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March 20, 2014

Command Climate

If the Army can't enforce their own laws when it comes to a jackwagon like this...

Suspicions of an Army general’s extramarital affair with a subordinate had circulated widely enough that soldiers portrayed the two in a sexually suggestive skit at a 2010 party, according to witness testimony Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Bigelow testified at a sentencing hearing that the skit was performed during a party at which Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was being honored in Germany. It involved a soldier dressed up as Sinclair and a soldier dressed as a woman in a brown wig to represent the captain who was his primary accuser, Bigelow testified.

...During the skit, the character in the wig “moved in front of the Sinclair character’s crotch and offered to do something for him,” Bigelow said. “There was absolutely no question.”

Bigelow said Sinclair’s wife attended the party and was “clearly shocked, angered and dismayed.” He said the accuser was not at the party.

But wait! There's more inspiring leadership where this came from:

At Monday’s hearing, prosecutors also called Lt. Nargis Kabiri to testify that she rebuffed advances from Sinclair, who invited her to go horseback riding after she sought him out as a mentor.

Sinclair pleaded guilty to conduct unbecoming of an officer for the advances on Kabiri, who was not one of the three subordinates with whom he admitted an inappropriate relationship.

She said the publicity of being connected to the Sinclair case has hurt her as she tries to move through the ranks in the male-dominated area of field artillery.

Male commanders will refuse to talk to her alone in their offices.

“I have had male leaders who approach me with caution, and I approach them with caution,” she said.

Laws. They are for the little people.

Posted by Cassandra at March 20, 2014 06:11 PM

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Is it inappropriate to go horseback riding with an officer under your command? I mean, I understand this isn't the cavalry, but still...

Sorry, Cass. I know you were rooting for a harsh penalty. For what it's worth, the law actually did get applied here, however weakly. I was aware of one 'open secret' relationship involving a CO in Iraq that never even got investigated. Others got busted, but rank -- and the green tab -- sometimes has its privileges. At least this case saw the process through.

Posted by: Grim at March 20, 2014 06:54 PM

As an NCO who completely understands the principle of never being in an office with a female without a witness, I'm pretty disgusted about yet another GO/FO getting a hand slap for diddling the help. I see more mandatory sensitivity training coming along at the enlisted level. Yeah, that'll solve the leadership problems.

OK, switching to decaff...

Posted by: Pogue at March 20, 2014 07:24 PM

I was aware of one 'open secret' relationship involving a CO in Iraq that never even got investigated. Others got busted, but rank -- and the green tab -- sometimes has its privileges.

That's exactly 180 out from the way it should be, and it's hard for me to imagine anything more toxic than senior people getting away with things junior folks fry for.

It's just plain wrong, and it really bothers me.

If it helps any, Pogue, officers have to attend the same training. Or at least the Unit always did. He's a civilian now and he had to go through it again last year. But I agree that it's just ridiculous for him to get away with this.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 20, 2014 09:13 PM

This is a huge problem.
A proper review of a fitness report really requires a private meeting between reporting senior and the individual receiving the report.
A Commanding Officer MUST be trustworthy, and be trusted, to be effective.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 21, 2014 02:21 PM

I am (unsurprisingly) 100% with Pogue on this one. There is a VERY clear perception among the enlisted that the sins of the officer class are oft only punished in the enlisted ranks. Not always fair, but this verdict continues to send that perception.

They caught this bastard red handed, and let him go with a slap on the wrist. And once again, I daresay Pogue is right. Look for an additional sexual harassment awareness class to become mandatory for all ranks to attend (but strangely will probably not be attended at all by anyone over the rank of O-6).

Posted by: MikeD at March 24, 2014 12:19 PM