Military

Top Army General Demoted over Gifts, Trips

Used aides to escort wife to spa and shopping.

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Last year, the four-star Army general once in charge of all U.S. military operations in Africa was quietly reduced in rank for unexplained reasons. Now we know why William "Kip" Ward's career ended in disgrace.

Ward was the first commanding general of U.S. Africa Command, the youngest of the military's prestigious regional commands. According to an inquiry by the Pentagon's inspector general, Ward — who is now a major general — used his official U.S. military aircraft for personal travel; ferried his wife on trips "that were not unquestionably official"; had his aides escort Mrs. Ward on errands "to a spa and a department store"; and accepted "complimentary meals and Broadway show tickets" to a Denzel Washington play from a "prohibited source with multiple DoD [Department of Defense] contracts."