COLUMBIA — The Army is replacing the first female commander of its prestigious drill sergeant school, it announced Wednesday, days after it lifted her unexplained six-month suspension.
Even so, Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King said she will remain in the service and work to restore her reputation.
The Army unit in charge of training said May 4 that King was reinstated after a six-month investigation, whose grounds were never revealed. Fort Jackson, where the drill sergeant school is located, announced Wednesday there will be a change of command ceremony today.
King last month filed a complaint that she was targeted because of sexism and racism. King, who is black, will be replaced by a man. The Army named her successor as Command Sgt. Maj. Michael McCoy, who last served with an infantry battalion at Fort Benning, Ga.
King said her Army superiors have turned aside her request to delay the ceremony and denied her request to remain in the post for the six months she was suspended, she said.
“Justice is going to happen,” King told the AP this week. “It’s going to hurt, but it’s going to happen.”
The Army never explained what it was investigating when it suspended her Nov. 29, nor did it offer a full explanation when she was reinstated, except to say the investigation involved her conduct.
“We are fighting for her reputation at this point,” said King’s attorney, James Smith.
The decision to reinstate King came days after she filed a legal complaint. The decision was made by Maj. Gen. Bradley May, deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. May also told her this week she could not remain in her post, Smith said.
Smith said he fears that the Army is going to force King to retire in August, when she becomes eligible after more than 30 years in the ranks.
King was featured in national television reports and newspaper headlines in 2009 when she was tapped to head the Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, the Army’s largest training installation.