An Army general’s promotion to the four-star rank was rejected by the White House after he came under scrutiny for the slow response time securing the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, effectively moving the officer into retirement, according to a news report.
The Washington Post first reported that the White House refused to send a nomination to the Senate for Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt to become the four-star general leading Army Futures Command.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville supported the nomination of Piatt, the Post reported.
Even if Piatt’s nomination was sent to Congress, it would have faced an uphill battle due to allegations that he had reservations about deploying the National Guard during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Piatt, according to the Post, said on a conference call on Jan. 6 that he didn’t like the optics of the Guard standing in a police line in front of the Capitol building. But Piatt has also denied that and said Army leaders did not hesitate to escalate the request to deploy the Guard.
Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith told the Post that Piatt ”has the full trust and confidence of Army senior leaders to execute the immense responsibility this position requires” and agreed to stay in his current position at the request of Army leaders Wormuth and McConville.
In September, the White House ultimately nominated a different officer, Lt. Gen. James Rainey, to lead Army Futures Command.
Rainey was promoted to four-star general and took over the modernization-focused command in Austin, Texas, in October.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.