"GOOD OLE BOYS" IN MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL
GUARD TRY AND FAIL TO DESTROY LIFE AND
CAREER OF OUTSTANDING OFFICER - CAPTAIN
MATT HASSLOCH HIRES TOP ATTORNEY KEN
DAVID - TELLS STORY OF "WHISTLEBLOWER"
RETALIATION TO MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM
WE CATCH GUARD BRASSHAT IN BLATANT
LIE ON HASSLOCH'S "O.E.R." - GOVERNOR
HALEY BARBOUR URGED TO "CLEAN HOUSE"
AT STATE GUARD - FOR FAILED LEADERSHIP
MAJ GEN HAROLD CROSS SHOULD BE FIRED
We've seen some dirty deals done honorable members of the National Guard in our day, but few have been as blatant and cruel as the campaign to destroy Capt. Matt Hassloch.
This outstanding officer and experienced helicopter pilot has been put through "a living hell" by corrupt and incompetent Guard officials who tried, and ultimately failed, to ruin the captain by any means at their disposal.
Hassloch, who previously had been given high marks on his officer evaluation reports, suddenly became a a target at the scandal-plagued Mississippi National Guard when the conscientious and careful officer insisted on a full accounting of alleged "missing" equipment in one of the State Guard's aviation units.
No dummy, the captain wasn't about to become the "fall guy" for what was initially thought to be the disappearance of more than half a million dollars in equipment. Yes, you read that right. The frantic brass tried to stick the shortcoming onto a part-time Guard officer to draw attention away from their own incompetence.
THE CAPTAIN DOES AN INVENTORY AND REPORTS THE SHORTAGE
In the summer of 2004, Hassloch assumed command of HHC, 1-185th Aviation Battalion at Tupelo, Miss.
The normal practice when taking over is to conduct an inventory of the property within the command. Capt. Hassloch did this, with the help of a full time unit NCO, over the space of several drill weekends. After the inventory was completed, the officer provided his superiors copies of the inventory showing 72 items missing worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the Mississippi Guard's own regulations for conducting inventories, the outgoing commander, the battalion commander, the full-time battalion supply NCO and the property book officer all should have been closely involved in the inventory. This is important because Capt. Hassloch was only a part-time member of the MSARNG.
It was the full-time employees who had day-to-day control over the property. They apparently failed to notice the 800-pound gorilla sitting in their living room and did nothing. They ignored the results of the inventory for many months afterwards and made no effort to help Hassloch find out what had happened to the gear.
Not a fool, Capt. Hassloch refused to sign a hand receipt for any of the property because of the the unresolved issues.
HIGH PRAISE FOR HASSLOCH TURNS INTO ABUSE AS GUARD BRASS ATTACK
Now, fast forward to May of 2005 when Hassloch submitted a routine request for interstate transfer to the West Virginia ARNG due to a new job in the area. That was when the top brass decided to make him a scapegoat for all the missing property. He was threatened with being made personally responsible for almost $600,000 in vanished equipment. Needless to say, if charged with such a thing, not only would Hassloch's Guard career be over, but he likely would have been court-martialed and sent to prison.
Ironically, some of the high-ranking officers who participated in the effort to retaliate on "whistleblower" Hassloch, (who by now had taken his concerns to the IG), had previously praised the officer for being, and we quote, "a brilliant officer with unlimited potential" whose "accountability resulted in zero equipment shortages."
Of course this was on Hassloch's officer evaluation report (OER), prior to the huge shortfall that was not in any way Hassloch's fault.
To read through the captain's OERs is a clear indication that the MSARNG's charges against Hassloch are unfair and unfounded.
COL KENNEDY'S OWN WORDS COME BACK TO BITE HIM ON THE BUTT
One of Hassloch's worst enemies is COL Gregory L. Kennedy, commanding officer of HHC, 185th Theater Avn Bde, Jackson, Miss.
In 2004 this is what Kennedy had to say about Hassloch:
"1LT Hassloch is one of the best junior officers I have ever worked with. His professional demeanor and adherence to Army values are exemplary. His performance has been above reproach . . .he has (created) a strong unit command supply discipline program in maintaining accountability of his property . . . 1LT Hassloch should be promoted as soon as possible . . he possesses unlimited potential and is well qualified for assignments of greater responsibility."
And soon 1LT Hassloch was indeed promoted, to the rank of captain.
Just prior to the dustup over Hassloch refusing to become the "scapegoat" for the missing equipment, this is what Kennedy wrote in early 2005 on the captain's OER:
"CPT Hassloch is an outstanding captain. He has taken a very demanding position and has excelled at every turn. . . CPT Hassloch has earned the respect of his peers and commander . . . he has unlimited potential."
On the same OER, senior rater COL Bradley S. MacNealy called Hassloch "a great commander and leader . . . he has exceeded all expectations ... his accountability has resulted in zero equipment shortages . . .Capt. Hassloch has earned the respect of all his soldiers and has a great future in the Army National Guard."
