Fort Benning Officials Confirm Drill Sergeants Suspended, Under Investigation

FORT BENNING, Ga. – An earlier report of drill sergeants suspended and under investigation for alleged misconduct of a sexual nature have been confirmed by the Army.

Ben Garrett, a Fort Benning spokesman, told USAWTFM in an emailed statement that the post “take(s) these allegations very seriously, and we will ensure a full and thorough investigation of the facts.”

Garret said post leadership took initial actions to ensure the safety and welfare of the soldiers involved. The drill sergeants have been suspended from drill sergeant duties, and will have no contact with trainees during the course of the investigation.

“There is no place for sexual harassment or sexual assault in our Army.  Our Army remains committed to maintaining a values-based climate, intolerant of these acts, and to respond appropriately when accusations are made.  It is important to remember that the investigation is ongoing, and we are gathering all the facts at this time. While the investigation continues, our primary objective is the well-being of all of our Soldiers,”

Garrett’s statement did not discuss any potential changes to gender integrated infantry training as a result of this incident.

The investigation stems from allegations of sexual assault made by a number of female trainees who were held over after the end of training, officials close to the investigation said. The sources are not identified because they are not permitted to speak on the matter publicly.

All five of the drill sergeants identified in the investigation belong to the 198th Inf. Bde. USAWTFM will not name the offenders as these are only allegations at the moment and the incident is under investigation.

The 198th Inf. Bde. is responsible for training infantry one station unit training, where basic training and advanced infantry training are combined into one 14 week program. It is also the first gender-integrated infantry training unit in the Army.

The full statement reads : “The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning,
Georgia, in conjunction with U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, is
investigating a recent sexual assault allegation made by a female trainee
against a drill sergeant at Fort Benning. Initial review of this incident revealed indications of additional allegations of sexual misconduct involving trainees and drill sergeants. We take these allegations very seriously, and we will ensure a full and thorough investigation of the facts.” the statement continues, confirming earlier reports that the investigation has now expanded to cover multiple drill sergeants.

“Our initial actions are to ensure the safety and welfare of all of our
Soldiers. The drill sergeants have been suspended from drill sergeant
duties, and will have no contact with trainees during the course of the
investigation. We have also made counseling, legal and medical services available to the
trainees involved in the allegations.

There is no place for sexual harassment or sexual assault in our Army. Our
Army remains committed to maintaining a values-based climate, intolerant of
these acts, and to respond appropriately when accusations are made. It is
important to remember that the investigation is ongoing, and we are
gathering all the facts at this time. While the investigation continues,
our primary objective is the well-being of all of our Soldiers. Further
information will be released at the appropriate time.”

This story is developing.