Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Alleged Military Fraud


Gen. William "Kip" Ward, in a 2008 photo.
Stars and Stripes reported yesterday:
 "Former AFRICOM chief Ward still on active duty pending probe"
STUTTGART, Germany — More than a year after turning over the leadership of U.S. Africa Command, former four-star Gen. William E. Ward remains on active duty pending the outcome of an inspector general’s probe, serving as a special assistant at a reduced rank, Army officials say.
Army spokesman George Wright declined to disclose the nature of the Department of Defense inspector general’s investigation. The agency is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, waste and abuse.
“Any actions related to those findings and recommendations will be determined by the Army,” Wright said.
Through a spokesman, Ward declined to comment on the probe.
Ward served as the first commander of AFRICOM, which became fully operational in 2008 as the military’s sixth geographic combatant command. He was replaced by Gen. Carter F. Ham in March 2011, shortly before the launch of AFRICOM’s first combat mission in Libya.
Ward, 62, was honored during an April 2011 ceremony at Fort Myer, Va., that had all the pageantry of a farewell and left the impression that Ward’s career was over.
“There was a retirement ceremony, but he had not reached his official retirement date at that time,” Wright said.
Since then, Ward’s service has been kept quiet.
He is serving as a special assistant to the Army’s vice chief of staff, reporting to work at military facilities in the Washington area, Wright said.
“Gen. Ward will remain on active until the investigation is complete,” Wright said in response to a query from Stars and Stripes.
It is unclear when the inspector general’s probe will end. “It should be soon,” Wright said. “I don’t know if it is days, weeks or months.”
Wright said Army officials delayed Ward’s retirement until the probe is finished — an action Wright described as rare but not unprecedented. “As a rule, a general officer may not retire until these matters are finalized.”
Eugene Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School, said the gravity of the investigation could account for the Army’s decision to keep a general on active duty rather than retire him.
“For them to be holding him this way, it may portend military justice action,” Fidell said. “Their life (the military’s) would certainly be easier if he were on active duty. That’s better than having to recall him.”
Because Ward is serving as a special assistant, he no longer qualifies to serve in a four-star capacity, Wright said. Wright said the downgrade is not a demotion.
“Appointments to lieutenant general and general are temporary, and if an officer is not filling a position designated by the president . . . the officer reverts to his last permanent grade,” Wright said in a statement. “General Ward’s last permanent grade is major general.”
According to Army regulations governing officer grade determinations, “An officer is not automatically entitled to retire in the highest grade served on active duty. Instead, an officer is retired in the highest grade served on active duty satisfactorily, as determined by the SA (secretary of the Army) or the secretary’s designee.”
When the investigation is done and Ward retires, he could be returned to four-star status.
“Retired rank for officers who have served as lieutenant general and General are determined by the secretary of Defense,” Wright said. “I can’t say what may happen in the future.”

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will he get a "Sturges?"

Anonymous said...

If the allegations are substantiated, and he retires with four stars, he will have received a "FULL Sturges." Until then, he's getting a big paycheck.

Anonymous said...

I have to question the accuracy of the article. It says that the Department of Defense is doing the investigation. The last I heard is that the Department of Defense doesn’t do any investigations. They have the branch, in this case Army, do an investigation and report back. Then they “rubber stamp” the service’s report.
It’s even surprising that the Department of Defense is doing anything. Maybe Leonard C. Trahan Jr. is no longer around. It’s hard to tell since the Department of Defense is being much more cryptic on its website.
Trahan is largely credited with allowing and covering up crime, even participating in the framing the Whistleblowers to aid in the cover-up.

Anonymous said...

I had an opportunity to meet General Ward and his wife in Stuttgart some years ago. They were very nice people . General Ward always cared about the careers of those who served under him. I can't imagine what allegations have been filed against him. sad he can't just retire as the system allows others to do so without hesitation.

Anonymous said...

So might this be another case of selective prosecution?

Anonymous said...

Anon, selective prosecution is usually at a lower level, with generals deciding who to selectively prosecute. It's possible, but unlikely, that the services are finally figuring out that they can't keep covering up for those who abuse their very high authority. But, we don't really know the allegations yet. It is still a sure bet that if anything is substantiated, he will get off much easier than a much more junior person who is usually used as fodder to "make an example."

Anonymous said...

Rubbish. 40 years, NO blemishes... Makes you wonder if this is "political."

Patton said...

A major problem here is that if this were to be a trivial matter, or baseless accusation, it's required that a full investigation take place. This holds up one's retirement. If one the other hand, there is an issue, why is this taking more than a year? something seems fishy here, and it doesn't appear to be Gen Ward... ( And they say the Army is no place for a black man!)

Anonymous said...

Patton,
Are you saying that baseless accusations must be investigated but those with lots of proof and evidence aren't? Of course, my experience, and the experience of tens of thousands of people who have ever made reports to a service IG or the DoD IG, is that the IG's first effort is to try to deny everything.
For the Anon talking about blemishes, I've always been amazed with statements like "unblemished record." All that means is that the person hasn't been caught yet. I'm not saying that the general did anything, but you can ask Syneeda about John Sturges. He got the "full Sturges" (a free pass) even when whistleblower complaints were substantiated. So, Sturges apparently has an “unblemished” record even when we know that’s not true. In that case, he was even caught and got the “free pass.”
That’s why the term “free pass” is now known as getting a “Sturges.”

Syneeda said...

Until the results of the "probing" is over and becomes a matter of public record, we will never know the full details that sparked this investigation.