Soldiers deployed to Colombia with the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) received word from their chain of command to cut back on the debauchery as reports of unauthorized drinking and an upswing in Tinder use lead to a spike in STDs among married and single advisors alike.
In January of this year, an anonymous Army dependent sent a text to an SFAB senior enlisted leader, accusing an advisory team in no uncertain terms of engaging in lude and unprofessional behavior in Tolemaida, Colombia. The accusations include drinking without authorization and extramarital sex.
According to the Army Times which obtained internal records, the text sparked a formal investigation. Better late then never, as multiple emails from late last year indicate that this behavior within the SFAB teams have been ongoing for some time.
“There have been a up tic in STDs within the BDE [brigade] since we started deploying to Central and South America in both married and unmarried Soldiers,” one sergeant major wrote in an email obtained by Army Times. https://t.co/73eIi9kaWY
— ArmyTimes (@ArmyTimes) June 16, 2022
In September of last year, Command Sergeant Major Christopher J. Williams sent an email to Team Leaders in the 1st SFAB stating, “There have been a up tic in STDs within the [Brigade] since we started deploying to Central and South America in both married and unmarried Soldiers. This is extremely concerning and wanted all advisors to be aware that the health stats are going up and it is in mostly advisors that have been deployed.”
Roughly one month later, the SFAB team received a follow-up email from Williams citing rumors of continues illicit behavior “across the formation.” Although Williams acknowledged that a portion of complaints were likely rumors, he stressed, “I am hearing more and more as the months and weeks go by.”
In October, Williams sent the following to his troops:
“We have all now been in country for about two months and I am hearing that we have advisors that have broken the GO#1 no drinking policy without approval. [W]e have advisors that have violated curfew policy, we have married advisors that have TINDER accounts, advisors that have been hitting on hotel staff and we have teams that are not following all rules and guidelines. We are here on mission, not a vacation or trying to find a significant other. I am asking if you/or have team members that are doing unethical, unprofessional or intentional wrong behavior stop immediately. I trust you, but I also don’t want to get burnt because I do trust you. I expect leaders to uphold the discipline.”
The investigation began on the same day that Williams received the initial anonymous text and ended this May. Ultimately, nine Soldiers were found to have been violating curfew and orders pertaining to alcohol consumption. The investigation found no evidence of sex related violations apart from the spike in STDs.