Maj. Gen. Michael Carey relieved from command of U.S. 20th Air Force

Maj. Gen. Michael J. CareyUSAF Major General Michael J. Carey

The U.S. Air Force reports (courtesy Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs) that on Oct. 11, 2013, Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, relieved Maj. Gen. Michael Carey from command of 20th Air Force due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment.

The report says:

Kowalski made his decision based on information from an Inspector General investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment. The allegations are not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve sexual misconduct.

“20th AF continues to execute its mission of around-the-clock nuclear deterrence in a safe, secure and effective manner,’ Kowalski said. ‘It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service.”

AFGSC vice commander Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein has been named the interim 20th AF commander.

Headquartered at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., 20th AF is responsible for the nation’s three intercontinental ballistic missile wings. It has dual responsibilities to AFGSC and U.S. Strategic Command. As the missile Numbered Air Force for AFGSC, 20th AF maintains and operates the nation’s ICBM force. Designated as STRATCOM’s Task Force 214, the command provides on-alert, combat ready ICBMs to the President.

Maj. Gen. Jack WeinsteinMaj. Gen. Jack Weinstein

In the three months after the 9/11 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya (which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens), five senior U.S. military officers were purged:

  • Gen. Carter Ham, on October 18.
  • Adm. Charles Gaouette, on October 27.
  • Gen. David Petraeus, on November 9.
  • Gen. John Allen, on November 13.
  • Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis on December 6.

Ostensibly, Petraeus’ “retirement” and Allen’s suspended promotion were due to both men’s moral conduct. But surely we are not so naive as to think that Petraeus and Allen, respectively, are the only U.S. military officers who’ve ever committed adultery or written flirtatious email. As for Ham’s “retirement” and Gaouette’s “temporary re-assignment” (reassignment to what?), there is not even a whisper that either man’s morals or personal conduct is at issue.

The dismissal of Gen. James Mattis is equally, if not more, suspicious. Having served in the U.S. military for 40 years and widely revered by rank-and-file Marines for his blunt talk and leadership, Mattis was the head of the most important command of the entire U.S. military — that of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). But the good general was told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.

Writing for Foreign Policy on Jan. 18, 2013, self-described “fan of President Obama” Thomas E. Ricks claims that the “word on the national security street is that General James Mattis was being given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of Central Command” because he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way” on the Obama regime’s policy toward Iran.

Ex-CIA agent, philanthropist Dr. Jim Garrow, claims (on Alex Jones’ radio, Glenn Beck, and several other Internet mediums) that Obama is purging the U.S. military’s top brass via a “litmus test” of sorts. High-ranking military officials are asked “Would you fire on an American citizen?”. Garrow claims that those who answered “no” would be fired. Garrow also claims that Obama had Andrew Breitbart and Tom Clancy assassinated,

Dr. Garrow is the founder and executive director of The Bethune Institute, a charitable organization dedicated to advance education in China via teaching English, giving free books to poor Chinese, and medical scholarships. Through its branch organization, The Pink Pagoda, the institute also rescues baby girls from infanticide  in China, and finds homes for the unwanted girls. Dr. Garrow is credited for saving the lives of over 50,000 Chinese girls for which he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In March of this year, the U.S. Army issued an order forbidding soldiers from criticizing Obama. Our soldiers are also forbidden from criticizing Islam and Muslims.

12 responses to “Maj. Gen. Michael Carey relieved from command of U.S. 20th Air Force

  1. Rubbish. I have been a militray officder for over 50 years and have seen many flag officers being relieved, retired and transferred for a number of reasons. Generals are human, just like you and me. Four of the “friring” listed here were for sexual, gambling and alcohol.problems. It may come as a shock to some, but some military officers do abuse sex, alcohol and gambling – just as some journalists, college professors, Congresscritters, plumbers and social workers do. But when the Dean of the Engineering School at Obsccure University is relieved and retired for molesting a grad student or seling dope, it doesn’t make the papers.

