Toxic command climates aren’t rare in the military, but when an installation’s entire command team at the highest echelon of leadership have open investigations and/or have been relieved, then you’ve discovered something unique.
Major General Patrick Donahue; what can be said about him that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan?
For starters, he used his position and notoriety on social media to act scummy with young, female officers under his command in full view of his adoring fan club. Some of his other social media “notables” involve attacking a college student for criticizing his comments regarding the Covid 19 vaccine plus telling his fanbase to block and report “trolls” and the “disinformation tinfoil hat team.” Say it with me: Pro-fe-ssion-al.
There was that one time the Army flew in a 3 star general to replace him at a ceremony because he embarrassed the army so badly with his behavior that he needed his pee-pee slapped, and this was the best they could come up with.
But for Donahoe’s grand denouement, who could forget that one time he retaliated against a captain under his command and tried to have him locked up in the psyche ward? The attending physician was so embarrassed after the fact that he personally apologized to CPT Ritter and essentially cautioned him to watch his back.
A Commanding General has a counterpart, however.
Oddly enough, when you don’t act like a fool on social media and give the world ammo to use against you, it’s easy to fly under the radar. That doesn’t mean CSM Garner’s nose is completely clean. Beyond the anecdotal reports of him being 100% in support of bending CPT Ritter over a rail and denying him his rights as an American, an incident of alleged unethical behavior towards subordinates was sent to the Department of the Army Inspector General and kicked down to TRADOC to investigate. Surprise, TRADOC swept it under the rug and didn’t even have the courtesy to say the allegations were unfounded. They simply made the investigation go away.
Then there was the Chief of Staff (who’s subsequently been given his second brigade command at 1st Recruiting Brigade). COL Tremblay was famous across USFK for his super classy rendition of the gestapo when he went on facebook live to let everyone on Camp Humphrey know that “we’re gonna find out who you are because we have other ways of finding you. Whether it’s through CCTV or a number of our other capabilities…” Nothing like telling the fighting men and women of the free world and their families that they’ve magically lost their constitutional rights to search and seizure.
And how about the recently relieved Garrison Commander, COL Rivera?
I’m not certain what the exact reason for his relief was, but what I do know is that he had three separate investigations filed against him, one of which was opened only a week after he took command and promptly swept under the rug.
Alas, as MG Donahoe has now lumbered into retirement, the most that has been done to the worst crime boss (by worst I mean he sucked at it) in the army’s history is a failure to earn his third star. Whereas I find it amusing that he’s the first MCOE (Maneuver Center of Excellence) Commander to not received another star since the inception of the MCOE in 2009, it also leaves me saddened that he’s retired with three open investigations against him while having left countless damage to so many lives in his wake. Remember though: the army has a recruiting problem and they simply can’t figure out why.