- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003


U.S. Air Force leaders told senators yesterday they will replace four top officers at the Air Force Academy because of the sexual-assault scandal, a senator said.

The Air Force officials also said two women would be included in the new leadership, said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat.

Mrs. Clinton spoke after Air Force Secretary James Roche and others gave a closed-door briefing to senators to discuss the accusations that female cadets at the academy were ostracized and reprimanded after they reported being raped.

"No, I'm not satisfied, but I believe they are making progress," Mrs. Clinton said. "I believe that changing the leadership is a serious action but it is not sufficient."

Mrs. Clinton did not name the ousted officers, but the Denver Post yesterday identified them as the academy's second-ranking officer, Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. S. Taco Gilbert III, whose former job was at Dover Air Force Base; Col. Steve Eddy, vice superintendent; Col. Bob Eskridge, vice commandant; and Col. Sue Slavec, training group commander.

Lt. Gen. John R. Dallager will remain as superintendent and the top official at the 4,100-cadet institution until his scheduled retirement in June, the newspaper said.

A formal announcement was expected from the Air Force today, when changes in policies and procedures also were to be announced.

Two investigative teams are looking into the reports of rapes at the academy. A third team from the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office was to arrive at the academy this week for its own investigation.

Three Republicans Sens. Wayne Allard of Colorado and Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia, and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado have called for a change in leadership at the academy.

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