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Thu Feb 22, 2018, 03:35 AM

'Different spanks for different ranks': Lawmaker questions lack of courts-martial for Air Force gens


'Different spanks for different ranks': Lawmaker questions lack of courts-martial for Air Force generals

By: Stephen Losey    9 hours ago

A leading lawmaker has called out the Air Force for never court-martialing a single general officer in its entire history, suggesting it shows higher-ranking personnel face different standards of punishment.

“I think we do have a problem with different spanks for different ranks,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, said in a Feb. 7 House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel hearing on senior leader misconduct. “As I understand it, there have been 70,000 courts-martial in the Air Force, for instance, and not one general officer has ever been court-martialed.”

While Speier zeroed in on the Air Force’s lack of courts-martial for generals, she noted problems in other services as well. She cited two former Army generals ― Maj. Gen. Ron Lewis, who used his government credit card at strip clubs in Rome and Seoul, along with other infractions, and Gen. William “Kip” Ward, who misused thousands of taxpayer dollars, borrowed military aircraft for personal use, and had staff members run personal errands for him. But while both officers lost a star ― and Ward was ordered to repay $82,000 ― neither was court-martialed.

Speier also noted that the Defense Department’s inspector general said in a report that misconduct allegations against senior officials increased by 13 percent between fiscal 2015 and 2017, from 710 to 803. The rate of substantiated allegations increased from 26 percent to 37 percent, she said, confirming allegations on offenses such as improper relationships, improper personnel actions, misuse of governmental resources, and travel violations.

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