If we thought California was AFU, look no further than the California Air National Guard for additional proof. Look no further than the comedy team of BG Magram and MG Baldwin.
The National Guard is a cesspool of corruption as MilitaryCorruption.com as described in our recent articles about Jane Doe and the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. Volumes 1-5.
The California Air National Guard is the second largest in the United States. Their mission includes search and rescue, an alert detachment that includes an F-15 fighter wing and MQ-9 Predators along with a combat communications group which provides a variety of intelligence, cyber and communications satellite support.
BG Jeffrey Magram enlisted in the California Air National Guard in 1985 as a musician in the 561st Air Force Band. We’re thinking he played the skin flute as he smoothly rose up through the ranks to brigadier general.
Staff writer Paul Pringle on the Los Angeles Times wrote an article describing the antics of both BG Jeff Magram and MG David Baldwin. Below is the article in its entirety with our comments threaded between paragraphs in red.
The LA Times article was published 7 JAN 2023, and is entitled, “A general is fired from the scandal-plagued California National Guard.” It’s not too long and you may find it interesting…
In yet another ouster of a top commander for the troubled California National Guard, a brigadier general has been fired after internal inquiries found that he inappropriately used military personnel for personal tasks, had a subordinate complete part of his cybersecurity training and otherwise engaged in conduct that seeded distrust in the ranks.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Magram will be “involuntarily transferred” next week to the U.S. Air Force retired reserve, an action that is “parallel” to a firing, California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Brandon Hill said Friday.
Sorry, he wasn’t fired. He was transferred. To civilians, being fired conjures up the image of losing your job, your paycheck, your house, your car, your wife, your dog, your pension and everything else. In the military being “fired” means being transferred until they can quietly retire you after the story fades from the public consciousness. Again, Magram was not fired, he was transferred. Being moved to another job without any loss in pay, is not an action that “parallels a firing.” Far from it.
Magram, who was once director of the Guard’s air staff, is the fifth general to resign, retire or be fired in the wake of scandals exposed by Times investigations of the organization over the last four years.
Again, whether these generals or admirals resign, retire or fired, they still get a pension and are allowed to retire with an honorable discharge to avoid prosecution. Other military members are dishonorably discharged and sent to Ft. Leavenworth. Equal Justice Under Law, give us a break.
Most of the allegations against Magram were first disclosed in a Times report in June. Weeks later, the longtime head of the Guard, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, retired.
In an email to The Times, Hill said an internal disciplinary board substantiated the allegations against Magram, and the general was removed “for cause.” The board’s action came after two separate inquiries into Magram’s conduct by military inspectors general; directives to dismiss him were issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and Baldwin’s successor, Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, the Guard’s acting adjutant general.
Attempts to reach Magram for comment were unsuccessful. Beevers and Newsom did not respond to requests for comment made through spokespersons.
In a memorandum to Magram that The Times obtained this week, Beevers wrote, “Your conduct has caused me to lose faith, trust, and confidence in your ability to continue serving.”
That’s code-speak for, “I did my best to protect you but that darn LA Times newspaper blew it up in our face, so you’ll have to retire a bit earlier than expected. We’ll have a party to celebrate your retirement.”
The 20,000-member Guard, a branch of the California Military Department, which is also led by the adjutant general, serves a dual mission that includes responding to emergencies in the state, such as earthquakes, wildfires and civil disturbances, and assisting U.S. armed forces in military operations overseas.
Magram attained the rank of assistant adjutant general and had been part of Baldwin’s inner circle. However, in 2021, Baldwin suspended him with pay and reassigned him after a Times report that Guard members were concerned that their leaders had readied an F-15C fighter jet for a possible mission in which the aircraft would fly low over civilian protesters to frighten and disperse them.
Last thing we heard was that protesting peacefully in the United States was lawful conduct not deserving of being buzzed by tax-payer purchased fighter jets. How much you want to bet they were planning to go supersonic and disburse the crowd with a heart-stopping sonic boom.
