Another High-Profile Firing at West Point, This Time Due to Criminal Sexual Conduct Allegations

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Washington Hall
Washington Hall (U.S. Army photo by William C. Bunce, U.S. Army Garrison West Point, DPTMS, Visual Information/Released)

A senior civilian staffer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has been fired after being arrested on a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct, according to court documents.

William Gentry, who was West Point's deputy brigade tactical officer, was arraigned Nov. 20 in Michigan on a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The nature of the alleged crime was not disclosed in the court documents and under state law could involve a wide variety of sexual contact.

Gentry, 56, had been employed as a senior administrative official since February but was fired from the academy shortly after his arrest earlier this month. Previously, he was an infantryman in the Army, serving numerous tours across Afghanistan and Iraq. He left the service as a sergeant major.

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"The U.S. Military Academy takes these allegations very seriously," Lt. Col. Terence Kelley, an academy spokesman, told Military.com in a statement. "The charges are unrelated to his role at West Point, and we assisted New York State law enforcement in his arrest and extradition to Michigan, terminated his employment, and he will not return to West Point."

Kelley added that there are no known allegations of any misconduct involving cadets or other personnel affiliated with West Point.

It is unclear what the specifics for the allegations in Michigan are, based on publicly available court documents. Gentry is due back in court Dec. 5. It was also unknown whether he had obtained legal counsel.

Gentry's awards include the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, 10 Army Commendation Medals, a Combat Infantryman Badge, and Drill Sergeant Identification Badge.

This is the second high-profile incident involving conduct at West Point in recent months. In August, the Army quietly fired West Point's garrison commander, Col. Anthony Bianchi, an artillery officer. It's unclear what led to Bianchi's termination; he did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Military.com, and his lawyer declined to comment.

Bianchi was commissioned out of West Point in 1997, and he took command of the garrison in 2022.

He was fired by Lt. Gen. Omar Jones, commanding general of U.S. Army Installation Management Command, "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command," a spokesperson said in a statement in October, but those statements are blanket responses to press inquiries on officer misconduct that can range from general misconduct to criminal accusations.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on X @StevenBeynon.

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