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Army Leaders Conspire to Destroy Soldier Whistleblower

Army Leaders Conspire to Destroy Soldier Whistleblower

A West Point professor and an Army three-star general used government resources in an unofficial investigation to hunt down and punish an anonymous active-duty whistleblower who criticized Army leaders and the Biden administration

While DOJ seems to have long been compromised in its treatment of political opponents, the United States military, which I was a proud member of for more than 31 years, would never intentionally demonize anyone who disagreed with military policy or who blew the whistle on the military’s occasional foibles, right?


From Breitbart News comes the story of two Army officers who conspired to destroy the career, if not the person himself, of an Army warrant officer who blew the whistle on military issues, including the military’s shameful COVID vaccination policies:

Exclusive: General, West Point Professor Ran Shadow Investigation to Hunt Down and Silence Military Whistleblower for Mean Tweets

An Army three-star general and a West Point associate professor used government resources in an unofficial investigation to hunt down and punish an anonymous active-duty whistleblower who criticized Army leaders and the Biden administration on social media, according to private emails and text messages obtained exclusively by Breitbart News.

Army Training and Doctrine Command Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais and Army Maj. Jessica Dawson — who is also an “information warfare research scientist” at the Army Cyber Institute — used their official authority and access to government resources to track down the whistleblower and get him identified publicly and punished by his chain of command.

Despite the lack of evidence, they repeatedly accused the whistleblower of being a “counterintelligence” and “insider threat” in a seeming effort to trigger action by Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID) — an independent federal law enforcement agency with expansive powers designed to investigate serious felonies.

Pat Wier, a civilian defense attorney and Navy reservist, said a CID investigation would require an assumption or designation of a serious threat and called Gervais and Dawson’s trumping up of accusations for exercising free speech rights “wrongful.”

“His alleged actions did not rise to the level of a serious crime, or any crime at all,” he said.

Rather, it appeared to be an attempt by rogue military officials seeking to use the levers of government to punish political dissent.

Gervais and Dawson ran their shadow investigation for nearly a year, enlisting help from a mob of online associates consisting of progressive current and former members of the military who disagreed with the whistleblower politically.

Their efforts led to the doxxing — or public “outing” — of the suspected whistleblower’s identity and an Army two-star general’s former aide filing an inspector general complaint against him, a weaponization of the IG system in retaliation for critical social media posts.

That complaint then sparked an investigation into the whistleblower by his chain of command (what is known as a 15-6 investigation). The investigating officer found that the suspected whistleblower, Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Samuel Shoemate, had violated Army Regulation 600-20 by “posting derogatory and disrespectful images/memes on multiple social accounts … towards different Senior Officials and Military Leaders.”

It also found that Shoemate violated Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 88 (Contempt towards Senior Officials), 89 (Disrespect toward Superior Commissioned Officers, 133 (Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and Gentleman), and DOD Instruction 5400.17 Official Use of Social Media for Public Affairs Purposes.

The investigating officer recommended “appropriate adverse administrative action and/or appropriate UCMJ action” against Shoemate. He ultimately was given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand — essentially a letter of reprimand. He retired from the Army on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

So what did Shoemate do that was so….criminal?

First, he broke the story last September, after being contacted by military members, that USS Nimitz (CVN-68) had inadvertently leaked jet fuel into the ship’s water supply, sickening 11 sailors. Worse yet, the ship didn’t even notify crew members until six hours after the leakage was discovered. Shoemate’s story became national news because of his reporting.

Next, Shoemate “provided information for troops who opposed the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for the military.” He also in this regard broke the story that the DOD’s own Inspector General “had warned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin he was potentially violating federal law by not properly considering requests for [religious] accommodation.” This story also became national news because of Shoemate’s reporting.

But what appears to have broken the camel’s back as regards Shoemate’s whistleblowing is his reporting about an Army Major General named Patrick Donahoe, the Commanding General at Fort Benning in Georgia, who was a strong advocate for COVID vaccinations. Shoemate reported about an online dustup between Donahoe and a Marine who criticized Donahoe’s COVID vaccine advocacy, leading to Donahoe being negatively profiled on Tucker Carlson’s prior Fox News program. In fact, Donahoe himself was later investigated by the Army’s IG for various issues, “including social media misconduct and interaction with a junior female officer.”

