Maj Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe, commander of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning had his planned retirement postponed in September, and was the catalyst for the present issue that has rocked the force.
The pause was caused by an Army Inspector General’s investigation into claims of misbehavior related to Donahoe’s usage of social media. Donahoe evidently started to use social media as a way to contact his growing online force, especially during this latter phase, right before his transfer to Benning. The story spread rapidly via the military social media within hours before entering the national press ecosystem, where it was covered by sources including the Washington Post and New York Post. The investigation’s connections to a wide range of significant and divisive issues from hyperpartisanship and America’s culture wars to appropriate online conduct to civil-military ties and the very future of the U.S. military is what has caused a stir.