Ranger Training Battalion CO relieved

| December 19, 2020

Both Jeff LPH 3 and the KoB sent this one in to us.

The battalion commander overseeing Ranger School’s Mountain Phase at Camp Frank D. Merrill, Georgia, was relieved Nov. 20 after an investigation substantiated complaints that he made “derogatory comments to subordinates,” according to Army officials.

Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe, who leads the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, relieved the 5th Ranger Training Battalion commander “due to his inability to uphold professional standards of conduct,” a statement from the general reads.

“The allegations were reported to the MCoE command and thoroughly investigated, substantiating the allegations of unprofessional behavior,” Donahoe added in the statement. “These allegations included the use of derogatory comments to subordinates in the commander’s formation.”

Army officials did not provide the commander’s name due to privacy restrictions.

Task and Purpose, which first reported the news, noted that Lt. Col. Scott Basso had recently been replaced with Lt. Col. Derek Johnson as the commander of the battalion on the unit’s website. Command Sgt. Maj. John Howerton has retained the senior enlisted position.

MCoE spokesman Ben Garrett said the 5th Ranger Training Battalion commander was first suspended Oct. 30, pending the completion of the investigation.

“The Army’s number one priority is our people,“ Donahoe’s statement reads. “People First means taking care of our Soldiers, making sure they feel valued and supported by their teammates, leadership and community and always treating others with dignity and respect.”

The exact nature of the complaint, and other details from the investigation, was not provided by officials and will have to be requested by Army Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Penalties for Army leaders have been common this month, following the release of an independent committee’s report on the command climate at Fort Hood, Texas.

However, Fort Benning’s investigation, and action taken against the battalion commander, predated the release of that report.

The Fort Hood report determined that there was an environment at Fort Hood that allowed sexual assault and harassment to proliferate, triggering the relief and suspension of 14 leaders, including the post’s acting commander.

The report also found that Army CID special agents at the post were under-experienced and over-assigned — an issue that career special agents told Army Times was not unique to Fort Hood.

This weekend, Army leaders also suspended the battalion commander and command sergeant major from the 602nd Aviation Support Battalion at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, amid “allegations of racism, bigotry and discrimination” that were made via an anonymous tip line. Exact details of those allegations were also not immediately provided.

Sure be interesting to see what the nature of the “derogatory” comments were and to whom.

Source; Army Times 

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Army, Dick Stepping, Guest Link

Comments (49)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    Not for the feeble or faint hearted, anymore?
    A female commander at RTB could fix it up,, SOON?

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    Somebody hurt someones feelings.
    Or boned someones wife.

    • ChipNASA says:

      OK Fucker,
      I was getting all “touchy feely” with your first comment…(awwwwww) and then
      “…Or boned someones wife…”
      AND then I just about spit my soda on my laptop.
      *almost*.
      I’ve gotten used to not eating or drinking when reading these threads.
      Thanks for reinforcing that.

  3. 5JC says:

    Wait a second, did I just read that a Ranger BN Commander got relieved for being a Ranger BN Commander? 🤔 cuz that’s what it looked like to me. Unless things have changed a lot since I retired.

  4. DUTCH in Atlanta says:

    Are they training Snowflakes at Camp Merrill?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      No, they’re training spoiled brats.

      I thought going to Ranger School partly meant turning into a grown-up. I guess that’s gone bye-bye, too.

    • rgr769 says:

      Yes, since I’ve been there, I can stay with some certainty that must be the case. Back in my day, the only snowflakes were the ones falling from the sky.

      • timactual says:

        “the only snowflakes were the ones falling from the sky.”

        Pshaw! Georgia is a Southron state and everybody knows it never snows down south, because it never gets below 50 degrees F. And the wind chill factor doesn’t exist.

        • rgr769 says:

          That four inches of snow in the vicinity of the Mountain Ranger Camp in Dec., 1968 would tend to disagree. But what with all that Glowbull Warming, maybe now it never snows on Yonah Moutain and the Licklog Trail.

          • RGR 4-78 says:

            February 1978, freezing rain and sleet.

            And we’ll have fun, fun, fun until her daddy takes the patrol leader awaaaay.

        • MI Ranger says:

          That 8 inches of snow in 12 hours on Mount Yonah, in February of 1996 would make that a false statement. It sucks walking down steep inclines in VB (aka Mickey Mouse) boots, but I think they were a little risk adverse since it was the 1 year anniversary of the Camp Rudder accident. (I am authorized to sew my Tab on with white thread).
          Only time I ever slept in a tent in Ranger School…had to break the ice off and clean all the weapons since they made us line them up outside.

          • timactual says:

            I was in Dahlonega in winter ’69 (support, not as a student). I did start to worry when they issued us those MM boots and a parka, which I hadn’t seen since Germany. And the barracks door looked and sounded like the door to a walk-in reefer. I did spend the coldest couple of days (and nights) of my life there. Knees were solid and my hips were getting stiff, and those people wanted us to *jump* off trucks and play bang-bang. I declined, which is why I can still walk(more or less) today. Made me long for those nice, warm, winter nights in Germany snuggled in the mud and slush.

