Head of Ohio State Army ROTC Suspended, Under Investigation for Allegedly Violating 'Stay Away' Order

The Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio
In this May 8, 2019, photo, people go past a sign for The Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Angie Wang)

The top officer for Ohio State University's Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, has been suspended from his role on campus amid an ongoing investigation related to sexual misconduct, according to a university spokesperson.

Lt. Col. Michael Kelvington was removed from the ROTC position after being given a "stay away" order by campus police at the central Ohio university and then violating that order in February and March, one source with direct knowledge of the situation told Military.com.

Kelvington was allowed on campus only for official work amid a Title IX investigation. That law prohibits sexual discrimination on college campuses, which can include sexual harassment and assault. The Lantern, OSU's independent student newspaper, was first to report the suspension and "stay away" order violations.

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"Kelvington has been removed from his position at the university and is on a restricted work status away from cadets until the ongoing investigations are completed," Maj. Dan Lessard, a spokesperson for U.S. Army Cadet Command, told Military.com in a statement.

Kelvington could not be reached for comment ahead of publication. It was unclear whether he had hired an attorney and how long the Title IX investigation had been underway.

It was also unclear what the specific allegations are, or whether they involve cadets.

"Ohio State has no tolerance for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind," Chris Booker, a campus spokesperson, said in a statement to Military.com. "When misconduct is alleged, we respond quickly to offer support services where needed and investigate the allegations and hold individuals responsible when warranted."

The news comes after the officer who led the ROTC program at California Polytechnic State University was reprimanded in January after pleading guilty to charges related to hiding a camera in a changing room at a clothing store in 2022. Lt. Col. Jacob Sweatland was arrested by civilian authorities at the time of the incident after the camera was discovered by a teenage girl.

A reprimand serves as an administrative censure and is effectively the lowest form of punishment in the military justice system. It's unclear whether Sweatland will be allowed to leave the service with full honors and retirement.

Kelvington was commissioned at West Point in 2005 as an infantry officer, according to Army records. He spent much of his time in the 75th Ranger Regiment, including time as a battalion executive officer.

He deployed 14 times overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq, and earned a Bronze Star with Valor and two Purple Hearts, among other accolades.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to better reflect Kelvington's background with the 75th Ranger Regiment. 

Related: Army ROTC Instructor Who Pleaded Guilty to Hiding Camera in Changing Room Gets Reprimand

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