General Relieved of Duty for Inappropriate Comments
Brig. Gen. Kurt Stein, the Marine Corps general in charge of sexual assault prevention and response efforts, has been relieved of his command over remarks he made at a public meeting disparaging claims of sexual harassment at his command as “fake news.”
The remarks were made during an April 6, 2018, town hall discussion before hundreds of Marines and civilian employees under Stein’s command.
Following the town hall, someone made an anonymous complaint to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service tip line.
Stein’s remarks were in regards to allegations made by two civilian women employees of the division that an unnamed Marine officer showed them that he was sexually aroused through his clothing on more than one occasion.
Marine leadership had dismissed their concerns.
Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert Neller reviewed the investigation and “determined that he lost confidence in Stein’s ability to lead this particular organization,” according to Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Dent.
“The Marine Corps expects every Marine, uniformed and civilian, and particularly those in leadership positions, to take allegations of misconduct seriously and to promote positive command climates,” Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Brian Block said in a news release.
Stein entered the Marine Corps in 1991 and has logged more than 4,500 flight hours on more than 100 missions over various platforms. He previously served as the assistant deputy commandant for aviation, and as vice chief of staff for Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North.
This latest misstep comes on the heels of the Pentagon investigation into allegations that files containing hundreds of lewd photographs of servicewomen had been shared online in a Dropbox folder.
There was also the March, 2017 scandal regarding the now-defunct Facebook group called Marines United, where some 30,000 followers accessed nude photos of female servicemembers posted by active-duty and veteran Marines.