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Pentagon demotes 4-star General Ward

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  • Pentagon demotes 4-star General Ward

    Bad times for generals: Pentagon demotes 4-star General Ward
    Reuters – 6 mins ago
    Bad times for generals: Pentagon demotes 4-star General Ward - Yahoo! News
    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)
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  • #2
    Discussion on this existed in mid-October, they only recently decided what the punishment would be. Just to clarify that this is independent (more or less) of the Petraeus issue.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by troung View Post
      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.
      Is that a lot or not. The general must have a budget in the millions.

      For the US this seems like penny pinching to me.

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      • #4
        With a deficit in the trillions, pinching every penny helps... Besides, he did actually waste the taxpayers money, there's no reason he should get away with it
        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

        Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

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        • #5
          So this could have come up in an internal audit with a memo sent to the general with a warning or two.

          A public demotion like this makes me think there is more going on than said.

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          • #6
            Generals have to follow the same travel rules that all service personnel follow.

            Anything above authorized per diem rate comes out of pocket, period.

            There are people who are in Leavenworth for knowingly filing bogus travel vouchers...it is called fraud and is taken very seriously within our military.

            This guy was an arrogant prig who thought too well of himself...he is lucky the SECDEF didnt take 2 stars whcih is the normal punishment.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
              So this could have come up in an internal audit with a memo sent to the general with a warning or two.

              A public demotion like this makes me think there is more going on than said.
              "pour encourager les autres" comes to mind
              “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
              ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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              • #8
                This guy was an arrogant prig who thought too well of himself...he is lucky the SECDEF didnt take 2 stars whcih is the normal punishment.
                i agree. losing only one star because of this blatant abuse is insufficient. someone of a lower level would have been canned altogether (wonder if this type of abuse would have be sufficient for a dishonorable discharge).
                There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                  Generals have to follow the same travel rules that all service personnel follow.

                  Anything above authorized per diem rate comes out of pocket, period.
                  Exactly, and there is no public demotion after that is there.

                  Originally posted by Tophatter
                  "pour encourager les autres" comes to mind
                  Meaning his command was more leaky than normal.

                  They are making a statement about the way those below him operated as the buck stops with him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                    Exactly, and there is no public demotion after that is there.


                    Meaning his command was more leaky than normal.

                    They are making a statement about the way those below him operated as the buck stops with him.
                    Not sure what you mean by the first part.

                    As for the second it was not just to send the signal to AFRICOM...it was meant for DOD wide distribution.
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                      Not sure what you mean by the first part.
                      The month is up and they audit your expenses, if you go over then its comes out of your pocket. There is no disciplinary action. What i thought earlier is if he was going over board they could have pulled him up for it without the humiliation.

                      This must have happened often until at some point it was time to make an example of him.

                      yes. system wide as you say.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                        The month is up and they audit your expenses, if you go over then its comes out of your pocket. There is no disciplinary action. What i thought earlier is if he was going over board they could have pulled him up for it without the humiliation.

                        This must have happened often until at some point it was time to make an example of him.
                        It is a self auditing system.

                        When you file for a temorary duty trip (or someone files on your behalf as a senior officer) in the DOD online travel system you put in place of duty. You also have to say if you are staying in government provided quarters or on the local economy. There is a set dollar per diem amount for just about everywhere in the world. That is set for lodging and meals.

                        So if government personnel (private, sergeant, captain, colonel, general, government civil servant) travels to FT Hood, TX they get $71 a night for a hotel room and $46 a day for meals. When they go to the Pentagon its $224 a night plus $73 a day for meals.

                        For a night in Bermuda in the middle of tourist season the max per diem is $373 and $176 lodging and meals.

                        When you file your voucher at the end of the trip (or done for you as would happen with senior officers) you have to provide receipts. If the amount spent exceedes the threshholds I mentioned you either eat the difference or adjustments can be made in special circumstances.

                        If Ward pressured or directed his resource manager to authorize the overages, its fraud, plain and simple. If there are times which require surroundings for local dignitaries that can be approved and funds allocated...but it requires preapproval from the SEC of Army or SEC DEF.

                        And Bermuda was NOT within his AOR.
                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          yes, the joys of DTS...
                          There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by astralis View Post
                            yes, the joys of DTS...
                            Another quality Northrop Grumman product!

                            And I love that all the hotels available at the per diem rate seem to have a number in the name....
                            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                            Mark Twain

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              it's really jarring between the type of hotels you can get overseas and what you can get at home.

                              it's fully possible to get a 4/5-star hotel at per diem rates for overseas. hell, most of the times you can negotiate prices. i was passing through dubai in 2010 (granted, dubai was hit very very hard by the financial crisis) and got bumped up to an executive suite...and i was still under per diem by $75-100.

                              whereas CONUS, yeah, it's so bad i just ask if there's on-base housing. every flea-bait motel anywhere close to a base knows the per-diem rate by heart and you get shoved into a cut-rate room.
                              There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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