Accusations against three generals cast shadow over army
The accusations leveled against three Army generals over the past six months are as varied as they are striking, the highest-profile of a growing number of allegations of wrongdoing by senior military officials.
A one-star general was flown home from Afghanistan this spring to face criminal charges, including sexual assault. A four-star general formerly in charge of the increasingly vital Africa command was accused of financial mismanagement, accepting inappropriate gifts and assigning staff personal tasks.
And a three-star general who oversees the U.S. Missile Defense Agency was described in an inspector general report as an abrasive and verbally abusive boss.
The investigations have become an embarrassment for the Army, raising questions about how thoroughly the military has screened senior leaders before putting them in crucial assignments.
The Defense Department’s inspector general reviewed 38 cases of alleged wrongdoing by senior officials in 2011, and substantiated the accusations in nearly 40 percent of the them, up from 21 percent in 2007. The total caseload this year is on track to exceed last year’s.
Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, said all such cases are taken seriously, but argued that “we can’t allow a few to detract from the honorable service of many.”