The Louisiana National Guard has relieved the commander of its 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the state’s historic Jackson Barracks, located in east New Orleans, Army Times has learned.
In response to emailed questions from Army Times, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Guard, Lt. Col. Noel Collins, confirmed the state’s top general, Maj. Gen. D. Keith Waddell, removed Col. Scott Desormeaux from his role leading the state’s historic Tiger Brigade on Wednesday.
The move was “effective immediately,” Collins added.
Desormeaux was relieved after an administrative investigation “found that COL Desormeaux sent inappropriate text messages to other service members,” the spokesperson said. An Army Regulation 15-6 investigating officer’s “findings...substantiated violations of” the Louisiana Code of Military Justice’s rules against conduct unbecoming an officer and undermining good order and discipline.
Desormeaux did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from Army Times.
Full-time service members in the Guard often have two assignments. The colonel had commanded the infantry brigade in his part-time capacity since November 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile, and his role overseeing Jackson Barracks began in March 2022.
Collins noted that Desormeaux presided over the 256th IBCT’s “successful” 2020-2021 deployment to Iraq, Syria and other countries in the Central Command area of responsibility. During the same period, a contingent from the brigade went to the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the federally controlled Guard mission to assist the Department of Homeland Security there.
Both missions saw incidents of misconduct, such as a captain’s assault against a subordinate in a promotion ceremony in Jordan. The officer charged in that case, Capt. Billy Joe Crosby, was allowed to retire and receive his pension thanks to a plea deal.
Meanwhile, at the border, misconduct and command climate issues among the Louisiana formations there grew so bad that one unit — A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry — was temporarily disbanded and its troops shuffled into other companies assigned to the mission.
Collins pointed to Desormeaux’s relief as evidence the state “takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and provides swift and transparent action in efforts to protect and respect the force.”
She added that “ethical, and moral service is a strategic goal of the organization.”
Col. Jon Lloyd will take over as the 256th IBCT’s new commander, according to Collins. Desormeaux will become the state’s training coordinator and director of doctrine and education.
Do you know more about alleged misconduct among senior leaders in the Louisiana National Guard? Contact Army Times senior reporter Davis Winkie via email at email@example.com or via encrypted email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.