But, after Hassloch requested transfer and became a "problem" by NOT signing the hand receipt for the missing equipment, he felt the wrath of the same men who once praised him to the skies. Especially after Hassloch purchased a display advertisement in the CLARION-LEDGER newspaper which read: Government Equipment MISSING! $576,586 in equipment missing from 1/185 Av. MS Army National Guard. Any Info, Contact FBI (601) 948-5000."
Woo Hoo! Did that ever tick off the brass! But it was interesting that within days the Guard was saying the gear, for the most part, had now been located and only some $12,000 remained unaccounted for. What a difference - from nearly $600,000 to $12,000! But that $12,000 still loomed large for Hassloch because the vindictive and embarrassed MSARNG "leadership" was determined to stick the captain with paying that bill out of his own pocket.
THE SMEARS BEGIN - HASSLOCH GOES "FROM FIRST TO WORST" OVERNIGHT
Now Kennedy became Hassloch's mortal enemy. The colonel's pen nearly exploded as he poured vitriol on paper. "Capt. Hassloch has completely failed in his duties as a commissioned officer during this rating period . . . he has made unfounded allegations against his commander and refused to complete his assigned duties . . . I cannot account for this poor performance , , , (Hassloch) has no potential for further military service."
But it gets worse. Investigators for MilitaryCorruption.com have uncovered what appears to be a deliberate lie on Hassloch's latest OER which, if properly investigated, could result in the officer who made it facing disciplinary action.
On a DA Form 67-9 (Officer Evaluation Report) covering the period between June 1, 2006 and January 31, 2007 - which came into the hands of MCC through legal means - LTC Dane W. Powell (Hassloch's immediate rater) writes the following:
" . . . There is currently a warrant out for his (Hassloch's) arrest."
An exhaustive check by MilitaryCorruption.com and top attorney Ken David has turned up NO RECORD of any such warrant.
Why would a high-ranking MSARNG officer and rater say such a thing? Perhaps to use it to smear and destroy Hassloch's ability to hold a job in the civilian sector? Certainly a lie like that could be termed vindictive and vicious in the extreme.
We challenge LTC Powell to send us and Hassloch a copy of this alleged "arrest warrant." That, or an apology for knowingly making a false and extremely disparaging statement
DOES LACK OF SIGNATURES INDICATES SLICK WORK BY MSARNG JAG
One thing we noted on the OER form that is rather "cute." That is, if you're a slick JAG officer giving "oily advice" to your bosses at the MSARNG. While the form is all filled out and immediate rater Powell and senior rater Kennedy's names are properly typed in with their comment sections all completed, oddly, there are no signatures of either officer affixed to the document.
Could it be that it was planned this way to use the OER in a smear but not risk legal charges for actually signing a false official statement? If we had Powell's signature on here, the next stop for the document would be the Inspector General's office and every newspaper editor in Mississippi. Maybe they could ask Maj. Gen. Harold Cross, MSARNG Adjutant General, or better yet - Gov. Haley Barbour - to "look into" what his junior officer's are up to.
MISSISSIPPI GUARD CORRUPTION A LONG-STANDING PROBLEM
While they are at it, the MSARNG's long history of cover-ups and corruption should be studied in light of this latest outrage.
Ask retired MSARNG COL Jody Bryant about corruption in the Mississippi Guard. He warned of malfeasance and was forced out as a result. But the senior colonel did have the satisfaction of seeing many of his charges later "substantiated" by an independent Guard investigation.
For example, allegations substantiated in the report include unit leaders made false statements in response to congressional inquiries; failed to accomplish required training; allowed incomplete training to be officially documented as complete; cheated on professional military education examinations and research papers; wrongfully operated a retail liquor store; wrongfully retained a pilot who'd been medically disqualified from flying; and allowed the pilot to receive flight pay after he was medically disqualified to go up in the air again.
HASSLOCH SEEKS TO GET ON WITH HIS LIFE -
RESIGNS FROM NATIONAL GUARD
Capt. Matt Hassloch is a fighter and he will not go quietly away. He certainly is not going to fork over one dime for equipment missing due to no fault of his own. He has retained top lawyer Ken David (see related story box) and asked MilitaryCorruption.com for our considerable help.
President Harry Truman used to say: "The buck stops here." We know that Gen. Harold Cross is well aware of the campaign of vilification and harassment against whistleblower Hassloch. In view of this fact, we ask Gov. Barbour to remove his political appointee and bring in a new adjutant general who will do whatever is necessary to "clean up" the mess that Cross has made.
Capt. Hasloch is still waiting for his letter of resignation from the Guard - due to the MSARNG's "illegal and unethical activity" - to be accepted.
Documents in MCC's possession show that the resignation was sent (signature return receipt mail) on December 13, 2005 and, more than two years later, still has not been processed. Why? To charge Hassloch with being "AWOL" because his legitimate request has not been acted upon is as ludicrous as it is illegal.
The so-called "leadership" of the Mississippi National Guard needs to drop this vendetta and stop the hateful harassment of a good man who only tried to do his duty and did it very well indeed. We intend to hold the brass's feet to the fire until justice is finally done.