“Consummate professional:” Army recommended mass shooter for promotion but his family was worried about his hearing aids

Screenshot from the video below

By Andy Wolf

The US Army reservist who became infamous for carrying out the most casualty-producing mass shooting in Maine’s history had been given highly favorable ratings from his superiors a short time prior, records show.

Personnel records released Monday show that Robert Card was identified as “a consummate professional” who showed the “ability to train future leaders with great care for their safety and well being.”

Despite the Army’s favorable opinion of him, family members had been simultaneously growing more concerned with his mental health.

From his enlistment as a student at the University of Maine in 2002 to his final review last April when he was nearing the end of his 20-year career, Card was considered a good Soldier and was recommended for promotion to Master Sergeant.

“He has excelled as a squad leader, mentoring his troops to be among the best. SFC Card should be sent to his next (noncommissioned officer education system) and promoted with his peers,” the April 2023 review reads.

Card “willingly accepted opportunities for greater responsibility and excelled in those endeavors.” Despite his paper profile, he was hospitalized last July after he threatened a squadmate during the unit’s annual training in New York, followed by threats he allegedly made against his unit in September.

The September incident led to his commanding officers asking the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office to check on Card, and the Saco police department to monitor the unit’s base.

At home, Card’s ex-wife and son were also speaking to law enforcement, noting that Card had been acting erratic and nonsensical. Card, who had hearing problems, reportedly became markedly worse after he received new hearing aids, claiming that people around him were saying negative things about him— which drove him to anger.

At the request of his ex-wife, law enforcement never directly confronted Card for an interview before the shooting, instead relying on the promises of his chain of command to sit down and talk to him.

Body camera footage from the New York State Police visit in July reveals that many of the NCO’s Soldiers were concerned about Card, who had watched him spiral following a divorce and loss of civilian employment.

YouTube video

Both family members and soldiers speculated Card’s rapid decline could be linked to hearing aids that he began wearing that winter. Card would later assault a gun-free zone in Lewiston, Maine, killing 18 unarmed civilians.

According to his Army records, he had no combat deployments and received the following awards: The Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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