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Defense Secretary Fires Top Military Assistant Due to 'Misconduct'

Then-Brig. Gen. Ronald F. Lewis in an official portrait. Lewis, now a lieutenant general, was fired Nov. 12, 2015, as Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's top military aid for allegations of misconduct. (Defense Department photo)
Then-Brig. Gen. Ronald F. Lewis in an official portrait. Lewis, now a lieutenant general, was fired Nov. 12, 2015, as Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's top military aid for allegations of misconduct. (Defense Department photo)

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday fired his top military assistant, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Lewis, for allegations of misconduct that were referred to the Pentagon's Inspector General.

In a brief statement, Carter did not specify the type of misconduct alleged against Lewis, but said, "I expect the highest possible standards of conduct from the men and women in this Department, particularly from those serving in the most senior positions. There is no exception."

By referring the case to the Pentagon's Inspector General, Carter appeared to suggest that the alleged misconduct was not criminal. Once the IG investigation is complete, "The Department of the Army will then take action as appropriate," the defense secretary said.

Lewis, 50, a career air cavalry officer and a West Point graduate, has spent considerable time in Pentagon posts in between deployments. He served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot.

He became the Army's chief of public affairs in June last year and in February was named Carter's senior military assistant.

--Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@military.com.

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