Apparently Shoemate’s reporting on Donahoe was too much for Lieutenant General Gervais and her cohort, West Point professor Jessica Dawson, who took it upon themselves to coordinate a year-long investigation into Shoemate’s activities and identity. Their activities in digging into Shoemate’s online actions are a long and sordid tale, and I encourage you to read the whole thing, but basically they scrounged up whatever they could find, including attempts to get their hands on Shoemate’s confidential military personnel file, and sent it to anyone and everyone who might listen, including “a DOD cybersecurity contractor,” “the chief of the Joint Staff Insider Threat Hub,” and “the Army Insider Threat program manager.” Gervais herself stated that “she would ‘talk directly’ to the chief of Army CID, Greg Ford. ‘I’ll talk directly to Greg Ford tomorrow at CID,’ she said.” She also said she would talk to the Army IG, who was a “good friend” – i.e. the same Army IG was is supposed to be an impartial, independent investigator.

The Army’s IG investigation triggered Shoemate’s command to conduct its own investigation, leading to his early retirement and a letter of reprimand.

Interestingly, while working to railroad Shoemate out of the service, Dawson and Gervais discussed how they might keep their work hidden from media, and Congressional, scrutiny:

In an undated direct message to Gervais, Dawson discussed hiding their efforts from the media — naming Breitbart News specifically — and Congress.

“I know the numbers say this is only a small number but when they’re getting cited by breitbart and trigger national news firestorms, might be time to relook,” she said.

“And if [Shoemate] writes a post saying the army is investigating him for whistleblowing, breitbart et al will set that narrative and we’ll have congress intervening again. And that’s assuming there’s actually an investigation.”

And lest you think Shoemate was some disaffected dirtbag who deserved to get drummed out of the Army, consider this from a recent Officer Evaluation Report (OER):

[Shoemate’s] conduct within the unit was always above reproach, and he fostered an environment that empowered Soldiers, free from sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind. His desire to develop a robust and cohesive team was evidence in the respectful way he approach every interaction and conversation with each member of the team.

The OER also said Shoemate “lived, and reinforced, the Army Values, daily.” Shoemate also had a flawless military record.

So who are Jessica Dawson and Lieutenant General Maria Gervais?

Well, first, Army Major Jessica Dawson, from her personal website:

I’m an Academy Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

My research interests focus on nationalism, white supremacy and extremism, religion and what binds people together, guns and the role of American civil religion as well as the digital disruption of technology on aspects of society.

I’m also the Director for the EXCEL scholars program, designed to provide mentorship and support for under represented minorities pursing academic excellence in post graduate scholarships.

Second, Lieutenant General Maria Gervais is the Deputy Commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. This command, known as Tradoc and whose tagline is Victory Starts Here, “recruits, trains, educates, develops and builds the Army; establishes standards, drives improvement, and leads change to ensure the Army can deter, fight, and win on any battlefield now and into the future.”

So you would expect General Gervais to be an expert, as Deputy Commander of Tradoc, in all things “Army,” right? Well, not so much. As reported in American Military News, Gervais tweeted a picture of dozens of soldiers packed together on a transport plane and captioned the tweet “This picture is worth 1000 words—thanks to these American hero’s #Grateful.” The only problem was the soldiers were British, not American, as was obvious from their unique camouflage uniforms and British rifles, the SA80, not the American M4.

In addition to being unable to tell British from American troops, General Gervais recently stated, in discussing the Army’s miserable recruiting numbers, which we have reported on here: Military Recruitment Crisis Underway as Biden Admin Continues Emphasis on Wokeness, Vaccine Mandates, and here: Woke Military Struggling to Reach Recruitment Goals, that the solution was, not reducing the “woke” policies negatively impacting recruiting, but…wait for it…the Metaverse!!!!!!!! I’m not kidding:

The next Army recruiting tool amid a slump? It could be the metaverse:

The U.S. Army must embrace online tactics and virtual worlds to attract younger generations and retain them as soldiers, the deputy commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command said, as the service is again expected to miss its recruitment goals.

Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais on May 21 told attendees of the GEOINT Symposium in St. Louis that the Army, the military’s largest branch, must “leverage immersive-type environments to expand awareness of the numerous opportunities available when you serve,” especially in a recruiting environment that is “the toughest it has ever been since the inception of the all-volunteer force 50 years ago.”

The service missed its fiscal 2022 recruiting goal by roughly 15,000 new soldiers, leaving it shorthanded. Another shortfall is expected for 2023.

Among the most promising new technologies that could help reverse the trend, Gervais said, is the metaverse: a heady subject that is different things to different people, but boils down to the meshing of in-hand peripherals with immersive digital spaces, social interaction from wherever and an online presence foreign to older crowds.

