Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts (Army)
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Army has removed from the command of its largest training post the one-star general suspended in May over charges of adultery and involvement in a physical altercation.
Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts was relieved of his command at Fort Jackson, S.C., on Thursday afternoon due to misconduct, said Army spokesman Harvey Perritt. Roberts faces nonjudicial punishment, or an Article 15, but he has a period of time to respond and the right to choose a court-martial instead.
The decision was made by Gen. Robert W. Cone, commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command in Fort Eustis, Va., Perritt said.
“This misconduct included adultery and a physical altercation,” he said. “This misconduct was not sexual assault or harassment; it was a breach of order and discipline that violated standards of the Army profession.”
In May, the Army said Roberts was in an altercation with another woman who was not his wife.
Roberts took command of Fort Jackson in April 2012. The veteran of three tours in Iraq has been in the Army for about 29 years.
His official Army biography produced when he took command of the post said he was married and the father of three children.
Cone’s decision came after he studied the results of an investigation undertaken by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, Perritt said in a telephone interview. He said the agency’s investigators had “examined the allegations, questioned witnesses and gathered evidence.”
“Gen. Cone relieved Brig. Gen. Roberts based on the evidence gathered,” Perritt said.
Asked whether any further action would be taken against Roberts, Perritt said “appropriate discipline in the form of non-judicial punishment has been initiated” against Roberts, but that no details could be made public due to privacy laws.
A civilian attorney for Roberts, Gary Myers, told Army Times, “The general will have a statement when a statement is appropriate, and appropriate is not defined by Army public affairs press releases.”
In other cases involving general officers, such administrative punishments have taken the form of a demotion in rank, a reduction in pay or in benefits such as retirement.
Roberts may choose to respond to the action taken against him within a brief period of time, and he has the right to seek a court-martial in lieu of the administrative punishment, Perritt said.
A call to Fort Jackson seeking comment from the general was not immediately returned.
In Roberts’ absence, Brig. Gen. Peggy Combs, the commandant of the Army’s chemical school at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., has been appointed interim commander. She is expected to serve until a new general officer is selected for the job.
Fort Jackson trains more than 50,000 new soldiers every year, which translates into more than half of all the Army’s male soldiers and 80 percent of all female soldiers.
Roberts came to Fort Jackson after serving in Iraq overseeing the training of Iraqi security forces.
His past postings include serving as the deputy commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox., Ky., and as commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team with the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.
He also worked at the White House military office and on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.
Staff writer Joe Gould contributed to this report.