• Report: #804321

Complaint Review: United States Army

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  • Submitted: Fri, December 02, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, January 22, 2012

  • Reported By: TW — Colorado United States of America
United States Army
Fort Riley, KS Fort Riley, KS, Kansas United States of America

United States Army Sexual Harassment Fort Riley, KS, Kansas

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I have the same story with DOD,IG

*Author of original report: Yes

*Consumer Comment: Questions

*Author of original report: I figured..

*Consumer Comment: I'll start off with saying, thank you for your service.

*Consumer Suggestion: Try contacting

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Iraq - 2009-10
Lower enlisted male - 24yo

In JUN 10, I filed a sexual harassment complaint against an officer in my unit, a CPT. In FEB 10, this CPT messaged me a friend request via the website Facebook. I accepted this request because I had personally met and conversed with this CPT H. in the past. This CPT H. began to e-mail me and instant message me through Facebook. Soon, this CPT H. was e-mailing me daily, and even though I did not respond, this CPT H. was sending 3 to 4 e-mail messages a day to me. On 18 APR 10, via instant message, the CPT H. asked me if he liked guys and if I ever thought about giving head to a guy.  At this point, I ceased all communication with the CPT H. The next day, this CPT H. sent another message asking me if I wanted to try giving head.  From 18 FEB 10 to 15 JUN 10, I received seventeen unsolicited, unanswered messages from this CPT H. This CPT H. would occasionally catch me online and send me an instant message, Im watching you through your window. This CPT H. also came to my room, but I did not answer the door.

The day I went to Camp Speicher to make my sexual harassment complaint, I was assaulted by SGT K. in the DFAC. When I passed by SGT K. with my tray in hand, SGT K. grabbed my arm. I told him to get his hands off of me. SGT K. then got in my face (close enough that his stomach was against my tray) and said, Do you feel assaulted? I responded, Yes I do. SGT K. said, If I wanted to assault you I would choke the s**t out of you in front of all these people. I then walked away.  

 To make my complaint regarding the sexual harassment and assault, I met with my SSG S., company commander CPT W., battalion commander LTC M., and the battalion sergeant major. CPT W. said he would take care of the incident with SGT K. LTC M. told me he needed the name of the individual who was harassing me; I gave him CPT H. name after I was assured that I would be removed from the situation and leave Iraq (this was a month before my "original" flight home). I gave a full report to LTC P. (not in my chain-of-command) where I was tape recorded and told we will follow up with you.  

I was put on the same flight home as CPT H. and arrived in the U.S. on 4 JUL 10.  From 4 JUL 10 to 1 NOV 10, I, by no choice of my own, was put in direct daily contact with CPT H. I recall a six mile run where CPT H. ran directly behind me, which disturbed me greatly.  From JUL 10 to OCT 10, I asked the NCOs in my chain-of-command to remove me from daily contact with CPT H. I then asked CPT W. about the status of my complaint and told him how disturbing it was having to have daily contact with CPT H. I told CPT W. that I was still having serious issues with SGT K. CPT W. told me, If your 1SG threatened to choke you out, he would still be your 1SG.  Regarding my sexual harassment complaint, CPT W. said, You need to man up and put your big boy pants on.  CPT W's attitude made me feel discriminated against and betrayed. 

I went AWOL on 1 NOV 10 for thirty days after which I voluntarily returned to my unit.  Upon returning, I informed the new company commander, CPT T., of the background of my case. I told her that I went AWOL because, after my repeated attempts for relief from my command failed, I was no longer able to function in a military environment, where I was forced to have daily contact with those I had complained against. I asked to have my AWOL charge reduced to an unexcused absence and be administratively separated from the Army. The battalion commander denied my request, but CPT T. offered to help me obtain a compassionate reassignment. This request was also denied. I was told I would not be transferred out of the company or the battalion because I was not in immediate danger.  In the meantime, CPT T. reassured me that I would not be charged AWOL, but with Failure to Report. However, I was given an Art 15 for AWOL, where I was reduced in rank, loss of over $1,800 in pay, and 45 days extra duty. Having been found guilty, I chose to appeal, but was overcome by these events.  I felt I had been the victim of a hostile work environment whose complaints had been ignored then dismissed, and I admitted himself to a mental hospital in Topeka, KS. My appeal was denied, and I completed my punishment.        

