Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
An officer is prepared to testify to Congress that Trump's Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman nominee sexually assaulted her
A military officer is reportedly willing to testify before lawmakers that Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who has been nominated to become the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sexually assaulted her.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the unnamed officer stated she could agree to testify under oath to the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, which is considering Hyten's nomination, that the Air Force general made unwanted sexual contact with her multiple times, including allegedly sexually assaulting her in December 2017.
The Pentagon released a statement supporting Hyten after Defense One first reported that lawmakers had been briefed about the sexual assault allegations against him.
"After a comprehensive investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, there was insufficient evidence to support any finding of misconduct on the part of Gen. Hyten," Air Force Col. DeDe Halfhill, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said in the statement. "Gen. Hyten cooperated with the investigation. With more than 38 years of service to our nation, Gen. Hyten has proven himself to be a principled and dedicated patriot."
The officer told the Associated Press that Hyten retaliated against her after she rebuffed his unwanted sexual advances while working as his aide. She accuses him of kissing, hugging, and rubbing up against her.
Despite receiving superlative performance reviews from Hyten, the officer was eventually investigated for toxic leadership and received a letter of reprimand, the Associated Press reported. The military rejected her request for retirement and she subsequently received another negative review from Hyten.
Hyten is currently head of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the military's nuclear forces.
"U.S. Strategic Command fully cooperated with the investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations," STRATCOM said in a statement to Task & Purpose. "According to Air Force officials, there was insufficient evidence to support any finding of misconduct on the part of Gen Hyten.
However, now that lawmakers are aware of the allegations made against Hyten, his nomination to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff could be in jeopardy.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have raised questions about whether Hyten received "preferential treatment because of his rank and pending nomination" as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In a June 25 letter to Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the two senators wrote that Gen. James Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, should not have been the convening authority for the investigation into Hyten.
"The severity of the allegations and the sensitivity and seniority of Gen. Hyten's billet demand that a senior officer – not a peer, and certainly not a peer who is junior in grade to General Hyten – should be the convening authority," Warren and Duckworth wrote.
The senators have asked Esper for an unredacted copy of the Air Force's investigation into Hyten and answers to questions about whether the Pentagon followed its own procedures during the investigation.
"Only with that information will we be able to give his nomination a full and fair consideration," they wrote.
SEE ALSO: Military Sexual Assaults Have Reached A Four-year High As The Pentagon Downplays Its Failures
WATCH NEXT: Sen. Martha McSally Discloses Her Air Force Sexual Assault
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.
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.
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.
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."
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.