Brigadier General Bryan T. Roberts has been suspended as the commanding officer of Fort Jackson Army Installation in South Carolina after the one-star general was accused of committing adultery and assault, U.S. Army spokesperson Harvey Perritt told Armytimes.com.
Perrit said Roberts conducted himself in a way “which was contrary to Army values and could not be condoned.” Roberts is married with three children.
According to an Army.mil description of General Roberts, his command philosophy is: “Be good to people.”
Here’s what you need to know about the general and the latest sex-related embarrassment for the armed forces…
1. Roberts Recently Called Sexual Assault an “Enemy Threat”
Army Times reports that Roberts recently outlined his stance on sexual assault in a now-deleted post on the U.S. Army’s website. It read:
I view sexual harassment and assault as an enemy threat, and just as we do with other threats, the Army is placing a continued emphasis toward eliminating it, all of us have a shared role in ridding our ranks of this cancerous conduct.
Meanwhile, ABC News reports an unnamed Army official saying of Roberts’ case:
The information at this time does not indicate this is a matter of sexual assault.
2. He’s a 29-Year Veteran in the Army
Brigadier General Roberts, originally from Hampton, Virginia, has been at Fort Jackson since 2011, having joined the armed forces in 1983. Previously he had been in Iraq as director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Team. He also worked with the Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox.
Between 2006 and 2008 he participated in Operation New Dawn in Iraq as commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq, and in the Pentagon as the director of integration in the office of the Army’s deputy chief of staff.
He has earned the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, among other decorations and badges.
Another online profile says:
General Roberts holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Marketing and Merchandising from Eastern Michigan University, and Master’s Degrees in Administration from Central Michigan University andNational Security Strategy and Strategic Studies from the National War College.
3. He’s Married With Three Children
A 2010 profile of Roberts says he is married to:
Cassandra Valorine Thompson of Detroit, Michigan, and they have three children: Bryan, 23, Ericka, 18, and Brandon, 12.
4. The Case is Particularly Embarrassing for Fort Jackson
Fort Jackson accounts for training 60 percent of the US Army’s female recruits, as well as 50 percent of the Army’s total new soldiers. In the fort’s own words:
The Fort Jackson Team operates the preeminent training center in the Department of Defense (DoD) responsible for training, educating, and developing our military and civilian leaders to succeed in the current and future operational environments; sets the conditions for training readiness, deployment, and sustainment of all the Partners in Excellence (PiE), while providing the highest Quality of Life for our Team Members, Families, Retirees, and Veterans.
As part of the basic training conducted at the base, there are seminars on sexual assault.
The base may also be a potential target for budget cuts; a scandal like won’t help its case.
5. This is the Latest in a String of Military Sex Scandals
As Army Times reports, the long list of sex scandals the armed forces have endured over the past few years include:
Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, the former deputy commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, is facing a court martial, over multiple sexual misconduct charges involving several women, the most serious of which is alleged forcible sodomy against a female subordinate with whom he was having an affair. Preliminary hearings in the case are ongoing.
Former CIA Director David Petraeus, a former four-star Army general and top commander in Afghanistan, resigned as spy chief last November after the FBI uncovered evidence that he was having an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus has acknowledged the affair.
James H. Johnson III, the former commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was convicted of fraud and bigamy last June and left the Army after being reduced in rank to lieutenant colonel and paying a $300,000 fine. Johnson, who misused government funds to visit his Iraqi mistress, has since divorced his wife.
Johnson’s wife, Kristina Johnson, has since launched a lobbying effort calling for expanded financial protections for the spouses of lawbreaking service members, saying her husband was given a light sentence to protect her.
Kevin P. Byrnes, a former four-star head of Training and Doctrine Command, was relieved of command in 2005, for disobeying a lawful order from the Army chief in connection with his extramarital, concentual relationship with a female civilian. Byrnes was soon to retire after 36 years of service.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon released a report estimating that 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted in incidents that went unreported. That number was up 35 percent over 2010 — a trend for which President Obama said he had “no tolerance.”
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