COAST GUARD WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATED
© 2014 MilitaryCorruption.com
CDR Ben Strickland is one of the best officers in the U.S. Coast Guard, but now he is sitting on a bull's eye.
You see, Strickland is a whistleblower. He tried to help a young sailor when she came to him for help. The woman had been sexually assaulted and he did what in his conscience was the right thing. He reported the incident instead of covering it up.
It has put him squarely on the top brass "shit list," and now Strickland's career is in danger.
RETALIATION AGAINST A TRUTH-TELLER
MilitaryCorruption.com has learned that the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has opened an investigation into the retaliatory actions a few Coast Guard "yes men" took against one of their subordinate officers who wasn't willing to be a stooge for their system of corruption.
Several well-placed sources in Alaska and California confirm to us that earlier this year, a much-respected Coast Guard commander suffered multiple acts of reprisal after a he reported a sexual assault, requested assistance from Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), participated in the investigations as a witness, and later complained about misconduct and incompetence by investigators and senior officials involved.
CDR Strickland was serving as the executive officer (XO) in USCGC MUNRO (WHEC-724) home-ported in Kodiak, Alaska, when a young sailor came to see him one day. She indicated she had been sexually assaulted and harassed on several occasions previously. The commander did what any good shipmate would do - he brought the victim to the local military Sexual Assault Response Coordinator who reported it to Fleet Commander, then-VADM Paul F. Zukunft at U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area. This automatically triggered an investigation by CGIS into the allegations.
WHY NOT PRAISE, INSTEAD OF CONDEMNATION?
One would think Strickland would be praised for his swift action and performance of duty. Instead, Coast Guard officials, needing a scapegoat to deflect attention from all the bad publicity the services were receiving in the media and on Capital Hill, decided to make Strickland their scapegoat in the case.
The brass hats waited a few months before they struck,
When they did, CAPT Jeffrey W. Thomas, apparently at the request of VADM Zukunft, plated the "loss of confidence" card and removed CDR Strickland from his role as XO and issued him a "substandard" officer evaluation report (OER).
You'd think this kind of vengeful retribution would be enough to satisfy the Coast Guard chain-pf-command's quest for torpedoing an officer's career and payback for his report and complaints.
However, Coast Guard Personnel Command tanked CDR Strickland's follow-on orders and arranged instead for him to be demoted to a billet inferior to his rank. Meanwhile, in the face of all the adverse personnel actions against the commander, at the same time, charges remained unfiled in the sex assault case, despite the assailant's confession.
WHISTLEBLOWER LAW IGNORED BY COAST GUARD
So much for the frequent claims by Coast leaders that people can freely come forward and report such incidents as sexual assault without fear of retribution. In the face of such blatant violations of military whistleblower protection laws, is it really any wonder that the military has become such an easy target for feminists, "women's rights' groups, and other liberal politicians?
MilitaryCorruption.com tracked down CDR Strickland at his current duty station for comment.
He still feels "under the gun" from his superiors. He refused to answer questions about what was done to him or have any comment.
"All inquiries should be referred to the Department of Homeland Security," he declared.