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Report: Navy to Relieve Admiral in Wake of Pacific Mishaps

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Military.com

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin is the commander of U.S. 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo)

Navy leadership is reportedly planning to take the rate step of relieving the three-star commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet following a string of high-profile ship accidents in the Pacific this year, including two recent destroyer collisions that cost sailors their lives.

Gordon Lubold of The Wall Street Journal reported that several U.S. officials said Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, will be removed from his command Wednesday by U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift.

A spokesperson for the chief of Naval Operations referred a Military.com inquiry on the matter to U.S. Pacific Fleet. An official from the fleet said he could not comment on reports, adding that all efforts were currently focused on finding the missing sailors.

The reported move comes days after the destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel east of the Straits of Malacca early Monday morning.

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Ten sailors were declared missing, and five suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Swift said in a press conference earlier Tuesday that some sailors’ remains have been found, but a search-and-rescue effort for the missing has not yet been called off.

The disaster came just months after an eerily similar incident in June in which the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship southwest of Tokyo. Seven sailors drowned as a result of flooding in berthing compartments damaged by the collision.

In non-lethal, but still serious incidents earlier this year, the cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat, and the cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay.

Just hours after the McCain collision, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced that all Navy fleets around the globe would observe an operational pause to review safety procedures. Meanwhile, he said, a sweeping investigation would be launched, assessing everything from training received by surface warfare officers to how sailors are prepared and equipped to deploy.

Aucoin would be the first flag officer relieved in the wake of the collisions. Wall Street Journal reports he was set to retire in coming weeks. A Naval aviator, Aucoin is a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as Top Gun and previously served as deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems before taking command of the 7th Fleet in September 2015.

The 7th Fleet is the largest of the Navy’s fleets and oversees some 40,000 sailors, along with up to 80 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft.

— Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

© Copyright 2017  Military.com . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





Marine Colonel to Appear on Sex Assault Charges After 7 Months in Brig

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Military.com

Col. Daniel Wilson. Marine Corps photo

A senior Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Marine officer accused of sexual assault and abuse of a child will appear at trial next week, more than seven months after he was remanded to the brig to await his day in court.

Col. Daniel Wilson, 55, is accused of multiple counts each of sexual assault, sexual assault and sexual abuse of a child, and assault consummated by battery on a child under the age of 16. Wilson was originally removed from his post as operations officer for II Marine Expeditionary Force and criminally charged in November 2016; but some of his charges, and an additional charge of absent without leave, were added in January due to new information turned up in a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe.

Little has been made public about the origins of the accusations, but a source has told Military.com that some of the charges concern a child who was six years old at the time.

Wilson had originally been permitted to remain free while awaiting trial, but he was ordered to the brig when the new allegations surfaced in January.

Wilson’s civilian attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, announced in February that Wilson would plead not guilty, and complained that II MEF Commander Maj. Gen. Walter Lee Miller’s decision to remand Wilson to the brig, and that of the officer who reviewed and confirmed the order, represented an “abuse of discretion and decision.”

The trial is set to begin Aug. 29 and is expected to last nearly two weeks, with a planned conclusion date of Sept. 9.

“Wilson is presumed innocent of any alleged offenses and will be afforded the opportunity to defend himself against all charges,” Maj. Michael Armistead, a spokesman for II MEF, said in a statement.

— Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

© Copyright 2017  Military.com . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





HSI, CBP establish Virginia-based coordination center to promote trade enforcement

0

ICE.GOV

NORFOLK, Va. – In order to identify and interdict evolving trade threats that pose a risk to the national security of Hampton Roads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday to establish the Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

The center will focus on identifying intellectual property rights violations, public health and safety threats, and compliance with import and export laws. It will work with a variety of federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation to enforce these laws. The Virginia TECC is the 12th in the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta Director of Field Operations Donald F. Yando participated in a signing ceremony at CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Chesapeake Tuesday. HSI Norfolk Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael K. Lamonea and CBP Norfolk Area Port Director Mark J. Laria will implement the plan throughout Hampton Roads.

“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Hampton Roads,” said Lechleitner. “Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public. HSI is committed to combatting this fraudulent activity with our government partners.”

“CBP is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing U.S. trade laws and the signing of this memorandum of agreement better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States,” said Yando.

The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012. One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.

The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations. It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.

To report trade fraud, the public can call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-ICE or make a report online at www.ICE.gov/tips.





