The senior enlisted soldier at Fort Hood, Texas, has been reinstated following an investigation into allegations that he used unprofessional language toward subordinates, according to a brief statement on the matter.
The investigation concluded Friday and determined that Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur Burgoyne’s language “was not unprofessional and he did not exhibit counterproductive leadership,” according to a statement from Army Forces Command, which oversees Fort Hood and ran the investigation.
Burgoyne was temporarily suspended in mid-December over the allegations. He was cleared of wrongdoing and placed back in his role as the command sergeant major for III Corps and Fort Hood roughly one month later.
The exact comments were not disclosed. But an Army official said on background that the language had nothing to do with race, gender, sexual orientation or sexual harassment, and was akin to the kind of “direct talk” common within light infantry formations, where Burgoyne spent much of his career.
“Putting people first includes holding our leaders to a high standard,” said FORSCOM commander Gen. Michael X. Garrett in a statement. “... Burgoyne is a tough leader who cares about every soldier in his formation. I have faith in his leadership and I know his soldiers are his top priority.”
The FOSCOM investigation was initiated to determine whether Burgoyne’s comments were at odds with the Army’s “people first” policy push, which is intended to foster an environment of dignity and respect, an Army official previously said.
Burgoyne first joined the Louisiana National Guard in 1986, but he began his active duty career at Fort Hood in 1992. Since then, he has served in a range of roles, from a long-range surveillance halo team leader at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the 82nd Airborne Division’s senior enlisted soldier at that same post. He has completed six deployments — three to Iraq and three to Afghanistan.
Army officials stressed that the investigation into Burgoyne’s comments was unrelated to other investigations of III Corps and Fort Hood, which have revolved around sexual assault and harassment, missing soldiers and failings among leaders there in the wake of Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s death this summer.
An independent committee, sparked by Guillen’s homicide case and the allegations her family brought forth after she died, determined there was an environment at Fort Hood that allowed sexual assault and harassment to proliferate. The committee’s finding triggered the relief and suspension of 14 leaders, including the post’s acting commander.
Leaders elsewhere have also been nicked by investigations that became public in recent months. The battalion commander overseeing Ranger School’s Mountain Phase at Camp Frank D. Merrill, Georgia, was relieved Nov. 20 after an investigation substantiated complaints that he made “derogatory comments to subordinates,” according to Army officials there.
In that case, Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe, who leads the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, relieved the 5th Ranger Training Battalion commander “due to his inability to uphold professional standards of conduct,” a statement from the general read at the time.
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.