Marcus Aurelius: C/JCS Asks SecDef to Forgive General Who Spent Lavishly as Commander of African Command – Starting Point for Reflection

Ethics, Military
Marcus Aurelius

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff apparently figures former AFRICOM commander should get a walk after DoD IG publishes damning report on him.  Read report, too large to e-mail, at link below and form your own conclusions. Strange because MG Ward is not a West Pointer.  Of course, case against toxic leader LTG Patrick O'Reilly, who ((IS)) a West Pointer, remains hanging.  Site points to other senior leader misconduct, some of which has been touched on by mainstream media. What image(s) is/are being presented to the American people and the world?)

Don't Demote General, Top Officer Urges

By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, October 5, 2012

WASHINGTON–America's top military officer is opposing the demotion of a four-star general who is accused of spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lavish travel and other expenses in a case that has been sitting on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's desk for weeks, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is among those who believe that Gen. William Ward, the former head of U.S. Africa Command, should be allowed to retire at his full four-star general rank, the officials said.

A Defense Department inspector general's report released in mid-August concluded that Ward “engaged in multiple forms of misconduct related to official and unofficial travel.” It said Ward “conducted official travel for primarily personal reasons,” misused military aircraft and received reimbursement for travel expenses that far exceeded the approved daily military rate without authorization.

Panetta has not made a final decision, officials said.

Other officials have argued that the allegations made against Ward in the IG report were serious and that senior officers need to be held accountable. Officials have suggested that similar misconduct by a lower-ranking officer or enlisted military member would garner severe punishment or dismissal.

Retiring as a three-star would cost Ward nearly $30,000 a year in retirement pay – giving him about $208,802 a year rather than the $236,650 he would get as a four-star. He also could be required to reimburse the Defense Department for tens of thousands of dollars.

The inspector general's report found that Ward used military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa and billed the government for a refueling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite, a Defense Department investigation found. It detailed lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he traveled to Washington.

Phi Beta Iota:  Kudos to the DoD IG for a solid report on this and on the toxic leadership of LTG Patrick O'Reilly.  However, C/JCS has a point that may be obscure to most: the criminal behavior with respect to lavish personal spending pales in comparison to the criminal behavior by most flags with respect to irresponsible policy, acquisition, and operations.  General Ward accomplished little of note in Africa, other than create a new brand of kool-aid (CIA-JSOG bases with the license to kill outside the law).  What is most helpful here is not the opportunity to punish a single individual, but rather an opportunity for SecDef (who may be a lame duck) to create a flag/senior executive code of conduct that DoD IG can begin to enforce into the future, and a tough course for all flag officers and senior executive service officers that teaches them what they obviously do not know: how to think strategically, jointly, Whole of Government, and multinationally — “strategic decrepitude” is the American Way of War, and that has been enabled by borrowing one trillion dollars a year since 1981 or so, never having to actually be accountable to anyone for intelligence with integrity.

See Also:

2013 Robert Steele: Reflections on Inspectors General

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