The Wisconsin National Guard’s commanding officer is stepping down as a response to a scathing report over the mishandling of sexual assault investigations.
Adjutant General Donald Dunbar will be stepping down at the end of the year after a request from Governor Tony Evers. That’s in the wake of a report from the Pentagon that the National Guard mishandled a decade’s worth of sexual assault investigations.
The Defense Department says the Guard failed to refer reports of sexual assault to outside law enforcement and failed to properly report and investigate numerous cases of sexual harassment.
“I am extremely upset and concerned with the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations’ findings, especially with how the Wisconsin National Guard investigates sexual assault allegations,” said Evers.
“Our service members deserve to be safe and supported while carrying out their important mission, which is why I have ordered the Wisconsin National Guard to implement top-to-bottom changes to ensure a safe workplace in the Guard, one that is free of sexual assault and harassment and the fear they might face retaliation for reporting sexual assault or harassment when it happens.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin agreed with the decision. “Our Wisconsin National Guard service members deserve leadership of unmatched integrity and a work environment free of sexual assault, harassment and the fear of retaliation. This National Guard Bureau report makes clear they have received neither.
“The failure of leadership, wrongdoing, and lack of accountability that has been uncovered demands change at the Wisconsin National Guard, including new leadership and implementing all of the report’s recommendations on how best to prevent sexual assault and harassment, and confront it with accountability when it occurs. Now that the first steps of change are being taken, I support Governor Evers’ executive order to work towards true justice for the survivors of sexual assault and accountability for those that committed crimes against them.”
Brigadier General Gary Ebben will replace Dunbar on an interim basis, until a new commanding officer is selected.