Yuma, Arizona – Lt. Col Armando Gonzalez was relieved of his command at Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 back in May, the second commander of that squadron to be fired. The subsequent investigation has concluded that he created an ‘intimidating, hostile, and offensive” work environment. Twenty seven people testified against him.
“You’ve got to crush their nuts … or they’ll never respect you.”
Lt. Col Gonzalez allegedly made that comment to a subordinate. He “vehemently denies” some of the claims made by the investigative report.
“There are individuals who obviously want to crush me; I am not sure why; I was under a lot of stress; the burden of command is heavy; people just don’t understand how challenging it is to always do things in a professional manner.”
The report states that Gonzalez demeaned numerous ethnic groups: African Americans, Mexicans, Asians, Samoans and others, including women and Jews. [Wait…isn’t Gonzalez a Mexican or at least Spanish name? But I digress.]
According to the Marine Corps Times,
One woman told the investigator that she did not object when Gonzalez allegedly demeaned women and Jews because she was “concerned about what he thinks of her and the type of report he might write on her,” the investigation determined. The woman was likely referring to her fitness report, which is akin to performance evaluations in the private sector…
“The Marines and sailors of MWSS-371 deserve to be treated fairly with dignity and respect and must be allowed to work in an environment free of unlawful, offensive and discriminatory behavior,” the investigation found. “Lt. Col. Gonzalez bears accountability and full responsibility for the negative command climate and hostile environment fostered at MWSS-371.”
Not all of the claims were substantiated, however. Some claims such as forcing a woman to hold a push up position on one arm for a full minute while berating her could not be validated.
So let’s ask this question: Is this the case of an old-style gritty Marine Commander running up against current politically correct methods? Or is it a case of plain old fatigue from command, or a Marine with a crappy attitude towards everyone?