LTC Scott Basso, the Ranger Training Battalion Commander overseeing Ranger School’s Mountain Phase in Georgia was relieved on November 20 after an investigation substantiated that he made “derogatory comments to subordinates,” according to Army officials.
Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) and Fort Benning, said in a statement that he relieved the battalion commander on Nov. 20 “due to his inability to uphold professional standards of conduct.”
Ben Garrett, the spokesman for the MCoE, confirmed to Task & Purpose that the commander was from the 5th Ranger Training Battalion, which according to the unit’s website, “conducts the Mountain Phase of Ranger School.”
Garrett said that the 5th Ranger Training Battalion commander had first been suspended on October 30, pending the investigation’s completion.
“The allegations were reported to the MCoE command and thoroughly investigated, substantiating the allegations of unprofessional behavior,” Donahoe said. “These allegations included the use of derogatory comments to subordinates in the commander’s formation.”
While Army officials declined to name the commander in question, the commander featured on the unit’s website was recently changed from Lt. Col. Scott Basso to Lt. Col. Derek Johnson, according to the Wayback Machine.
It Seems There Is a Culture Within the Military to Fire People.
The Ranger Training Battalion commander’s removal follows a number of recent suspensions and firings.
More than a dozen officers and enlisted soldiers at the Fort Hood Army post were fired or suspended recently. Some Congress members have pledged to deepen their investigations into sexual assault, harassment, and other problems at the base.
A day after Army officials released an independent panel’s report on chronic leadership failures and widespread violence at Fort Hood, lawmakers said they would ensure the Army makes long-delayed changes. They praised the five-member board and Army leaders’ initial response, who on Tuesday punished 14 officers and enlisted soldiers.
“Red flags” have been ignored at the base for years, said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), who leads the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel. Speier said she would hold Army leaders accountable as they move to address the failures.
At a Pentagon news conference, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that an independent civilian review board found widespread problems at the Army’s second-largest installation. This includes failures to investigate crimes and lack of confidence in sex crimes prevention, leading to a permissive environment for sexual assault and harassment.
McCarthy told reporters that the issues at Fort Hood, including a spate of killings and disappearances and a higher level of crime than at any other Army installation, are “directly related to leadership failures.” McCarthy said leaders drive culture. He expressed his grave disappointment that these leaders “failed to effectively create a climate that treated all soldiers with dignity and respect.”