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7 Jan, 2023 18:07

US general fired after using troops for personal tasks – media

The high-ranking California National Guard officer has reportedly been removed after two investigations
US general fired after using troops for personal tasks – media

A general in the California National Guard has reportedly been fired after internal investigations found that he had exploited troops for personal use, such as driving him to medical appointments and taking his mother grocery shopping.

Brigadier General Jeffrey Magram will be involuntarily transferred to the US Air Force retired reserve, a punishment that is “parallel” to a firing, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday, citing comments by California National Guard spokesman Lt. Colonel Brandon Hill. He was removed “for cause” after two investigations by inspectors general substantiated allegations against him, Hill added.

“Your conduct has caused me to lose faith, trust and confidence in your ability to continue serving,” Major General Matthew Beevers told Magram in a memo obtained by the Times.

Beevers was appointed as the guard’s acting adjutant general after Magram’s former boss, Major General David Baldwin, retired last summer following reporting by the Times on alleged scandals in his ranks. Magram is the fifth general from the 20,000-person guard to resign, retire or be fired amid allegations of impropriety over the past four years, the newspaper said.

Magram reportedly admitted to investigators that he had used subordinates to run errands. He argued that such tasks were consistent with the “wingman concept,” under which guard members look out for one another. He added that if he had been informed about ethical concerns over such behavior, “I would have corrected or addressed it on the spot.”

However, an inspector general noted that the general had been told in 2017 that having troops drive him to personal appointments was inappropriate. He also was faulted for assigning a subordinate to work on his travel rewards accounts, and he failed to complete his cybersecurity training. Instead, Magram directed a staffer to complete the online course for him, the probe found.

Like other state guards, the California National Guard is tasked with responding to emergencies, such as wildfires and riots, and it has been deployed for US military operations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

California Governor Gavin Newsom denounced the guard in 2020 for sending a military spy plane to El Dorado Hills, where Baldwin lived, to help monitor protests. In another case, officers allegedly readied an F-15C fighter jet to fly lower over protestors to disperse them. Other allegations included reprisals against whistleblowers and an incident in which someone urinated in a female service member’s boots.

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