Army spokesperson suspended amid probe into dismal workplace climate survey

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Amy E. Johnston’s term as the Army secretary’s public affairs chief appears to be coming to an end.

According to the Washington Examiner, she was suspended following troubling allegations stemming from a recent workplace climate survey.

“Placed on special duty”

Military Times report found that a staggering 97% of those who served under her said that they faced “workplace hostility.

Furthermore, two in three of those polled complained that soldiers and civilians experienced low morale. A mere 8% described morale as high.

More than one in four respondents indicated that they had observed racial harassment and 21% said the same about sexual harassment.

As the branch’s highest-ranking public affairs officer and top spokesperson, Johnston was ultimately responsible for Army communications. As such, she is now the subject of a probe into the troubling concerns of Army personnel.

“We can confirm that Brig. Gen. Amy Johnston has been suspended and placed on special duty pending the outcome of an Army investigation,” declared Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith. “Given that the investigation is ongoing, we can provide no further comment at this time.”

Prior controversy

For her part, Johnston did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is not her first brush with controversy, however. Her office was previously criticized for its response to the disappearance and murder of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood in Texas.

A related report determined that the Army “ceded the social media space, lost the opportunity to inform and educate the public in a timely fashion, and allowed the unhindered growth of damaging narratives about Fort Hood and the Army.

Earlier this year, Johnston and her office were chastised in a report by Task & Purpose based on complaints of a “failure to communicate.” Insiders at that time described her and her staffers as ill-equipped to adequately handle current events impacting the military branch.

Johnston did react to the prior backlash, explaining: “Most of the time we get it right. But sometimes we fall short; regardless, we still strive to do our best, and continue to do so, no matter what the challenge.”

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