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Thread: Army demotes former defense secretary's 3-star aide after scathing IG investigation

  1. #11
    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Honestly, had he not engaged in behavior in Korea that drew negative attention to himself, I don't think anything would've happened to him.

    I've never heard of misuse of the GTC being enforced when it wasn't in conjunction with something else (mostly, not paying it off).

    I agree that it's stupid. For example: I hear conflicting information on whether or not you can purchase uniform items with the GTC. I've been told "yes" by a few people in my chain of command, but there's an Army site that says you can't.

    Granted, that's the Army... BUT, the GTC is a DoD level program, so it would stand to reason that the same rules apply DoD wide.

    If you can't buy uniform items... it's fucking stupid. The vague language says that it's for travel needs. Great. But if you're on a two-day TDY and you packed for two days... something could happen to one of your uniform items.

    If I have to eat Cup O' Noodles and Vienna sausages for a meal to cover the cost of ABU pants, why should anyone give a damn? Would they rather me show show up with ripped up ABU pants, but have the warm & fuzzy knowing that I had Applebee's last night?

    Yeah, this is stupid.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
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  2. #12
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    If even I am defending an officer then you can be pretty sure it must be pretty stupid reason for him to get in trouble.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    If even I am defending an officer then you can be pretty sure it must be pretty stupid reason for him to get in trouble.
    I think that everyone, at some point, has misused the GTC. For example, you know, I just MIGHT have thrown in a razor and/or shaving cream after possibly realizing that I may have forgotten to pack them, along with authorized food items.

    The military kind of frowns upon showing up with a stubble when you don't have a profile.
    Last edited by Rusty Jones; 02-10-2017 at 08:44 PM.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

  4. #14
    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I think that everyone, at some point, has misused the GTC. For example, you know, I just MIGHT have thrown in a razor and/or shaving cream after possibly realizing that I may have forgotten to pack them, along with authorized food items.

    The military kind of frowns upon showing up with a stubble when you don't have a profile.
    I think many people do things that fall into a grey area vice outright misuse or abuse of the GTC.

    A razor (toiletries) and a haircut is not an incidental ... uniforms are not ... Neither is a lapdance.

    BT BT

    Bigger picture, the rules on the GTC are a bit gooned up. Be that as it may, a 3-star violating them in a high profile manner is pretty stupid, especially in the last few years; too much scrutiny by the reviewers and approvers to not get flagged.

    I imagine his removal had more to do with his activities while on official travel in a high profile position with SECDEF, false statements after the fact etc. and not the GTC.

    Is it worth/does it warrant removing him as the adviser to SECDEF? That is really up to SECDEF. Does it warrant (after the automatic reversion to 2-star) reduction of his permanent grade to O7? By itself ... IMO not really ... As long as he performed satisfactorily as a 2-star the questionable conduct was as a 3-star. It makes me wonder if there was some activity, action or behavior as a 2-star that was later discovered that was not considered "satisfactory" that prompted the reduction to BG.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

  5. #15
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    I think many people do things that fall into a grey area vice outright misuse or abuse of the GTC.

    A razor (toiletries) and a haircut is not an incidental ... uniforms are not ... Neither is a lapdance.

    BT BT

    Bigger picture, the rules on the GTC are a bit gooned up. Be that as it may, a 3-star violating them in a high profile manner is pretty stupid, especially in the last few years; too much scrutiny by the reviewers and approvers to not get flagged.

    I imagine his removal had more to do with his activities while on official travel in a high profile position with SECDEF, false statements after the fact etc. and not the GTC.

    Is it worth/does it warrant removing him as the adviser to SECDEF? That is really up to SECDEF. Does it warrant (after the automatic reversion to 2-star) reduction of his permanent grade to O7? By itself ... IMO not really ... As long as he performed satisfactorily as a 2-star the questionable conduct was as a 3-star. It makes me wonder if there was some activity, action or behavior as a 2-star that was later discovered that was not considered "satisfactory" that prompted the reduction to BG.
    You realize that the punishment for misuse of the GTC is almost the same as the punishment for sexual assault, right?

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    You realize that the punishment for misuse of the GTC is almost the same as the punishment for sexual assault, right?
    The maximum allowable punishment? Not even close.

    If you are referring to the USAF 4 star reduced to 2-star for , that wasn't for sexual assault ... they didn't prove it. He was reduced for what they could prove: essentially adultery, fraternization, conduct unbecoming ... While an assault or coerced sex may have occurred, it wasn't cited as the cause for rank grade determination.

    Now the level/degree of punishment for this case (GTC abuse) and the USAF now 2-star's case is similar ... but is limited by what could be proven and not excluded based on statutes of limitation.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

  7. #17
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    The maximum allowable punishment? Not even close.

    If you are referring to the USAF 4 star reduced to 2-star for , that wasn't for sexual assault ... they didn't prove it. He was reduced for what they could prove: essentially adultery, fraternization, conduct unbecoming ... While an assault or coerced sex may have occurred, it wasn't cited as the cause for rank grade determination.

    Now the level/degree of punishment for this case (GTC abuse) and the USAF now 2-star's case is similar ... but is limited by what could be proven and not excluded based on statutes of limitation.

