In separate cases, an Army major general described as a “rising star” and an Army National Guard general on the Joint Chiefs of Staff are both reportedly being severely disciplined and investigated.
Without elaborating, the Army announced Friday the suspension of Major General Wayne Grigsby, the top-ranking officer at Fort Riley in Kansas. He was commander of the 1st Infantry Division and previously the Combined Joint Task Force for the Horn of Africa, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
“[Grigsby] is currently the subject of an official investigation and we cannot comment further at this time,” the Army said in a statement.
The Capital-Journal reports that Army undersecretary Patrick Murphy visited Fort Riley on Tuesday for a medal ceremony and met with high-ranking officers. Grigsby had three decades of experience in the armed forces and had deployed to Iraq.
In an even higher profile case, Brigadier General Michael Bobeck, an Army National Guard general on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been fired and reassigned, USA Today wrote in an exclusive report Friday. The Joint Chiefs of Staff advises the president as well as homeland security and national security officials on military matters.
Anonymous officials in the Department of Defense provided records and gave interviews for USA Today’s report. They were not authorized to do so, and the military has not officially announced any investigation or action against Bobeck.
The obtained documents reportedly show Bobeck to be under investigation for an extramarital affair as well as misuse of government resources. Both are punishable under military law. Until the internal probe is completed, USA Today’s sources say Bobeck has been reassigned.
Bobeck lived rent-free in a basement apartment arranged by an Alexandria, Virginia-based lobbying firm executive, records purportedly show. Additionally, Bobeck is said to have negotiated employment with Joe Ferreira of Peduzzi Associates Ltd., which lobbies for Sikorzy, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary specializing in the Black Hawk and other military helicopters. Bobeck himself is a decorated helicopter pilot and formerly headed the National Guard’s aviation programs, according to USA Today.
Those connections should not suggest any exploitation on Bobeck’s part of his own military position, his Army lawyer, Lieutenant Colonel Adam Kazin, told USA Today.
“Any implication that there was any wrongdoing is very upsetting to him,” Kazin said, adding that Bobeck was not even able to award or influence contracts. “Abusing his position to enrich himself is not in line with how he views himself.”
Ferreira, the lobbyist executive, explained offering a future job to Bobeck and a rent-free place to live as something “friends do for friends,” in an email to USA Today, claiming to have known Bobeck for 35 years.
Following a divorce in September 2015, Bobeck moved into Ferreira’s basement the next month and lived there for eight months. Bobeck’s affair had been going on since the spring of 2014, according to records obtained by USA Today.
Ferreira said conversations with Bobeck about a potential job began in 2013. That is also around the same time when the National Guard and the Army were in talks over splitting a fleet of helicopters, and when Bobeck wrapped up his stint as chief of Army National Guard Aviation for the National Guard Bureau, only to go on to be special assistant to the bureau’s director for aviation transformation in 2014 and 2015, according to USA Today.
Those talks between the Army and National Guard over helicopters continues, but Bobeck’s military career seems all but over.
He was reassigned to the Army on September 5, Labor Day, according to Navy Captain Greg Hicks, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USA Today reported. But the Army then returned Bobeck to the National Guard Bureau, where he now works full-time as an active-duty officer, Colonel Les Melnyk, a National Guard Bureau spokesman, told USA Today.
Bobeck has not lost his security clearance, a status sought after by firms hiring retired military officials.