- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
One of the things a good senior leader does is move around his or her unit. Don’t wait for bad news to come to you. Often, it won’t be allowed to.
The new issue of Army Times has a good piece by Michelle Tan about a predatory drill sergeant who in one 10 day period earlier this year had various forms of sex with one female recruit, oral sex with another, a groping and kissing session with a third, and indecent language with some others.
The first woman to complain was a 20-year-old victim who found the chain of command unresponsive. She went to one drill sergeant, who told her, "You don’t want to open that can of worms, Private. . . . That’s my battle buddy’s career you’re trying to fuck up." Her first sergeant didn’t believe her. The company commander said he would launch an inquiry, which, she said, led nowhere, and wasn’t reported to superiors. The woman said that other trainees who had been assaulted were afraid to come forward, especially after they saw how the drill sergeants ganged up on her and accused her of lacking integrity.
Then she ran into the battalion command sergeant major as he was moving around the unit. He listened to her, then called a meeting of all the females in the company. It lasted about 90 minutes. "That’s when the others came forward," the woman said.
The abusive drill sergeant, Luis Corral, has been found guilty. He was busted to private, sentenced to five years in the brig, and will get a bad conduct discharge when he gets out. Then he must register as a sex offender.
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Profile |