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Lt. Gen. John Hesterman. Air Force photo.

Lt. Gen. John Hesterman, assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force, was removed from office March 17 after an Air Force Inspector General investigation substantiated misconduct that took place five years ago before he pinned on a third star. Most of the report’s analysis has been redacted, but the investigation found that “a string of suggestive emails, supports the conclusion” that between March and May 2011, Hesterman “wrongfully engaged in an unprofessional relationship” with an Air Force lieutenant colonel. The investigation also substantiated an allegation that the “inappropriate relationship … seriously compromised his standing as an officer,” and violated Article 133, conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. At the time, Hesterman was serving as the deputy director for politico-military affairs for Europe on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein issued Hesterman a letter of reprimand and removed him from his position as assistant vice chief. Hesterman has requested retirement, but Goldfein “also initiated an officer grade determination process, which is still ongoing,” according to an Air Force release. (Read the IG’s redacted report.)