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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.

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elkcalleraz February 27 2014 at 11:58 AM

I think it's great that people are held accountable for their actions. NOW, let's do this at the White House and start from the top down..... There would be some job openings starting from the beginning.,..... Obama, Hillary Clinton, just to name the top 2 that should be help accountable....

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2 replies
joeknowswoodies elkcalleraz February 27 2014 at 12:10 PM

Agreed.

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faithta elkcalleraz February 27 2014 at 12:54 PM

He was talking about the Repubicans and the Democrats (Republi-crats). You have a Republican controlled house and a Democrat controlled Senate, a Democrat as President and "Out of office retired Secretary of State. (Obama and Hillary) It's not hard to figure which party side you are on.(REPUBLICAN) By the way, Hillary is not currently in office to be removed (Yet) so why would you be afraid of her? Read Jeremiah 17:5 and go out in the next election and vote "prayfully"

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J.Schnardthorst February 27 2014 at 1:40 PM

I bet no one checked out the high ranking officers in the Pentagon!!!

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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

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tommie20h February 27 2014 at 7:18 AM

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

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frankii0705 February 27 2014 at 10:16 AM

About time! I've worked for 30+ years with the US Army and this is over due. This is occurring because of the consideration to downsize our US military. I've worked with Officers that were sleeping on park benches because they were too intoxicated and the BN Commander just assist him on taking him home to sleep it off! Now if it was an enlisted Soldier, he would have been taken to the Military Police station for a breathalyzer exam; if over the limit he is drunk on duty. Do you think that any of the 20, 000 Soldiers were Officer's? NO! They just want the enlisted Soldiers, acting as if the Officers within our military are SAINT'S!!!

Let's talk about our physical conditioning program, most of the overweight Soldiers are OFFICER's!!! Does the chain of command do anything about that? HE- - NO!!! But once a Soldier is overweight, its time to place that Soldier on the overweight program; if no progress! It's time to process his/her discharge paper!!!

Why hasn't the military done the same for the Officer's: 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.

Does anyone really believe that the Officer's of those enlisted Soldiers violations were not aware of them? Come on, Officer's will cover-up any infraction; provided that it is not out of the "Cat's Hat!"

After 30+ years, I've seen government fraud and when reported, i was removed from that position!

I've reported physical security violations, because the installation would not upgrade the security; i was removed!

Reported to higher headquarters the over strength assignment of personnel in order to reassign NCO's within the installation, based on the Unit Status Report (USR), higher headquarters response was "I must have a hidden agenda!" Really, yes my agenda was to save the government the expense was paying NCO's that really had no job because we were over strength!

Never relieved from duty, just removed with a good NCOER; that was to keep me quiet!!!

While attending the USA Sergeants Major Academy Class of 51, my Battalion Commander tried to remove me from the course; i was selected by my peers; she was not successful :-). Graduate of USASMA Class of 51!!!

That same BN CDR was very hard on physical fitness program, but guess what, she was the ONLY one that was overweight and never participated in the PT program!!! You think anyone spoke or counseled her? NO

No one says anything when Officer's are in violation due to fear of reprisal!!!

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, let's do a proper screening of the Officer Corp! I would assure you that those Soldiers that were in violations, their superior were very well aware. What are your actions for those Officer's that failed to take action?

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3 replies
GrandmaLinda February 27 2014 at 10:21 AM

Lets do the same review for the senate and house! Oh wait, there wouldn't be anyone left. They are all crooks, liars and cheats and many felons among them!

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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.

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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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richie February 27 2014 at 6:48 AM

Hagel should go to.

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doctorscorpion February 27 2014 at 2:39 PM

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

Doc

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2 replies
kristnoplis doctorscorpion February 27 2014 at 3:02 PM

True, there would be no democrats left.

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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?

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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
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