General Reportedly Reprimanded For Drinking Beer During Exercises
FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) _ The Army has given a letter of reprimand to the commanding general at Fort Carson for drinking a beer before maneuvers in West Germany earlier this year, the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph reported today.
The administrative action was directed at Maj. Gen. Gerald T. Bartlett, 49. The commander of the Army Forces Command reprimanded Bartlett following an Army inspector general investigation, the newspaper said.
The Army has a standard policy prohibiting drinking during field-training exercises, as in Reforger ’85, held in West Germany last January. Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) policy went a step further and included the pre-field training-exercise phases of Reforger.
The general said he told Army investigators he had a single beer with dinner one evening about three days before the field-training exercise began.
″I, in fact, violated the division policy,″ Bartlett said during an interview. ″I was just unaware that we had included phase one and phase two in the policy. And I should have been (aware). I mean, it was our orders. I should have known, there’s no question about it.″
Bartlett confirmed to the Gazette Telegraph that official administrative action was taken, but declined to reveal specifics.
Elaine Strong, media relations officer at the base, told The Associated Press today, ″There has been no official confirmation of the letter of reprimand.″
She said specifics would not be released in accordance with Army regulations.
The investigation was conducted by two lieutenant colonels in late April or early May.
Lt. Col. Ben Thornal, the Forces Command spokesman, confirmed Wednesday that only one beer was involved in the violation.
When asked whether the Army considers the violation a serious incident, Thornal said, ″Seriousness is a relative matter. An allegation was made. An investigation was conducted and the Army officially has taken note of General Bartlett’s conduct.″
Bartlett said the division staff was staying in a hotel near the exercise area while awaiting the arrival of command post equipment so they could move to the field.
After a late afternoon staff meeting, Bartlett, his aide, the command sergeant major and the chief of staff went to the hotel restaurant for dinner, the Gazette Telegraph reported.
There were other soldiers and German civilians in the restaurant, he said. ″We ordered a beer and ordered dinner, and were drinking the beer while we were waiting for dinner,″ Bartlett said.
The group was joined by Lt. Col. Jackson Moss, the division personnel policies officer, who informed them of the policy, Bartlett said.