Hesterman Retires With Three Stars

The former assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force, who was removed from office in March after a USAF Inspector General investigation found he engaged in an unprofessional relationship as a two-star general, was retired as a three-star May 1, the Air Force said. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek confirmed that Lt. Gen. John Hesterman was retired in grade after a review. “In the case of retirements, the Secretary of Defense retains the authority to determine satisfactory or non-satisfactory service for all officers in the grades of 0-9 or 0-10 who have adverse or reportable information,” Stefanek said. In Hesterman’s case, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James made a recommendation to Defense Secretary Ash Carter “based on the recommendation of the supervisor, the recommendation of an officer grade determination board, consideration of DOD-wide precedents, and very extensive consideration of the nature of the misconduct, when it occurred, and the accomplishments of the individual in the last grade,” she said in a written statement. The IG report found a “string of suggestive emails” supported allegations that Hesterman had an unprofessional relationship with an Air Force lieutenant colonel between March and May 2011, and that the relationship “seriously compromised his standing as an officer.”