An Army National Guard two-star general, whose duties included overseeing the service’s sexual assault prevention and equal opportunity programs, was fired from his post following an Army Inspector General investigation that found he presided over a workplace rife with sexism and toxicity.
According to USA Today, which first broke the story, Maj. Gen. Eric Little, the director of the National Guard Bureau’s Manpower and Personnel directorate, was fired due to “counterproductive leadership.” Little’s former office is also known as the Bureau’s J-1, a reference to its staff numbering designation.
In one example detailed by USA Today, Little was reportedly dismissive after he was informed of workplace misconduct directed toward women under his command.
“Air Force women are emotional,” he said, according to USA Today, which quoted documents obtained by the publication. “I know this because all of my best friends are women.”
According to his official biography, and USA Today’s reporting, one of the complaints against Little was filed the same month he took over as the head of personnel.
Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith confirmed to Army Times that the service’s inspector general substantiated complaints against Little, who was removed from his position after “appropriate administrative action.” Smith did not specify which complaints were substantiated or provide details on what disciplinary action Little faced as a result.
“The United States Army Inspector General Agency has concluded its investigations into allegations against Maj. Gen. Eric K. Little with several substantiated findings,” Smith said in her emailed statement. “Maj. Gen. Little received appropriate administrative action and is now currently serving as the Special Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau. We consider this matter closed.”
Little’s official biography indicates that before being promoted to major general to become the National Guard’s top personnel officer, he had never served in such a capacity. According to his bio, the quartermaster officer never attended human resources professional military education, either, though it’s uncertain whether he attended shorter-length classes that don’t qualify as military schools.
Army Times senior reporter Davis Winkie contributed to this report.
James is the managing editor of Military Times and the editor of Army Times. Prior to Military Times, James worked as the deputy editor of Task & Purpose. He is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and deployed twice to Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment — first to Marjah in 2010, and then to Kajaki and Sangin in 2011.