Marine 2-star to retire after promotion went unconfirmed
By Hope Hodge Seck
The Sunset Parade host, Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, director of Marine Corps Staff, left, poses for a photo with a guest during the parade reception at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington, Va., Aug. 5, 2014. The Sunset Parades are held every Tuesday evening during the summer months. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alejandro Sierras/Released)
A Marine two-star general will retire later this year after the Senate opted not to confirm his nomination for a third star.
Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, the current director of Marine Corps Staff at the Pentagon, was tapped for a third star in November 2014. Officials at Headquarters Marine Corps said Regner was also slated to serve as the deputy commandant of Manpower and Reserve Affairs, a three-star post, once the promotion was approved.
The nomination came a nearly a year after a damning Marine Corps Inspector General's report was made public. The report, which stemmed from an April 2012 complaint made by Sgt. Maj. Jayme Winders, found Regner had misused his authority by allowing subordinates to complete personal, menial tasks for him.
The report substantiated claims that uniformed Marines unpacked Regner's household good and set up for a party after he assumed command of Marine Forces Korea in 2011. It also found that Regner's subordinates had shined his shoes, filled his car with gas, picked up laundry, and completed other chore-like tasks that were not in line with their military duties.
Regner declined to comment when opted not to offer a statement to Marine Corps Times reported on the substantiated claims when the paper wrote about the IG report in February 2014. But he suggested to investigators that his subordinates had, at times, been acting on their own initiative.
"When you're a general, people want to do things, and you have to basically order them not to do those," Regner said, according to the report. "Otherwise, you find yourself in the situation I'm in today."
Following the report, there was little professional backlash. Regner kept his job as Marine Corps staff director and was nominated for promotion by the president in November. These nominations are typically approved as a matter of routine; it's rare that one is blocked or returned.
But that is exactly what happened in December 2014. According to the congressional record, Regner's nomination was returned to the president without comment.
A Senate Armed Services Committee official told Marine Corps Times that the committee may have just run out of time to act on the nomination as it was made so late in the year. The official, who was not present during the deliberations, spoke on the condition of anonymity. Regner's promotion nomination It was not resubmitted at the start of this year, the official said.
However, the committee did approve a bloc of promotion nominations Dec. 10, including that of then-Maj. Gen. Vincent Stewart, who was tapped for a third star the day after Regner was.
A spokesman for Headquarters Marine Corps, Lt. Col. John Caldwell, said Regner had requested retirement after his nomination was returned. Lt. Gen. James Laster is set to replace him as director of Marine Corps Staff.
And Maj. Gen. Mark Brilakis, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, was nominated April 22 for promotion to deputy commandant of Manpower and Reserve Affairs, where Regner had been was slated to serve. That nomination was approved April 30.
Regner declined to comment further had no further comment on the situation, Caldwell said.