Army Strips General of 3 Ranks After Investigation Into Extramarital Affair and ‘Swinger Lifestyle’

david-haight-demoted-army

The Army has stripped Maj. Gen. David Haight of three ranks following revelations that he had a decade-long extramarital affair and had lived a “swinger lifestyle,” Army Secretary Eric Fanning said Friday.

A board of his peers called for Haight to be busted to lieutenant colonel, a demotion that will cost him nearly $43,000 per year in pension pay. Fanning, in an interview, said he had accepted the recommendation after a panel of three officers reviewed Haight’s conduct — and his secret second life — and determined that lieutenant colonel was the last rank in which he had served satisfactorily.

Fanning spent hours discussing the case with other general officers and read the investigative report twice before accepting the recommendation, he said.

“He’s going to be retired as a lieutenant colonel,” Fanning said. “Pretty big drop.”

Haight’s attorney, Army Lt. Col. Sara Root, said Haight deeply regrets the affair but strenuously denies that it affected his service through multiple combat tours.

“He’s 100% devoted to his country,” Root said. “He has sacrificed a lot for his country. He’s not a threat to his country and would never do anything to harm it.”

Haight, a decorated infantry soldier and Army Ranger, had served as the director of operations for U.S. European Command until the spring. An Army investigation determined that he had had an 11-year long affair with Jennifer Armstrong, a government employee, and had misused his government cellphone to stay in contact with her.

The Army reprimanded Haight — effectively ending his career — and hauled him back to Washington. He was placed in a job with few responsibilities while the board determined his rank for retirement. Haight had been allowed to maintain his clearance to view classified material until the day after USA TODAY published the story about his secret life, and had raised questions about his susceptibility to espionage.

Root said Haight had never been targeted by spies and would never divulge national security secrets.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Tom Vanden Brook

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