The Nightmare Continues

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Army photo / James W Arrowood

Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, center, receives the colors of Fort Jackson as he assumed command of the post April 10, 2012.

The Army announced late Tuesday afternoon that it has suspended the commanding general of the post that trains half its troops and all its drill sergeants due to allegations of  “adultery and a physical altercation.”

The suspension was the latest in a string of suspected sex-related cases that has rocked the military over the past three weeks and led to calls from Congress for a major overhaul in how the Pentagon deals with sexual assault within its ranks.

“Brigadier General Bryan T. Roberts was suspended today of his duties as Commanding General, U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, Fort Jackson, S.C.,” Army spokesman Harvey Perritt said in a terse statement. “He was suspended by the Commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. Robert W. Cone, due to allegations of misconduct.”

Roberts has been in command at Fort Jackson for just over a year. His removal is especially troublesome given how Fort Jackson describes itself:

The Fort Jackson Team operates the preeminent training center in the Department of Defense (DoD) responsible for training, educating, and developing our military and civilian leaders to succeed in the current and future operational environments; sets the conditions for training readiness, deployment, and sustainment of all the Partners in Excellence (PiE), while providing the highest Quality of Life for our Team Members, Families, Retirees, and Veterans.

The post trains 50% of the Army’s soldiers – about 36,000 – annually, 60% of its the women, and all of its drill sergeants.

Roberts, former deputy commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky., assumed command of the Army Training Center and Fort Jackson last April. He is a veteran of three tours in Iraq, the White House military office, and the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. Before assuming command of the Army Training Center, he served as chief of staff of the U.S. military office responsible for training the Iraq army.

“I’ve been in the Army for 28 years, and leading Soldiers and commanding units is what I enjoy doing most — working with people and making sure we provide the Army with the best it can have here at Fort Jackson,” Roberts said when he took over at Fort Jackson 13 months ago. “It’s a tremendous honor to have taken command today.” During his tour at Jackson, he said one of his “pillars of command” was “be good to people.” He was married with three children when he assumed command.

Cone tapped Brigadier General Peggy C. Combs, commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., as the interim chief of the training command.