Vermont Army National Guard opens investigation into allegations of misconduct

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 11:34 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Army National Guard officials are investigating allegations of misconduct in recent months following a report last year on the Guard’s misogynist culture.

Vermont Adj. Gen. Greg Knight said in a statement Monday that he could not elaborate on the investigations but that it’s critical for members to know that “all members are, and will continue to be held accountable regardless of rank or position.”

“I am disappointed that poor decisions and behavior continue to happen, but am glad to see our members report bad behavior when they see it,” he said.

In November 2019, Knight requested an assessment by the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations. The 113-page report released last year found the Vermont National Guard’s sexual assault policies lacked specifics to ensure compliance, a prevention program had inadequate resources, and many personnel perceived favoritism and a “good old boy” network.

The investigation concluded that “the command climate and culture within the VTNG is generally sound, though there is room for improvement” and made 35 recommendations.

“Our people are by far the most important part of our organization,” Knight said Thursday in a statement. “I want to make sure I do everything I can to maximize the experience of Soldiers and Airmen during their time in uniform. These investigations are a result of our people trusting the process, and reporting aberrant behavior to the chain of command.”

The allegations come as the Guard last weekend promoted the first woman to named commander of the 572nd Brigade Engineer Battalion. Maj. Annaliese Baumer last week told WCAX she thinks the culture within the Guard has improved over the years.

“I would say the fact that [Maj. Gen. Greg Knight] actually invited that climate assessment is positive to me, that was a huge deal that you’re willing to have this, open some eyes, look into your organization and cover some things that are not necessarily comfortable to identify,” she said.

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