Army Investigation Finds Soldiers Were Given False Criminal Records

In a bittersweet victory, Major Gilberto De Leon, the officer who spearheaded the fight to clear the names of falsely accused service members, has finally received the promotion he was unjustly denied for years. While holding the golden oak leaf pin symbolized personal vindication, De Leon’s focus remains on preventing similar injustices from happening again.

Major Gilberto De Leon and his family

The false criminal records were a result of the National Guard recruiting program called G-RAP, which faced accusations of fraud and mismanagement, leading to its termination in 2012. Task Force Raptor, launched by the Army under pressure from Congress, aimed to investigate all individuals paid by G-RAP, involving over 100,000 people.

Shockingly, out of the thousands investigated, only a fraction of soldiers faced criminal prosecution. However, the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) titled over 2,500 soldiers, creating permanent military records falsely indicating their involvement in an investigation. These inaccurate records subsequently appeared as arrests on background checks, causing severe professional and personal consequences for the affected individuals.

Major De Leon’s promotion was initially stalled due to the mark on his record, but after relentless efforts to clear his name, his record was corrected, leading to his well-deserved promotion. This victory highlights the perseverance and determination required to rectify the damage caused by the investigation.

Unfortunately, the exact number of affected service members who remain in the military a decade after G-RAP’s termination is unclear. Army Captain David Hernandez is among those still awaiting promotions, and he echoes the sentiment that every passing day puts them further behind their peers. The impact extends beyond military careers, affecting veterans in their civilian lives as they face obstacles in job applications, licensing, and more due to tainted background checks.

Congress has taken notice of this appalling situation, ordering the secretary of the Army to review the case files of all service members and veterans affected by the G-RAP investigation. The goal is to expunge improper criminal records and provide a comprehensive report to lawmakers. The Army Criminal Investigation Division expects to fulfill this review within the next month.

Despite these steps, Major De Leon contends that the Army has yet to fully acknowledge its responsibility for this scandal. He calls for accountability, policy changes, and a public apology from appointed leaders. Acknowledging the magnitude of the issue and taking proactive steps to prevent future injustices is crucial, especially as the military grapples with recruitment challenges.

The impacted service members deserve not only a public apology but also comprehensive restoration and compensation for the harm caused by these false records. The need for systemic reform to ensure the protection of service members’ rights and prevent such gross errors in the future cannot be overstated.

As the dust settles and the affected individuals begin their journey toward recovery and restoration, it is our duty as a nation to support them and ensure that the honorable service of these dedicated men and women is rightfully recognized. Let us stand together in demanding justice, accountability, and lasting change within our military institutions.

Fox News


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