Controversial 3rd Air Force Commander to Retire

Third Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, whose controversial decision to overturn a military sexual assault conviction ignited a series of changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, will retire after more than three decades of service. “In the last 10 months as the commander of 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force, my judgment has been questioned publicly regarding my decisions as a general court martial convening authority,” said Franklin in a release. He added, “The last thing I want in this command is for the people to feel they cannot bring a sexual assault case forward or feel it won’t be dealt with fairly.” Franklin said he also feared that public scrutiny of his subsequent decisions would “jeopardize the privacy of both the victim and the accused.” US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Commander Gen. Frank Gorenc said in a separate statement that he “regrettably” supports Franklin’s decision to retire, but he praised his many years of services. “Craig is an honorable man and I thank him for his selfless commitment to the country for over three decades, including nearly a decade focused on furthering US objectives and fulfilling national commitments in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East,” said Gorenc. Franklin joined the Air Force in 1977 as a cadet at the Air Force Academy. His last day as 3rd AF commander will be Jan. 31, according to the release.