Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter County, SC
Shaw Air Force Base, SC (WLTX) - Several senior officers at Shaw Air Force Base have been disciplined following an investigation into sexual harrassment and misconduct.
The punishments followed a report by the Air Force Inspector General that found 14 substantiated claims of sexual harrassment, condoning sexually offensive material, or tolerating drinking in the workplace during regular duty hours.
In October of 2012 a 17-year female veteran of the Air Force filed a complaint claiming she'd witnessed sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct throughout her career, including her several years at Shaw. After a six-month investigation that included more than 200 witnesses, the inspector general concluded that eight officers were responsible for some of the allegations brought forward.
The officers involved included two colonels, five lieutenant colonels, and one captain. Six of the officers received either a letter of admonishment or a letter of counseling. Another officer's punishment is still pending, while another had already retired from active duty.
There are three letters of administration which the Air Force can issue: a letter of counseling, a letter of admonishment, and a letter of reprimand. The letter of counseling is least severe, while the letter of reprimand is most severe.
Receiving a letter, or having it put into an officer's unfavorable information file, can severely hinder an officer's opportunity for advancement.