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Marine general gets the lightest of slaps on the wrist for his toxic and abusive leadership
A Marine one-star general whom an investigation found to be an abusive and toxic boss has essentially escaped unpunished.
Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling received official counseling as a result of a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation, a defense official said.
Cooling, who had been fired as legislative assistant to the commandant, is now serving as assistant deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations — marking the pinnacle of his 33-year career in the Marine Corps.
The brigadier general first told Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson that he had been counseled over the IG's findings.
When contacted by Task & Purpose, Cooling deferred questions to the head of Marine Corps public affairs. A Marine Corps spokesman declined to say what administrative actions were taken against Cooling.
The IG investigation found that Cooling created a hostile work environment during his seven months as legislative assistant.
During that time,He threatened to castrate a staff member, told a female Marine that he'd prefer his daughter work as a prostitute than serve as a pilot, and spread a rumor about a female Marine officer whom he believed filed a complaint that cost him his job, the investigation found.
"We substantiated the allegation that BGen Cooling's overall course of conduct toward subordinates disparaged, bullied, humiliated them, and devalued women," the investigation found.
Cooling defended his leadership style, telling investigators the comment about his daughter was meant as a joke and he didn't remember threatening to castrate anyone – although he may have discussed castrating cattle while growing up on a farm.
"I inadvertently offended some through random remarks that were taken in a different context other than I intended," Cooling told Military.com reporter Gina Harkins in June. "Had I been less demanding or willing to compromise standards, these allegations — which surfaced only during the promotion confirmation process — would have never emerged."
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Shortly after seven sailors died aboard USS Fitzgerald when she collided with a merchant ship off Japan in 2017, I wrote that the Fitzgerald's watch team could have been mine. My ship had once had a close call with me on watch, and I had attempted to explain how such a thing could happen. "Operating ships at sea is hard, and dangerous. Stand enough watches, and you'll have close calls," I wrote at the time. "When the Fitzgerald's investigation comes out, I, for one, will likely be forgiving."
So, am I forgiving? Yes — for some.
Editor's note: a version of this story first appeared in 2015.
Most people haven't heard of an elderly Belgian-Congolese nurse named Augusta Chiwy. But students of history know that adversity and dread can turn on a dime into freedom and change, and it's often the most humble and little-known individuals who are the drivers of it.
During the very darkest days of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, Chiwy was such a catalyst, and hundreds of Americans lived because of her. She died quietly on Aug. 23, 2015, at the age of 94 at her home in Brussels, Belgium, and had it not been for the efforts of my friend — British military historian Martin King — the world may never have heard her astonishing story.
More than $20 million of the Pentagon aid at the center of the impeachment fight still hasn't reached Ukraine.
The continued delay undermines a key argument against impeachment from President Trump's Republican allies and a new legal memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Average pay, housing and subsistence allowances will increase for members of the military in 2020, the Pentagon announced Thursday.