COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A former commanding general of Fort Benning is now officially retired after being cleared of multiple allegations.
And he’s speaking out.
Retired Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe relinquished command at Fort Benning back in July after two years. He was planning to retire in October.
Multiple Army investigations into his command delayed that retirement date.
After months of delay, investigations, and uncertainty, Donahoe officially retired on Jan. 1.
And now he’s talking to WRBL about the last year he spent in uniform.
He was under the cloud of multiple military investigations connected to his command climate at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, the Army’s premier training post.
Here’s what Donahoe says triggered those Inspector General investigations.
“In my case, the allegations were I was mean to some of the subordinates,” Donahoe said. “I had a toxic command climate. Then, I hadn’t properly out-briefed the command climate survey. The last series of complaints included my social media use, which I had been a pretty active, still am pretty active, user of Twitter in a kind of messaging campaign.”
The Army Times, an independent military publication, broke down the social media allegations against Donahoe this way:
— There was one where he pushed back against Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s tirade against women in uniform.
— A second where he virtually waded into the crowd and debated right-wing trolls.
— And he traded public tweets with a lieutenant training under his command. He was offering support after she had been threatened with rape in an online comment.
“What happened with me – again a long process – but on the 10th of November I had a lengthy discussion with the vice chief of staff of the Army, where in fact they basically took that investigation and put it aside,” Donahoe said. “They said, OK, we are in receipt as the senior leadership of the Army. Then I had a conversation with him where I was allowed to retire honorably, at my current grade with no reprimand or administrative action.”
Donahoe was under these investigations during the majority of his command at Fort Benning. He had previously served Fort Benning as Chief of Staff.
Multiple military news outlets, including Army Times and Task and Purpose have covered the investigations into Donahoe’s command.