Army provost marshal general talks Gold Book at Fort Sill
November 1, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Fort Sill was honored by a visit from Maj. Gen. David Quantock, Army Provost Marshal General and Criminal Investigation Division commanding general.
Quantock stopped here Oct. 26 as part of a tour of Army posts, inspecting the CID and Directorate of Emergency Services operations, but his primary mission was to present the Army Gold Book briefing to senior leaders of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.
"We're going around and educating our leaders about the Gold Book's purpose, because if you want to insert change, you've got to get the leaders to be aware of the problems and buy into the changes," Quantock said. "What we're seeing is leaders buying into what we need to do and to really change the culture of what we've done in the past 10 to 12 years."
The Gold Book is a comprehensive study of issues related to health and discipline in the forces ahead of what is being called the "strategic reset" of the Army.
The primary purpose of the report is to inform and educate leaders in the rapidly evolving nature of the Army population; to assess policy and programs; and to provide insight regarding health and discipline issues affecting Soldiers and families.
Quantock sees firsthand the impact of cultural issues that affect the Army. As commander of CID he reads the serious incident reports from Army posts worldwide each day. There are some sobering statistics in those reports.
"They are basically felony investigations, that range from 15 to 25 felony investigations per day. That is sexual assaults, rapes, murders, suicides, anything that's bad I get to look at every single night. And, that can give you a pretty jaundiced view of the Army," Quantock stated to Fort Sill's senior leaders, who were gathered at the Patriot Club. "What I want us to do is look at what we have to do to fix some of this stuff. We will probably never be able to fix it all, but how can we fix most of it.
Quantock went on to highlight the major areas of the Gold Book, which are that health issues TBI, PTSD, substance abuse and addiction, sexual assaults, behavioral health issues (depression, suicide) and others, are often related directly to high-risk behaviors such motor vehicle offenses, spousal abuse, child abuse, rape, violent crimes involving firearms and others.
"That is why we are looking at the systems and all the processes that address these issues, but we are also trying to make it easier for commanders to take and execute their responsibilities, whether that's discipline, or whether it's helping them with Soldiers who have health problems. But, it's all about awareness and at the end of the day getting Soldiers and families the help they need," Quantock said.
He went on to list four major areas of change the Army is implementing to combat these problems.
"No. 1: We have got to get the barracks back. Fifty-four percent of sexual assaults happen in the barracks. So there's no secret there; we know where it's happening. That's because we have turned over the barracks to the Soldiers. If we think that a private first class charge of quarters is going to control our barracks, we are sadly mistaken," he said.
"No. 2: We have to do a better job of integrating new Soldiers into the Army. Sixty-four percent of sexual assault victims are assaulted in their first 18 months of coming into the service. And, why is that? Because we take care of them when they are in basic training. We give them battle buddies. We give them drill sergeants, leaders 24/7, and don't let them go anywhere without supervision. Then, we send them to their first unit and we put them in freefall," Quantock said. "Believe me it happens all the time. So we need to look at how we sponsor and integrate these young Soldiers safely into our units."
The third point Quantock made was that the Army is going to return to leadership 24/7. He stated the Army has developed a magnificent fighting force during the past 11 years, but leaders haven't done a good job of getting to know their Soldiers.
"I don't mean by Tweeting to them or sending them an email, or Facebooking them. I mean getting to know the Soldiers. We've developed a containerized housing unit mentality, a CHU mentality. When the Soldiers are off mission, we leave them alone. We don't even engage with them. So if they have a rough mission, we see suicides or these young people are playing around with drugs and weapons. That's the kind of craziness that goes on in our barracks. We've got to get leadership inside those barracks 24/7 to stop this," he said. "You've got to visit the quarters where your young Soldiers live, because 43 percent of our force are E-1 to E-4 but they are committing 68 to 70 percent of our crimes."
The fourth point that Quantock emphasized from the findings of the Gold Book is leaders need to ask law enforcement to help them.
"CID works for you. One of the revelations from meetings with our senior commanders is they don't understand what's going on, and they don't know who their CID reps are, even who their senior MPs are. So I would strongly encourage leaders to contact their CID personnel and find out how they can help you," he added.
Quantock closed by sharing the Army will soon give brigade commanders authorizations to have law enforcement-sensitive data. This relates to Soldiers who may have prior felony offenses that will indicate potential problems.
"At one time we had 29,000 multiple felony offenders inside our Army formations. The good news is we've chaptered out 4,500 of them so we're making some good progress, but we have a lot of work to do," he stated. Once a month Human Resources Command will push down all of the names to the Directorate of Emergency Services at the posts, to compare against the records of known, founded felony offenses less than five years. They will break it down and pass it to brigade commanders, and the brigade staff judge advocates, Quantock said.
"About 81 percent of the population won't have any offenses listed. It's the 19 percent that you'll hear something about. You have to have the whole picture, not just part of the picture."
Quantock said the whole intent and purpose of this ruling is to identify high-risk Soldiers and get them the help they need. Soldiers who came into the Army with prior criminal offenses will commit crimes at twice the rate of one with no criminal record, and those who had prior drug offenses will have substance abuse problems and commit drug-related offenses at six times the rate of Soldiers with no record of substance abuse offenses.
"So we need to know what is going on with these Soldiers. If they have family violence going, then we need to get them to family advocacy. If they have drugs in their past, drugs or alcohol, then we need to get them to ASAP. That's what we're trying to do, is trying to help that Soldier and help that Soldier's family," Quantock said.