“We already do some things, but our reach is extremely limited. And we need to do better connecting with our younger generations,” Gervais said. “The metaverse could be a way to extend our reach, improve our brand awareness through advertisement placement, and creating an experience, which could pique the interest and expand the awareness of serving in the military for our youth.”

Could she be any more clueless??

All I can say is that if these are the people teaching and leading our troops, we are in even more dire straits military-wise than I thought.

Fortunately, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) has pledged to investigate Dawson and Gervais’ conduct regarding Shoemate:

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) confirmed his office will be looking into the matter.

“From the Department of Justice to our own military, our government has been weaponized by corrupt bureaucrats in order to target Americans who disagree with their leftist agenda,” Gaetz said.

“Lieutenant General Maria Gervais and West Point Assistant Professor Major Jessica Dawson should be ashamed of themselves for abusing official resources to doxx and target anonymous whistleblowers. Their actions should warrant an inquiry by the House Armed Services Committee, and I’ll be urging Chairman Mike Rogers to take action.”

I make no comment on whether Shoemate’s online activities violated military policies. They may have, although they don’t appear to have done so to me, and they certainly don’t appear criminal, but all that had to happen is a quick phone call to his Commanding Officer with a word about what had been going on, not a year-long, almost military-wide, clandestine jihad against an outstanding service member.

It’s also sad, because I used to be a pretty big advocate for kids that wanted to go to the U.S. Naval Academy, like I had done. I would now, under this administration, never suggest to anyone that they attend the Naval Academy, or join the military in any capacity whatsoever.


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Senator Tuberville is on to something by holding officer promotions. Too bad this wasn’t done years ago. Now Democrats have infected the upper ranks with bad ideology. I’m not sure how this is corrected..

E Howard Hunt | August 5, 2023 at 10:34 am

Broads can be vicious.

I am a strong believer of “whatever our enemy is doing militarily, we should be doing it as well.” For example, does our enemies allow women in upper echelon of their militaries? If not, why are we? Does having women in our upper echelon improve military readiness? How many wars or skirmishes have we won with women in command? We don’t look at anything through a cost-benefit lens anymore and instead operate on a “how does this make us look good” mentality.

And don’t even get me started on that depraved Richard Levine running around thinking he is a woman being promoted to Navy Admiral.

America has gone too far with this false “progress” and we have lost our way.

    I get your point, but for the record, Levine is not in the Navy. He is in the Pubic Hair Service.

    If you consider Russia an enemy yes it actually does allow women to rise through the ranks as far as her talents will take her.

    In other news however if we go to war with Russia whoever starts losing the conventional war first will launch nukes which will be met in kind ending humanity.

    What all of these conversations forget is right now we don’t need a grand imperial military. We are allied to extremely powerful navies (i.e. Japan) extremely powerful armies (i.e. France, Italy) nations with high quality armies and navies even if not the largest (Britain) why with our alliance network, and our technology do we need to have a massive imperial military?


They even attack ordinary Americans now.

“Officer Used Joint Base Ties To Harass NJ Mom On LGBTQ Complaint: Suit
The mother says she has been labeled an “extremist” and “threat” after complaining a poster exposed her children to the word “polysexual”.

The destruction of all military branches started under obama and continues today. If the GOP doesn’t prevail next year, I’m afraid it might be too late to stop the decline and that will lead to the draft being reinstated. The current leaders are clueless about what a military force is and are using its members for social experiments. Our military is like a gun, when it is needed you just want a tool that works and is effective. What they are doing is like adding a double safety to the gun and making it a much smaller caliber. If I was a young man even thinking of joining any branch, I would just look at the last two years and reject that thought. With the vaccine mandate, transgenders not only allowed in the military but not held to the same standards as everyone else, CRT training, eliminating strong nationalist members, also known as patriots, from the military, the loss of warriors from the leadership positions, and lately, lowering of the standards to get into the military. Unfortunately, the only other countries that are doing the same things are European countries. Their armies are just as socially regulated as ours and the next war will show us how ineffective the new military is.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to inspectorudy. | August 5, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    The destruction started WAY before Obama. I was in the Navy 77 to 81. Women were catered to, everywhere from “I can’t do that” when their MOS demanded it. I am referring to a 110 lb woman as an electronics tech not being able to move an R390 shirt wave receiver from a rack onto a cart to take it to the mat shop. Or, “I don’t feel well, I need to lay down!” every 20-some days. Pregnancy leave, etc.

