An officer is prepared to testify to Congress that Trump's Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman nominee sexually assaulted her

news

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, head of U.S. Strategic Command.

(DoD photo/Michael Romeo)

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

Little girls everywhere will soon have the chance to play with a set of classic little green Army soldiers that actually reflect the presence of women in the armed forces.

Read More Show Less

U.S. military officials may have abandoned their dreams of powered armor straight out of Starship Troopers, but the futuristic components of America's first prototype combat exoskeleton could eventually end up in the arsenals of both U.S. special operations forces and conventional troops.

Read More Show Less

SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper pressed South Korea on Friday to pay more for the cost of stationing U.S. troops in the country and to maintain an intelligence-sharing pact with its other Asian ally, Japan, that Seoul is about to let lapse.

Speaking after a high-level defense policy meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, Esper also said the two countries must be flexible with their joint military drills to back diplomatic efforts to end North Korea's nuclear program.

But he stopped short of announcing any new reduction in military exercises that North Korea has sharply condemned.

Read More Show Less
Turkish and Russian patrol is seen near the town of Darbasiyah, Syria, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (Associated Press/Baderkhan Ahmad)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base in northern Syria vacated by U.S. forces, the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel said on Friday.

On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow's control over events on the ground there.

Qamishli is the same city where Syrian citizens pelted U.S. troops and armored vehicles with potatoes after President Donald Trump vowed to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

U.S. Army weapons officials are testing an experimental drone armed with a multi-shot, 40mm grenade launcher to destroy enemy targets hiding behind cover.

Read More Show Less