Camilla and I are pleased and honored to share the below article as part of our blogs on sexual misconduct in society, in general, and the military in particular. Our guest blogger, Retired US Army Colonel Wes Martin, has been a stalwart in the fight to ensure leaders do the hard right and not the easy wrong. Shockingly many of the cases Colonel Martin cites happened almost a year ago and to-date victims have not received justice but several have been retaliated against.
Fight Against Lack of Integrity
By Colonel (Retired) Colonel Wes Martin
The 416th Theater Engineering Command (TEC), U.S. Army Reserve, headquartered in Darien, Illinois has posted a job vacancy for Victims’ Advocate (VA). The problem is the command has a VA, Mrs. Amy Franck, who was forced into a whistle-blower situation when she realized commanders at all levels within the 416th were not properly reporting sexual assaults complaints.
Instead of being a “team player” and joining in on the cover-ups at the expense of victim justice, and after exhausting herself trying to get 416th management to do what was required by the Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) regulation, Amy reported victims’ complaints to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID).
Immediately after and with lame excuses, 416th’s Personnel Officer, Colonel Gregory Toth, removed Amy from her responsibilities. In paragraph 3 of the November 16, 2019 suspension letter, Colonel Toth stated, “If it is decided to permanently remove you from your position of significant trust as a Victims’ Advocate, you will be given written notice and will be provided with the opportunity to, among other things, consult with counsel and respond to the allegations.” Without any word to Amy, her position is being quietly posted for new applicants.
The seriousness of the problems in the 416th resulted in a January 10, 2020 Associated Press article, titled “Army Reserve Leaders Accused of Mishandling Assault Claims.” Citing multiple sexual assault cases, the exposé addressed the depth of the very corruption Amy was opposing.
A joint inquiry by Senators Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to Secretary of the Army (SecArmy) Ryan McCarthy first resulted in the standard response that there was no evidence to support the Associated Press article. In a February 6, 2020 letter to Senator Durbin, SecArmy McCarthy claimed 416th Commander, Major General (MG) Miyako Schanely, “…is providing clear and engaged leadership on the important matter, ensuring victims are afforded full protection and services, and taking immediate corrective actions as necessary.”
Underestimating the resolve of defenders of sexual assault victims is appearing to be an Army-wide epidemic. Just as Amy Franck wasn’t going away from this fight, neither did Senators Durbin and Duckworth.
Finally, on June 30th, in a direct conversation with Senator Durbin, SecArmy McCarthy admitted that a command investigation of the 416th had found adverse findings against eighteen senior officers.
MG Schanely’s has subsequently been removed as the 416th commander, disproving SecArmy McCarthy’s previous claim about the commander’s stellar performance in leadership and victim protection.
Meanwhile, senior Army management claims this investigation is still on-going and, until finalization, it remains unavailable for release. Lieutenant General Jason Evans was assigned to commence the investigation on March 30, 2020. It does not take four months to complete an investigation that requires only interviews and review of documentation.
Furthermore, commanding generals are not suspended, and senior officers determined to warrant discipline, from investigations still being worked. For this, the investigation has to be complete. Army management is stalling for time and hoping Senators Durbin and Duckworth will go away.
This brings us back to the issue of Amy Franck’s VA position being advertised as a job vacancy. Colonel Toth was very clear in his letter to Mrs. Franck that she will be provided written notice and have a chance to respond to permanent removal.
416th management is intentionally avoiding due process in allowing Amy to return to her VA position despite every word she said now proven to be true. Little surprise the 416th cannot fulfill the requirements of Army regulations when their officers fail in living up to their own written words.
Senior Army management is not doing any better. A basic reality of life is that the telling of truth only requires the remembrance of one story. Constant lying results in contradictions and requires ignoring previous claims hoping no one will notice. Right now, both 416th and senior Army management are all over the board.
The West Point Prayer starts out “Make us choose the harder right instead of the easy wrong and never be contented with half-a-truth when the whole can be won.” Until both 416th and Army seniors achieve those two standards, they will continue to perform as damage-control managers instead of professional leaders.
Military Police Colonel (Retired) Wes Martin was an instrumental participant in the 1990s effort to force Army reforms concerning sexual misconduct and lack of senior officer accountability. His fight for justice began while serving as a deputy commander of an ROTC detachment at a university in western New York where he opposed massive corruption and abuse of authority. By maintaining detailed documentation, he was able to overcome a retaliatory cover-up. Martin went on to acquire 123 months of command time, to include combat and two battalions, serve as senior anti-terrorism officer for all coalition forces in Iraq, serve as senior information operations officer for the Department of the Army, and earn two more promotions before retiring as a colonel.
Camilla Vance Shadley, RN and MG Robert D. Shadley (USA, Ret.)
Robert D. Shadley is a retired Army major general. Authored “The GAME: Unravelling a Military Sex Scandal”. Thirty-three year service, War Veteran.
Camilla Vance Shadley, RN is a survivor. Indecent assault from her late husband’s CG, a 4-star general. She is the daughter of former Secretary of State, Cyrus R. Vance, who also was Deputy Sec. of Defense, & Sec. of Army.