Arctic Angels? Not so much, says Army’s new report on behavior problems in 11th Airborne Division

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U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 11th Airborne Division, “Arctic Angels,” conduct a combined arms live-fire exercise at the infantry squad battle course on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Feb. 22, 2023. (Patrick Sullivan/U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman)

Last year, the U.S. Army redesignated its Alaska force as the 11th Airborne Division, with hopes of creating a tip-of-the spear fighting force unparalleled in the Pacific. The change was done to help create a “sense of identity” among those serving in Alaska, and in part to reduce the incidence of suicide among Alaska-based troops.

“One of the things we’ve found that we think is contributing to what we’ve found in Alaska is that some soldiers there don’t feel like they have a sense of identity or purpose around why they’re stationed there,” said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in 2022. She also said every soldier in Alaska will receive mental health evaluations from a surge in mental health professionals that she is sending to the state for a six-month period.

Now, however, soldiers in the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, based in Alaska, report sexual harassment and other problems, according to a new report

Military.com reporter Steve Beynon has the report that says an internal Army assessment conducted recently of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team found “a culture of inappropriate joking and behavior that included sexist or racist remarks, evidence of rampant alcohol abuse, and a pace of training missions that was overwhelming leaders and junior soldiers.”

The assessment of the team was done by the Army’s Cohesion Assistance Team, or CAT. Among the findings Beynon reported from the two-week review:

  • 3% of the soldiers reported being offered a reward or special treatment for sexual favors.
  • 5% said they experienced catcalling, ogling, or leering in ways that made them uncomfortable.
  • 6% of soldiers said they experienced unwanted touching.
  • 16% said they had heard racist comments.

There were also stories of excessive drinking, especially on weekend nights.

Read the Military.com story with the list of grievances in greater detail at Military.com.

31 COMMENTS

  1. It’s the Army not a boy scout troop. Except for the “ogling and catcalling” these behaviors have been endemic in every army going back to the Phoenicians and Egyptians. The “ogling and catcalling” was of the local females and often included more that “unwanted touching” that “reward for special favors” has always accompanied every army and was known as prostitution.
    Leadership warned about integration of women into the military. Before we get too worked up about the military, let’s not forget about the senate pages, Monica Lewinsky and Tara Reade. Put men and women in close situations and “fraternization” happens. If it didn’t, none of us would be here. I am not excusing bad behavior but recognize that young people out on their own for the first time, similar to the college experience, will drink and rub up against the other and now same sex. There is a mechanism for reporting this behavior. This isn’t unique to the military
    The answer is more physical training, more unit team building and more range time.

    • Concur
      More field time
      Less busy work

      Sexual Haressment/Assualt & quid pro quo accepted at any level is contagious be it Ms Reade, “Grab em by the crotch” president, cigars, “sexy panda pants” general officer, general officers that trade sex with reporters… it trickles down the ranks.

    • They are talking specifically about military men. Praying on local women and girls. They have been raping, murdering and harassing us since the base has existed, most recently the non-stop child p0rn manufacturing at Fort Wainwright, Go ahead. Look it up. That’s been the last 10 years, Before that it was prowling middle schools and high schools, getting girls pregnant and then Peace-CSing out. Thank God for Planned Parenthood, do you know how many abortions the United States government pays for via the military?? Oh it’s a lot. It’s many.

      Military men are low quality, and locals don’t want to mix with them, so they prey on children and young girls.

      Military men are not welcome in most social spaces, especially not in groups, and it is because of this behavior.

      I used to love the military both of my grandfathers served. Now I hate the military, and feel like maybe I didn’t really know either of them, men who have no integrity are really not worth anyone’s time.

      • Anthony Benedict, Sir, I take exception to your saying that ” Military men are low quality” …

        You further state that Military men predate on young girls and children. Perhaps you have confused NEA members and Democrats with our Military?

  2. Oh please.

    If these troops wilt under “sexist” and “racist” remarks, how in the hell are they gonna handle the Chinese, who don’t care and will say far worse?

    I image part of the “can’t handle the pace of training” comes from how the military has had to dumb down standards to meet recruiting goals. Think the Russians are call time out to let them catch their breath?

    Much of this can be resolved by some hard nosed NCOs dealing with the misfits. Assuming the woke military allows them to do so.

  3. That’s what happens when you mess with the formula that worked. Our military is just a shell of its former self. Women in combat drugs woke the illegal jab all are problems.

