In a behind-closed-doors meeting with all Tennessee National Guard recruiters, Adjutant General Terry Haston and his top staff delivered a harsh lecture in the wake of a series of Channel 4 I-Team investigations.
Haston summoned all of the recruiters to the Tennessee National Guard Training Center on Tuesday.
The meeting comes as the I-Team has exposed repeated stories about military investigations revealing dishonorable conduct in the Tennessee National Guard.
The I-Team’s stories, based on the findings from military investigations and internal national guard records, ranged from showing how Tennessee guardsmen were found by military investigators to have had sex with prostitutes while on a mercy mission overseas to a top recruiter found by investigators to have given his prescription pills to the wife of a guardsman with whom he was having an affair.
While the meeting was held behind closed doors, the I-Team obtained audio of what was said inside.
“I don't know how to say it other than this: any instances of impropriety from 15 October on - I will be [expletive] ruthless about enforcing,” Lt. Col. Andrew Grubb said.
Sgt. Major Terry Scott addressed the recruiters about the I-Team’s investigation that showed dash-cam video of two recruiters accused of driving a recruit in a truck hauling a horse trailer while drunk.
“There are some things I don't like. When all this TV show - we're doing this - and I saw the two drunks on TV - and knew they were national guardsmen - it embarrassed me as an NCO. And embarrassed me for the Tennessee National Guard,” Scott said.
Haston said while he supported the recruiters, he was also frustrated.
“I cannot tolerate any more of this behavior, and you all know exactly what I'm talking about,” Haston said. “My tolerance level is zero. … More than half my behavior problems in the Tennessee National Guard comes from my recruiting force.”
Haston and his staff are also being criticized by recruiters who have come to the I-Team, angry that some of the men featured in the investigations were still allowed to advance through the ranks.
After repeatedly asking for an interview with Haston and being denied, chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley approached Haston after the meeting.
Haston got into his truck and drove away without saying anything.
Although he had nothing to say to the I-Team, Haston made it clear to the recruiters that he expected better behavior.
“I'm not going to tolerate you dragging my organization down that I love,” Haston said in the meeting.
Recruiters who are critical of Haston are calling for a congressional investigation into the men featured in the investigations and how they were allowed to stay in the guard.
The I-Team has filed several Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the disciplinary files on the men featured in the investigations.
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