Army Launches Investigation Into Unit Over Alleged “Racial Thursdays”
The Army is investigating allegations that a platoon of soldiers was given a free pass to use racial slurs against each other during what was known as “Racial Thursdays.”
The soldiers belong to 2nd Platoon, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, according to a member of the unit who spoke to Army Times.
The battalion belongs to the 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
“When I first got to my unit, someone said we should do ‘Racial Thursdays’ because it’s been a tradition,” said the soldier, who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s something they made up where you can say any racist remark you want without any consequences. The platoon sergeant said no, but the shit is still going on.”
The soldier, a staff sergeant, added: “It’s degrading to the soldiers. We’ve had soldiers almost fight over the crap that’s going on here.”
The NCO, who is black, said no one has directed any racial slurs towards him because he made it clear he would not participate or put up with the practice.
But he also said he felt compelled to bring the issue to the media because the unit “has a bad habit of sweeping things under the rug.”
U.S. Army Alaska initiated a commander’s inquiry into the allegations late last week, said Lt. Col. Alan Brown, a spokesman for the command.
“An informal complaint was made through command channels, and the commander has already assigned an investigating officer and the investigation is ongoing,” Brown said Wednesday. “The command is extremely sensitive to any allegations that involve equal opportunity or discrimination and will investigate every allegation.”
Brown, citing the ongoing inquiry, said he could not provide any more details.
As of Wednesday, the commander’s inquiry was still an informal investigation at the unit level, Brown said. More