    And firing general officers for disagreeing with the civilian leadership is nothing new either. It happens in all wars and in peacetime as well. And many general oficers take early retirement because they disagree with policies and procedures. Remember Colin Powell? He took early retirement because of disagreements with the Clinton White House staff.

    As for not crticizing the President, that has been law since the UCMJ was adopted in 1951. Nothing new here. gnerals have been fired for this going back to Lincoln/McClellan. If you walk around the univesity campus with a sign that says “Dean X is an Idiot” or “Chancellor Y is Incompetent,” Your prospects for tenure and/or promotion are not going to be very good.

    As for not criticizing Islam, Government employees, including soldiers, soldiers are not supposed to either promote or attack any particualr religion in a way that associates their opinion with governemnt policy. So you cannot wear a button that says “Islam Sucks” or “Jesus Saves” on your uniform, regardless of your opinion on the matter.


    • thurs666 (Richard Thurston):

      Dictionary definition of “rubbish”:

      1. Refuse; garbage.
      2. Worthless material.
      3. Foolish discourse; nonsense.

      Do try and exercise the little trove of civility you have by pointing to what exactly about my post that is “refuse; garbage; worthless; foolish; and nonsense.” Specifically:

      1. Did the post contain factual lies and untruths? Which ones are they?

      2. Why do you consider a straight-forward reporting of the unexplained dismissal of a U.S. general — not for job incompetence or moral failings — to be “worthless,” “foolish,” and “nonsense”? As Prof. Gregor points out, if this were about China’s People’s Liberation Army, you and I most certainly would pay attention and not stoop so low as to airily dismiss such a report as “rubbish.”

      3. Re. the US military prohibiting our service members from criticizing Obama: I’m neither stupid nor ignorant. I know full well the standing policy is that military members are not to publicly criticize their Commander-In-Chief. But that’s not the point, is it? Rather, the point is that the US military has to actually remind service members they are not to criticize Obama. Again, if it were the PLA, you and I would both take notice, because it points to widespread disaffection within the military — which is a matter that you, as one of CODA’s defense analysts should find noteworthy.

      Why are you so reflexively dismissive and rude? Does doing so help advance the purported purpose of CODA — to inform and engage the public in the analysis of threats to U.S. security?


  2. A. James Gregor, Ph.D. & Professor

    Substantial changes among flag officers and commanders of critical elements of the security forces of any nation is necessarily a matter of serious reflection. There has not been a time in recent history that the movement, dismissal, reduction in rank and responsibilities of military command figures has not been the subject of political reflection and/or speculation. Not to become engaged in the critical assessment of such matters would be to neglect the responsibilities incumbent on an informed citizenry. Whenever anything akin to such transfers or dismissals occurs in the command structure of the PLA or in the armed forces of North Korea, we fully expect an entire entourage of analysts to proffer judgments. That is expected of responsible commentators. No less is expected when so many major military figures in our own country, in a relatively short period of time, have been subject to just such treatment. The events cry out for reasonable assessment. What is to count as “reasonable” turns on a variety of methodological and substantive considerations. What it does not mean is that such actions by the Administration, critical to the nation’s security, not be subject to review. We fail to engage in such review at our own peril.


  3. A. James Gregor, Ph.D. & Professor

    In matters of such gravity as the defense of our country, we should welcome the widest range of queries, however lacking in seriousness we, personally, may imagine them to be. For only by asking questions can answers be forthcoming–and Lord knows, this administration has been less than forthcoming in supplying any!


  4. My apologies for using the word “rubbish.” My diplomatic skills are not of the highest order. And I have no love for Barack Obama, quite the contrary. But the standards of behaviour for military flag officers have changed over the last 20 years. Before 1990, flag oficers accused of sexual harrassment, alcoholism or gambling were usually quietly shulffed off into retirement or their deviances were tolerated in the “good old boy” atmosphere that prevailed. Now scandals are put out in the open for all to see and comment on. The kind of conduct that was tolerated and covered up in the period 1960-90 is no longer tolerated. This is, overall, a good thing. But it does give rise to the perception of a “vendetta” against military officers. The fact that the Obmaa administration feels compelled to remind soldiers not to trash talk about their civilian leadership indicates a growing contempt for the Obama administration in the military services. That is NOT a good thing.


