Updated Jul 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Army suspends general after tweet appearing to mock Jill Biden

Then-Major General Gary J. Volesky. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

The Army has suspended a three-star general's contract and placed him under investigation after he posted a tweet that appeared to mock first lady Jill Biden, USA Today reports.

The big picture: Retired Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, the Army's former top spokesman, responded to a tweet from Biden that said the rights of women had been stolen in the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  • "For nearly 50 years, women have had the right to make our own decisions about our bodies. Today, that right was stolen from us," Biden tweeted.
  • "Glad to see you finally know what a woman is," Volesky said.

Details: Lt. Gen. Theodore Martin, commander of the Combined Arms Center, suspended Volesky while the investigation is underway, Cynthia Smith, an Army spokesperson, told USA Today.

  • Volesky, who was in charge of the Army's 101st Airborne Division, had signed a contract after he retired to advise active-duty officers as a senior mentor.

Between the lines: Volesky's response is a breach of decorum for a retired military officer, USA Today writes.

  • It's an unusual step into partisan politics by an official the Pentagon is paying, especially since the department typically steers clear of such matters.
  • Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was a "mistake" to make a June 2020 appearance with then-President Trump in Lafayette Square. "My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics," he said in a video message several days later.
  • Following the Jan. 6 insurrection, Milley and the other Joint Chiefs sent a memo reminding troops of their oath to the Constitution.

Flashback: Volesky responded to a tweet from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) when she announced that she would be on the Jan. 6 select committee and that their "oath to the Constitution must be above partisan politics."

  • "This is all about partisan politics," Volesky said.
Go deeper