Adjutant General Terry Haston summoned all Tennessee National Guard recruiters to a closed-door meeting this week and declared “my tolerance level is zero” for the misconduct reported by WSMV-TV of Nashville.
The station has reported on alleged drunken driving by guardsmen, on guardsmen having sex with prostitutes while on an overseas mission and on a case where a top recruiter found was by investigators to have given his prescription pills to the wife of a guardsman with whom he was having an affair.
From the report on Tuesday’s meeting and the “harsh lecture” delivered by Haston and top staff members:
While the meeting was held behind closed doors, the I-Team obtained audio of what was said inside.
“I don’t know how to say it other than this: any instances of impropriety from 15 October on – I will be [expletive] ruthless about enforcing,” Lt. Col. Andrew Grubb said.
Sgt. Major Terry Scott addressed the recruiters about the I-Team’s investigation that showed dash-cam video of two recruiters accused of driving a recruit in a truck hauling a horse trailer while drunk.
“There are some things I don’t like. When all this TV show – we’re doing this – and I saw the two drunks on TV – and knew they were national guardsmen – it embarrassed me as an NCO. And embarrassed me for the Tennessee National Guard,” Scott said.
Haston said while he supported the recruiters, he was also frustrated.
“I cannot tolerate any more of this behavior, and you all know exactly what I’m talking about,” Haston said. “My tolerance level is zero. … More than half my behavior problems in the Tennessee National Guard comes from my recruiting force.”
Haston and his staff are also being criticized by recruiters who have come to the I-Team, angry that some of the men featured in the investigations were still allowed to advance through the ranks.
…“I’m not going to tolerate you dragging my organization down that I love,” Haston said in the meeting.
Recruiters who are critical of Haston are calling for a congressional investigation into the men featured in the investigations and how they were allowed to stay in the guard.