I was an excellent duty performer until SGT K. assaulted me and CPT H. sexually harassed me. My reporting of these issues is a bright line in time, before which I was a high-performing, professional soldier who loved the Army and had justifiably high hopes for my career.  On the other side of this bright line, after I reported the assault and sexual harassment to my command, is a soldier who was steadily beaten down by the lack of serious and effective support from my command. I was not a soldier with an attitude problem who went AWOL because I hated the Army (if this was so, I simply would never have returned to the Army. On the contrary, I was a promising young soldier who was recognized for my hard work, good attitude and professionalism. It is clear that, but for the assault, sexual harassment, and how these issues were handled by my command, I never would have gone AWOL. Furthermore, it is clear that I did everything I could to avoid going AWOL, and this is a testament to my good and loyal character. I reported problems to my command and had faith that it would rectify the situation. It did not. Throughout my ordeal I accepted my commands responses, even though they were grossly insufficient, and tried diligently to pursue the available and legal solutions of a transfer and/or a compassionate reassignment. I was a responsible soldier who attempted to resolve my sexual harassment complaint at
every opportunity with my command through the proper and legal channels available to me. I had legitimate complaints which I believe, had they been made by a female solider, would have resulted in the immediate separation of the parties and a far different outcome for the complaining soldier.

My original ETS date(date when contract ends) was December 12th, 2011. I was separated October 5th, 2011. I can no longer call myself a Veteran. I served honorably in Iraq for 10 months and 9 days. I have paid $1,200 into the G.I. Bill, which i'm no longer eligible for, I don't get my money back. I have a negative discharge on my DD214 (separation form) which bars me from MANY jobs. Oh ya..also lost my security clearance and thats really really hard to get back. I have used almost every resource I can find to help me get my schooling and benefits back. I cant even collect unemployment between Army and civilian job. I need help and have no place else to turn. I have been to my state capitol and governors office with no luck. If someone has ANY information, please, send it my way. Thank you for reading my short story :)

DONT JOIN THE MILITARY. ITS RIDICULOUS HOW MUCH CONTROL THOSE PEOPLE HAVE OVER YOUR LIFE. TO MAKE SUCH BRASH DECISIONS THAT CAN COMPLETELY ALTER SOMEONES LIFE, SHOULD BE MADE BY SOMEONE OF GREAT AUTHORITY, NOT SOMEONE WHO IS IN THEIR FIRST BABY COMPANY COMMAND POSITION.  



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2011 04:57 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/United-States-Army/Fort-Riley-KS-Kansas-66442/United-States-Army-Sexual-Harassment-Fort-Riley-KS-Kansas-804321. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I have the same story with DOD,IG

AUTHOR: CHRISTY, CONSUMER ADVOCATE - (United States of America)

Dear Sister in Arms,

First and foremost, I want to tell you that you did the RIGHT THING and that YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME!!!

I am so sorry that this also happened to you.  I can identify with everything you said and know it to be true.  I would suggest leaving it off your resume and apply for grants at community college OR hir an attorney and fight those BASTARDS.

I went thru a very similiar experience as a Federal Agent with the Dept of Defense, Insepector General's office.  Isn't funny that they are suppose to invetsigate fraud, waste and abuse NOT CREATE IT!

I had a first line supervisor SH me with a physical come on and I told him NOT INTERESTED and he made life living hell for the next year.  I tried to resolve the situation on my own for a month and then reported his a*s to my SAC (third level sup) and I asked for a transfer away from the pervert and the SAC said"we don't transfer our problems (ie me)".