Baldwin denied that the jet had been prepared for such a deployment and said the move against Magram had nothing to do with the report. He said the same about his decision to fire Maj. Gen. Gregory Jones, commander of the air wing of the Guard.
Magram became the focus of more upheaval last summer, when The Times disclosed that an internal probe found that he had on-duty Guard members drive him up to 120 miles round-trip to personal dental and medical appointments at Travis Air Force Base, according to a confidential report on the inquiry. The document quoted one unnamed Guard member as saying he did not want to drive Magram because “my job is to take care of the airmen in the state of California and not be a chauffeur for a general.”
Bravo my friend, but telling a general that will get you a one-way trip to Ft. Leavenworth. The general will have drugs planted on you or in your car to make all that happen. Better to be a chauffeur, than to pace the floor in a prison cell.
A Guard member who took Magram’s mother shopping was quoted in the report as saying that “she was particular. When I say particular, it had to be at Whole Foods. … It just took her a long time to decide what she wanted, a lot of comparison shopping amongst products.”
Gives Driving Miss Daisy and whole new meaning.
Magram had generally confirmed the members’ accounts of running errands for him, according to the report. He said he believed that having subordinates give him rides to medical appointments was consistent with the Air Force’s “wingman concept,” in which Guard members look out for one another.
Yeah! Unfortunately, the general expects the enlisted and junior officers to “look out” for him, but he could give a rat’s ass about the lower ranking members of the Guard.
“I want to reiterate that had I ever heard of any ethics issues like this from subordinates, peers or commanders, or perceptions of such, I would have corrected or addressed it on the spot,” Magram said in a statement to an inspector general.
However, Magram had been counseled in 2017 that tasking Guard members for rides to personal appointments was inappropriate, the report stated, adding that his “wingman” argument “rings hollow.” The investigation similarly faulted him for using an underling to work on his travel awards accounts, including for personal trips.
The inquiry also determined that Magram failed to complete his annual cybersecurity training and thus had lower-ranking Guard members each day request that headquarters temporarily restore his computer access. This went on for about two weeks, until he had the training completed by a subordinate. Magram said in his statement that he was late in completing the training because of “a tremendously busy operational tempo.”
Kinda reminds is of the fraud perpetrated by Lieutenant General Andre Piggee.
The Air Force initially issued a letter of admonishment to Magram as a result of the first inspector general investigation. After queries by The Times, however, the Guard said a second inquiry had substantiated similar allegations against him, and another round of discipline was pending. That culminated in his firing.
Here they go with that “firing” word… he was fricking transferred with no loss in rank or pay. That is not a FIRING for Heaven sake.
The Guard memo obtained by The Times says Magram on several occasions “wrongfully encouraged or requested subordinates” to perform tasks or run errands for him outside their military duties, such as giving him rides to personal appointments. The document also cites the cybersecurity episode as grounds for dismissing him, stating that he “let a subordinate click through the training questions and obtain a certificate of completion for you.”
There’s another semantical problem with the word “dismissing.” He was not dismissed, he was transferred. The readers believe he was “dismissed” from the military with a dishonorable discharge. The word “dismissed” is given to officers who receive a dishonorable discharge.
The memo further recounts that a 2021 survey of Guard members found that they “experienced significant issues with unit cohesion, good order, and military discipline because of [Magram’s] conduct.”
In early 2019, a Times report disclosed internal complaints of reprisals against whistleblowers and allegations of a cover-up of misconduct among the Guard leadership. The complaints focused on the organization’s Fresno air base and included an incident in which someone urinated in a female Guard member’s boots. Baldwin later removed the commander of the Guard’s air side, Maj. Gen. Clay Garrison. The commander of the 144th Fighter Wing at the Fresno base was also removed.
