A two-star general who was relieved from command of the 19th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas last year amid charges of sexual assault and other crimes is seeking to retire instead of facing a court-martial.
Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart's attorney — Jeffrey Addicott, a professor of law and director of the Warrior Defense Project at St. Mary's University School of Law — told Military.com late Thursday evening that they “submitted a request for retirement in lieu of court-martial” earlier in the week. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall will be in charge of approving or denying the request.
“When you have a retirement request in lieu of court-martial then that will be approved by the Secretary of the Air Force,” Addicott said. “And then you have a grade determination board to determine what grade you're going to retire at.”
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Stewart's case marks the second time in history that a U.S. Air Force general officer has been formally charged with a sexual crime. A projected start date for the trial is June 17.
In May, Air Education and Training Command announced that Stewart was being removed from his role as commander of the 19th Air Force “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead, related to alleged misconduct which is currently under investigation.” In October, he then faced an Article 32 hearing — a…