Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY 1:13 p.m. EST February 26, 2014
They are banned from so-called “positions of trust” — recruiters, sexual assault counselors and drill sergeants
More than 20,000 soldiers in these positions were reviewed over the last eight months
The Army reported it dismissed 55 soldiers from similar positions last summer
WASHINGTON — 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.