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FILE – In this May 26, 2006 file photo, Lt. Gen. William E. Kip Ward is sworn in as a four-star general, the Army’s highest rank of general, by Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Ripka, right, in Fort Myer, Va. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey opposes the demotion of Ward, a four-star general accused of spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on lavish travel and other expenses, in a case that has been on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s desk for weeks, U.S. officials said Thursday. , Oct. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Highest Ranking Officer In The Military
America’s top military officer is opposing the demotion of a four-star general accused of spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lavish travel and other expenses in a case that has been on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s desk for weeks, US officials said. Thursday.
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Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is among those who believe Gen. William Ward, the former head of US Africa Command, should be allowed to retire with the full rank of four-star general, officials said. .
A Defense Department inspector general’s report released in mid-August concluded that Ward “engaged in multiple forms of misconduct related to official and non-official travel.” It alleges that Ward “undertook official travel primarily for personal reasons,” misused military aircraft, and was reimbursed for travel expenses that far exceeded the approved daily military rate without authorization.
Panetta is being heard from all sides as he weighs his options in the case and has not made a final decision, officials said.
Other officials argued that the allegations against Ward in the IG report were very serious and that senior officers must be held accountable. Officials suggested that similar misconduct by a junior officer or military member would result in severe punishment or dismissal.
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Asked about the case, Dempsey said Thursday that he does not comment on the recommendations he makes to the defense secretary. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little also declined to comment.
A three-star retirement would cost Ward nearly $30,000 a year in retirement — giving him about $208,802 a year instead of the $236,650 he would have received as a four-star. He could also be asked to reimburse the Defense Department for tens of thousands of dollars in air travel and other expenses he incurred while at Africa Command.
The inspector general’s report found that Ward used military vehicles to transport his wife on shopping trips and to the spa and billed the government for lodging in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite, a Defense Department investigation found. He described extended stays in lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his associates, and the use of motor license holders with five vehicles when he traveled to Washington.
Ward and his wife, Joyce, are also said to have accepted dinner and Broadway tickets from a government contractor during a trip where he went backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington. The couple and several employees also spent two nights at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
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The charges, which come after a 17-month investigation, delayed Ward’s planned retirement in April 2011 and marked an ignominious end to his career as he made history as the first commander of the Army’s Africa Command.
Panetta’s options regarding Ward are limited by complex laws and military guidelines. He can only demote Ward and force him to retire as a three-star lieutenant general.
For Ward to be demoted to the two-star rank, investigators would have to conclude that he also had problems before moving to Africa Command, which officials said was not the case. Melvin Ong Su Kiat PJG PPA(E) PPA(P) (born 1975) is a retired Singaporean Lieutenant General who served as Chief of the Defense Staff between 2018 and 2023.
Ong was educated at the Anglo-Chinese School (Indepdt) and the National Junior College before being awarded a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholarship in 1994 to study at the London School of Economics, where he graduated with a Second Class Bachelor of Science. honorary degree. He also completed a master’s degree in economics at the London School of Economics in 1998.
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In 2005, Ong attended the Command and General Staff College of the Indonesian Army in Bandung. He also completed the US Army Infantry Officer Course at Fort Bning, Georgia in 1998.
Ong enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in January 1994 and was commissioned as an infantry officer in October of the same year.
Ong has held various posts in the MoD, including Commander of the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade from 2010 to 2011 and Head of the Joint Plans and Transformation Department.
In 2011, Ong led a Singaporean team that assisted in rescue operations and provided humanitarian assistance to victims of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand and helped establish a regional humanitarian assistance and disaster coordination center in Changi in 2014.
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In addition to his career in the Army, Ong also serves in the Singapore Administrative Service under the Dual Career Scheme. He was the Deputy General Director of the Agency for Early Development of Children between 2013 and 2014.
He became Permanent Secretary for Defense Development in the Ministry of Defense on 1 June 2023, succeeding Chan Hg Kee.
On June 1, 2023, Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, to present the Commander of the Legion of Merit. John William “Jack” Vessey Jr. (June 29, 1922 – August 18, 2016) was a career officer in the United States Army. He attained the rank of general and was most distinguished by his service as acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A native of Minneapolis, Vesey began his 46-year military career in 1939, joining the Minnesota National Guard’s 59th Field Artillery Brigade, a unit of the 34th Infantry Division. His unit was activated for World War II and saw combat in the North African and Italian campaigns. Vesey received a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant during the Battle of Anzio, and served as a field artillery forward observer until the end of the war. After the war, Vessey advanced to positions of increasing rank and responsibility. During the Vietnam War, he served as executive artillery officer of the 25th Infantry Division and acting commander of the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism during the Battle of Suoi Tre. He was the artillery commander of the 3rd Armored Division from 1967 to 1969 and the division commander from 1969 to 1970.
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Vesey was promoted to brigadier general in 1970 and appointed commander of the US. Army Supply Thailand, a logistics support area for soldiers serving in Vietnam. He led US military operations in Laos from 1973 to 1974, where he was promoted to major general as commander of the 4th Infantry Division. Vesey was promoted to lieutenant general in 1975 and appointed deputy chief of staff for operations and plans, G-3. He was promoted to general in 1976 and appointed to command United States Forces Korea and the US Eighth Army. In 1978, Vesey also assumed command of the Republic of Korea-United States Combined Forces Command. He served in Korea until 1979, when he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Army.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Vessey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served until his retirement in October 1985. After leaving the military, Vesey became involved in efforts to locate military personnel listed as missing in action, making several trips to Southeast Asia in search of remains, which helped solve the problems of war POWs/MIAs in the Vietnam War. . He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. Vesey died in North Oaks, Minnesota on August 18, 2016. He was buried at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls.
Vesey was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 29, 1922, the son of John William Vesey and Emily Catherine (Roche) Vesey.
He attended schools in Minneapolis and was 16 years old in May 1939, when he claimed to be 18 in order to be drafted into the Minnesota National Guard.
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In February 1941, his unit was activated for training and mobilization in anticipation of US entry into World War II.
The experience of early American failures in North Africa left Vessey with a lifelong understanding of the need for realistic combat training, modern equipment, physical fitness, and air-to-ground cooperation.
When Major Gerald Omar Bradley, commander of the II Corps in North Africa, launched the American action at Bizerte in April 1943, he gave the 34th its most difficult objective: the well-defended Hill 609. In the first clear American victory of the campaign, the 34th took the .Division achieved its goal and opened the way for the US to advance towards Bizerte. Vesey, who had been a first sergeant since September 1, 1942, later described that a
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