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Greely adultery probe draws senators' focus

Jun. 5, 2013 - 11:13AM   |  
Lt. Col. Joseph Miley
Lt. Col. Joseph Miley ()
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Alaska’s U.S. senators are asking for a thorough investigation into allegations that a battalion commander at Fort Greely condoned adultery and fraternization on the post.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, asked the military to employ a “true zero-tolerance policy for all sexual misconduct” in response to the investigation, which reportedly centers on Lt. Col. Joseph Miley, commander of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion, an Alaska Army National Guard unit.

An officer with Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, which oversees the unit, concluded the investigation May 24.

SMDC/ARSTRAT commander Lt. Gen. Richard Formica and Alaska Guard commander Brig. Gen. Leon M. Bridges are expected to make a final assessment of its findings and determine the appropriate punishment, a spokeswoman for the state Guard said.

Murkowski acknowledged the investigation was related to an anonymous allegation of misconduct but declined to discuss it further. However, Bloomberg News reported that it stems from Miley saying in a Jan. 4 meeting that adultery isn’t punishable under military law unless it involves violating a “no-contact order.”

Bloomberg News cited an anonymous source who claimed fraternization and sexual misconduct subsequently increased.

Miley had reportedly called the meeting of all officers in the battalion after one of his subordinates, a captain, allegedly had an affair with the wife of another officer in the unit, according to three people.

The complaint reportedly also focused on sexual relations between a noncommissioned officer and enlisted soldiers.

Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, said in an emailed statement that he was calling on Formica and Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, as the commander in chief of the state Guard, “to assure a thorough, unbiased and comprehensive investigation of this matter with appropriate punishment for those who have committed or are responsible for misconduct.”

Murkowski called the allegations “deeply upsetting and further evidence that we must see a drastic change made to a military culture that has seemingly turned its eyes away from facing critical, systemic problems and addressing them.”

The Army has previously investigated the appearance of Miley’s wife in a World War II-style pinup calendar for charity, which the Alaska Guard spokeswoman saidwas unrelated to the latest investigation. Formica had concluded there was no wrongdoing.

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