Soldier Who Was Inspector General Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Faces Sexual Assault, Harassment Charges

Gavel and American flag with scales of justice.
(U.S. Army photo)

The Army inspector general's noncommissioned officer of the year for 2019 is facing a general court-martial on charges related to sex crimes, according to court documents.

Master Sgt. Christopher Dehn, 37, is set to be arraigned June 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state on four counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual harassment, and other charges related to obstructing justice and failure to obey orders and regulations.

In 2019, Dehn was selected as the I Corps Inspector General Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Read Next: 19.5% Pay Raise for Junior Enlisted Troops Approved by House Panel attempted to reach out to Dehn's attorney but was not able to make contact before publication. The Army's Office of Special Trial Counsel noted that Dehn's docket does not contain information on his defense attorney, and advised that they would ask the prosecutorial team to contact Dehn's attorney.

Inspector general offices serve as "the eyes, ears, voice, and conscience of the Army," according to the service. Service members working in IG offices "conduct thorough, objective and impartial inspections, assessments and investigations" and "advise and assist Army leaders to maintain Army values, readiness and effectiveness in the promotion of well-being, good order and discipline."

    IG offices are spread throughout the federal government and are broadly intended to help detect fraud, waste and abuse and legal violations, and to help promote bureaucratic efficiency.

    They do not generally handle allegations of unwanted sexual contact, a job that falls to the military's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response offices and law enforcement. However, there are certain exceptions under which an IG office may investigate sexual assault or harassment.

    Sexual assault and sexual harassment continue to be a top issue for the Army and the military in general. However, for the first time in almost 10 years, recent data has shown a significant decrease in the number of troops who say they've experienced unwanted sexual contact.

    According to his LinkedIn page, Dehn said he was named the 2019 Pacific Regional Inspector General of the Year. His page also notes that he formerly served as an Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, victim's advocate for the 1st Infantry Division between 2012 and 2014, while stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.

    In an email to, the I Corps public affairs office noted that Dehn is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with I Corps; has been stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord since January 2018; and has served for almost 20 years.

    According to the statement, his personal awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, six Army Commendation Medals, 11 Army Achievement Medals, 13 Certificates of Achievement and one Meritorious Unit Commendation.

    Upon receiving the 2019 I Corps inspector general NCO of the year award, Dehn noted that the essay component of the competition was a key part of being selected as the winner.

    "The point of my essay was to show the importance of the inspector general and how they can improve readiness throughout the corps," Dehn said at the time. "My piece is looking out for soldiers."

    -- Kelsey Baker is a graduate student at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and a former active-duty Marine. Reach her on X at @KelsBBaker or

    Related: Military Sexual Assaults Have Declined, Marking the First Significant Progress for Prevention Efforts in Years

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