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Military investigators reportedly disqualify 60 troops as sexual assault counselors, recruiters or drill instructors

Military investigators reportedly have disqualified some 60 troops as sexual assault counselors, recruiters or drill instructors following a Defense Department-ordered review of their credentials and conduct.

According to USA Today, investigators found those removed from their posts had committed violations ranging from alcohol-related offenses to child abuse and sexual assault, although there was no confirmation from the Defense Department.

The records of at least 35,000 troops have been screened or are under review, the paper said, with the Army suspending 55 personnel and the Navy five.

The screenings were ordered in May by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel following a jump in the number of sexual assaults in the armed forces.

"The leadership of this department has no higher priority than the safety and welfare of our men and women in uniform, and that includes ensuring they are free from the threat of sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Cathy Wilkinson, a Defense Department spokesman, said Friday.

“Together, everyone in this department at every level of command will continue to work together to establish an environment of dignity and respect, where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned or ignored and where there is clear accountability placed on all leaders at every level."