    Let’s not leave out those whose level of intelligence did not meet the needs for the rank and/or position they held, but there were quotas to fill.

    Also, let’s not leave out the drunks and drug addicts who were pushed ahead on the promotion list because they had been through rehab, demonstrating the ability to overcome something that never affected other folks. Yay team.

    Obama did a lot of damage, but the downfall of the military is not one of them.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to inspectorudy. | August 5, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    Yep. A lot of Americans are going to die. Literally.

For those in the know. What is the rule of thumb regarding wearing ribbon boards on formal uniforms? General officers seem to have a lot of ribbons, do they wear all ribbons awarded, or do they select the most preferred and only wear those select few?

Example; General Petraeus wears an enormous campaign ribbon board. Is that the norm? General Maria Gervais wears a moderately large ribbon board. Are they overcompensating?

Lord Louis Mountbatten probably wore the largest ribbon board of all time. I figured he’s overcompensating for a fragile ego. Because he really was an ego driven loser – as Captain of HMS Kelly he killed over 100 sailors after signaling with Aldis to German Uboats in the Channel some gibberish about ‘ meeting his foes in open combat,” and the Germans responded by torpedoing his destroyer.

Mountbatten went onto kill even more sailors aboard another destroyer. Churchill et al promoted him up and out of active combat duty.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Tiki. | August 5, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    Each branch of the service has a regulation for the proper wear of awards and decorations, when each may be worn and under what circumstances.

    Generally, the rule of thumb is “all, some, or none.” Then you get into whether the award is a “medal (that has an accompanying ribbon)” or an award of a ribbon that isn’t a medal.

    My experience is that there is an increase in the number of ribbons and medals. Also, most wear all of their robins and medals to show that they aren’t rear echelon chair warmers.

    CommoChief in reply to Tiki. | August 5, 2023 at 12:28 pm

    First both the photos appear to be ‘official’ photos and wearing all the ribbons is appropriate in this case. LTG Gervais ribbon ‘rack’ (not board) has 16 separate types of ‘awards/decorations’, several having devices indicating multiple awards. Only the top six of her ribbons are for merit, achievement or commendation, the other ten are basically ‘I was there ribbons’; training completion. campaign participation, service in period of ‘war’ and so on.

    In direct answer most folks wear all of them. A very few will only wear the ribbons awarded individually for merit, achievement, commendation or more rarely, earned in Combat. The Unit Commander sets the tone. If he/she doesn’t routinely wear ‘I was there’ ribbons that gets filtered down to the whole organization.

    Dimsdale in reply to Tiki. | August 5, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    It’s Biden Banana Republic military chic.

    Favored by third world dictators the world over.

Read Matthew Lohmeier Irresistible Revolution, this stuff won’t surprise you anymore. Our military is turning against the country.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | August 5, 2023 at 12:11 pm

I am dismayed by your comments Captain Naught. You clearly are part of the problem.

In your entire article you point out the abuse of power of these officers, and close it by saying they may not have violated military policies.

These officers abused their positions in command to threaten and force the early retirement of a warrant officer. Clearly to send a message to any warrant officer, senior noncommissioned officer or any subordinate that their career will be ruined and ended if they don’t tow the Marxist line.

Regarding Rep. Matt Gaetz, I am sick and tired of our elected officials doing nothing but yammering on with no action.

Everyone of you are trusted with the support and defense of this Constitution, and do noting byt talks, talk, talk.

When do we get to see the careers of these Marxists destroyed? When do we get to see a change in command of Democrat politicians in uniform who abuse those who don’t cow tow to their political demands?

I am hanging a hard time holding any officer in high esteem. Careerists, one and all. They only want to protect their retirement checks, not make any waves, and to hell with those left behind.

They have more ribbons that Eisenhower, that’s for sure.

    alaskabob in reply to rhhardin. | August 5, 2023 at 1:16 pm


    Tiki in reply to rhhardin. | August 5, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve not done any sort of organized visual count, but General officer combat veterans of WWI/II wear fewer ribbons.

      henrybowman in reply to Tiki. | August 5, 2023 at 1:54 pm

      Is that because they GOT fewer ribbons (i.e., “participation trophies” hadn’t yet peaked)?

        Probably. They got promoted fast and when the war ended sent home even faster.