            I also found out it can get cold in Florida, too. One warm day at Eglin I jumped into one of those clear brown streams (after thoroughly checking for snakes, of course) and the next thing I knew my cojones were snuggled up to my tonsils and I think I went into cardiac arrest.

            That year at Ft. Benning I learned (and unlearned) a lot about the south.

  5. 2banana says:

    In the end, the Roman soldier didn’t want to fight for the corrupt republic anymore and the legions melted away or were filled with mercenaries who had no stomach for fighting.

    And a relatively small Vandel army walk right in and sacked Rome.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Are you talking about the sack of Rome in 410 CE by the Vandals?

      The Roman Republic had not existed for centuries by that point, and the empire had gone through many transformations, including the peak of imperial power under the Nerva-Antonine dynasty and the revival caused by the Diocletian reforms and the tetrarchy.

      The main causes for the fall of Rome were political unstability and economic crisis. Rome never really had an established succession law, and the military suffered an increasing lack of resources due to the 4th century crisis.

      Mercenary armies can be very successful in some conditions. Hannibal Barca almost conquered Rome in the 2nd Punic War with a mercenary army. He completely massacred Rome’s legions at the Battle of Cannae, in which 80k roman citizen legionaires lost to 40k mercenaries.

      Also, the italian city states of the Renaissance relied on mercenaries and none of the larger European nations could mess with them. Venice along stood up to the Ottoman Empire for 200 years, an empire who had carved out a good chunk of eastern Europe and conquered the last remnant of the Roman Empire in Constantinople in 1453.

      • 2banana says:

        And Vandal army of approximately 20,000 warriors.

        Sacked Rome. A city of nearly 500,000. In the center of the Roman Empire

        The only way this could happen is when soldiers and potential soldiers (young males) are so sick of the corruption/fraud that they refuse to join or fight to save the elites, their leaders, their capital and their institutions.

        You can talk all you want on how it got that way, but in the end, no one would pick up a weapon, stand in formation and defend it.

        Despite, mathematically, it would have been easy to do.

      • CDR D says:

        That was the Visigoths under Alaric in 410. That “sack” was rather mild compared to the Vandal sack in 455. Rome paid an enormous indemnity, but there was little in the way of pillaging as happened with the Vandals.

        In the 5th century the West had mainly relied on mercenaries, unlike the East which maintained an army based on a system of Numerii (nominal strength 255) rather than the old cohorts and legions.

        Of course in the West it was the German mercenary chief Odoacar, who sent Romulus Augustulus into retirement in 476. He had no intention of detaching Italy from the Empire, and dutifully sent the Imperial regalia to Zeno in Constantinople, saying “we don’t need two emperors.” Zeno tolerated Odoacar until he was implicated a plot with the Eastern General Illus. That’s when Zeno killed two birds with one stone by sending Theodoric (the Great) and his Ostrogoths to Italy to get rid of Odoacar and to administer Italy and what remained of the Western provinces as a kind of viceroy.

    • Slow Joe says:

      But looking at the late roman army alone, not the auxilia or other contigents of barbarians added through diplomatic deals, I would argue that multiculturalism had a mass effect on the morale of the roman army.

      The late roman army was recruited primarily from regions were barbarian tribes had settle within the borders of the empire, and this new recruits had not been romanized, they did not speak latin or greek, the languages of the western and eastern empires respectively, and had little motivation to fight for the empire, other than their wages, which were never guaranteed during this last phase of the western roman empire.

      Therefore, money and political instability.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        The Legions were the most Roman of that culture. Throughout the Imperial era they were enlisted from areas distant from Rome, heavily Romanized, then were discharged 16-20 years later with Roman Citizenship, land grants (and often large savings), reserve forces obligation, and great strength of Roman culture, in some other frontier as a Roman colony.

        Brilliant.

        Rome, via the Legions, was actually a very functional immigrant society. As long as the Legions had the “yeast” of culture and the Centurionate, Rome did well. When the rot at the top infected the Centurionate, and their amazingly high standards fell away, it all fell apart.

        Note to the folks in our military: you are not immune.

        Stephen Dando-Collins has some amazing works on the Legions

        • CDR D says:

          I’m about halfway through Dando-Collins’ “Caesar’s Legion”, the elite Tenth. The Tenth. as with several others, was made up of Spaniards.

          He has another excellent work, “Legions of Rome”, which is a unit history of every Legion, at least as comprehensive as could be possible after so many years have elapsed. It took him 30 years to put it together.

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            “Legions of Rome” is an amazing work. Any of the various individual “Legion” books are worth a read.

            The details on the Levy (draft), culturization, deployment, and mobilization, and discharge of Legions is worth study.

