We may have to start treating it as un-newsworthy that senior military officers are getting into high-profile legal trouble as this story makes our Top 10 list again. Last year we called #7 on our list “DoN Leadership Challenges (XO Movie Night).“ This year, all the services get to share in the glory. It is hard to even list all of the cases this year, but here are a few of the notable ones:
- BGEN Jeffrey Sinclair – His unforgettable charges include forcible sodomy and a host of other charges including violation of a direct order to stay away from the woman he allegedly assaulted. Coverage here (referral), here (Art. 32), and here (initial allegations).
- General Ward – The AFRICOM commander was reported to have misused his government travel card and committed other offenses involving misuse of his position and government money. SecDef ultimately retired him as a three-star lieutenant general and forced him to repay the government $82,000 (see Army Times here, sadly we never covered General Ward’s case).
- Removals for cause galore – Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette (STENNIS BatGru Commander, here) headlined the group of Navy COs and Commanders removed for cause. Stripes even started an honor roll of the Navy commanders relieved in 2012, here, which as of Dec. 13, 2012 listed 25 DoN COs relieved of their duties.
- And others that were criticized but not punished – E.g. Commander, Missile Defense Agency (leadership by “blowtorch and pliers,” here and here). [Updated link, h/t BP]
And, to cap it all, the most famous reindeer of them all gets busted for an extra-martial affair, albeit after retiring from service (see Petraeus announcement here). And while General (Ret.) Petraeus is unlikely to face court-martial, see here, his mistress’ emails ensnared Marine General John Allen in the mess and led to investigation of his emails, here.
All this led the Pentagon to review the standards it has for senior officers, here, who can hopefully clean up their act for next year. SInce we are in the news business, we sort of hope that New Year’s resolution gets broken so we can report on the carnage next year.