London: Thirty percent of US military commanders who were fired over the past eight years lost their jobs because of sexually related offenses, which include harassment, adultery, and improper relationships.
From sexual assault and harassment to pornography, drugs and drinking, ethical lapses are an escalating problem for the military`s leaders, reports the Daily Mail.
They also highlight the pervasiveness of a problem that came into sharp relief because of the resignation of one of the Army`s most esteemed generals, David Petraeus, and the investigation of a second general, John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, fired from his command in Afghanistan last May and now facing a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery and pornography and more, is just one in a long line of commanders whose careers were ended because of possible sexual misconduct.
Eighteen generals and admirals were fired in recent years, and 10 of them lost their jobs because of sex-related offenses; two others were done in by alcohol-related problems. The figures show that 255 commanders were fired since 2005, and that 78 of them were felled by sex-related offenses.
Alcohol and drug-related problems cost the jobs of 27 commanders. Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense under President Barack Obama said the military must enforce a ``zero tolerance`` policy and work to change the culture so service members are held accountable and made to understand that their careers will be over if they commit or tolerate such offenses.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Navy`s top spokesman agrees that poor leadership, bad judgment, and ethical lapses, rather than operational failures, are growing factors in the firings. Anu Bhagwati, executive director of the Service Women``s Action Network, said a major problem is that military commanders are responsible for deciding what cases should move forward. She said military lawyers, who are trained and have a greater appearance of impartiality, should make such an important legal decision.