A top general in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s arsenal of nuclear ballistic missiles has been relieved of his command due to loss of trust, defense officials told NBC News.
Air Force officials said Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was fired for “personal misbehavior” while on temporary duty at an unspecified location outside his usual command. The officials would not describe the behavior, other than to say that it did not involve any sexual improprieties, drug use, gambling, or criminal conduct.
Carey oversaw the 20th Air Force, with a total of 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles at three locations across the U.S.
An Air Force statement said that Carey was relieved from command “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment.” The statement goes on to say that “the allegations are not related to operational readiness, inspection results, nor do they involve sexual misconduct.”
More at the link.
Major General Carey’s firing is the second one in a week; Vice Admiral Tim Giardina was reduced to two stars (Rear Admiral, upper half) and removed from his position as second in command of U.S. nuclear forces at U.S. Strategic Command due to a gambling investigation.
Both RADM Giardina, a 1979 graduate of the Naval Academy, and MGEN Carey, who entered the Air Force in 1978, are eligible for retirement, and in most cases not involving an actual crime, such officers would be urged to retire quietly.
I absolutely understand making certain that the top military officers involved with control of our nuclear arsenal have to be honest and fit beyond any doubt, and that any who fail to meet those high standards cannot remain in such positions. But the public nature of the dismissals is bound to raise questions about command and control of our nuclear arsenal, period, and it’s very unusual that such things would be made public in such a manner when no criminal charges are being contemplated.