Army Ousts 588 From Key Jobs in Sex Assault Review

They're accused of everything from sexual assault to drunk driving
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2014 10:10 AM CST
Chuck Hagel speaks with troops at the Al Udeid air base in Qatar, in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Mark Wilson, Pool)

(Newser) – The Army has kicked 588 soldiers out of "positions of trust"—jobs that include sexual assault counselors, recruiters, and drill sergeants—following a review prompted by a spike in sexual assaults. The soldiers were accused of a range of misconduct that included not just assaults, but things like child abuse and drunk driving as well, USA Today reports. The Army only wants to outright dismiss 79 of the soldiers, though the rest may face further disciplinary actions. The purge represents a tenfold increase on the 55 ousted in last summer's initial review.

Chuck Hagel ordered the review back in May in response to a study showing a 35% spike in troop sexual assaults. The numbers have continued climbing in the interim. The review initially focused only on sexual assault counselors, but eventually expanded to cover 20,000 people, ABC News explains. Hagel "has been exceedingly clear about the need to continue stamping out sexual assault from our ranks," a spokesman said, and he was "happy to learn that the Army widened the scope of their review." (Read more US Army stories.)

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