Hey, they’re getting better. Instead of fired, he was “removed.” Again, this is another word that makes the readers believe the MG was fired. In Garrison’s case he was TRANSFERRED to another job where he could quietly retire on full retirement pay and benefits. No real punishment.
In 2020, in response to another Times report, Newsom’s office denounced the Guard’s decision to send a military spy plane to suburban El Dorado Hills, where Baldwin lived, to help civilian authorities monitor demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd. Baldwin said the fact that he resided in El Dorado Hills, where the protests were small and peaceful, had no bearing on the deployment of the RC-26B reconnaissance plane.
The general had to make sure the protestors were not looting his house, so he sent a spy plane. Do the words fraud, waste and abuse come to mind?
The Times reported last year that an internal inquiry substantiated allegations that Brig. Gen. David Hawkins made anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs, including that Jews are unrepentant sinners and that gay marriage is a reason terrorists attack the United States. Hawkins received a letter of reprimand as a result, the Guard said. Responding to a subsequent Times query, the Guard confirmed in June that Hawkins had resigned.
Why not tell the complete truth? Hawkins was allowed to retire to avoid prosecution for conduct unbecoming an officer. Notice the military seldom conducts an investigation and if it does, it’s a sham. We bet people are in Ft. Leavenworth right now who had their conversation “misconstrued.” The military justice system is pathetic at best.
Hawkins told The Times that “those allegations are largely untrue” and specifically denied making the statement about terrorist attacks. He said he believed the allegations were lodged by someone who overheard and misconstrued a conversation he had with a chaplain.
RECALL THE CASE OF MAJOR DANIEL E. JOHNSON
When we hear Air National Guard, we immediately think of the Citadel graduate Major Daniel E. Johnson who embezzled $7,122 from the military in a double billing scheme he concocted.
In civilian life, Maj. Johnson was the solicitor (district attorney) of Richland and Kershaw Counties in South Carolina and was also a JAG officer in the Air National Guard.
Major Johnson frequently departed on business trips taking another man’s wife with him. For some reason, he didn’t tell his own wife about his little “business” trips.
Upon returning from his so-called business trips for either the Guard or Richland County, Johnson made copies of his receipts and submitted one set to the county and one set to the National Guard to receive two reimbursements.
His double-billing scheme totaled about $44,000 before he was caught. A total of $7,122 was embezzled from the military. Remember, he’s a JAG officer throwing military members in prison for lesser misconduct than he was doing on any given day.
To make sure Major Johnson could not be held accountable for charges specific to the military (conduct unbecoming, dereliction of duty, adultery, etc.), the military deferred Johnson’s case to the civilians.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Attorney failed to include the fact Johnson conspired to have the husband of the man’s wife he was “entertaining” on those so-called business trips (at taxpayer expense) thrown in jail for two years on trumped up charges.
The Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered the angry husband either be charged or released from prison. Johnson begrudgingly had the man released, but refused to expunge his “criminal” record for many years later.
Daniel Johnson was charged with nearly 50 violations of law, but for his cooperation, the charges were reduced to two sending him to prison for less than a year.
The Air National Guard did nothing. They felt the honored Citadel grad had suffered enough and quietly allowed Johnson to slip out the back door with an Honorable Discharge. How many military members were court martialed with Johnson’s help and received Bad Conduct or Dishonorable Discharges?
There is never any accountability for these clowns. These officer scumbags do whatever the hell they want. If they get caught, they retire a bit sooner than planned. This is truly why MilitaryCorruption.com exists.
We will continue to expose military corruption because there’s no end to it. These officers are a selected group of people who consider themselves above the law. That’s because the system allows them to remain above the law.
To Brigadier General Jeffrey “take my test for me” Magram, and
Major General David “Buzz the Protestors” Baldwin;
we hope you both slip on banana peel, or worse.
As for us, we will continue the fight for truth and expose the corrupt. Be looking for Capt. Wiseman S. Gould. He’s sailing into battle soon commanding the HMS Integrity fighting against these scallywags.