we select the very best people for these posts, and that the chain of command knows what is expected of them, and how important this work is to the Army," Col. David Patterson, another Army spokesman, said in a statement.

The Navy looked at some 11,000 employees and found five unqualified. The Air Force said that of about 2,500 sexual assault victim advocates and assault response coordinators, two advocates were removed from their jobs because of problems with their backgrounds. The Marine Corps did not respond to requests for information about their reviews, but USA Today, which first reported the results of the reviews, said the Marines found no one to disqualify.

It was unclear why the other service branches reported so few problems, but Pentagon officials said one likely reason was that the Army did a more stringent review, going beyond what Hagel had ordered. It scrutinized not only its recruiting and sex assault response and prevention staffs, but also people in other jobs it calls "positions of trust," such as the drill sergeants and other training instructors. It also scoured their records for a broader range of potentially problematic behaviors, officials said.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon's press secretary, noted the extra work done by the Army.

Hagel "was happy to learn that the Army widened the scope of their review and he is grateful for the work they have done to get a better grip on a very difficult issue and hold people accountable," Kirby said.

Hagel in May ordered the military to recertify all 25,000 people involved in programs designed to prevent and respond to sexual assault and to review the qualifications of some 19,000 recruiters.

He and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at a Pentagon news conference one day after all of the military's highest uniformed and civilian leadership were summoned to the White House to discuss the sexual assault problem with President Barack Obama, who has expressed impatience with the Pentagon's failure to solve it.

"I am concerned that this department may be nearing a stage where the frequency of this crime - and the perception that there is tolerance of it - could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out the mission, and to recruit and retain good people," Hagel wrote in his May order to the services.

The issue of sexual assaults has gripped the military in the last year after a series of high-profile cases from its academy students to generals. Outrage among lawmakers has produced new ideas for tightening the way sexual-assault cases are handled in the military justice system.

Meanwhile, the department reported at a congressional hearing Wednesday that preliminary figures show the number of reported sexual assaults across the military shot up by some 60 percent this year - to 5,400, or three times that of 2004. Defense officials have said the rise suggests victims are becoming more willing to come forward after a tumultuous year of scandals that shined a spotlight on the crimes and put pressure on the military to take a number of aggressive steps.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
BroPower February 27 2014 at 8:34 AM

Take five minutes
Watch this outstanding House Judiciary Committee testimony from George Washington Law School professor Jonathan Turley (a noted liberal).
This administration is ignoring our Constitution..

Flag Reply +2 rate up
JackieRay February 27 2014 at 1:46 PM

seems to me assaulting someone trained in use of firearms with access could be hazardous to your health

Flag Reply +2 rate up
tommie20h February 27 2014 at 7:18 AM

WoW!!! I wonder how many of the folks in congress and DOD civilians ware that shoe?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Sammy February 27 2014 at 7:10 AM

For years the military has been lowering its standards, such as intelligence, education, etc just so they could put more feet on the ground so to speak. Now it is coming back to bite them on the butt. With the great cull that is coming, I have to worry about how they will be able to defend our nation in the near future.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
stridervic February 27 2014 at 2:09 PM

The men in the photo are M A R I N E S you dumb $h*t!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
richie February 27 2014 at 6:48 AM

Hagel should go to.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
doctorscorpion February 27 2014 at 2:39 PM

Looks like a good technique to use on "The House of Boehner."


Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
kristnoplis doctorscorpion February 27 2014 at 3:02 PM

True, there would be no democrats left.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
Leonard kristnoplis February 27 2014 at 3:40 PM

you are aware that this behavior is almost equa;l on both sides of the aisle?

Flag 0 rate up
ramonbatt kristnoplis February 27 2014 at 3:46 PM

Democrats and republicans are alike. They do not care for freedom. Only power and control. Get it?

Flag 0 rate up
pennyhall1943 doctorscorpion February 27 2014 at 3:33 PM

Ha Ha Ha really isn't funny, but is soooooo true! He is the biggest jerk I have ever seen, downright pathetic.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
steel4cal February 27 2014 at 2:45 PM

Drunk Driving is OK as a Senator or Congressman and sexual harassment is OK for a President, why are these guys singled out?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
sgtwal February 27 2014 at 9:50 AM

The Army has just announced they need to reduce the number of troops. After Vietnam they took anything that was less than perfect as a reason to block you from reenlistment.
This is a good reason to use for troop reduction. They overlooked some problems when they needed fighters, but now they are going back and ending careers to reduce the force.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
ramonbatt February 27 2014 at 3:41 PM

Can we remove Obama? He is unsuitable for the job of running this country? Lol

Flag Reply +5 rate up
aol~~ 1209600


More From Our Partners