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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Military Flag Officers on the record about Donald Trump - WSJ

Under the delusional rubric of "what was he thinking?", candidate Donald Trump is quoted as saying he knows more than the military Generals. Well, "No, Donald, you don't", and they're saying you are unfit to lead. Officers are especially concerned about the terrible moral impact of Trump leadership on women.

The U.S. Army's annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month at the Pentagon in 2015. More than 50 retired officers said in a letter that they believe Donald Trump is unfit to be president because of his attitude toward women.

US Military Flag officers see Donald Trump's potential leadership as being destructive to morale with women in the ranks.

Retired Military Brass Decry Trump, Citing Attitude Toward Women- Republican’s election would set back military efforts to counter sexual assault, officers say.

By GORDON LUBOLD

WASHINGTON—More than 50 retired general and flag officers have signed a letter denouncing Republican Donald Trump’s candidacy to be commander in chief, saying he is unfit because of his attitudes toward women and sexual assault.

A chief concern is that his election could imperil progress in long-running efforts to stem the problem of sexual assault in the U.S. military.

“This behavior renders him utterly unworthy of being commander in chief and president,” said the open letter signed by 55 general and flag officers and provided to The Wall Street Journal. “If given such power, Donald Trump would create a command climate intolerant of women and incompatible with a trained, ready and honorable military.”

The signatories include three retired four-star generals, nine three-star officers, and one- and two-star officers, along with some more junior officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Army National Guard. “The American people deserve better than a misogynist in chief. Donald Trump’s behavior is antithetical to American values,” they wrote.

The group decried Mr. Trump’s behavior toward women and his attitude toward sexual assault in the wake of a video that surfaced earlier this month in which Mr. Trump boasted about groping women. The retired officers said they believe that if he were elected, he would significantly set back progress made on sexual assault issues inside the military in recent years.

The U.S. military has struggled with sexual assault for years. 

Under pressure from Congress and acting on their own, Pentagon leaders have attempted to curb the problem by implementing new reporting procedures, increasing awareness and investigating complaints more aggressively.

But the military continues to be plagued by high rates of sexual assault. The total number of reported cases has grown to just over 6,000 across the services in 2015, according to Defense Department data. That growth is attributed in part to enhanced reporting techniques.

Those signing the letter include many retired senior officers who are well-known within military circles. The letter was signed by Marine leaders, such as Lt. Gen. Walter Gaskin, Lt. Gen. John Castellaw and Lt. Gen. Willie Williams, all retired, as well as Army Lt. Gen.Mark Hertling and Army Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick. 

Signers also include Air Force Lt. Gen.Arlen Jameson and Vice Adm. Donald Arthur.

A handful of women were among the officers who signed the letter, including Lt. Gen.Claudia Kennedy, who retired in 2000 after 32 years in the Army. She was the first woman to attain the three-star rank in the Army.

Gen. Kennedy said in an interview that she had personal reasons for signing. She said she first was assaulted when she was a young lieutenant and again as a field grade officer. As a two-star general in the late 1990s, Gen. Kennedy recalled a business meeting in her office with an officer who was junior in rank to her. When the meeting concluded, he pulled her forcibly toward him and groped her.

“The biggest thing we can do is get it out in the open and out of the shadows,” she said in the interview. “Nobody is keeping any secrets here.”

The retired officers decided on their own to write the letter, Gen. Kennedy said.

There was no immediate response from Mr. Trump’s aides to the letter, which hasn’t been provided to the campaign.

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