An Army colonel, who claimed without evidence that the four-star general who oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal repeatedly sexually assaulted her, has a history of making unsubstantiated allegations against supervisors she claims have slighted her, the findings of an Air Force investigation show.
In the weeks since the Air Force cleared Gen. John Hyten, following a comprehensive review by the Office of Special Investigations, major media have prominently published and widely broadcast lurid and salacious claims made against him by the subordinate who was removed from her position for “toxic” leadershipHyten, who leads the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), was nominated in April by President Donald Trump to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The nomination was delayed by an investigation of the claims but was approved last week in the Senate Armed Services Committee by a vote of 20-7. The entire Senate will vote on the nomination in the weeks to come.
The Air Force investigation found no merit to the dozens of unsubstantiated claims made by Col. Kathryn Spletstoser in the last couple of years, as well as a history of unsubstantiated claims levied against supervisors. Colleagues of Spletstoser say she had anger issues, bullied subordinates, and had an incredibly foul mouth. They say she’s lying. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has vocally opposed Hyten “given the disturbing allegations” against him, did not show up to the Senate Executive Session in which the Air Force investigation findings were confidentially revealed and discussed.
Spletstoser levied dozens of allegations against several supervisors following the loss of her job in 2018, but she had made unsubstantiated allegations previously as well. For instance, two years after a good, but not great, performance review in 2007 that she believed had kept her from being selected for battalion command, Spletstoser appealed and claimed the man who gave her the review had sexually harassed her throughout her tour of duty in Iraq.
She claimed that on the day she left Iraq, “he gave her the choice of either getting on her scheduled flight or coming back to his containerized housing unit to renegotiate her evaluation report by performing sexual favors.” That allegation was denied by her commander.The Army Suitability Review Board didn’t accept her request to rescind the review. She appealed that ruling to the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records, which not only denied her claim, but said, “Applicant’s scorched earth attack on the [performance review], much of which is patently specious, undermines her overall credibility. Tellingly, applicant has proffered not a single statement from a third party supporting her version of events.”