Adelup: Aguiui’s appointment in direct response to transition report on Guam National Guard

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UPDATE: Just shortly before news time, Adelup confirmed the Governor’s appointment of Lt. Colonel Esther Aguigui to lead the National Guard was in direct response to the draft transition report, its findings, and its recommendation for immediate action on leadership.

Guam – The Guam National Guard is best known for helping to rebuild the island after natural disasters, and defending the nation in theater.  But following a leaked draft of a transition report rife with allegations of abuse, corruption, and intimidation—our local militia is finding itself defending its reputation.

“Dismal.”  That’s how the Guam National Guard described the picture painted of the organization in a report commissioned during the transition into the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration.

While accurate, “dismal” may be a kind assessment to some.  The leaked draft document, independently verified by two reliable sources, outlines a host of allegations—including unfair application of rules, improper romantic relationships among the Guard’s ranks, an indefensible lack of women in leadership positions, low morale, sexual harassment, and an environment of fear and intimidation.

According to one source familiar with the matter, the report was drafted after Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announced her intention to retain Adjutant General Roderick Leon Guerrero—the head of the National Guard under the preceding Governor Calvo.

It’s clear what the 2018 Transition Team wanted our current Governor to do.  The allegations required her full attention and merit “top leadership decisions” be re-evaluated, according to the draft.  What’s also undeniable: the leak came following a day of un-rebutted speculation and criticism into Aguigui’s appointment to lead the organization over higher-ranking candidates.

For its part, the Guard admits it is very concerned with the report, and will address the allegations made as best as it can, but officials also stressed in a released statement that it isn’t the whole picture.

“…We should highlight the great Soldiers in the Guam Army National Guard who were recently recognized as being the ‘Top Recruiting Battalion’ in the nation as well as the ‘Best in Retention,’ the statement read.  “Likewise, the Airmen in the Guam Air National Guard have been tops in Recruiting and Effective Manning for many years. These recognitions speak to Airmen and Soldiers who take pride in their duty and mission to the Island and the Nation.”

But despite all the accolades of the Guard, the “dire” situation found by the transition team required “immediate administrative action” to correct, according to the report.