Military recruiters with the Arizona Army National Guard engaged in a pattern of systemic misbehavior over the past decade that included instances of sexual abuse, forgery, embezzlement and assaults, including riding in a Humvee and shooting paintball guns at homeless people, according to a five-month investigation by The Arizona Republic newspaper.
The newspaper cites interviews with military officers, police reports and military documents obtained through public records requests.
The alleged wrongdoing was primarily carried out by a small group of military recruiters assigned to visit high schools as part of efforts to enlist them in the armed forces
National Guard investigators said commanders failed to hold subordinates accountable for wrongdoing, partly because they also allegedly engaged in unethical behavior.
Military documents detail that non-commissioned officers caught driving drunk in military vehicles were dealt with lightly, and recruiters who forged records or took fraudulent bonus paychecks only received transfers, the Republic reports.
In addition, sergeants who had affairs with teenage recruits were given counseling. One staff sergeant, the paper reported, allegedly had sex with a female enlistee but was still allowed to deploy overseas. While overseas, he was disciplined for similar offenses, and was transferred to the California National Guard as a recruiter,
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