Commander of Army Pacific Training Brigade Suspended

Col. Jonathan Chung.
Col. Jonathan Chung speaks with governor of a fictional state during a Key Leader Engagement at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Ca., Sept. 2, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Photo by Sgt. Nicole Branch)

The commander for one of the Army's premier training elements in the Pacific has been suspended, pending an investigation, has learned.

Col. Jonathan Chung was removed this week from his position commanding the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade after sitting at the helm since July 2021. The circumstances around his suspension are unclear. Chung did not immediately return a request for comment from

Chung has been assigned to an administrative role at U.S. Army Pacific, an element of the force that oversees operations in the Indo-Pacific, according to a service spokesperson. Col. Tony Braxton will temporarily assume command.

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Officers in the midst of investigations are commonly suspended from their duties before being formally fired if the investigation validates accusations. Investigations can range from mild policy infractions to poor treatment of subordinates or criminal activity. The Army declined to specify the nature of the investigation into Chung. Service officials typically withhold investigation details until they are complete

Security Force Assistance Brigades, or SFABs, were stood up by the Army in 2017, with 5th SFAB being activated in 2020. The units, with their soldiers sporting brown berets, are designed to fit in loosely between conventional formations and Special Forces. They are tasked with building relationships with partner forces that typically involve training other militaries on U.S. ground combat tactics.

The Army is in the midst of reorganizing its forces after decades of focus on the Global War on Terrorism to be prepared for a showdown in the Pacific, with 5th SFAB being one of the key components responsible for preparing any potential ground war.

The 5th SVAB, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, is regionally partnered with key countries in the Pacific, including Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand -- all of which are considered to be key allies if a conflict were to ignite with China.

Before commanding 5th SFAB, Chung was the commander of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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