The U.S. Army fired the commander of its West Point garrison this week, three months after the colonel was suspended from the post.
Col. Anthony Bianchi was fired this past week by Lt. Gen. Omar Jones, the head of U.S. Army Installation Management Command. The firing was “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,” according to a statement from the Army. The phrase “loss of confidence” is generally the term that the military uses when explaining why an officer was fired from a post. No other details or reasons for Bianchi’s firing were given.
Bianchi took over as garrison commander for West Point, which is home to the U.S. Military Academy, in July 2022.
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The Messenger first reported on Bianchi’s removal in July. At the time, Bianchi was suspended, pending an investigation by the Army. The Army said that the investigation was around “alleged misconduct,” although what that entailed was not revealed.
According to his official biography from the Army, Bianchi was commissioned as an artillery officer out of West Point in 1997. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2012. Prior to serving as garrison commander at West Point, Bianchi had been a professor there in the Department of Systems Engineering. He has also been awarded a Bronze Star, the Army Achievement Medal and Army Commendation Medal, among others.
Bianchi’s firing comes after several other Army commanders were removed from their posts in the last year. Col. Jonathan Chung, commander of the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade was fired in June following an investigation. A brigade commander at Fort Cavazos was fired last October; two charges of abusive sexual conduct were dismissed but the colonel is still facing of conduct unbecoming of a gentleman. The Army isn’t alone in this; this year the Navy saw several of its commanders relieved of duty. The common explanation from the Navy was the same: a “loss of confidence.”
Bianchi is currently “performing duties as assigned” according to the Army but it is not clear what any of that entails. As of press time, the Army has not named a replacement for the garrison commander position.
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