        I just looked at Douglas MacArthur’s rack at the signing of the surrender and occupation of Japan. Of the Allied officers none wore rack, devices or medals. The four Japanese general officers wore very modest racks and gold braid.

        In May, Mountbatten first found himself isolated off the Dutch coast, fruitlessly chasing a U-boat, and then needlessly broadcasting his position by signalling with a bright Aldis light; one message read: “How are the muskets? Let battle commence.”

        The immediate result was the Kelly was torpedoed, blasting a 50-foot hole in the starboard side, killing 27 and wounding many more …

        The other ship was the HMS Javelin. Photos at the jump.

Capt Nault I as an ex-sailor I enjoy your articles. Off topic but the US used to recruit Phillippine citizens through some SOF agreement. Similarly, can the USA recruit from the millions of undocumented immigrants (illegals) that are infiltrating our country? Can they be made to register with the Selective Service? It appears the majority of these are young able bodied men and if they want to live here they should be able to serve and in a worst case scenario if a draft is reinstituted should be called up to serve. In this case I’m all for diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m sure many of them would make fine soldiers and sailors, better than many of the young adults I see around my area.

    Gosport in reply to Tom M. | August 6, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    From the Selective Service Website:

    “U.S. immigrants are required by law to register with the Selective Service System 30 days after their 18th birthday or 30 days after entry into the United States if they are between the ages of 18 and 25. This includes U.S. born and naturalized citizens, parolees, undocumented immigrants, legal permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees, and all males with visas of any kind which expired more than 30 days ago.”

“My research interests focus on nationalism, white supremacy and extremism, religion and what binds people together, guns and the role of American civil religion as well as the digital disruption of technology on aspects of society. I’m also the Director for the EXCEL scholars program, designed to provide mentorship and support for under represented minorities pursing academic excellence in post graduate scholarships.”

Gee. She looks so… white.

This confirms what I’ve written, previously, here — the next GOP President, after firing Wray and Haspel at FBI and CIA, respectively, and, cleaning house at both agencies, must purge the U.S. Armed Forces of these utterly corrosive, subversive and lawless Dumb-o-crat fanatics who are incapable of understanding that their primary mission is not to advance and promote the Dumb-0-crat Party agenda.

Subotai Bahadur | August 5, 2023 at 4:35 pm

Just another example of why one should not let one’s children and grandchildren enlist in the armed forces anymore.

Subotai Bahadur

MoeHowardwasright | August 5, 2023 at 4:53 pm

This all started under Obama. He made sure he cashiered large numbers of Colonels, Lt Colonels and Majors during his 8 years. His Sec Def, and the civilian heads of the services were told to target and force retirement on competent officers who were approaching flag rank because of their perceived conservative views. Just another part of making America a third world afterthought! FJB

We could hit many birds with one stone by changing our military budget to something actually sane instead of maintaining the ability to fight the rest of planet Earth put together.

    guyjones in reply to Danny. | August 6, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Waste and bloat in the defense budget is a long-standing and legitimate issue, but, it’s really separate from what’s at issue, here. This is about institutionalized moral and cultural rot among hyper-partisan military brass who see their foremost duty and mission as promoting the Dumb-o-crat Party agenda and vilifying and persecuting dissenters.

      Danny in reply to guyjones. | August 6, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      If you want to change the behavior of an institution can you think of a better way to do it than threatening it’s funding?

      Starting with a cut for the bloat, and continuing with threats of further cuts would give us major leverage for changed behaviors.

      Trump campaigned on how he was going to blow out military spending, bragging about doing so and promises to do it again was a big part of the 2020 campaign, and polling suggests that is in fact (unfortunately) what Republican voters want now and wanted at the time.

      Such a position vis a vis the military budget however eliminates all leverage we have with the military.

      If instead our default position was “Justify this expenditure” followed by “You bloat we cut” with a further round of “bad behavior from top military leadership leads to cuts to the military budget” we would have the military behaving in an extremely different way.

Steven Brizel | August 5, 2023 at 11:08 pm

This is our taxpayers dollars at work

I don’t know if what the WO2 did was worthy of reprimand, but what I can tell you is that what these 2 did is worthy of a Court Martial.

I make no comment on whether Shoemate’s online activities violated military policies.

“Terminal CWO” was apparently the anonymous username he posted under.

It’s been many moons since I went to Legal O’s school but unless he actually identified himself in the posts in question, and given that it took a bunch of cyber-spooks (and possibly a phone call to tw1tter or whomever) to actually dox his ID, I believe the answer to that is absolutely not.