Fort Sill military instructors suspended after a soldier in training reports sexual assault

Cpt. Jorge A. Lemus teaches meteorological corrections for a field artillery basic officer leaders course class on Fort Sill, Okla., April 21, 2020. He required all students to wear masks and to wipe down their chairs and desks throughout the day. Photo by Sgt. Amanda Hunt

Rose L. Thayer

Stars and Stripes

Multiple members of the training cadre at Fort Sill, Okla., were suspended this week after a soldier in training reported she was sexually assaulted at the base, said Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, commander of the base and the Fires Center of Excellence.

Cpt. Jorge A. Lemus teaches meteorological corrections for a field artillery basic officer leaders course class on Fort Sill, Okla., April 21, 2020. He required all students to wear masks and to wipe down their chairs and desks throughout the day. Photo by Sgt. Amanda Hunt

“This past Saturday, a soldier assigned to Fort Sill reported she was the victim of sexual assault, involving Fort Sill cadre members. This information was immediately reported to law enforcement,” Kamper said Thursday during a news conference.

Within hours, agents with Army Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, began investigating the report and interviewing potential suspects and witnesses. Kamper declined to say exactly what day the soldier said the assault occurred, in what capacity the training personnel might have been involved or exactly how many personnel have been suspended because of the assault.

“What’s important is, we’ve taken immediate action. With a cadre member who has been named and possibly involved in this allegation, we’ve removed them from their normal duties, they’ve been suspended. They are working outside the training environment to protect the well-being of all the other soldiers,” he said.

The soldier who made the report has been assigned a special victims counsel, has access to all services and is “absolutely safe,” Kamper said.

“We’re proud of the courage she displayed coming forward with these allegations,” he said. “We’re also committed to protecting the privacy of this soldier.”

Fort Sill is home to the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence, which conducts training and education for enlisted soldiers and officers working in the fields of air defense artillery and field artillery. The cadre, who are typically officers and noncommissioned officers, are responsible for conducting, leading and overseeing training, including the training for the Army’s newest soldiers.

In his experience, Kamper said it is not common to see cadre members involved in sexual assault allegations.

“That’s the significance here,” he said. “Sexual assault will not be tolerated. It tears at the fabric of our community.”

___

(c)2021 the Stars and Stripes

Visit the Stars and Stripes at www.stripes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Post navigation