The Corps Just Fired The General Who Called Harassment Charges 'Fake News'

news
U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Kurt W. Stein, Director of Marine and Family Programs, has been put on leave after commenting to a Marine audience about sexual harassment allegations against a Marine officer.
U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Ricardo R. Davila

Editor’s Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.


Days after announcing that the one-star director of Marine and Family Programs had been placed on administrative leave an investigation into comments he made at a town hall-style meeting, the Marine Corps said Monday that he was removed from his post and reassigned.

Brig. Gen. Kurt Stein was placed on leave April 11 after an anonymous complainant alleged he had made inappropriate remarks at an all-hands meeting at Quantico, Virginia, five days before.

According to an exclusive report by USA Today, Stein allegedly called allegations of sexual harassment against a Marine officer "fake news" and dismissed them using other crude language. The allegations in question were made by two female civilian employees of the Marine Corps and previously reported by USA Today.

A Marine Corps news release Monday stated that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller had reviewed an investigation into Stein's alleged remarks and determined that he had lost confidence "in Stein's ability to lead this particular organization."

"Leaders are responsible for establishing an environment conducive to mission accomplishment," Neller's spokesman, Lt. Col. Eric Dent, said in a statement.

Stein, a Marine Corps aviator who has flown more than 100 combat missions and logged some 4,500 flight hours, became director of Marine and Family Programs in November 2016.

The department oversees numerous counseling and prevention services, including programs designed to prevent against sexual assault and assist survivors.

Stein is the second general in two months to be removed from his post by Neller himself; in February, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling, legislative assistant to the commandant, was suspended amid allegations he had created a hostile work environment.

Headed by Neller, Marine Corps leadership has been working aggressively to root out leadership and cultural issues that work to create a permissive environment for harassment, disrespect and misogyny.

In the wake of a scandal a little over a year ago in which it was discovered that some active duty Marines were using a closed Facebook group to share nude photos of female service members without their consent, the service has begun multiple lines of effort to change the culture.

Neller made Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters head of a task force to address gender bias, harassment and social media misconduct. He was later made an equal-opportunity "talent manager" for the Marine Corps.

Walters revealed in late 2017 that a number of Marine Corps unit commanders had already been removed from their posts for reasons related to an improper command climate regarding women.

WATCH NEXT:

Joel Marrable (Laquna Ross via CNN)

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs put on leave an Atlanta-based administrator and reassigned the region's chief medical officer and seven other staff members while it investigates the treatment of a veteran under its care.

Joel Marrable's daughter discovered more than 100 ant bites on her father when she visited him in early September.

The daughter, Laquna Ross, told Channel 2 Action News: "His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"

Read More Show Less
he amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) returns to homeport at Naval Base San Diego on February 25, 2015. (U.S. Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corwin Colbert)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.

After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.

But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.

Read More Show Less

That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.

After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.

Read More Show Less

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.

"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."

Read More Show Less