The Commander of the 5th SFAB (Security Force Assistance Brigade), Col. Jonathan Chung, has been relieved of his command, while other officers within the brigade face ongoing investigations into their conduct. The events unfolded following a detailed investigation by Military.com, which shed light on systemic issues within the brigade and raised concerns about the conduct and performance of its leadership.
The decision to remove Col. Chung from command was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Army, following a comprehensive investigation into his conduct. Military.com, in its role as a watchdog for military affairs, was at the forefront of reporting the systemic issues plaguing the 5th SFAB.
The publication conducted interviews with numerous soldiers who had served with Col. Chung over the past decade, reviewed internal documents, and collected testimonies that shed light on a range of concerns.
Soldiers interviewed by Military.com disclosed that Col. Chung frequently exhibited a belittling demeanour towards his staff, engaged in micromanagement, and regularly reprimanded troops for minor mistakes.
The testimonies portrayed a leader who created a hostile and demoralizing work environment, leading to serious concerns about his effectiveness as a commander.
The investigation into Col. Chung’s conduct was reportedly extensive, involving the analysis of various pieces of evidence, including sworn statements, audio recordings, emails, text messages, videos, command climate surveys, and internal data from the brigade. These findings substantiate the earlier reports of systemic issues within the 5th SFAB and underscore the need for immediate action.
However, the concerns surrounding the leadership of the 5th SFAB do not end with Col. Chung’s removal. Additional officers within the unit are currently under investigation for alleged misconduct.
Col. Meghann Sullivan, commander of the 5th Brigade Engineer Battalion, is suspended amidst an ongoing sexual assault investigation. She is accused of forcibly kissing one subordinate male officer, groping another below the belt without consent, and engaging in sexual harassment, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
The revelations of these investigations highlight broader challenges faced by the 5th SFAB. The unit, established in 2017, is still in its early stages of development and aims to be at the forefront of the Army’s training efforts with allied armies. However, concerns have been raised regarding the scrutiny in the selection process for the SFABs, potentially leading to the inclusion of underperforming personnel.
Furthermore, officers and senior non-commissioned officers interviewed by Military.com expressed concerns about the 5th SFAB being stretched too thin, with demanding mission requirements and a high attrition rate. These challenges raise questions about the quality of leadership and the ability of the unit to effectively fulfill its responsibilities.