A New York congressional candidate running on her military service was relieved of her command in Afghanistan following two investigations into alleged misconduct.
Jackie Gordon, a Democrat who is seeking to replace Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in New York’s 2nd Congressional District, was subject to two investigations while serving in the U.S. Army, according to Department of Defense documents obtained by The Daily Caller and confirmed by multiple sources.
SCOOP: New York Democrat Congressional candidate Jackie Gordon’s military records show 2 investigations were opened during her time in the U.S. Army, which resulted in 2 separate recommendations that she be relieved of command, 1 of which was acted upon:https://t.co/JwzdrouwEU
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) October 19, 2020
According to the documents, one of which was redacted and the other unredacted, Gordon was investigated twice.
The first report involved complaints Gordon made about four white men under her command whom she dubbed the “four horsemen” and accused of causing trouble. The investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the four men, but reportedly uncovered other allegations against Gordon. The investigation recommended that she be relieved of duty, though she escaped such discipline on a technicality.
Gordon was alleged to have left her battalion without permission to campaign for political office, which caused “significant threat to the Battalion’s ability to perform an incredibly stressful and sensitive wartime mission.”
The report reads in part:
LTC Gordon’s relationship with her current command team is becoming increasingly dysfunctional, causing a sensed polarization of her Battalion and impacting the Battalion’s cohesiveness. It appears that ever since the Battalion’s leadership conducted their Pre-Deployment Site Survey in Afghanistan, the Battalion Commander has increasingly estranged herself from her entire command element.
The existing climate involving the Battalion Commander and her staff cannot be described as anything less than toxic and nonconducive to the efficient execution of the Battalion’s wartime mission. Based on the above facts, I recommend that LTC Gordon be removed from the battle roster and relieved from command. I base this recommendation on the leadership deficiencies identified above, as well as the inability of LTC Gordon and… to function effectively as a command team.
Another investigation, conducted while Gordon was deployed to Afghanistan as a lieutenant colonel, finally led her to be relieved of command. Much of the second report is redacted, but sources with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Daily Caller confirmed that “she was unfit for her position and that she had lack of mission and leadership during her time in the Army.”
Timothy Parlatore, a defense lawyer who focuses on military law and reviewed the case, told The Daily Caller that Gordon should never have wielded military authority.
“This is a complete and total disaster of a command, as a defense attorney I wouldn’t be too happy about a client giving me this and saying ‘Hey, what can you do to save me here?,’” Parlatore said. “If you want to tout your record as a commanding officer, you’ve got to be able to back it up.”
“All the stuff going on in this command, it’s crazy,” Parlatore continued. “One of the primary functions of a commander is to maintain good order and discipline and unit readiness. So all this stuff is going on under her nose and she’s not really doing anything about it, again, that means she shouldn’t be in command.”
Gordon’s military service has featured prominently in her campaign. Her bio on her campaign website reads in part:
Over her 29-year career in the Armed Forces, Jackie served our country overseas as a platoon leader in Germany during Operation Desert Storm, as an operations officer at Guantanamo Bay during the Global War on Terror, as a battle captain in Baghdad during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and as Commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion in Afghanistan in 2012. She retired from the Army Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2014.
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