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Wyoming Military Department responds to recent remarks made about conduct at Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy

By Wyoming National Guard Public Affairs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Military Department (WYMD) has been made aware of recent allegations made by a former employee of the Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy in a video press conference held Monday. The former employee claimed WCCA cadets were subject to harassment and abuse that was never addressed by the WYMD. 

Following the allegations, Col. Holly Shenefelt, Wyoming Chief of the Joint Staff, led an on-site wellness check this week at WCCA. She and her team conducted interviews with every current cadet to ensure they felt safe, protected, and knew who to speak to when something made them feel uncomfortable at the program. The allegations of an unsafe environment at WCCA made Monday were not substantiated in this wellness check.

“The WYMD and WCCA take the safety of all of our cadets’ very seriously,” said Shenefelt. “Every cadet reported they feel safe and they understand the avenues they have to report any issues or concerns and who they would talk to if they need support.”

A serious allegation made at the press conference that WCCA staff “engage in sexual contact with cadets” was also not substantiated.

WCCA leadership confirmed that all parents and guardians of cadets have been contacted by phone or email to answer any questions they may have, and the team will ensure the current cadets have the ability to call home to talk with their guardians following these new allegations.