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The strict hierarchy of the United States military has long been touted as one of the greatest assets of the nation’s defense system. The structure in which power is passed up the chain of command and through which orders are set down ensures that individuals know where they stand with regard to what is expected of them and to whom they are accountable. Respect is a key component of making this system work and, recently, a high-ranking commander was reprimanded for conduct that some believe was highly unprofessional.

A Major General, who was formerly of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, was accused by a subordinate of calling her ‘sweetheart’ during a meeting. Others witnessed the alleged event as well as other comments the Major General made regarding the subordinate’s political leanings and policy views.

The Army Inspector General reviewed the case and, because of the matter, the Major General, a two-star general, was denied a promotion to three-star general. He is currently serving in an administrative capacity at a different site in Texas and it is unknown if he will face further sanctions for his inappropriate comments.

Sexism has been in the news for months due to the rampant problems that exist in the entertainment industry and the nearly weekly accusations that are lodged against actors, producers and others involved in making movies. However, this issue is not isolated to Hollywood and, as made evident by this recent news story, sexism is a problem in the United States military. Inappropriate behavior is punished by military authorities and that punishment can reach even the highest levels of the military hierarchy.

Source:, “Former Fort Carson commanding general punished for calling staffer ‘sweetheart’,” Andrew McMillan & Kasey Kershner, Jan. 8, 2018