US Army General demoted to Colonel rank and dismissed
WASHINGTON – An Army major general has been stripped of his stars and forced out of the military after a 30-year military career because of a long extramarital affair and “swinger” lifestyle.
Embattled Maj. Gen. David Haight was demoted by three steps to the rank of lieutenant colonel, a steep and rare downgrade for a senior officer, an Army spokesman says. The demotion will cost him $43,000 in annual retirement pay, based on pay scales for a lieutenant colonel and a two-star general with 30 years in the Army.
Army Secretary Eric Fanning approved the board’s recommendation and made the final decision, the Army Times reported.
Officials said Haight had repeatedly used military computers and phones for his illicit affairs despite warnings. An Army inspector general investigation concluded that Haight had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman who was not his wife, and that he misused government resources for a “high volume” of personal calls and emails.
Philandering is a violation of military law.
The demotion suggests that the board concluded that Haight’s misconduct stretched back to his time as colonel and was serious enough to make retirement at the more senior grades not possible.
Under the regulations, “one specific act of misconduct may or may not form the basis for a determination that the overall service in that grade was unsatisfactory, regardless of the period of time served in grade.”
The investigation, which was launched in January, was triggered by anonymous complaints sent to then-Gen. Philip Breedlove, who was the top U.S. general for NATO at the time, and to the Army and Defense Department inspectors general.
According to the report, Haight was verbally counseled at least twice by a senior officer in November 2015 after initial complaints were filed and before the full investigation began. The counseling, it said, included assistance for possible marital problems, the perception of a relationship with someone who was not his wife, and other personal issues.