- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2014

U.S. Army brass removed 588 military members from positions that were deemed sensitive in nature — like sexual assault counselors — after finding them unsuitable to serve in those capacities.

Some of those 588 were discovered to have convictions in child abuse, sexual assault and drunken driving, the military reported.

The Army said that it went through the records of 20,000 soldiers and uncovered 588 individuals with documentation that showed them unsuitable for their present jobs as recruiters, drill sergeants, school instructors and sexual assault counselors, The Associated Press reported.

Of those, 79 are exiting service and “others could face further actions from their commands,” the Army said in a statement.

Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman, didn’t clarify if any of the infractions occurred before the soldiers entered the Army. But the military said the scrutiny is likely to continue.

“We will continue working to better ensure we select the very best people for these posts, and that the chain of command knows what is expected of them and how important this work is to the Army,” said Col. David Patterson, another spokesman for the Army, in a statement to AP.

SEE ALSO: Pentagon budget from Defense Secretary Hagel erodes his legacy as a defense hawk

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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