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

news
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:

U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.

The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

Read More Show Less
The first grenade core was accidentally discovered on Nov. 28, 2018, by Virginia Department of Historic Resources staff examining relics recovered from the Betsy, a British ship scuttled during the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The grenade's iron jacket had dissolved, but its core of black powder remained potent. Within a month or so, more than two dozen were found. (Virginia Department of Historic Resources via The Virginian-Pilot)

In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.

Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.

And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.

Read More Show Less