  4. They are of the generation that received participation trophies and gold stars for finishing in last place in sports or academics. The next generation will struggle even more because they can’t put down their phones and hold a conversation or do 2 handed activities. I served in the US Army for 5 years ,,,, tours of Korea and Germany. We trained hard ,,,, partied hard and followed orders. ” Sense of identity or purpose ? ” Never was an issue. Sexual harassment has been around since the being of time. It is wrong no doubt ,,,, but remember that these young people are full of raging hormones and it will happen. They have had access to unfiltered pornography since the day they got their first phone. Addressing it and education does help reduce sexual harassment.

    • “They are of the generation that received participation trophies and gold stars for finishing in last place in sports or academics.”

      Who handed out those trophies? It wasn’t the kids, it was their parents (boomers) demanding their child be given those.

      • No it wasn’t the “Boomer” parents demanding those trophies. It was the “Newage Liberal” Social Science/Psychology Study Majors who demanded the Schools and Sports Activites give them out. Couldn’t hurt anyones “widdle feeelwings”. Us parents had NO SAY and fought that BS.

        • And who were those ““Newage Liberal” Social Science/Psychology Study Majors”? Certainly wasn’t the Millenial kids, it was the Boomers and Gen X’ers. And it absolutely was parents as well.

  5. Every few weeks the DoD sends out another anonymous survey dealing with workplace conditions. Every time, the questions are posed so that the most harmful interpretation is the one that gets commented upon. When you go looking for sexism and racism, you are likely to find it, particularly when mandatory training includes all the ways a person could commit sexism, racism, or sexual assault. Frankly, nearly none of the examples provided in the training would ever have occurred to me, and probably don’t to your average soldier either. Until they are taught it, that is.

  6. “Steve Beynon has the report that says an internal Army assessment conducted recently of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team found “a culture of inappropriate joking and behavior that included sexist or racist remarks, evidence of rampant alcohol abuse, and a pace of training missions that was overwhelming leaders and junior soldiers.”

    It’s called locker room talk. I assume these tiny percentages of soldiers are the females that have entered infantry units?

    When I was in, all we complained about was how we sit around and do nothing.

    The problem with training ( and THATS the only real problem., lack of training) is that leaders can never properly coordinate training sessions properly and they screw it up and waste the day. Leaving the soldiers to sit around and gossip.

    • Bingo. Bored troops find things to do. They joined for a reason, not base ash and trash details or another round of motor pool make work.

  7. Does anyone remember these people are our hired protectors their job is to KILL the enemy not weave baskets. I hope they are more disciplined and tough than I think they are. This worries me. We are about to get tested like we have never been tested before. I pray to god our warriors rise to the occasion.

  8. It’s no secret that everyone in Fairbanks hates the military. We like their money, sometimes, but we don’t like them as a group.

    Military men are up the lowest quality, joining because they have nothing better to do. These are men whose best prospect is a $5,000 check they get up front, probably already spent either on drugs or a motorcycle they will use to kill themselves with.

    A lot of people would say times have changed, but actually the only thing has changed is that we know what type of people are in the military now.

  9. I spent six years in the Marines 2011-2017 as an Infantryman and later an MP. None of this is out of the ordinary, if anything, I’m surprised the numbers are that low. We warned about letting women into combat arms MOS’s, where this is most prevalent.

  10. Congratulations to all you helicopter mommies and daddies who mollycoddled Little Precious his/her/whatever’s whole life. You now reap what you sowed. The seemingly awful, egregious behavior described is and always has been part and parcel of the Warrior culture. We fought, drank and partied like animals when in garrison as expected of young men trained and conditioned to follow orders, to hate communists and to destroy and kill. It was an outlet and allowed to a point. But in the puckerbrush we were right and tight. The reason? All pretense of the niceties of civil life were gone and everyone knew the weaknesses and strengths of everyone in their squad. There was constant harassment, coarse talk, vulgar nicknames and hard partying (later) but that’s all part of what glued us together. Hard to explain and most will never understand the brotherhood. That’s the warrior culture. Love it or hate it, our nation’s enemies don’t give a rat’s ass about polite, equity seeking, gender confused adversaries. They are being hardened and are training to kill and destroy us. Just as we trained and conditioned to grow our skill sets in order to cohesively kill and destroy our enemies. Sad days indeed for our republic now. We are weakening top down.

  11. I served for 7 years and I can not remember any of the items these people are accusing us of. We were young and worked hard and played hard. When I was in 60 years ago maybe the South Installations I served at appreciated the Military more than today. I dated local girls and never was accused of being disrespectful and ended up marrying a southern Belle. Maybe the problem stems from parents not raising their young people to have respect for others.

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