For the next year, I endured daily harassment until my back literally broke.  I aws at PT and my L5-S1 disk severely herniated and I was off work for two yrs and had 2 back surgeries.  Then they transferred me to SF from LA and refused to pay my TDY expenses.

I got a lawyer and we sued them but I ended up emailinmg the DOD-IG personally himself in 2004 and he told DOJ to settle the case.  Unfortunately, I won the battle but lost the war.  I was forced to resign and was given a written letter of recommendation signed by the Director in DC, which turned out to bne a "red flag" to personnel hiring offices.  So, basically they breached the settlement contract immediately.  I perservered on and applied for 95 jobs, almost got hired at 5, until they checked my references, then they cut communications with me.

So, at least I am on temporary total disability (they give me 75% of former salary with COLA's) but probably like you a "type A" personality who lovges her country, loves the DOD (except for the several but relatively few in total, chauvinistic pigs) and who loved her job as I did as a sr. Criminal investigator who worked for DOD for 19.8 yrs.

My suggestion to you is to become a lawyer, if AT ALL POSSIBLE!!!  Then you can fight back against these morons and help defend women who will always be harassed as long as there are men.

I also volunteer with the USO, so I can stay in touch in a helpful manner and stil contribute to society.

You sound pretty young so just go on with your life.  Apply for all the scholarships available at 4yr or community colleges and study your butt off and then pursue your dreams (I know the military was ur dream) but pursue being a lawyer, work on campus as part of work-study program.

Get to know your professors so you can get letters of recommendation for applying for internships at companies when u graduate.

Stay strong and hang in there sister!  I know you can do it.  Someone once told me that "success is the best revenge".  I went on to get a Masters in Mideast studies and Arabic and then earned an internship with Sec Rice until DOD pissed on me again so now it is onto either law school or Masres/PhD in psychology.

YOU WILL MAKE IT THRU THIS TOO!!  What really helped me is to join a Christian church and my mimi-church or small group and Pastor were all bery supportive and a great help during this time of need.

Also there is website Supportgroups.com and free psych counseling thru your County hospital.  It happened to me 12 yrs ago at 40 yrs old so I ended up going thru Depression and am on an anti-depressant still.  It really helps and talking to a psychologist who specializes in SH or even PTSD, which is also can be part of it, will really help, I promise you:-)  Stay up and I am praying for you, sister.

God, is always sitting right next to you, talk to Him, Jesus died for all of our sins.

FORGIVE the harassers and it will be much easier to move on.  Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or that they are not wrong!!  It only allows you to not harbor negativity toward them and that only grows to bitterness.  Believe me, tried that too.

FORGIVE and let God get revenge.  I am happy to state that all who were involved in my cvase no longer work for the Gov't, got fired or the one sup, never got promoted and the new guys in my office got him shipped to a small office in the boonies in CO.

Be still and meditate and "Know that I am God".  Psalm 46:10
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#2 Author of original report

Yes

AUTHOR: BigBadWolfe - (USA)

My commander, CPT W. was the one to print out the emails. I gave him my FB PW and sat next to him, as well as SSG S., as he pulled them up. The 3-4 messages a day was a combination of email and chat..mostly the chat box popping up saying something gross or him saying he was watching me.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Questions

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

There are a few problems with your initial numbers and dates.  You initially made this statement...
From 18 FEB 10 to 15 JUN 10, I received seventeen unsolicited, unanswered messages from this CPT H.

However right before this you stated..

In FEB 10, this CPT messaged me a friend request via the website Facebook. I accepted this request because I had personally met and conversed with this CPT H......Soon, this CPT H. was e-mailing me daily, and even though I did not respond, this CPT H. was sending 3 to 4 e-mail messages a day to me. On 18 APR 10, via instant message, the CPT H. asked me if he liked guys and if I ever thought about giving head to a guy

So how did you go from "daily" to 3-4 messages a day all of the way down to 17 in a 4 month period?

Now at any time did you "defriend" him on Facebook?  When you reported this harassment did you provide copies of these facebook posts and/or e-mails?    Basically did you have anything more than just your word that all of this happened?
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#4 Author of original report

I figured..