            Rome went out of its way to pull in “barbarians” from their frontier, make them more howling Roman than the folks in Rome, use them to conquer more frontiers, then discharge them in some Frontier other than home to make that new land Roman in man, Law, and culture.

            They -avoided- drafting folks near Rome.

            Before the rot set in, from Rome outwards and from the top down, Rome was devouring the world a bite at a time. Had they preserved the culture of Roman virtues, and the systemic preservation of them, they might have lasted another thousand years.

            The lesson for us is that Liberty requires the preservation and propagation of Virtues compatible with it. Progressivism is a cancer, a deliberate infection designed to crush Virtue for Vice and thus destroy Liberty.

        • timactual says:

          Yep, Leadership is the key. You can get away with a little bit of rotten leadership for short periods of time, but if it reaches “critical mass”, Even mercenaries will serve and fight faithfully if well led. One good example, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck is German East Africa. Also colonial troops for France and Great Britain.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_von_Lettow-Vorbeck

  6. Andy says:

    Some pissant student got butt hurt by language more than likely because he was failing the course. Sad news is he will probably gone on and get tabbed later, therefore, thoroughly infecting the Bats.

    • MI Ranger says:

      I think since they now have females in the formation, his comments about “pulling the sand out of your crotch” may have been misplaced and some felt they were being singled out!

      But I may have just been day dreaming when I heard what he said!

      • timactual says:

        “his comments about “pulling the sand out of your crotch” may have been misplaced ”

        Yeah, that’s for the Florida phase.

        Where can one find the words in question?

  7. Imagine firing outspoken Generals like Patton during WW2. Does the New Ranger generation trainees need safe spaces now so they can cry if they are not meeting the old before PC regimentation????????

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    Can someone please supply me with a list of the derogatory remarks used by the instructors? I need a really colorful vocabulary for future use.

    I have several pages of insults in French, German, Polish, Russian and Italian, not to mention a few of the same in Latin and Greek and Scots Gaelic, but the more the better!

    • rgr769 says:

      The ones I recall most vividly were “shitbird, ragbag, and dummy” but they usually emanated from our company cadre first sergeant, who looked like he ate a pound of nails for breakfast every morning.

    • rgr1480 says:

      Worms. “On your belly like a worm!” … then we crawled through the “worm pit” ….

  9. KoB says:

    “…dignity and respect.” Dignity in a Ranger Training Course? Thought that would be the FIRST thing they took away. And respect? Always thought that was to be EARNED not given. Kinda like a certain Friday afternoon contest. Is respect now a participation trophy? Will the new Ranger Bay Rays be pink? (not that there’s anything wrong with that, should go well with the fushia drab LBE)

    Camp Martha Johnson, a local Girl Scout Facility, may become the next site for Ranger Training. They have cookies…and milk!

    GMAFB

    • rgr769 says:

      Until we were tabbed the cadre and the instructors showed us little dignity and zero respect. In a class prior to mine, a student collapsed on a road march in the summer heat, when he fell out of the march formation, an instructor ordered him put in an FLA (jeep ambulance) and announced he hoped his “sorry ass would just die.” He did. So there was no shortage of verbal abuse.

      About half my class got booted, injured or recycled. Less than 50% that started that first week earned the tab at the end of week eight. About 18 men who completed the course but without the tab had to ride all the way back from Florida to Benning in a deuce-and-a-half. Two of them were Navy SEALs. In over ten years of soldiering, it was the most difficult thing I ever did.

      • timactual says:

        “had to ride all the way back from Florida to Benning in a deuce-and-a-half.”

        A mark of shame, perhaps, but not particularly difficult. Particularly after completing Ranger school (I hope).

        • rgr769 says:

          I agree, it was just a final gut punch for those that survived the eight weeks, but didn’t get the tab. We viewed the award of the tab to a Malaysian Army 2LT as particularly unfair, as he was useless, in or out in the field.

          • MI Ranger says:

            Yeah we had a few foreign Army officers attending as well. I remember our Romanian Officer (nice guy), who was a whizz on mountaineering. When they had him take over the patrol to lead the Raid on a sight we had just reconned, he chose to change the plan and just have us all run down the hill as the machine guns opened up slightly to the flank (despite having a perfect trench/ravine leading up to the objective). As for other duties he was fine, but not much on tactical planning.

            • Green Thumb says:

              We had a Italian Officer who could not say the Creed as there was supposedly no literal translation of the English word into his language.

              Or so he said.

              We got fucking smoked a lot at his expense every time he botched it.

        • Green Thumb says:

          We actually had a few Golfs when I went through so they always had to be trucked in to the DZ.

          Used to give them the crew-served so we did not have to jump with them.

          Or at least tried to….

      • Green Thumb says:

        Yeah.

        I went through during hazing.

        I was also one of the last classes to be allowed tobacco.

  10. NHSparky says:

    And yet people seeming have no problem with little Zenu Tom’s latest tirade over masks. Cause, reasons.

  11. Green Thumb says:

    Some chick was recycled.

    Next.

    Welcome to the new reality.