Army Times : Relationship with woman cost Byrnes his job

August 11, 2005

Attorney: Relationship with woman cost Byrnes his job

Maj. Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, shown speaking at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last October, was relieved as commander of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). — Rob Curtis / Army Times
A lawyer representing a four-star general has clarified allegations that caused him to be relieved of command. Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, commanding general of the Training and Doctrine Command was fired Monday on allegations of an extramarital affair.

“The allegation against Gen. Byrnes involves a consensual, adult relationship with a woman who is not in the military, nor is a civilian employee of the military or the federal government,” according to an e-mail statement from Byrnes’s attorney, Lt. Col. David H. Robertson. “Gen. Byrnes has agreed to the release of this information,” said Robertson, an attorney in the Army’s Trial Defense Service.

A statement published on the Army’s official Web site Aug. 9 stated that “the investigation upon which this relief is based is undergoing further review to determine the appropriate final disposition of this matter.” The relief of Byrnes was directed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the statement said.

“Gen. Byrnes and his wife separated in May 2004. They remained separated until their divorce became final on 8 Aug 2005,” Robertson wrote to Army Times, indicating that the couple maintained separate domiciles and did not appear together at official Army functions following their separation.

. The Pentagon confirmed that the investigation was conducted by the Defense Department Inspector General’s office and handed down to the Army IG.

Byrnes, a Field Artillery officer, had been at the helm of TRADOC at Fort Monroe, Va., since November 2002 and was expected to retire this fall after 36 years of service. During his tenure at TRADOC he oversaw the writing of doctrine for the reorganization of the Army into modular units of action. He also helped implement the tenets contained in the Warrior Ethos, the Army’s defining principles of service.

TRADOC has operational oversight of 33 of the Army’s training schools, and includes the U.S. Army Accessions Command and the Recruiting Command.

Between 1997 and 1999 Byrnes was commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and commander of Multi-National Division (North), Stabilization Force and Operation Joint Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Prior to taking over at TRADOC, he was assistant vice chief of staff of the Army and deputy chief of staff of the Army for programs from 1999 to 2001 and later was director of the Army staff in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army for a year.
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