A morale patch on the backpack of U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Thomas James, senior enlisted advisor to the California Military Department adjutant general, reads that the fun meter is set to max during his visit to Camp San Luis Obispo, California, as part of a Federal Legislative Field Day, Sept. 18, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard/Senior Airman Crystal Housman)
Allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers in the California National Guard are more widespread than the complaints made at a Fresno air base that led to a dramatic leadership shakeup of the organization earlier this month, The Times has found.
Interviews with current and former Guard members and an examination of internal documents show that complaints go well beyond Fresno and extend to the army side as well. The allegations have come from fighter pilots, a top military prosecutor, Special Forces officers and a colonel who hoped to head the organization.
They allege a pattern of both retaliation against whistleblowers and others who accuse their superiors of misconduct and a failure of the Guard's justice system to protect them.
A National Guardsman walks alone and among the clouds Nov. 17 during a land navigation course during the California Army National Guard's 2015 Best Warrior Competition Nov. 16-20 at Camp San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, Calif. (U.S. Army National Guard/Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza)
Gov. Gavin Newsom is withdrawing hundreds of California National Guard troops from the border in a rebuke to President Donald Trump.
The Democratic governor plans to sign an executive order Monday ending a special border deployment that Trump requested and Newsom's predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, approved in April.
Soldiers of 2nd Platoon, 330th MP Company, California National Guard, patrol along side a group of school children during a dismounted patrol through the city of Khost in the Khost province of Afghanistan. (California National Guard/Spc. Joseph Samudio)
One of the highest-ranking officers in the California National Guard told lawmakers on Tuesday that the state is not removing transgender soldiers and airmen from its ranks despite efforts by the Trump administration to bar transgender people from the U.S. military.
"As long as you fight, we don't care what gender you identify as," said Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, the assistant adjutant general for the California National Guard.
Thousands of National Guardsman are deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to support U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in keeping people out of the United States, but at least one of them is allegedly working overtime to smuggle people in.
Since the Carr Fire was first reported to authorities on July 23, its flames have lapped across nearly 100,000 acres of California, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and threatening hundreds of buildings. Two firefighters, along with several civilians, have already lost their lives; thus far, the Carr Fire is only 20% contained.