AUTHOR: BigBadWolfe - (USA)

I'm not surprised by your response, in fact, I thank you for showing your ignorance. For you to suggest that I hit someone to get them to do something shows your "meat head" mentality. I followed proper procedure for reporting said incidents. No, I did not sit in a stall and cry. I'm 5'10" 195 solid, and combatives level 3. I would have crushed both parties...at the same time. Use google and you will find a green beans cafe, pizza hut, burger king, taco bell, subway, etc..on the bases in Iraq. Clearly, you don't know much about the "current" situation in Iraq. When were you there? Please give specific dates of your enlistment. If it was more than 6 years ago..don't bother. Ok, back on track. My whole issue was, I reported a serious matter, as so many before me have, and unfortunately like me, many have had the same result. Except they end up being a suicide victim you hear about on the news because they are too scared to leave due to the military "beating you down" and putting thoughts in your head about AWOL being as serious as shooting the president. So, they stay in the hostile situation until they snap and either shoot the place up, or hang themselves. These soldiers who report sexual harassment, rape, and crimes of the like, majority of the time are retaliated against. No different in my situation. I didn't list in detail because I could have written a book about military mistreatmet. I signed up for boot camp and volunteered for Iraq. I did not agree to sexual harassment or to being threatened by a superior. All I asked for was to be reassigned. As you can read in my initial post, I waited MONTHS for a just outcome. In the military we are all trained dogs, however, you can only kick a dog so many times before it bites your f**kin leg off. To all who read this I would encourage you to google suicide rates in the military. Last year the military lost more soldiers to suicide then to war. Thanks for your post, it didn't really say much to the issue, but more to attacking me. Again, I thank you for showing your ignorance.
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#5 Consumer Comment

I'll start off with saying, thank you for your service.

AUTHOR: SleepingInsomniac - (United States of America)

But the majority of my life is surrounded by military.  I'm no longer enlisted, but my family, and all my friends are.  I'll start off with the simple issue. So your ssgt said he'll choke you out? Get over it.  Man up.  10 months in iraq and you got butthurt about a non-life threatening comment in the chow hall?  I bet you turned red and sat in a bathroom stall stifling tears after huh?

As for the requesting to leave Iraq, thats just not right.  Willing to leave everyone else behind while you go to go home? And where were you in Iraq that you got to use facebook and instant messenger? 

And the big issue, Capt. DADT.  So the guy is obviously gay.  New policy allows that.  As for how you handled it, that was stupid.  Call him out on it, don't cower in the corner and feel all victimized.  I'm assuming your enlisted or you wouldnt be bending over for a SSgt.  Just tell your buddies, "look at what this dude just sent me!"  Word will spread and he'll shut his mouth, and wont ask to open yours.  But a spc. vs a capt. going the "by the book" route? You had to see how that would end.  And if that didn't work, hit him.  It would be a lot easier to avoid a Dishonorable discharge for assaulting a superior officer, than going AWOL for 30 days. 

You tried to defend going AWOL by basically saying that your superiors hurt your feelings and made you feel uncomfortable.  Forget bootcamp?  If you hit a Capt. and then tried to deny it with "read these messages he's been sending me!", they would have to pay attention.  Especially if other enlisted guys already heard about this Capt.   
 
Now I know a lot of people who aren't enlisted wouldn't agree with me.  But to anyone who's spent more than a day with Marines or an army infantryman: 
Would any of those guys be so terrified of a Capt. who wants to celebrate DADT being removed?  Or would they run away from a threat of being "Choked out"? Or would they stand up for themselves?  Im not insensitive, I'm just being realistic.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Try contacting

AUTHOR: Chris - (U.S.A.)

You might want to try to contact the SLDN for help. They usually take the other side on things like this but I think they would be able to assist you or at least point you in the right direction Their link is http://www.sldn.org/ Or if this link is redacted do a Google search for SLDN. It is the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network. Good Luck!
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