HSI, CBP establish Virginia-based coordination center to promote trade enforcement

0

ICE.GOV

NORFOLK, Va. – In order to identify and interdict evolving trade threats that pose a risk to the national security of Hampton Roads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday to establish the Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

The center will focus on identifying intellectual property rights violations, public health and safety threats, and compliance with import and export laws. It will work with a variety of federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation to enforce these laws. The Virginia TECC is the 12th in the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta Director of Field Operations Donald F. Yando participated in a signing ceremony at CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Chesapeake Tuesday. HSI Norfolk Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael K. Lamonea and CBP Norfolk Area Port Director Mark J. Laria will implement the plan throughout Hampton Roads.

“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Hampton Roads,” said Lechleitner. “Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public. HSI is committed to combatting this fraudulent activity with our government partners.”

“CBP is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing U.S. trade laws and the signing of this memorandum of agreement better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States,” said Yando.

The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012. One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.

The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations. It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.

To report trade fraud, the public can call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-ICE or make a report online at www.ICE.gov/tips.


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HSI, CBP establish Virginia-based coordination center to promote trade enforcement

0

ICE.GOV

NORFOLK, Va. – In order to identify and interdict evolving trade threats that pose a risk to the national security of Hampton Roads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday to establish the Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

The center will focus on identifying intellectual property rights violations, public health and safety threats, and compliance with import and export laws. It will work with a variety of federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation to enforce these laws. The Virginia TECC is the 12th in the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta Director of Field Operations Donald F. Yando participated in a signing ceremony at CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Chesapeake Tuesday. HSI Norfolk Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael K. Lamonea and CBP Norfolk Area Port Director Mark J. Laria will implement the plan throughout Hampton Roads.

“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Hampton Roads,” said Lechleitner. “Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public. HSI is committed to combatting this fraudulent activity with our government partners.”

“CBP is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing U.S. trade laws and the signing of this memorandum of agreement better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States,” said Yando.

The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012. One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.

The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations. It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.

To report trade fraud, the public can call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-ICE or make a report online at www.ICE.gov/tips.


{$inline_image}


HSI, CBP establish Virginia-based coordination center to promote trade enforcement

0

ICE.GOV

NORFOLK, Va. – In order to identify and interdict evolving trade threats that pose a risk to the national security of Hampton Roads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday to establish the Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

The center will focus on identifying intellectual property rights violations, public health and safety threats, and compliance with import and export laws. It will work with a variety of federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation to enforce these laws. The Virginia TECC is the 12th in the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta Director of Field Operations Donald F. Yando participated in a signing ceremony at CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Chesapeake Tuesday. HSI Norfolk Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael K. Lamonea and CBP Norfolk Area Port Director Mark J. Laria will implement the plan throughout Hampton Roads.

“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Hampton Roads,” said Lechleitner. “Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public. HSI is committed to combatting this fraudulent activity with our government partners.”

“CBP is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing U.S. trade laws and the signing of this memorandum of agreement better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States,” said Yando.

The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012. One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.

The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations. It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.

To report trade fraud, the public can call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-ICE or make a report online at www.ICE.gov/tips.


{$inline_image}


HSI, CBP establish Virginia-based coordination center to promote trade enforcement

0

ICE.GOV

NORFOLK, Va. – In order to identify and interdict evolving trade threats that pose a risk to the national security of Hampton Roads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday to establish the Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

The center will focus on identifying intellectual property rights violations, public health and safety threats, and compliance with import and export laws. It will work with a variety of federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation to enforce these laws. The Virginia TECC is the 12th in the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta Director of Field Operations Donald F. Yando participated in a signing ceremony at CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Chesapeake Tuesday. HSI Norfolk Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael K. Lamonea and CBP Norfolk Area Port Director Mark J. Laria will implement the plan throughout Hampton Roads.

“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Hampton Roads,” said Lechleitner. “Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public. HSI is committed to combatting this fraudulent activity with our government partners.”

“CBP is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing U.S. trade laws and the signing of this memorandum of agreement better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States,” said Yando.

The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012. One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.

The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations. It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.

To report trade fraud, the public can call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-ICE or make a report online at www.ICE.gov/tips.


{$inline_image}


HSI, CBP establish Virginia-based coordination center to promote trade enforcement

0

ICE.GOV

NORFOLK, Va. – In order to identify and interdict evolving trade threats that pose a risk to the national security of Hampton Roads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday to establish the Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

The center will focus on identifying intellectual property rights violations, public health and safety threats, and compliance with import and export laws. It will work with a variety of federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation to enforce these laws. The Virginia TECC is the 12th in the country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta Director of Field Operations Donald F. Yando participated in a signing ceremony at CBP’s Centralized Examination Station in Chesapeake Tuesday. HSI Norfolk Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael K. Lamonea and CBP Norfolk Area Port Director Mark J. Laria will implement the plan throughout Hampton Roads.

“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Hampton Roads,” said Lechleitner. “Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public. HSI is committed to combatting this fraudulent activity with our government partners.”