    • Thank you, Dick. Your apology is accepted. 😀

      Your observation about the military no longer tolerating flag officers’ immoral/unethical personal conduct does not apply in the case of Maj. Gen. Michael Carey because the report specifically noted that his dismissal is not due to moral failings.


  5. excellent post bringing important facts to our attention. I so much appreciate your careful and accurate reporting of specific and relevant facts, so that we may review the preponderance of the evidence to draw an appropriate conclusion. And Dr. Gregor, you have set forth the significant point that we must be able to review all factors and analyze with a critical mind the potential conclusions; if we do not do so, then we are an irresponsible citizenry.

    When I was 18 years old, whilst in a Philosophy class in a university, I asked various questions of the professor because he couldn’t get to the point and I was at my wit’s end. He called on me a third time and refused to allow me to ask the question, for the reason that he did not have time for questions. He wanted the class to know his policy. I said to him then, that I did not have time for his class and walked out of the room. Many other students followed.

    I find it noteworthy that there are so many honorable and brilliant American officers who despise Obama’s policies, actions and priorities. StMA, I believe your post reflects this fact so well, which is one of the main points of your post. It must be so extremely frustrating for these officers to function under a king, instead of a president. The level of king Obama’s damage to our military is unconscionable.

    As for thurs666, your verbiage reflects that you have allowed emotions to govern your comments, instead of allowing your fine analytical mind to join those emotions. It is so vital to think before your speak. Nevertheless, your apology, being appropriate, is appreciated. I also thank you so much for your service to our country; words are so lacking to reflect my gratitude.


  6. The pertinent passage (and this is the only datapoint I know about this story, so I can’t feel confident in its veracity yet) appears to be this, “Kowalski made his decision based on information from an Inspector General investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment.” To me, that sounds like something on the order of being arrested for DUI or some such–but that’s just a WAG in absence of any further information.


  7. This supports what I have heard form other sources that Carey’s dismissal was due to his personal misconduct, not to any doctrinal dispute. As Commander of 20th AF, he would not really be in a position to influence polcy. 20th AF is the command group for the US ICBM force, and not involved with things like tactical air strikes, drones or other controversial activities. It probabaly went further than a simple DUI, but without more information it’s hard to say. As I said in my previous post, personal misconduct by general/flag officers is less often covered up by superiors than it was in the pre-Tailhook days.


  8. With all the officers relieved of duty under Obama, there is a lot more to it than some kind of misconduct. This command that nothing critical can be said about Islam and Muslims is ridiculous. Islam is not a religion. It is a cult, a philosophy that intends to enslave the world. Look who is in the WH besides Obama. He has Muslim Brotherhood affiliated people in sensitive positions. He has all but officially made Islam the law. He is aiding and abetting the enemy. Look at what is happening in Syria. What do you think he has planned for us since he is asking the military if they would fire on American citizens? It tells me that that is exactly what he is going to have done. Our enemy sits in the Oval Office. He is the biggest threat to the Republic.


  9. Plenty of data supporting an existent long term policy regarding the cut and quality of Flag & Field Grade Officers. Simply put, rating & promotion recommendations excel personnel that do not rock the boat to the top positions. If whispers in non main stream media hold any credence, missing nuclear weapons ~ a strange undersea quake off the South Carolina coast Benghaizi’s illegal weapons transfers ~ South American / Afghan drug / Saudi funded terrorists / Israeli – Jewish – Rothschild backed military industrial complex. This purge is just moving more compliant senior military to the top posts to avoid a constitutional arrest of the POTUS & Congressional leadership prior to an eventual constitutional convention to strip the last vestiges of our Bill of Rights away and force the showdown with the NWO continuity of Government shadow leadership..


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