The United States Air Force announced Monday that 15 Air National Guard officers and troops were punished as the result of classified information being leaked by a 21-year-old Air National Guard member earlier this year.
In a report to Congress, the Air Force noted that while the investigation found that 21-year-old Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira acted alone by allegedly disclosing hundreds of classified documents on social media and that there was no evidence superior officers were aware of his actions, the Air Force cited a “lack of supervision” as the reasoning behind the punishment of 15 Air National Guard officers and troops.
The Air Force’s report cited multiple indirect factors that led to classified information being leaked on social media, including “the failure of commanders to adequately inspect areas under their command, inconsistent guidance for reporting security incidents, inconsistent definitions of the ‘Need to Know’ concept, conflation of classified system access with the ‘Need to Know’ principle, inefficient and ineffective processes for administering disciplinary actions, lack of supervision/oversight of night shift operations, and a failure to provide security clearance field investigation results.”
According to Military.com, Teixeria worked in Massachusetts at the Otis Air National Guard Base before being arrested earlier this year for leaking classified information regarding the war between Russia and Ukraine and information about the United States and its allies on a gaming website. Teixeria was charged in April for the unauthorized retention, removal, and distribution of classified documents and national defense information.
According to Military.com, Teixeria is currently facing six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. After pleading “not guilty” in June, Teixeria is still waiting for his case to go to trial.
On Monday, Air Force Spokeswoman Ann Stefanek provided a statement to Military.com, explaining that starting on Sept. 7, “Air National Guard leaders initiated disciplinary and other administrative actions against 15 individuals, ranging in rank from E-5 to O-6, for dereliction in the performance of duties.”
The Air Force’s punishment for the 15 individuals cited in the investigation included measures such as the relieving of personnel from their positions and nonjudicial forms of punishment listed under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to Military.com.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall also provided a statement, saying, “Every airman and Guardian is entrusted with the solemn duty to safeguard our nation’s classified defense information. When there is a breach of that sacred trust, for any reason, we will act in accordance with our laws and policies to hold responsible individuals accountable.”