Army Excuses Aberdeen Commander

On July 31, Army officials said the two-star general in charge of Aberdeen should not be held responsible for the widespread sexual scandal that occurred on the base. Four mid-level officers at the Aberdeen Ordnance Center should, however, receive administrative punishment for the sex scandals in their battalions, according to the Army leadership.

Gen. William Hartzog, who heads the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and who determined the disciplinary measures after a seven-month review, excused Maj. Gen. Robert D. Shadley, the Aberdeen commander, because he claims Shadley had no idea of sexual misconduct on the base. Although the Army decided the four officers who were directly responsible for the battalions should receive punishment, an official described the disciplinary action as “nothing earth-shattering” and may not affect the future careers of the men. The Army’s decision prompted Rep. Jane Harman (D- Calif.), a member of a House panel studying gender issues in the military, to comment, “There was clearly a lax environment at Aberdeen and my view is that there is responsibility at the top and through the chain of command. I’ll be watching to see what the Army’s total solution is. It must include some action against senior levels who were asleep at the switch. Wrongdoing must be punished and wrongdoing includes failure to supervise.”


Washington Post - August 1, 1997]

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