“CBP is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing U.S. trade laws and the signing of this memorandum of agreement better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States,” said Yando.

The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012. One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.

The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations. It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.

To report trade fraud, the public can call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-ICE or make a report online at www.ICE.gov/tips.


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Troops Turned Out in Smaller Numbers for 2016 Presidential Vote

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Military.com

A Marine voter reads voting literature during the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s first voting convention, June 22. (Marine Corps/Nathan Hanks)

The 2016 U.S. presidential election failed to interest many military voters, a recently released federal study has found.

Voting rates dropped from 58 percent in 2012 to just 46 percent in 2016 among servicemembers, says the Federal Voting Assistance Program report, released earlier this month.

“A striking finding from our analyses is the reported drop in participation rate among military personnel in the 2016 election as compared to the general population,” FVAP program director David Beirne said in a report to Congress.

The data shows that more military members cited motivation-related reasons for not voting and were less interested in the election in 2016 than in 2012,” he added.

The FVAP report estimates that 75 percent of the civilian population voted, though that figure is much higher than most estimates, including a Census Bureau survey showing that 61.4 percent of registered voters reported voting.

Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who runs the United States Elections Project website, estimates that about 58 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in 2016, compared with 58.6 percent in 2012.

The main factors for whether a person votes are interest in the election, conviction that the voter’s choice matters and “if they see an important difference between the candidates and their policies,” McDonald told Stars and Stripes before last year’s election.

But even a sample of civilian voters with similar demographics to the active-duty military voted at a 6 percent higher rate, the FVAP survey found.

All the reasons for the military voting decline aren’t known, said Katherine Roddy, a spokeswoman for FVAP, which is mandated to assist absentee military voters.

Demographic changes played a role, she said.

“Between 2012 and 2016, the (active-duty military) population became less male, white, college educated, and married,” she said in an email. “Voting research has shown that white, married, and college educated individuals are all more likely to vote.”

Difficulties inherent in absentee voting — registering, requesting and mailing ballots — were not considered a factor in the drop.

“The data indicate that voting assistance improved in 2016 — which would suggest there has not been an increase in obstacles,” Roddy said.

Registration and participation rates among active-duty women and minorities dropped considerably in 2016.

About 60 percent of military women voted in 2012, 6 percent more than their male peers. But in 2016, only 41 percent of military women voted, compared with 47 percent of men.

And while registration rates for whites dropped 8 percent, they dropped 18 percent for blacks.

That drop was unique to the military, the report said. Civilian “registration and participation rates did not vary as much by gender or racial group,” the report says.

The FVAP survey was administered to nearly 7,000 people from the day after the election in November through January.

Servicemembers living in states with congressional and gubernatorial contests in 2017 can either contact their local elections office or visit fvap.gov for information on registration and obtaining ballots.

© Copyright 2017  Stars and Stripes . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





Army Sets Hearing Date for Retired General Accused of Raping Minor

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Military.com

Judges gavel on law books with library background. Concept of legal education,law,legal, law cases, law study.

The U.S. Army will hold a preliminary hearing to determine if a retired Army major general will stand trial for allegedly raping a minor on multiple occasions in the 1980s.

The Article 32 hearing of retired Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene will be held on Saturday at Fort Meade, Maryland, according to a U.S. Army Military District of Washington press release.

Grazioplene, who retired in 2005, is charged with a “violation of Article 120 of Uniform Code of Military Justice with six specifications of rape of a minor on multiple occasions between 1983 and 1989,” according to the release.

As a retiree, in accordance with UMCJ, Article 2, Grazioplene is subject to the UCMJ for the alleged offense. There is no current plan for the U.S. Army to recall him to active-duty during the course of the legal proceedings, Army officials maintain.

Grazioplene, who lives in Gainesville, Va., joined the Army in March 1972 as an armor officer. He was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., a Ranger and was decorated for his service, according to an article by USA Today.

If convicted of all charges, Grazioplene could face a maximum punishment of confinement for life with the possibility of parole, the release states.

Article 32 of the UCMJ requires the completion of a pre-trial investigation before a case may be referred to trial, according to the release. The hearing is intended for the investigating officer to inquire into “the truth of the matters set forth in the charges, and makes a recommendation to the commander as to disposition of the charges.”

An Article 32 hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury, with additional rights afforded to the accused. Some of those additional rights include the right to be present during the investigation; the right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses; and the right to have evidence within the control of military authorities produced at the investigation, the release states.

“The U.S. Army takes all allegations of criminal or inappropriate misconduct seriously and is committed to ensuring all soldiers live up to the Army Values and adhere to the UCMJ and standards of conduct,” the release states.

— Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

© Copyright 2017  Military.com . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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