Another soldier sacked for “unprofessional language”

| December 22, 2020

CSM Arthur “Cliff” Burgoyne III

Jeff LPH 3 sends us word that the command sergeant major at Fort Hood has been suspended for questionable language. Allegedly this is a temporary suspension while the investigation plays out.

Army Times reports;

The senior enlisted soldier at Fort Hood, Texas, has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations that he used “unprofessional language toward subordinates recently,” according to a brief statement on the matter.

Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur “Cliff” Burgoyne was temporarily suspended on Friday by III Corps and Fort Hood commander, Lt. Gen. Pat White.

The unprofessional language had nothing to do with race, gender, sexual orientation or sexual harassment, according to an Army official familiar with the situation.

The Army official characterized the comments in question as “direct talk” that is sometimes used within light infantry formations, where Burgoyne spent much of his career, but not what is expected of a corps-level command sergeant major.

The investigation will determine whether the comments were at odds with the service’s “people first” policy push, which is intended to foster an environment of dignity and respect, the official added.

The situation is also unrelated to the other inquiries that have scrutinized the central Texas post in recent months, according to an Army Forces Command statement.

Burgoyne’s suspension is a temporary removal until the investigation is completed and is not punitive in nature, the statement cautioned.

More at the source. Burgoyne has nearly 35 years of service and all of the bona fides of a been there, done that infantryman.

Jonn is rolling over in his grave that a CSM is getting his nuts twisted for “direct talk”. God forbid your corps-level senior enlisted advisor actually be in touch with and attempt to relate to his junior enlisted. Of course, it’s 2020, so you should have asked those PV2s permission to use “direct” language in their delicate presences.

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Army, Army News, Dumbass Bullshit, Guest Link, WTF?

Comments (89)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    Always preface direct speech with:
    May I be blunt?…….

  2. Sapper3307 says:

    Please get off my grass,, thank you have a nice day.

  3. USAF RET says:

    when i was a young Lt. I had an old O-6 tell me that if I repeated a certain action he would, “kick my ass-bone up between my shoulder blades”……he meant it and I didn’t repeat

    • SFC D says:

      My 7th grade PE teacher (Mr. Dalley, WWII Merchant Marine)told me once he was gonna kick my ass so hard I’d have to blow my nose to wipe my ass. Once. Here ended the lesson.

  4. SGT Ted says:

    Snowflakes first.

  5. OWB says:

    And “direct talk” relates to the mysterious deaths of soldiers at Fort Hood how? Seems like there were fewer disappearing solders, murders and such when there was MORE “direct talk” in the Army.

  6. Roh-Dog says:

    “People first”?! PEOPLE FIRST?!? OMFGWTFFTA!!
    It’s was, is, and forEVER shall it be: MISSION FIRST!
    It’s 0939 hours, and I need a drink.

    • Roh-Dog says:

      Oh, and China, Killeen is yours apparently.
      Our military is too busy having Hugs-and-Cuddles time.

    • President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

      I read that as well and thought W-T-F! It’s ALWAYS “MISSION FIRST”.
      Yes, you take care of your people, so they can take care of the “MISSION FIRST”.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Mission First



      “People first” is “lose”


  7. SFC D says:

    CSM Burgoyne’s final act should be to stand at the gate of Fort Hood, assume the position of attention, extend his upraised middle digit while proclaiming loudly “FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKIN’ FUCKS!”
    Seriously, what’s he got to lose?

    • Devtun says:

      The CSM ain’t down for the count yet. Guess we’ll see what comes w/ the investigation.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I would like to know exactly what it is that CSM Burgoyne said that was so upsetting to these overgrown children.

      Since some of the stuff that gets posted on the internet is a clear sign of bottled-up anger toward everything in the world, it is difficult to believe that Burgoyne could possibly be worse than the foul-mouthed twits who manifest purely anti-social behavior toward everyone, but don’t like it when it’s handed back to them.

  8. Ret_25X says:

    Oh no! the CSM told me I’m not doing it right! That’s a violation of my right to be told I’m perfect just the way I am…waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    the best part of this story is that we are probably talking about another SGM/CSM being butt hurt for being told they are screwing the pooch.

    Man, I’m glad I’m retired.

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Another valuable leader we are taking off the line.

    Way to go Army!

  10. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    You take away an NCO’s “unprofessional language”, you take away 3/4 of their vocabulary.

    Since retiring, I have lost over half my military language. Wadda bunch’a prudes.

