Update: In response to a question from CNN's Barbara Starr, Gen. Martin Dempsey said the military leadership was "embarrassed" by what happened in Colombia.
"What we do know is that we distracted, several of our members distracted the issue from what was a very important regional engagement for our president," the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at a Pentagon press conference. " So we let the boss down 'cause nobody's talking about what went on in Colombia other than this, this incident. So to that extent we let him down."
By Barbara Starr
The U.S. military investigation into alleged misbehavior by personnel in Colombia has now widened beyond the five service membersoriginally identified, according to George Little, Pentagon press secretary.
“We believe there may be more than five,” Little told reporters. He could not say how many more military personnel might be involved, but he indicated the personnel might come from more than one branch of the military. Pentagon officials had originally thought only Army personnel were involved.
As many as five others military personnel may have been involved, according to two U.S. officials.
While Little would not specify the misconduct, other U.S. officials have told CNN that they are looking into allegations the personnel were involved in drinking heavily and engaging prostitutes. The military is specifically looking into whether the personnel had prostitutes in their hotel rooms and violated their military curfew.
Little said the personnel were not directly involved in presidential security and did not have any contact with President Obama. He defined their role as being in “support” of the Secret Service.
Because presidential security was the overall mission however, it’s not yet clear if the Pentagon will ever publicly describe what the military personnel were doing as part of their work in Colombia, or what branch of the military they belonged to.
The personnel are expected to return to the United States on Monday. An officer who was already in Colombia gathered some initials facts, according to Little. A more senior officer is leaving for Colombia Monday to continue the investigation.
The original five personnel were not identified by name. On Saturday, U.S. Southern Command announced the investigation and said the personnel were restricted to their hotel rooms when not performing their duties. The initial five were all in the Army, two U.S. officials told Security Clearance.
Eleven Secret Service agents and officers also are under investigation in the incident.