Generals, admirals may get more ethics training earlier in careers
By The Washington Post
Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 9:38 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon announced on Friday that it will examine whether its generals and admirals receive too many perks and said they should receive more ethics training earlier in their careers.
The measures are a preliminary response to a directive issued last month by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who ordered a review into misconduct by top brass as a result of investigations involving several leaders, including the commander of the war in Afghanistan.
On Friday, however, the Pentagon gave no indication that sweeping reforms were in store, and officials downplayed a string of scandals involving senior officers as isolated incidents.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said Panetta believes the misconduct is limited to a “very small number” of senior officers. Panetta decided to let the Joint Chiefs of Staff determine on their own whether further reforms are needed, instead of imposing changes.
The review will be led by Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
Dempsey gave Panetta a preliminary report a week ago in which he concluded that generals and admirals received adequate ethics training, but that the Defense Department ought to begin that training earlier in their careers.
Dempsey also recommended that the Joint Chiefs take a closer look at the staffing support, travel privileges and other perquisites provided to senior officers.
By the time commanders achieve four-star rank, they often travel in corporate-style jets, with their own cooks, drivers and dozens of aides who perform personal errands.
Some leaders get accustomed to the cushy treatment. After he retired from the Army as a four-star general to become director of the CIA, for instance, David Petraeus instructed aides to hand him bottles of water at precise intervals during his jogging routine and have fresh, sliced pineapple available during business trips before bedtime.
Petraeus, who retired from the Army in 2011 to become CIA director, resigned last month; he admitted to the FBI that he had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Panetta has not given Dempsey and the Joint Chiefs a deadline for their review. Nor has he “formed an opinion” as to whether they are afforded excessive benefits.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Holy grail of guitars’ for sale in April auction
- Nuke plant safety improving, watchdog says — with cautions
- El Nino could bring relief to U.S.
- Spyware in government computers ‘has Russian paw prints all over it’
- Accuser takes stand during court-martial
- Miranda read to sex assault accuser, 14
- Border Patrol ordered to stop shooting at vehicles
- Economists explain why Fed’s taper could spark market meltdown
- California man named as bitcoin creator denies involvement
- Kansas public school funding unconstitutional
- Deputy accused of illegal stops