The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division commander said Thursday that he fully supports the Korean prosecution of four U.S. soldiers under investigation for alleged misconduct, stressing that he has “zero tolerance” for criminal acts.
In a press release, the 2nd ID underscored that the two recent cases of misconduct involving four of its 11,000 Soldiers have dishonored the reputation and legacy of its soldiers as a whole.
“The 2nd Infantry Division is cooperating fully with the Korean National Police to ensure individuals found at fault face swift and firm consequences,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, the division’s commanding general.
“I fully support the Korean prosecution of soldiers found to have violated Korean law, as I will not tolerate immature and thoughtless behavior.”
On May 31, a 2ID sergeant was arrested after he allegedly stole a taxi in downtown Seoul and rear-ended a parked car. On the same day, three 2ID soldiers were caught on charges of sexually harassing a female employee at an amusement park in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.
A recent series of incidents involving U.S. soldiers has have triggered concerns over the negative impact on the image of the entire U.S. forces and the long-standing Korea-U.S. alliance.
“I will not allow two careless acts of indiscipline to tarnish 2ID readiness and our strong relationship with our Korean neighbors,” said Vandal.
The commander also pledged to strengthen troop education and discipline.
“Just as the recent acts of misconduct reflect on all of us, we are all responsible for keeping our fellow soldiers from conducting acts of indiscipline,” he said.
“We will continue to conduct training at the unit and individual level in an effort to ensure every soldier understands the importance of their mission and that their individual choices and actions have an impact on the entire ROK-U.S. alliance.”
By Song Sang-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)