January 21, 2013

Sex is major reason military commanders are fired

At least 30 percent of commanders who lost their jobs over the last eight years were done in by offenses such as harassment, adultery and improper relationships, statistics show.

The Associated Press

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Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, fired from his command in Afghanistan last May and now facing a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery and pornography and more, is just one in a long line of commanders whose careers were ended because of possible sexual misconduct.

Army File Photo via The Associated Press

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The Army is the largest of the military services, reaching a peak of about 570,000 active-duty soldiers at the height of the Iraq war. It is supposed to cut 80,000 troops by 2017. The Marine Corps is the smallest service, with about 202,000 at its peak during the wars and is set to slim down to about 182,000. The Navy has about 322,000 active-duty forces, and the Air Force has about 328,000.

The other reasons for dismissals by the services cover a broad range of offenses, from assault and drug and alcohol use to being a poor or abusive leader. There are also instances of fraud as well as a few cases where Navy officers commanding a ship have hit something, such as a buoy or another ship.

Four generals have lost their jobs in recent years as a result of public scandals. All were dismissed while Robert Gates was defense secretary:

•  Gen. Michael Moseley, the Air Force Chief of Staff, was dismissed in 2008 for failing to address several nuclear-related mishaps by the service.

•  Army Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley and Army Maj. Gen. George Weightman were dismissed because of the poor outpatient treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007.

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal resigned after members of his staff made disparaging remarks about Obama's national security team, including Vice President Joe Biden. A Pentagon investigation later cleared him of wrongdoing.

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