For failing to treat a staffer with “dignity and respect,” the investigator looking into the Major General recommended that the case should be turned over to the Judge Advocate General for further “appropriate action.”
According to the Army Inspector General who looked into the case, the officer had committed the act of calling a female congressional employee “sweetheart” during a meeting. Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves, it was found after a “preponderance” of evidence was unearthed showing that the officer had violated the Army Command Policy that gave the outline towards “dignity and respect.” While the information is only being published and reviewed now, the incident took place in October of 2016 and since then has gone from leading the 4th Infantry Division in Colorado to acting as a special assistant to the commanding general at Fort Hood, Texas.
Aside from the report, which redacts the names of the woman and the ten others who were present at the meeting in Fort Carson, the Army has so far declined to comment on what will happen with Gonsalves in the future, but his recent past has shown that he has suffered from the one off-handed remark — one that he denies ever having said.
In July, the General Major was recommended to be promoted to third star, but the nomination was formally withdrawn at the end of November. The anonymous complaint about the “sweetheart” remark was lodged only a few days afterwards, and a few week after the magazine Stars and Stripes reported that he was in the running to be the next commander of the U.S. Army Europe.
So, October 2016, the officer allegedly calls a woman “sweetheart.” July 2017, he is up for a big promotion. A few days later, a complaint about that 2016 meeting is brought forward. In November, the nomination for his promotion is withdrawn. And now the news has come back down and the report confirms that testimony against Gonsalves included his own staff.
The complainant also cited an accusation that Gonsalves was concerned about the youth of the staffer, and that he allegedly said that she ought to take detailed notes because:
“…she [is] a Democrat and did not believe in funding the military.”
That was the problem? Give that man his third star, now!
Complaints ranged from that Gonsalves was “sarcastic and unprofessional” while a male staffer at the meeting said that he was “sexist, inappropriate and unprofessional.” As well (and this is how you know it was millennials who were shocked), one of them passed a note to another stating “did this guy really just call me sweetheart?”
I’ve worked secretarial positions before and sweetheart and honey are more common than printer jams.
But, some people who were interviewed defended Gonsalves and urged that he was acting professionally. The positions of the people both for and against Gonsalves were redacted in the report obtained. As for the meeting itself, it was about the Army’s mission in Europe.
As for the female staffer, she both complained to her boss then went to Facebook to complain to her friends about the Maj. General after it was announced that he was up for a command position, calling it a “big mistake.”