NEW YORK (CNN) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says its time to figure out just how bad, the bad behavior is in the ranks.
“Some of our people are falling short of these high standards and expectations. Ethics and character are absolute values that we cannot take for granted,” said Hagel.
The Pentagon has been deeply embarrassed by more than a dozen senior generals and admirals have behaved so badly in the last 15 months they have come under investigation.
“I think we need to find out. Is there a deep, wide problem? If there is, what’s the scope of that problem? How did this occur?” said Hagel.
The majority of military personnel are upstanding. But some have wonder if the military has lost ethical discipline after more than a decade of war.
Retired Lt General David Barno, who commanded all US troops in Afghanistan, says there are no excuses.
“Senior leaders cannot have a culture that tolerates these kind of behaviors,” said Barno.
Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair is headed to trial next month, charged with sexual assault and adultery.
Brigadier General Martin Schweitzer is banned from briefing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, he wrote lewd emails about a female member of Congress calling her smoking hot. His promotion is on hold.
Brigadier General Bryan Roberts has been reprimanded and relieved of duty for alleged adultery and sexual assault with multiple women he is expected to retire shortly.
Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina, removed from command, allegedly involved in illegal gambling.
Major General Michael Cary, relieved of duty for being drunk on official travel.
“A lot of these activities were known to peers and the fact they went unchallenged is flatly unacceptable and that bothers me,” said Barno.
In the enlisted ranks, most obey the rules. However, there are high profile problems. More than 100 Air Force and Navy nuclear personnel are under investigation for cheating on exams.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey says, “the military cannot afford to let the transgressions of the few undermine the trust and credibility of our entire profession.”
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