Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, is back.
Troxell was temporarily suspended from his duties in September while the Army Inspector General looked into allegations of misconduct. Those allegations were never specified, and for months Troxell has not been allowed to discuss the case.
According to a statement released by Dunford’s office, the violations included “the improper use of U.S. military personnel to conduct tasks not associated with their official duties, such as personal errands, and improper endorsement of commercial fitness and nutrition products on official SEAC social media platforms."
However, importantly, “Troxell received no personal or monetary gain from these endorsements,” Dunford said.
Troxell maintains an active social media presence that is centrally focused on getting forces to meet fitness standards, and many of his online posts included shots of workout gear or workout recovery food or drink.
His most well known post, however, involved a shovel and a warning.
During a 2017 visit to the troops over the holidays and under the hashtag #ISIS_SurrenderorDie, Troxell posted a video to Facebook of his pep talk to the troops.
“If they choose not to surrender, then we will kill them with extreme prejudice, whether that be through security force assistance, by dropping bombs on them, shooting them in the face, or beating them to death with our entrenching tools,” Troxell said at the time.
In the months that followed, hundreds of visiting soldiers, veterans — even the Military Times — sent E-Tools to Troxell.
Dunford said the violations were weighed against the entirety of Troxell’s 37-year career, and took “appropriate administrative action and made the decision to reinstate CSM Troxell to his position as the SEAC.”
"I carefully weighed the gravity of CSM Troxell’s ethics violations against his 37 years of dedicated military service and superb leadership — to include 19 years as a sergeant major,” said Dunford. “Appropriate corrective action has been taken and I’m confident that SEAC has learned from this experience. I am equally confident in his competence and capability to continue serving as our senior enlisted leader, which is why I reinstated him to his duties as SEAC. Now it’s time to move on and get back to the important work we have before us.”
This story is developing and will be updated.
Tara Copp is the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times and author of the award-winning military nonfiction "The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story."