Fort Drum brigade commander fired over alleged misconduct

Fort Drum brigade commander fired over alleged misconduct


The commanding general of 10th Mountain Division relieved one of his brigade commanders Wednesday due to a loss in trust in his ability to command, the unit said in a press release.

Maj. Gen. Brian J. Mennes relieved Col. J.T. Eldridge, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Drum, New York, following an investigation stemming from allegations of misconduct.

Mennes said in a statement accompanying the release that “we hold our leaders accountable for their actions,” but the reasoning behind the relief was not included.

When reached for comment, Lt. Col. Kamil Sztalkoper, a spokesman for the 10th Mountain Division, would only say that the investigation was an administrative one and the relief was not based on an equal opportunity complaint, sexual misconduct allegation or toxic command climate.

Mennes met with 1st Brigade Combat Team leaders this week to update them on the relief and the transition of command, the release stated.

In the meantime, Lt. Col. Dwight F. Towler is assuming command responsibility, the release added. Towler previously commanded the 10th Brigade Support Battalion under 1st Brigade Combat Team.

Eldridge assumed command of brigade in June 2019, according to unit Facebook photos. A LinkedIn profile matching his name and career shows that he previously served as an action officer on the Joint Staff and held command positions in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Eldridge, who did not immediately return a request for comment, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1998 and earned a master’s degree from Moscow State University as an Olmsted Scholar in 2008.





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Anthony Barnett
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