The commander of a New Hampshire National Guard battalion assigned for duty at the U.S./Mexican border in Texas was charged with sexual harassment and assault and relieved of duty.

Lt. Col. Mark Patterson of Weare and a 22-year veteran of the Guard was deployed to the border in October 2022 and assigned to lead the 941st Military Police Battalion, according to the Army Times. The start of an administrative investigation led to his suspension of command in January, which became permanent in May.

The U.S. Army has accused Patterson of assault consummated by battery, sexual harassment, maltreatment of subordinates, conduct unbecoming of an officer, and violating general orders. He has been relieved of his command and is now a staff officer at his brigade headquarters at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

If convicted at his trial, which a court docket said is scheduled for January 2024, he could be court-martialed.

In a statement to the Army Times, Patterson's civilian attorney, Joseph Jordan, said that "not everything is as it appears."

Prior to his assignment to the border, Patterson led the Joint Task Force Winter Surge in which the Guard was assigned to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve staffing shortages.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via X (Twitter) @DanAlexanderNH

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