    I understand the facts...disagree with the results. Just as with the GTC rules, I realize they are there and am not disputing them...just stating that they really make no sense...the same way I find it ridiculous that a guy who has an unprofessional relationship and is suspected of sexual assault retires at the same rank as a guy, who was going to pay his GTC of, used in in a strip club. Do you not see the comedy in that? Or are you just strictly supporting the policies?

    Do you have political aspirations? You've made it clear that you've hobnobbed with some VIPs in your day. Just curious if you try to avoid saying anything here that could come back and bite you in the ass when you run for office. Cuz that's the only way I can see the reasoning behind some of your points of view.

    So, again, I realize that there are rules on demotion and that those rules are pretty much set in stone. That doesn't mean that I agree with them. ONLY losing two grades for sexual assault (yes, I know those weren't technically the charges) vs getting a star taken for misusing a GTC that he was most likely going to pay off on time. Why can't common sense come into it?

  8. #18
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    As there seems to be confusion, here's how the discussions go on this forum, and why it's so frustrating for everyone.

    AFI 36-2903 says you can't put your hands in your pocket, even the pockets of your jacket, even when it's 20 below zero outside. Some of you would defend the punishment of the person with the hands in the pocket. I would state that the reg is stupid. Me saying it's stupid does not mean that I wouldn't also support the punishment/admonishment/counseling of that person...however, me correcting the person does not mean that I'm not going to point out why the reg is stupid.

    That's the difference between voicing an opinion on something vs simply regurgitating what the reg states.

  9. #19
    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    I understand the facts...disagree with the results. Just as with the GTC rules, I realize they are there and am not disputing them...just stating that they really make no sense...the same way I find it ridiculous that a guy who has an unprofessional relationship and is suspected of sexual assault retires at the same rank as a guy, who was going to pay his GTC of, used in in a strip club. Do you not see the comedy in that? Or are you just strictly supporting the policies?
    The unprofessional relationship was proven, the assault as you said was/is suspected.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Do you have political aspirations?
    Other than the PTA ... nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    So, again, I realize that there are rules on demotion and that those rules are pretty much set in stone. That doesn't mean that I agree with them. ONLY losing two grades for sexual assault (yes, I know those weren't technically the charges) vs getting a star taken for misusing a GTC that he was most likely going to pay off on time. Why can't common sense come into it?
    This is the second time you say the general lost two grades for sexual assault, he didn't ... it was the frat, adultery etc. If the assault could be proven ... as I said in the other thread ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    So he (the MGen -- a senior, SENIOR leader) preyed on the weakness of a subordinate and it is too bad he can't be hammered harder.
    If the assault could have been proven I wish they would have thrown the book at him. I don't know if the the max punishment (which for rape in the UCMJ is death) was appropriate since significant portions of the report were redacted so I don't have all the particulars, but I did read what was available.

    So do I support the policy? Which one?

    That an officer can be reduced and retire at the last grade satisfactorily held? Yes, absolutely.

    That all personnel should be held accountable, regardless of rank? Yes, absolutely.

    That we have laws for people, in the military the UCMJ? Yes, absolutely.

    That we afford people accused of violating those laws due process? Yes, absolutely.

    What I do not support is punishing someone based on rumor or suspicion vice proof (going back to that sexual assault ... it wasn't proven), because ... where do you stop? While NJP is a lower burden of proof, there still is a burden of proof beyond a simple accusation (a preponderance of the evidence), and the accused (unless on sea duty) has the option to refuse NJP and be tried by a court martial (where the burden is higher -- beyond a reasonable doubt). It isn't because I hope to run for office or to avoid getting bitten in the ass, I believe in due process for everyone ... an E1 Private and a 4-star General, you seem to be arguing that the system punish someone for a crime that wasn't proven, at least for someone more senior, which I don't believe in.

    I don't think we make the burden of proof for a crime less for either a Private or General, but what can be done to the General (or 2dLt) is a charge under the loose requirements of Art. 133 (Conduct Unbecoming) which is unique to officers and sometimes (because of due process and protections for the accused) the only thing that we can pin to someone, but sufficient to remove them from service.

    In the case of MGen Lichte, based on what could be proven ... they maxed him out ... which is the same max that was delivered to the LTG who had issues with the GTC, and also a false official statement and conduct unbecoming an officer issues.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

  10. #20
    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    As there seems to be confusion, here's how the discussions go on this forum, and why it's so frustrating for everyone.

    AFI 36-2903 says you can't put your hands in your pocket, even the pockets of your jacket, even when it's 20 below zero outside. Some of you would defend the punishment of the person with the hands in the pocket. I would state that the reg is stupid. Me saying it's stupid does not mean that I wouldn't also support the punishment/admonishment/counseling of that person...however, me correcting the person does not mean that I'm not going to point out why the reg is stupid.

    That's the difference between voicing an opinion on something vs simply regurgitating what the reg states.

    Do you punish someone (verbal or otherwise) if you suspect they hand their hands in their pockets, or actually saw them with their hands in their pockets?

    What is the max punishment for violating AFI 36-2903 -- probably in line with disobeying an order (Art. 92) I would imagine.

    You could make the argument that punishing a 4-star proven to have committed adultery and fraternization (violations of Art. 134) results in a similar punishment as for someone putting their hands in their pockets. It isn't the same argument is to say that MGen Lichte raped someone and got the same punishment as someone who puts their hands in their pockets, because the rape wasn't proven ... unless you want him convicted / punished for a crime without proof.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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