Leadership: August 21, 2002

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An investigation by the New York state government has found that the New York Army National Guard fudged its strength figures from late 1996 to early 1999 by delaying discharges so that it would show a gain in troop strength every week. The New York Army National Guard has about 10,000 members, and new Governor Pataki had pushed hard to stop its steady decline, offering college scholarships for new recruits. When this program did not produce the results they wanted, officials of the NYARNG began stalling the discharges of soldiers, releasing them only at a rate which allowed the state to still show a net gain almost every week. In April of 1999, however, the backlog had reached 500 and the US Army became aware of it and started an investigation. Before this investigation could get moving, however, the NYARNG discharged the entire backlog in six weeks and the Army dropped the investigation. Three years later, the Pataki Administration heard of the situation and did their own investigation, confirming the report. It is unclear if any leaders will be disciplined over the episode.--Stephen V Cole

 


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