Culprit in a Third of Military's Top Brass Firings? Sex

Rise in ethical lapses alarms military

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 21, 2013 4:34 AM CST

(Newser) – The US military has a sex problem. Sexual misconduct has been the leading reason for the firing of military commanders over the last eight years, accounting for almost one-third, or 78 of 255 firings since 2005, an AP analysis of statistics finds. Notably among them was Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was relieved of his command in Afghanistan last year and now faces a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery, and pornography. Alcohol and drug-related problems were the cause of another 27 firings.

The military has launched a review of ethics training, though officials say they're not sure what's behind the surge in ethical lapses. "It's troublesome," says Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy's top spokesman. "Navy leadership is taking a look at why personal conduct seems to be a growing reason for why commanding officers are losing their commands. We're trying to get to the root causes. We don't really fully understand it."

This  photo provided by the US Army shows Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair.
This photo provided by the US Army shows Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair.   (AP Photo/US Army, File)
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When lapses occur, they have the potential to erode public confidence in our leadership and in our system for the enforcement of our high ethical standards. - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

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