Four-star general demoted for improper spending
November 13th, 2012
07:40 PM ET

Four-star general demoted for improper spending

Gen. William "Kip" Ward, the first four-star general to command U.S. military operations in Africa, will lose one star and retire as a lieutenant general, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

The Army also wants $82,000 back from the officer, the statement said.

Investigators found Ward used his rank as a four-star general to shuttle his wife on shopping sprees, enjoyed a lavish beachfront trip and once accepted a defense contractor's gift of going backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stripped Ward of a star, sending him to the last rank at which it is believed he served honorably.

"Secretary Panetta insists that leaders within the Department of Defense exemplify both professional excellence and sound judgment," the statement said.

Ward will retire at the lower rank, and consequently a lower pay grade. Retirement pay varies widely depending on years of service, but many four-star generals receive well over $100,000 a year.

Since leaving Africa Command in April 2011, Ward has worked as special assistant to the Army vice chief of staff, serving as a two-star general. Under Army guidelines, a four-star who is not serving at that rank for 60 days is automatically demoted until the case is resolved.

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Name*william jay gould

    I suppose he used his authority to further his delight, however, if this person was a non-commisioned officer he would be court martialled may direct. I don't have sympathy for this man. All he had to do was finish his tour of duty with integrity and dignity and would of received the respect of everyone. He tarnished a little of his good name

    November 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rich

    I am happy that the SEC DEF took some action instead of following the recommendation of GEN Dempsey. GEN Ward set a very bad example and should pay the price. As far as Gen Dempsey, he should resign snce he recommended that GEN Ward not be demoted. All of what Dempsey tried to change with his new professionalism writings are meaningless since he came out to defend Gen Ward. If one reads the IG report, it is clear thar Ward did several things wrong. He should be happy that he got off so easy. Many en;isted and warrant officers have received much more severepunishment for far less.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigdog

      concur dempsey needs to go

      November 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Hope that photo op with Denzel was worth it.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nate

    Obama's goons are really going after the military old guard now. It's a shame. It seems Barak and his Muslim friends are out to ruin our country.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe


      November 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCruise

      I cannot even begin to comprehend the level of ignorance it takes to make such a comment. Clearly you have not served in our military. Had you, you would understand that if he had been lower in rank, he would have been summarily court marshaled out of the military without rank and without benefits and would likely been charged and tried for criminal behavior.

      Your childish comments reveal your total lack of character and disregard for the facts.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • grampy

      And the pledge of allegence will say "one nation under islam"

      November 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thepacic

      You still watch Fox News and worship republican fanaticism? Did Pres. Bush admin punish any generals in the Abu Graib prison? Or just pick out a few insignificant officers?
      Oh I forget. The military affairs were run by private firms!

      November 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      Nate, please don't follow with "Round them up boys".

      November 14, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Kofi

      I have nothing but disgust for the stupid ignorant statement you made Nate...

      November 14, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. flame

    Another example of the corrupt vile miltary servicemen in all and every rank. These are the people everyone is suppose to worship and view as hero's.HA Ha ha

    November 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle


      November 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Now i know why it has taken over 10 years to win the war in afghanastan...... Our great leaders, generals petraeus, allen and sinclair are too busy screwing around and not doing what they are paid to do. We need real generals like Patton and not playboys or players!!!!

      November 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hide Behind

    Dam... I am getting old but for the life of me, a military brat andvet who knew and still know many,
    when has not the military been almost no more than a bunch of thievesAt end of gulf war I and especialllater in afghan and iraq my aquaintances in hock shops and off wall jewelry gun buyers and mil surplus made a killing off of mainly stuff stolen by senior ncos and frontline grunts.
    I can remember a 16 foot aluminum boat and motor being flow from cali to Mc Chord. For booze not on books and fresh salmon shipped back to Calis officer club.
    AND that was minor. SEEN GOLD picture frames goldcrystal chandelies and. Even frirnd would not buy gold framed picture two year old vecause stillhad dried blood on it. ONLY. Difference grunt senior nco and officer is the amount they can steal and abuse those under them.

    November 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      That's the difference between soldiers (you) and Marines (me). The Army will take anyone. Even uneducated lowlife thieves like yourself.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Widow

    Pretty amazing how all these generals are all of a sudden in serious trouble and it all comes to light right after election week.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      This particular case has been under review for quite some time. I wouldn't read too much into this one. Now, the Petraeus and Allen case going on? The timing on that is a little disturbing, I would agree.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      You said that right, widow. Generals petraeus, allen, sinclair and ward are kust waste of the tax payers money!!!! I have more trust and confidence in the NCO's and privates!!!!!!!!

      November 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Thepacic

    Yeah there go all the tax money. The greedy rich, the power elite can waste lump sum of money Legally. But when comes to the welfare of the poor, the American people, GOP say it's fiscally difficult because of the deficit, the unfairness of freeloaders. Politicians, and the army seem to have unaccountable ways of spending our money in the name of national security, national emergency, and best of all democracy. Americans deserve a better and affordable health care.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lynn

    Umm....why is he not losing all his pension....he stole using his position.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • morningwood

      Because he's black and gets a pass.

      November 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "stupid IS what stupid DOES"

    Four Star General spendthrift short circuits from "improper wiring". 🙂

    November 14, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "stupid IS what stupid DOES"

    Obama will add insult to injury when he gets his newly "truncated" paycheck with a tax hike to 39.6%. Eewwwwwww. 😦

    November 14, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jesus

    I wonder about this and the pillow talk generals. Why do they have these behaviors? They know it isn't the right thing to do. – so why? Theory: because they are tired of fighting meaningless wars, with weak goals ... without the nation really backing them. So they take their job less seriously, let their guard down. Ever work for a useless company that never appreciates your work? For ten years..with little progress and no satisfaction? I kinda feel sorry for these guys... in a way.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Johnny

    So this is what our generals are doing spending money ike no tomorrow, composing thousands of letters, having affairs, while our troops are dying in bettlefield, veterans neglected. and still they want a bigger budget each year.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Papagino

      It is definately a breach of the ethics required of any military person, regardless of rank. I do see quite a bit of hypocrisy on the part of the government for punishing a general who is behaving like 80% of the professional politicians.

      November 14, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. Amir Ali

    10/12 Edhi Ambulances are kidnapping ppls with different reasons n family with womens n they are mostly MQM terrorists are throwing after kill in garabage,sts..

    November 14, 2012 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Amir Ali

    Take care in karachi recent wave of killing by MQM and few families they are getting muslims bodies they are indian non muslims who working aginst from inside..

    November 14, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
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