National Security

Ash Carter Fires Top Military Aide Over Alleged Misconduct

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ron Lewis (left) / AP

Defense Secretary Ash Carter fired his top military aide, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ron Lewis, Thursday over allegations of misconduct.

The Associated Press reported that Carter became aware of the allegations Tuesday night, after which he referred the matter to the Defense Department inspector general, according to an anonymous senior defense official.

The allegations reportedly surprised Carter, leading the Defense secretary to take a meeting with Lewis Thursday morning about the situation.

"I expect the highest possible standards of conduct from the men and women in this department particularly from those serving in the most senior positions," Carter said in a statement Thursday. "There is no exception."

Carter also said that the Army could take action against Lewis after the inspector general completes his investigation.

Lewis, who has long served as a top military aide to Carter even before he assumed the position of secretary of defense, was reassigned after his removal and will work in the office of the vice chief of the Army as the investigation ensues.

Defense officials would not offer details of the allegations, including whether they involve criminal behavior. They did say Lewis was not arrested and that the matter was not being investigated by other authorities.