The Army released its investigative report into a recruiter who plucked a military prospect out of a locked ward for substance abusers, but heavy redactions obliterate virtually all substance from the document.
The 110-page report, released six months after the probe was completed, was released to Fox Undercover in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the Army last July.
Fox 25 reported in October that Army Staff Sgt. Edward Warwick was banned from recruiting and received further disciplined after a Fox Undercover investigation into the recruitment. The Army would not say what that additional discipline was.
Warwick was an Army recruiter based out of a Fall River strip mall when he visited the female prospect in the locked ward. Her fiancé said she had been committed to the ward for 30 days because her drinking had become so bad she had been deemed a threat to herself or others.
The fiancé also told Fox Undercover that the recruiter told the potential soldier to stop taking psychiatric medication so the powerful drugs would not show up in a drug test.
The Army began its own investigation last March. That investigation showed that Warwick was “wrong” for omitting “medical issues” from the recruit’s record, Army Lt. Col. Patrick Mackin told Fox Undercover in an interview. Mackin is the commanding officer for the Army’s New England Recruiting Battalion.
“There were medical issues that this particular applicant had that he omitted from her official record, and we believe he knew full well of these specific medical issues, did not reveal them and enlisted this applicant into the Army,” Mackin said.
In addition to the interview, Fox Undercover requested the full report of the investigation. The Army’s official findings, however, are almost completely obscured by redactions. In some cases entire pages are completely redacted.
In the document titled “Report of Investigation,” not only is the investigator’s name redacted but even his findings are almost entirely obscured. The apparently key finding is reduced to: “I find that (redacted) medical information at the time of processing, as it should have been.”
To justify the redactions, the Army most often cites the need to protect personal privacy interests.
It’s clear, though that the Army was keenly aware of publicity over the recruiter’s actions. There are several mentions in the document of the upcoming Fox 25 story. At one point an Army email says “this appears to be a (sic) Adverse Publicity incident.”