The Air Force has retroactively demoted Gen. Arthur Lichte to major general after an investigation found he had engaged in “inappropriate sexual acts” with a subordinate twice in 2007 and once again in 2009. Lichte retired as a four-star general on Jan. 1, 2010, after 38 years in service. Lichte was a lieutenant general and serving as the assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force and Air Staff director at the Pentagon during the first two incidents; he had pinned on a fourth star and was commander of Air Mobility Commander at Scott AFB, Ill., during the third incident, according to a redacted copy of the investigation. The female officer, who was not named in the report, initially filed a restricted report in July 2016 with a sexual assault response coordinator, but then changed her report to unrestricted a month later. Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James issued Lichte a letter of reprimand and initiated an Officer Grade Determination Board to determine at what rank he last served “satisfactorily,” states an Air Force release. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Jan. 30 withdrew Lichte’s last certification of satisfactory service, which was awarded to him by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2009, and sent the matter back to the Air Force. Acting Air Force Secretary Lisa Disbrow determined Lichte should be retroactively retired as a two-star general on Jan. 31. “The Air Force takes all allegations of inappropriate conduct very seriously,” said Disbrow. “We expect our leaders to uphold the highest standards of behavior. These standards and rules underpin good order and discipline … Airmen at every level are held accountable.” (Read the full redacted report.)
May 23, 2022
The Department of the Air Force announced the retirements of several key leaders within the Air Force and Space Force on May 23, while also unveiling more than a dozen new assignments for current or future one-star generals.