The high-level sacking marked the second time in three days that Washington has felt compelled to remove a senior commander in its nuclear warfare command. On Wednesday, the Navy announced that President Barack Obama had ordered the reassignment and demotion of Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, the deputy commander of the US Strategic Command, which has responsibility for all US nuclear forces, including land-based missiles, bombers and nuclear-armed submarines.
This unprecedented cashiering of top nuclear warfare commanders was attributed in both instances to "personal misconduct." In explaining Giardina's case, the Navy said he had been caught using counterfeit gambling chips at a casino in Iowa, near the Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha.
Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick stated that the removal of General Carey stemmed from an investigation into an episode of "personal misbehavior" during a temporary duty assignment last summer. He added, "The allegations are not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve sexual misconduct."
Unnamed officials cited by the Associated Press claimed that the charges were "linked to alcohol use," a rather common phenomenon in the US military.