USA Today reports:
The Army has disqualified 588 soldiers as sexual assault counselors, recruiters and drill sergeants for infractions ranging from sexual assault to child abuse to drunken driving, USA TODAY has learned.
The number of disqualified soldiers from what are called “positions of trust” is 10 times higher than the initial number the Army reported last summer after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered that troops in sensitive positions be screened for previous criminal or unethical behavior. The Army suspended 55 soldiers last summer after an initial review. Then investigators combed through more records of 20,000 others and disqualified 588 soldiers in total.
Hagel called for the review in May after a Pentagon study found troops reported that incidents of unwanted sexual contact had risen 35% from 2010 to 2012. Hagel has “been exceedingly clear about the need to continue stamping out sexual assault from our ranks,” said his spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby.