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Army Fires Infantry Basic Training Commander at Fort Benning

Army Lt. Col. Robert Howard (Army Photo)
Army Lt. Col. Robert Howard (Army Photo)

The U.S. Army has fired the commander of an infantry basic training battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Lt. Col. Robert Howard, commander of 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, lost his command just one month after the Army suspended a group of drill sergeants amid allegations of sexual assault toward female trainees at the home of the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

Fort Benning officials confirmed that Howard has been relieved of his command but would not go into specifics or say if his firing is connected to the drill sergeant investigation.

"The commander was relieved for a loss of confidence in his ability to command," Ben Garrett, Fort Benning spokesman, told Military.com Tuesday.

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Officials at the base and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command opened an investigation to look at a sexual assault allegation made by a female trainee against a drill sergeant, Benning officials announced Aug. 23.

Initial review of this incident revealed indications of additional allegations of sexual misconduct involving trainees and drill sergeants, Fort Benning officials said at the time.

Fort Benning officials have not released how many drill sergeants have been suspended or how many female trainees are involved.

Garrett declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

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

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Army Relieved of Command