WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Ranking Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis today, requesting additional details and disciplinary action in the case of retired Army Major General John Custer. As reported by USA Today on March 9th , the Army Inspector General definitively concluded in 2010 that General Custer was involved in an extramarital affair. However, a whistleblower recently revealed that this finding was secretly stricken from his record by Custer’s superior officer, soon-to-be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. General Custer was therefore allowed to retain his rank and commensurate pension.
“We have seen far too many cases in which misconduct by senior military leadership is covered up or ‘punished’ with a slap on the wrist. Even the redacted version of the Army Inspector General Report contains enough lurid details to lead anyone to the obvious conclusion of guilt – particularly since the Inspector General found General Custer’s denials to be ‘less than credible.’” Rep. Speier said. “In light of the burgeoning scandal of the exploitation of female service members, it’s clear that there is a leadership crisis within the armed forces. This crisis degrades morale and readiness among our troops, and reduces our stature worldwide. Fixing it will require sustained focus from the very top of our military. I look forward to Defense Secretary Mattis’s response to my letter and urge him to take immediate action to address this glaring failure of leadership and oversight.”
Click here for a copy of the letter sent to Secretary Mattis.