Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Pentagon to investigate alleged Alaska Guard misconduct

Mar. 27, 2014 - 05:57PM   |  
  • Filed Under

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Pentagon officials will conduct a federal investigation of allegations of sexual abuse by Alaska National Guard members, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday.

Parnell’s office this week released a Feb. 28 letter to National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Frank Grass that asks for an investigator to be appointed to examine open and closed investigations of alleged sexual assault, KTUU reported.

Grass quickly responded, and Parnell met last week with officials, including Col. Christian Rofrano, the chief counsel of the National Guard Bureau, and Maj. Gen. Wilton Gorske, assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Guard matters, said Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said. The scope of an investigation was discussed, according to Leighow.

Alaska National Guard officials have said 29 cases of sexual assault have been reported since 2009. Of those, 21 were closed or suspended after law enforcement got involved.

In his letter to Grass, Parnell said he was extremely proud of Alaska National Guard members and their professionalism.

“However, I remain deeply concerned by reports of sexual assaults and other behavior creating a hostile environment and culture within portions of the Alaska National Guard,” Parnell wrote. “Not only are individuals victimized and traumatized in these circumstances, but collectively our National Guard is harmed — from morale to mission damage.”

Parnell said Alaska National Guard Adjutant Gen. Thomas Katkus has in recent years emphasized strong systems for dealing with such cases and raising awareness among Guard members.

“Information I recently learned, however, compels me to write and seek outside look at our Alaska National Guard’s training, reporting, investigations, and case dispensation practices related to the areas I outlined above,” Parnell wrote. “Where a number of matters were referred to civilian law enforcement who declined to investigate, I ask you to review those matters, as well.”

Brig. Gen. Catherine Jorgensen, director of the joint staff of the Alaska National Guard, said Gorske met with Alaska National Guard officials over the weekend to fill them in on the coming investigation, which will include collecting information and reviewing past training, reporting, responses and dispensations of sexual misconduct allegations.

The outside investigators will return to Alaska in April, Jorgensen said.

“We look forward to the results of this assessment to see any improvements or recommendations that they have for us,” she said.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

2015 career forecast
Fewer promotions, more force-outs

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook