The Marine Corps has suspended a general who publicly claimed that allegations of sexual harassment at his command was “fake news,” as well as joking about a chaplain recently fired for having sex in public.
Brigadier General Kurt Stein of the Marine and Family Programs made the remarks in front of an audience on April 6, addressing hundreds of Marines and civilian employees.
Stein disparaged a report from USA Today, which involved two civilian employees who said a Marine officer had made several sexual overtures to them.
According to KAGS, the Marine Corps confirmed that Stein had been suspended by Neller after an anonymous tip about his comments.
“We expect every Marine, uniformed and civilian -and particularly those in leadership positions- to take allegations of misconduct seriously and to promote positive command climates,” said USMC spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Devine. “As a Corps we are committed to fully investigating and holding ourselves accountable when those allegations are shown to be true. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that their Marines and civilian employees believe they will be taken seriously if they come forward with allegations of misconduct of any kind.”
Ironically, Stein commands handles sexual assault prevention and response for the Marine Corps, witch doesn’t bode well for politicians and military leadership alike.
“If these allegations are true, General Stein has no business serving in the Marine Corps,” Ranking House Armed Services Committee Democrat Jackie Speier said. “Leaders must be held to the highest standard if the Corps expects the rank and file to live up to its core values of honor, courage, and commitment.”
In regards to sexual-misconduct subject Navy Chaplain Loften Thornton, Stein’s comments seem inexplicable.
“The comment relating himself to the chaplain is reprehensible,” said retired Marine Colonel Scott Jensen of Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group for victims of sexual assault in the military. “Something no one expects of a general officer in any forum let alone a public forum in front of those he leads. Nothing but contempt and lack of respect for every person in the audience -particularly those women in the audience.”
With over 100 combat missions under his belt, Stein is a decorated combat aviator within the USMC. He is currently under administrative leave.
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