Candidate for Chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff Had Affair

In what same are decrying as proof that a double-standard for women and men exists in the military, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen has told key lawmakers that one of his candidates to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff had an adulterous affair. Air Force General Joseph Ralston, now the vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had an affair thirteen years ago, but was never charged or reprimanded for the affair. Cohen claims the affair was outside of military law; Ralston was separated at the time of the affair and later divorced. Yet, earlier this week, an Army two-star general has announced his retirement in light of the revelation that he had an affair with a civilian woman while separated from his wife. Recently, the Air Force had threatened to court-martial Lt. Kelly Flinn, who is not married, for her affair with a civilian married man. Flinn was drummed out of the military with a general discharge late last month. Cohen has not yet decided who he will pick as his candidate to serve as the chair of the Joint Chiefs; two other men are being considered in addition to Gen. Ralston.


The New York Times - June 5, 1997

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