General Officers are Special–Not Like You and Me

Okay boys and girls I can’t pass this up, the CSA, General “Big Ray” Odierno stated in Army Times, that:

Demoting a four-star general for spending misconduct could be harsh and would force the officer to lose as much as $1 million in retirement pay, the Army’s top military officer said Monday, noting that a lower level officer would never be asked to pay such a high price.

That’s right boys and girls a lower ranking officer wouldn’t suffer as much.  I guess he failed to ask COL (Formerly) Johnson, or the myriad of other Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers would not have received such a punishment.

  • Not sure how much the scum bag Johnson lost, but I guess when you add it up its not as bad as a million dollars.  I doubt he would agree with that, you know a Federal Conviction, loss of retirement pay, a huge fine, oh by the way may have a tough time getting a job because of his criminal conviction.
  • A Senior NCO would have gotten more, unless he was of that other protected fraternity, the Sergeant Major Protective Association.
  • A soldier would have gone to Leavenworth.  No one would have been concerned about his family, we need to set an example would have been the hue and cry.

No, the Four General Officer Fraternity has decided to protect one of its own by precluding justice from being done.

I have a suggestion to the CSA, “Big Ray”, similar to an earlier suggestion to the Sergeant Major of the Army, “shut your pie hole.”

This post reflects the opinion of the author but does not reflect the prevailing wisdom of the General Officer or Sergeant Major Mafia, but does reflect the general disgust of soldiers.


  1. Lt Col P says:

    "This post reflects the opinion of the author but does not reflect the prevailing wisdom of the General Officer or Sergeant Major Mafia, but does reflect the general disgust of soldiers."

    Well said.

  2. Mike Burke says:

    This really is unspeakable–4-stars ought to be held to a higher standard than privates–and I cannot believe that Ray Odierno thinks otherwise. I had to deal with general officer travel misconduct when I was the Army travel guy in DCSPER in the early 90s–all of them knew better, all got caught–none were as out of whack as this apparently was, but still were gross violations of the regs. If it costs a 4-star a million, sadly, no problem–he'll likely earn it back his first two years as a contractor or consultant anyway–and that's the really sad part–guys who do this end up OK–no opprobrium attaches to them in their next life.

  3. MGunns says:

    Our senior officers are starting to act like CEOs. Only the common people can be held accountable, the rich and powerful are "too big to fail".

  4. DaveO says:

    Considering many, if not most, 3- and 4-stars just laterally transfer from uniformed service to CEO of a Defense Contractor upon retirement, I suppose Ray Odierno needs to learn 2 syllables: "Ken Lay."

  5. Marine6 says:

    Quite simply put GOFOs should be held to the highest possible standards. There is NO acceptable excuse for dishonoring that "special trust and confidence."

    At a very minimum he should be reduced to the last rank in which he served honorably, and some actual jail time would seem to be appropriate.

    After all, it is the UNIFORM Code of Military Justice, and punishments for those who are found in violation of the UCMJ should be applied UNIFORMLY.

    • Paul Hirsch says:

      Well said, Marine 6. People with command authority in the military are given the most awesome authority this Nation can give: The authority to spend the lives of our best young people to accomplish a mission. The higher the rank, the more lives they are able to spend. They should be people of the highest moral dignity when it comes to their dealings with others.

  6. VMI Warrior says:

    Odierno's opinion is repulsive.

    1) While a lower ranking officer "would never be asked to pay such a high price" [something I'm not sure is true AND punishment is NOT "asking", it is a penalty], I would point out that even at a reduced retirement rank, he would still bring in over $208,000 per annum, FAR higher than most lower ranking officers who complete theitr service honorably.

    2) Failing to impose justice because of financial benefits to the offender (or his spouse) takes duty and service out of the equation and basically says "We're whores for the money…duty and justice is of no import."

    3) I served under GEN Odierno when he was a Div. commander, and I always thought he was pretty decent. This act on his part has forever tarnished his own reputation as well as the US Army's as a whole.

    He should resign, but he won't.

    • DaveO says:

      You make an excellent point in #2. That sums up the entire issue for me.

      I guess the next step is begin address the high and mighty as "Milord." or "Trump."

  7. Sam L. says:

    Should not a 4-star be held to the highest standard? Should he not be hung from the highest yard-arm?

    Goin' with Should, here.

  8. CAPT Mike says:


    We routinely punish our enlisted sailors for very minor infractions, after which some are able to recover and complete a career in the force.

    We rarely punish our Chiefs, except for serious offenses, which is probably wise.

    We *very* routinely screw the hell out of junior officers for both poor performance (absolutely legit; they are all essentially on probation), but also at times over minor issues or even poor politics . . . via the performance review process.

    For some time we've been shitcanning CO's for the smallest infractions of current PC code; have mixed feelings over this, as after all the Captain *must* be responsible for his command.

    We almost never punish flag officers; for poor performance they get reassigned (and the underlying issue is buried to save face for superior flag officers and pols), or publicly rebuked for violating the current PC issue.