In a blunt talk to about 50 senior sergeants, Chandler told them standards had slipped in order to field enough troops as the country fought two wars, that they were all responsible, and that the decline had to be turned around. “We had to grow the Army,” he said. “Now it’s time to make some changes. We’ve allowed ourselves to get out of control.”
As evidence, Chandler, whose last assignment was commandant of the Army Sergeants Major Academy, said that half the sergeants enrolled in drill sergeant school or recruiter school “either don’t show up or can’t pass the PT (physical fitness) test.”
Chandler also said that despite a variety of programs to address sexual harassment and assault, despite “videos, briefings and posters,’’ the number of sexual assaults had remained high. “This is bull—-,” Chandler said. “That’s us; it’s not some program director in the Department of the Army.
“Hazing – the same thing,” Chandler continued, mentioning low-crawling and troops being forced to drink water until they vomited. “Stupid s— we’ve done that has at least contributed to suicides. It’s unconscionable. It’s not to be tolerated because that’s not what professionals do.
“So what are you doing? Not saying — doing? Roll your sleeves up and be like a squad leader. Not ripping their faces off – sitting down and counseling them.”