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The U.S. Army is apologizing after a livestream of the change of command ceremony for the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) was interrupted by “highly inappropriate content.” Now Army investigators are looking into how the incident happened. 

The change of command ceremony took place on Thursday, May 30 at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) at Fort Liberty. The event was also livestreamed via Zoom for those who could not attend, and the 1st Special Warfare Training Group shared the link to it on its Facebook page for those who could not attend in person. According to visuals and information shared to social media and the U.S. Army subreddit, during the ceremony the feed cut to one adult man masturbating on camera, for all viewers to see.

Later on May 30, SWCS sent an email to soldiers and civilians at the school, acknowledging the incident and apologizing for it, saying it does not condone the behavior.

“The action is not reflective of our Army Values, and we take the professionalism of our people and our mission very seriously,” the email said in part. “We offer our sincere apologies to anyone who observed the highly inappropriate content, and any impact to viewers of the ceremony.”

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The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Cyber Crimes Unit is now investigating the incident, SWCS told Task & Purpose. 

“The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School is aware of an incident that occurred during the live stream of 1st Special Warfare Training Group’s Change of Command ceremony on May 30,” said SWCS spokesperson, Elvia Kelly in a statement to Task & Purpose. “We take this matter seriously and are reviewing our procedures to mitigate future situations.”

1st Special Warfare Training Group is one of the units based out of the SWCS. It’s focused on the initial training and education process for soldiers aiming to enter special operations, including psychological operations and the Special Forces (AKA Green Berets). 

The Army said that anyone impacted by the incident should reach out to their unit’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention or SHARP representative.

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