Partying, Overstepping Rules Contributed to Commander’s Reprimand

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By Debbie Gregory.

Allegations of misconduct have been levied against Col. Christopher Vanek, the former commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Vanek received a general officer letter of reprimand, which can often be a career killer, for allegations that were outlined in an Army Regulation 15-6 investigation.

Vanek, now the assistant chief of staff for U.S. Africa Command, relinquished command of the 75th Ranger Regiment last June.

The allegations included:

  • A risqué version of the Newlywed Game. Numerous witnesses stated that they thought the questions were inappropriate or made them uncomfortable.
  • Inappropriate costumes worn to a hail and farewell at Fort Benning, including a pantless, shoeless character from “Risky Business.”
  • A game of beer pong at a hail and farewell event.
  • A tandem jump with a female civilian during military freefall training at DeLand, Florida, which violated a U.S. Special Operations Command directive that calls for “no mixing of civilian and military jumpers during the jump operation.”
  • Free passes to NASCAR events, violating Defense Department rules about receiving unsolicited gifts.
  • Work trips where the accommodations on post or at a hotel that fell within the maximum lodging rates were bypassed for overpriced hotel bills.

Vanek submitted a request for consideration to the commanding general of USASOC in hopes of removing the reprimand from his record, officials said.

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