    • David says:

      First day of Basic, Drill Sergeant Zambuto spent 45 minutes telling us of our shortcomings, inadequacies, faults, and general incompetence. Not one word of profanity, but made us all know we were essentially unworthy of wormhood, much less of being in the military. Marvelous display of vituperative language… I’m not even sure he took a breath.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      To this day I cannot go for a walk without silently counting cadence.

      • Sea Dragon says:

        How true!

        • rgr1480 says:

          Always step off with the left foot; must be in step with whomever is next to me.

          Still fold my t-shirts, BVDs, and hang my shirts, etc., the way I was taught in USAF basic waaaaay back in 1973.

          I entered Army basic in 1979 and there was no emphasis on precise folding that I recall. Did the Army ever stress BVDs to be folded in 6″x6″ squares?

          • Sea Dragon says:

            Still remember the cadence lyrics. My late wife quickly caught on to how my clothes needed to be folded. I still do it almost 50 years after indoc.

          • Mason says:

            I constantly find myself carrying everything with my left arm. When I’m struggling with it, it’s like I found a new arm when I use my right. Gotta keep that arm free for salutin’.

          • Topski says:

            In 75 we were taught to roll our BVDs and roll our socks then take the outside sock open and slip them in. Nothing folded everything rolled.

          • timactual says:

            Yes. And the purchase of ‘shaving powder’, a double edged razor, and a few other items just for inspections.

  11. Retired Grunt says:

    Next, they’ll be suspended for use of the ubiquitous knife hand, because it must hurt someone’s feewings or is wacist. Welcome to the new 9 to 5 army.

    • Slow Joe says:

      9 to 5?

      I don’t know, but in every unit I have been is 0530 to 1700. That’s like 12 hours a day, on a regular day, not a range or TA day. I am not sure. The infantry doesn’t teach us to count hours.

      Yeah, we get time to take a shower after PT and eat breakfast, and some times we even get lunch, but I am still at fuckin work, so I count from 0530 to 1700.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Knife Hand Control!

  12. Bill says:

    Sergeants Major will decide what is appropriate. Thus endeth the lesson.

  13. Mustang Major says:

    Unless the SGM used “Direct Language” with his boss, there shouldn’t be a problem. Or at least that is how it used to work.

  14. Max says:

    I laughed so hard at this; read it to my husband-retired E8. he used some inappropriate language which just made me laugh harder.

  15. RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

    Awww, did the big bad SGM say mean, nasty things to you and hurt your widdle feelings buttercup? Come over here, let mommy get your bubba and blankie and I’ll get that mean man punished for what he said. People are special, people first, everyone gets a cookie, and leaders apparently get SCREWED if they try to make adults out of snowflakes. SGM yelled at you, said mean things to you, made you feel like you screwed up? Did you screw up? Well, BOOFRICKETYHOO, put on the adult britches, and get on with life – be glad he didn’t plant a boot in your fourth point of contact there, zippy.

  16. Commissar says:

    This sounds like a lot of bullshit. I know Ft Hood is under the microscope and I know they deserve much of it.

    But this particular suspension sounds bullshit to me.

    As long as the NCO has the soldier’s interest, the mission, the interest of the Army, or the interest of the United States in mind and they are not being an ignorant bigot or harasser then aggressive direct talk is a military tradition.

    I was mouthy and resented at authority as a soldier so I received my fair share of direct talk from NCOs.

    Not all of it stuck. But none of it hurt. My drill sergeant threw me over his shoulder upside down into a tree. That hurt.

    I actually preferred direct talk than Counseling, or UCMJ, or being thrown into a tree.

    In fact one of the NCOs I admire the most in my life and still consider one of my earliest father figures had no issue with frequent aggressive direct talk.

  17. Commissar says:

    I spoke to a friend, a very senior enlisted soldier, about the unprofessional language taboo that is being pushed and he told me creating a more “caring” professional environment is part of the agenda but changing the culture of language is not really about soldier care…

    It has to do with the fact that in operations, even at the tactical level, we are now almost always joint service, intra agency, partnered with allied nations, contractors, advisors, host nations, local officials, local citizens, non profits, and industry leaders and the systemic aggressive “direct talk” tradition in the military, particularly the Army and Marines l, was identified as disruptive to the relationship building trust, and collation building we need in order to be successful.

    Over most of the 20th century the US military was huge and had nearly all of its support, transportation, administrative, and operational needs handled by military service members.

    Over the last 30 years a significant percentage of that capacity was privatized and farmed out.

