Army general suspended and under investigation for alleged interference in command selection process

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Army general has been suspended from his job for allegedly trying to use his power to influence the selection of a lower-ranking officer for a command job, according to the Army.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth reviewed allegations that Gen. Charles Hamilton interfered with the command assessment program and determined that they were “credible.” Wormuth temporarily suspended Hamilton from his job as head of Army Materiel Command and referred the matter to the Defense Department’s inspector general, said Army Col. Randee Farrell, Wormuth’s spokeswoman.

According to officials and documents, Hamilton inappropriately tried to push an assessment board to approve a command assignment for a female lieutenant colonel. He successfully persuaded the board to give the officer a second interview after the initial board voted 5-0 not to recommend her for command. Before the second interview took place, Hamilton contacted senior leaders who could have been on her second panel to discuss their voting parameters and the candidates.

The second panel also deemed her not certified for command. The officer can try again next year, since the Army allows any officer not certified for command to participate in future assessment reviews.

Hamilton has been reassigned until the investigation is finished.

Farrell said Wormuth is committed to the integrity of the so-called Battalion Commander Assessment Program, and once the investigation is over the Army will review the overall process “to ensure maximum fairness.” The more extensive selection program was set up to ensure that the Army was choosing good officers for command jobs and was part of a campaign to weed out toxic leadership.

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