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Baker relieved of duties as Task Force-Horn of Africa commander

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  • Baker relieved of duties as Task Force-Horn of Africa commander

    General fired over alcohol, sex charges, officials said - U.S. - Stripes

    General fired over alcohol, sex charges, officials saidBy LOLITA C. BALDOR
    The Associated Press
    Published: April 5, 2013

    Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker

    WASHINGTON - An Army major general with U.S. Africa Command has been relieved of his post in connection with alcohol and sexual misconduct charges, defense officials said Thursday.
    Officials said Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, was fired from his command last Thursday and he was fined a portion of his pay by Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, after an administrative hearing and review. The officials said Ham lost confidence in Baker's ability to command.
    Baker has appealed the administrative action to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. But since senior commanders such as Ham have broad latitude in decisions to relieve subordinates of command, Hagel's decision may focus more on the financial punishment doled out by Ham, officials said.
    Details of how much his pay was docked were not released.
    The allegations against Baker involve harassment and inappropriate contact, said the officials, who were not authorized to talk publicly about the case so spoke on condition of anonymity.
    Baker took over the task force, based at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, last May and was scheduled to leave the job in the near future.
    He has returned to Washington and is temporarily serving as a special assistant to the director of the Army staff while he awaits Hagel's decision. Such special assistant posts are routinely used as way stations for general officers who are under investigation and awaiting their fate, or for others who have been promoted and are waiting for their new job to open up.
    Ham is retiring and is scheduled to turn over his command to Army Gen. David Rodriguez in a ceremony Friday.
    Ham's predecessor, Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, was demoted in rank from four stars to three, and retired as a lieutenant general after investigators determined that he had misused government funds for lavish spending while heading U.S. Africa Command.
    Baker is also one in a string of military officers who have been reprimanded or investigated for possible sexual misconduct.
    The issue has raised the ire of Congress, where lawmakers have complained that military and defense leaders have not done enough to combat sexual assault and harassment in the ranks.
    In particular, a recent decision by Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin to reverse the sexual assault conviction against Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, a former inspector general at Aviano Air Base in Italy, infuriated senators. And it triggered calls for a harder look at the military's justice system.
    Hagel has ordered a review of Franklin's decision, but he has told members of Congress that neither he nor the Air Force secretary is empowered to overrule Franklin, who is the commander of the 3rd Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  • #2
    I've been railing for a while now on this board against these perfumed princes who've seemingly forgotten the obligations and responsibilities which come as commander of troops. Our men and women out in the field face massive burdens and are expected to perform their duties with exemplary tactical, technical and ethical conduct. Too many of their leaders fail to "walk the walk while talking the talk". It's bullshit.

    " est bien pensé pour tuer un amiral de temps en temps pour encourager les autres." It is thought well to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.

    I wish to God it were so.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs