Bad times for generals: Pentagon demotes 4-star General Ward

PERTH Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:27am EST

General William Ward addresses a news conference in Algiers, November 25, 2009. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

General William Ward addresses a news conference in Algiers, November 25, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Louafi Larbi

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PERTH (Reuters) - In more bad news about U.S. generals, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is in Australia for talks, announced on Wednesday he was demoting a retiring four-star Army general for wasting taxpayer money on extravagant trips and would seek to recoup tens of thousands of dollars from him.

Panetta's decision to strip a star from General William Ward, a former commander of Africa Command, comes as the military is reeling from a scandal involving two of the most powerful men in the United States' national security apparatus.

David Petraeus, a retired four-star general who ran the war effort in Afghanistan until last year, resigned as the director of the CIA over a sex scandal on Friday. The Pentagon announced on Monday that Petraeus' successor in Afghanistan, Marine General John Allen, was also being investigated, as the scandal widened.

The investigation into Ward by the Pentagon's Inspector General found numerous examples of wasted taypayer money, including taking his official plane to Bermuda for an overnight refueling stop with his wife.

The Pentagon said it was requesting that Ward reimburse $82,000 in expenses, citing misconduct in travel, misuse of military aircraft and misuse of staff.

Although Ward's demotion to a three-star lieutenant general will knock off over $30,0000 in retirement pay, he will still receive a pension of over $200,000 a year, a U.S. defense official said.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (6)
yummy8755 wrote:
Given, the number of four star generals or equivalent rank in the entire United States military and associated public health and homeland security services are fewer than 40. 2 being in hot water at one time is a lot.[This doesn't include retired Gen. Petraeus]

Nov 14, 2012 7:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
Logicmisused wrote:
I remember serving under this guy. I remember sitting and talking budget for funding for our missions and getting BS answers about why we couldn’t support more missions. Now i see why lol

Nov 14, 2012 12:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Randy549 wrote:
Should have been demoted to private…

Nov 15, 2012 11:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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