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*Bernard

    Hope all soldiers involved in disobaying the army's conduct code would be dealt with justly. History would remember those that gave punishment.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AndromedaCrossing

    I wonder if Petraeus will get the same treatment since his affair started back in Afghanistan...??

    November 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • DaVuVuZeLa

      They're not going to bring Petraeus out of retirement just to demote him. Only a fool would invite that kind of media circus.

      November 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Why is it against the law to get you willi wet

      December 4, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. larry5

    Did this General think he was Obama? Obama is the only one that can waste money on lavish trips sending the wife to Spain and the kids to Mexico. Or is Obama continuing to clean house? Did this General make the mistake of being a warrior instead of being kind and gentle.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • KF

      Larry...you lost, get over it. Wing nuts will always be losers.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeShieco

      @larry...man you r very bitter, take that "L", and keep it moving like blacks have kept it moving for years after continuously losing to include our freedoms during the 17/1800's!

      November 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • piranha

      He would be stripped one star, so, he would still have 3 over one shoulder and 4 on another shoulder. Ok he'd buy that.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayRo

      Do you get all your ideas from Fox "Opinion" News or just this one?
      You sir, like most of your kind, are a moron.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Richard in Texas

    Sorry Nate. You did not say that the president was a muslim. But his muslim friends? Who would they be? By the way Nate. You may not respect the man but be a true patrotic american and respect the office.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. asdefsdfdsf

    You mean we throw morality out the window and then people act like this?

    November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Vel

    If this behavior happens to enlisted military he will go to jail and a dishonorable discharge.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donking7

      Absolutely true! As enlisted, if you spent over $10.00 of unauthorized funds, you'd get at least 6 months hard labor, and a Dishonorable Discharge.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. DeShieco

    Ok..., now lets see how joe handles petraeus and Allen. Trust me we all know..if u lie, u will steal, n if u steal u will eventually cheat...

    November 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RMatrix

    THIS IS RIDICULOUS ! ! ! LET THESE MEN ENJOY A FEW PERKS. CANT WE. A trip and to see Denzel. What is wrong with that? Nothing!

    November 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Warnotdisneyland

      He accepted money from a defense contractor. That means he used OUR tax dollars to buy equipment we didn't really need or at a higher price. We all know Afghan and Iraq drag on so long because so many people profit from war. Generals, weapon makers, over seas contractors. A big portion of our economy is based on war when it should be trying to better our agriculture and researching better energy savings. Not big suvs and hummers to drive the kids to 4th grade.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I agree with Warnotdisneyland, They can see Denzel all they want with THEIR money! I'm tired of the corruption and my taxes going up for these clowns. He embezzled and should have been fired just like the rest of us...Jesus

      November 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryAt27N

      Perqs (short for perquisites) come from above and must never be self-generated. That is known as "stealing". Get it?

      As for the backstage visit, that had no monetary value and should not have entered into the decision.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thinker

    In California, all finest retired public servants are four star generals. They all get paid more than $100,000 per year. CALPER is the name of their Piggy bank.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. amy

    How come he gets to keep his retirement? If that was a senior enlisted person, they would have put him in the brig, reduced him to the rank of E-1 and then DISHONORABLY discharged him. Screw his family out of retirement money, insurance, etc. Why does he get this sweet deal?

    November 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donking7

      Military rule. RHIP means "Rank Has It's Privileges".

      November 15, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. knanok

    Waste of tax payers money

    November 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Josh

    This administration is cracking down on waste, just as NY Gov Cuomo fired his Disaster Relief Chief as soon as he found out he had diverted crews for personal reasons.

    The only apologist ive heard fo Republican Petraeus is Pat Robertson!

    November 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. darknesscrown

    "Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stripped Ward of a star, sending him to the last rank at which it is believed he served honorably." -- If only enlisted men & women were treated so well when they steal $82,000 from the government and use their status to get gifts/favors. If an E-9 did what this guy did, he'd probably be lucky to retire at all–in fact, I'm absolutely positive he/she would probably lose AT LEAST 4 stripes (if not all of them) and end up at Leavenworth. I'm sure his Lt. Gen. retirement certainly won't break the bank at, what, $7500/month is it? Not to mention all the freebies all retirees get regardless of their rank. Boo hoo. They say that the ice is thinnest at the top...apparently not.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ronvan

    There are a couple of comments on this post that "hit the nail on the head", and sadly PROVES that our military has double standards! First of all a 4 star general makes MORE money than enlisted soldiers, has more responsibilites, and SHOULD be held to higher standards, to "set the example".! When found guilty of, in this case, the misuse of monies, then "set the example" for all those other soldiers to see and understand that no matter what your rank you will suffer the consequences! It is a well known fact, in the military, that "ring knockers", academy grads., will and do get some special treatment from fellow grads., whether deserved or not!

    November 15, 2012 at 6:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Confusedandbewildered

      Ron, My spidy sense is telling me your very close to one of the inner circles and spot on.

      I have a relative that worked with Africom, he's a "ring knocker" too. LOL

      November 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ALAN FISCHER

    What is the real truth

    November 19, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Confusedandbewildered

      He irritated someone who also had stars upon thars

      November 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
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