    And soldiers can’t be yelling at partners organization no who don’t have a culture of aggressive direct talk because it breaks down operational cohesiveness.

    He said it also leads to soldiers who don’t adjust well to civilian careers after leaving service since private industry has become extremely language sensitive in the workplace.

    • Slow Joe says:

      I had a direct talk with an Afghan once. I think I might have hurt his feelings.

    • SFC D says:

      Drill Sergeants are telling me that their units are being cautioned against “direct talk” because it’s intimidating and scares the privates. It’s all about kinder, gentler, sunshine lollipops and rainbows. But that’s the Intel school, YMMV.

      • Commissar says:

        I think it is a cultural shift that that they came up with a list of justifications for and is being sold at different levels based on its saliency at that level.

        At the company and entry training level “soldier care” seems most salient.

        But the problem was apparently identified as a failure at the joint operational level brigade and above.

        Anyway, that was his explanation. He is against it. He just thinks people need to learn to change gears and adjust their communication methods when dealing with those outside the branch you are serving.

        I agree with him, but honestly, adjusting gears with respect to communication styles is not always easy. You usually fall back into practices habits and if you yell and use harsh language to correct a problem then that is likely what you will end up doing again.

    • Only Army Mom says:

      “private industry has become extremely language sensitive in the workplace”

      Actually, private industry has always required one to behave and speak in appropriate ways, with what is deemed appropriate being dependent on the actual environment. It’s called being an adult.

      It is astounding to me that the vitriol one sees and hears in the media, from public officials, on the internet and particularly on social media has exploded, but that is somehow acceptable as long as the recipients of that discourse are those who hold “unacceptable” opinions. People think nothing of calling others terrible names for daring to have a different opinion on politics, the environment, the economy, etc., etc. Yet we ae supposed to get our collective undies in a twist, grab our pearls and throw our skirts over our heads over “unprofessional language”.

      Every time I think the world couldn’t get any weirder…

      The article is crystal clear the CSM’s language was not racial, gender-biased or sexual.

      Here’s my $20 the CSM told some snowflake he was a snowflake by calling him a “snowflake”. Obviously the CSM is an outstanding leader, part of which is knowing your subordinates. Based on what has now happened, the CSM was right.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        I suspect the CSM told the unvarnished truth to some twit who expected to be praised for pooping.

        Truth is a crime now, eh?

        • Anonymous says:

          Da, comrade, is whole politically-correct plan!

        • USMC STEVE says:

          If it was something like that, his entire chain of command should be fired for being screaming spineless twatwaffles.

          Shit like this is what turns otherwise reasonably fair Marines even further against the army.

    • Anonymous says:

      Honesty and integrity are career-ending when you can have positive, happy talk instead.

  18. Sea Dragon says:

    For what it’s worth, a story.

    In my third year at the academy I was assigned a room of first years to square away.

    They would come to my door first thing in the morning and report. I told them to get up against the wall. I came out in my robe and slippers, started with the first and asked a question. When he failed to answer correctly I shook my head and moved on to the next.

    The next year I dropped by for a visit, and one of them said that I was the upperclassman they feared most. I said “But I never yelled or screamed at you.” They responded that that was what made it worse, they felt like they had let me down.

    For what it’s worth.

    • SFC D says:

      Ask any of my Soldiers, they knew I held them to high standards, and they did not like letting me down. They also knew that if SFC D raised his voice, shit just got real. Although, I do admit to using the word “fuck” where most people use a comma. I learned it from my dad, who worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.

  19. OlafTheTanker says:

    A CSM who swears?

    My stars, never heard of that before.

    Next you’re going to tell me there’s a Warrant out there who drinks coffee.

  20. 5JC says:

    Article 134, paragraph 89 of The UCMJ prohibits the use of indecent language. Been that way for years.

    Can’t have both ways I suppose.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      Holy SHIT! You’re right! LMFAO!

      If the guys, and women, I knew in the USN were convicted of this, they’d have to build LOTS of new prisons.

  21. Dennis - not chevy says:

    I couldn’t care less about the cuss words that came my way. What I couldn’t stand was when higher ups would chew me out using big words they had no idea of the definition nor the pronunciation. I haven’t a vocabulary that would challenge the OED; but for all that’s holy, when you’re chewing on me, don’t make us both look stupid.

  22. Anonymous says:

    “An Army without profanity cannot fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.” –Patton

    • Mason says:

      God bless and protect that magnificent fucking asshole.

