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Former Fort Carson leader Ryan Gonsalves investigated for misconduct

November 9, 2017 Updated: November 9, 2017 at 10:55 am
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Col David Hodne, right, stands with Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves Friday, June 9, 2017, during a welcome ceremony for incoming 4th Infantry Division Deputy Commander Hodne at Fort Carson. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

The promotion of former Fort Carson boss Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves is on hold as the Pentagon investigates his alleged misconduct with an unidentified congressional staffer.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that Gonsalves remains in limbo as accusations against him are reviewed. The general, who led the post and its 4th Infantry Division until his August change-of-command, was found by Army investigators to have failed "to treat a congressional staffer with dignity and respect."

"That finding is currently under review," Army spokesman Will Sharp said from the Pentagon on Wednesday.

The Pentagon declined to release details of the allegations against Gonsalves. The Gazette has requested records of the probe under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The future looked bright for Gonsalves, who was nominated for a third star in July and identified as the next boss of all Army troops in Europe. The nomination has yet to move in the Senate and the Army says it is vetting candidates for the service's top Europe job.

"The vetting process does take some time," Sharp said.

Gonsalves, meanwhile, is assigned as a special assistant to the commander at III Corps in Fort Hood, Texas.

Gonsalves didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Fort Carson, now under the command of Maj. Gen. Randy George, referred questions elsewhere.

In two years at Fort Carson, Gonsalves earned praise for leading the division's troops on a string of training exercises, including maneuvers across Europe. The experience positioned him well to replace Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges at U.S. Army Europe.

He was also a natural fit in Colorado Springs.

His ties here go back three decades to his first assignment as a new lieutenant. From 2011 to 2013, he was the post's deputy commander and returned to lead the place in 2015.

A career armor officer, Gonsalves has led a brigade of 1st Cavalry Division troops in Iraq combat and helped oversee all American combat operations while on the staff of Multinational Corps-Iraq.

Before that, he led a battalion of 4th Infantry Division troops in the initial stages of the Iraq War.

Before his latest return to Fort Carson, Gonsalves led a top Army planning office at the Pentagon.

The investigation into misconduct by Gonsalves was kept exceptionally quiet. Leaders at the post, who asked not to be identified, said they hadn't heard that the general faced trouble.

Several said the investigation seems out of place for a general known for his exceptionally clean record.

Everything in Gonsalves' past has brought him praise. At the August ceremony that gave leadership of the post to George, leaders piled up compliments for Gonsalves.

Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, who heads III Corps, which includes the 4th Infantry Division, said Gonsalves showed a passion for his troops unmatched by most generals.

"Ryan has given his heart and soul to this division," Funk said.

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Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

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