General William Ward would now be retired at the grade of lieutenant general, the Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said on Wednesday while informing reporters on the decision taken by Panetta in this regard.
"The department of the army will also seek to recoup roughly $82,000 in expenses stemming from General Ward's misconduct in travel, misuse of military aircraft, misuse of staff, and the receipt of reimbursements to which he was not entitled," he said.
In June, the department of defence inspector general issued a report of investigation substantiating that General Ward had engaged in numerous substantiated acts of misconduct related to misuse of government funds during his tenure as commander of US Africa command.
Since departing US Africa command, by operation of law General Ward reverted to the grade of major general and is currently serving as a special assistant to the army vice
chief of staff in that grade.
"Panetta insists that leaders within the department of defence exemplify both professional excellence and sound judgement," Little said, adding that Panetta is committed to ensuring that any improprieties or misconduct by senior officers are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Image: William Ward would now be retired at the grade of lieutenant general