    • ChipNASA says:

      I’ve never heard that and I’m also a fan.
      I had to let Google be my guide and damn it, it’s a legit quote of his…multiple sources but basically….( )

      “He could, when necessary, open up with both barrels and let forth such blue-flamed phrases that they seemed almost eloquent in their delivery. When asked by his nephew about his profanity, Patton remarked, “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight it’s way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.”
      Nice, fucking nice and I I’d like to think he’d be proud of the The Hemisphere of Insults®™
      I’m just glad to be the curator.

      Come to think about it, I’m going to add this at the end. I think it kind of puts the entire HoI in perspective, now, doesn’t it??

      • timactual says:

        “and it has to be eloquent profanity.”

        I can agree with that; run of the mill cussin’ just isn’t that memorable.

  23. Ex-PH2 says:

    Profanity should not be used in every day speech by anyone. When overused, it reduces the effectiveness of its existence.

  24. BennSue says:

    The unprofessional language had nothing to do with race, gender, sexual orientation or sexual harassment…

    What the fuck is left to be offended about??

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Are they handing out awards for being offended snowflakes now?

    • Hate_me says:

      I was once accused of bullying because I neglected to thank a soldier for bringing me a cup of coffee. A nod of appreciation was, apparently, insufficient.

      I’m still amazed at how high up the flagpole that went before someone had the sense to stop wasting everyone’s time.

      • SFC D says:

        You should’ve been publicly flogged, stripped of your rank, your saber broken, and summarily drummed off the installation. Where do you get off treating a fine young Soldier as your coffee bitch!

        • The Stranger says:

          I’ll just leave this here:

        • Hate_me says:

          Judging by the quality of that coffee, the term “fine young soldier” is hardly appropriate.

          Like running a buffer and mowing the lawn, when did they stop teaching how to brew a decent pot at OSUT?

          • The Stranger says:

            Probably around the time Starbucks became a thing. I hear stories today of people doing blasphemous things like scrubbing out the coffee pot and washing coffee mugs! Man, what’s the world coming to?

  25. penguinman000 says:

    Wouldn’t want the folks in the business of killing people and breaking things to use harsh language. That’s offensive.

    There’s a great line from Apocalypse Now that sums this up. “Our commander’s train young men to drop fire on people but won’t let them write the word fuck on their airplane because it’s obscene.”

    If we have troops who can’t manage to get along with allied counterparts the solution isn’t make them speak nicer. We’ve failed by not putting the correct people in the correct spot.

    This is exactly the kind of stupid thinking that costs lives.

    The battalion commander for 2/5 during the battle of Hue City once said “Nice guys get Marines killed. I will not be a murderer.”

  26. Martinjmpr says:

    Maybe, just maybe, this CSM was an abusive asshole.

    Given the interactions I’ve had with E-9s in my career it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

    (And now I wish I’d kept a copy of the nasty gram I got from CSM Kidd at Fort Lewis in 1989, shortly before he became SMA.)

    • timactual says:

      “Maybe, just maybe, this CSM was an abusive asshole.”

      *Gasp*!! Lese majeste!

      I sure would like to know just what “unprofessional language” the CSM used, and the context. It makes a difference.

      I have never been impressed by the manly or soldierly qualities of those who use profanity as their default option. My memory may be becoming a bit spotty but I do not remember hearing any NCO, even DIs, use as much profanity, or the word “fuck”, as much as I hear it now as a civilian. Maybe I was just a Super Soldier who never gave them any reason to castigate me.

  27. Red Ghost says:

    Dude is smiling in his photo, and doesn’t even have the usual Senior NCO death stare. Getting one of my photos, the photographer said it looked like I wanted to fight him. I told him it was my happy face. Without glasses, it always looks like I am scowling.

    The more rank I got, the less often I needed to yell at anyone. If I raised my voice, my people knew to fix that shit ASAP.

    I hope he beats this rap just on GP. Sorry someone shit their pants just because of an ass chewing. Grow up.

  28. gospace says:

    The Army official characterized the comments in question as “direct talk” that is sometimes used within light infantry formations, where Burgoyne spent much of his career, but not what is expected of a corps-level command sergeant major.

    Anyone else see a problem with this statement. Either- it’s the Army, suck it up up buttercup, or it isn’t.

  29. Honor and Courage says:

    I accordance with todays standards! My Drill Sargent in BCT, should get life in Prison ! Something like the best part of you ran down your Mommas leg etc! That was the nice part!

  30. KoB says:

    Well, just phuque the phuqueing phuquers. The phuqueing snowflake phuquers can just go phuque off till they can’t phuque off any phuqueing further.