COLCHESTER, Vermont –
Leaders of the Vermont Army National Guard have initiated administrative investigations into allegations of misconduct in recent months.
The investigations follow an Organizational Assessment made public by the Vermont National Guard in October 2021.
“Our people are by far the most important part of our organization,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, Vermont adjutant general. “I want to make sure I do everything I can to maximize the experience of Soldiers and Airmen during their time in uniform. These investigations are a result of our people trusting the process, and reporting aberrant behavior to the chain of command.”
Conducted by the Office of Complex Investigations from the National Guard Bureau, the Organizational Assessment consisted of a Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey, site inspections and numerous interviews with members from across the Vermont National Guard.
“I joined the Vermont National Guard in 2003,” said Maj. Annaliese Baumer, commander of the 572nd Brigade Engineer Battalion based in Rutland, Vermont, during a recent interview with WCAX. “I can definitely recall the way it was versus the way it is now. I would say the fact that [Knight] actually invited that climate assessment is positive, it’s a huge deal that you’re willing to have eyes look into the organization and identify some things that aren’t necessarily comfortable. To me, that’s a step moving forward in and of itself, because that didn’t happen ten years ago.”
In all administrative investigations into misconduct the Vermont National Guard follows strict procedures that afford individuals their constitutional right to due process. The Privacy Act forbids the disclosure of personally identifiable information without the written consent of those involved.
“I am disappointed that poor decisions and behavior continue to happen, but am glad to see our members report bad behavior when they see it,” said Knight. “I wish we could share more about the investigations themselves, but we can’t. It’s critical for our current members to know that all members are, and will continue to be held accountable regardless of rank or position,” said Knight.
For more information on the Organizational Assessment of the Vermont National Guard visit www.vtguard.com/Org-Assessment.