USAF Spec. Ops. general only receives counseling for fraud, abusive behavior

Brig. Gen. Brenda Cartier (Dennis Carlson/Air Force)

A brigadier general in charge of operations at the US Air Force Special Operations Command headquarters in Florida has been counseled after she mistreated subordinates and falsely claimed flight hours.

Brigadier General Brenda Carter reportedly logged false flight hours on an MC-130J in 2017, earning her extra monthly boost of $250 in flying incentive pay as a result.

According to the Air Force Times, an investigation revealed that Cartier showed up for an MC-130J flight with several other commanders in her Airman Battle Uniform, leading the crew to question whether or not she planned on performing aircrew tasks. In addition, she did not attend the pre-flight brief or even sit in an assigned aircrew seat.

“I just assumed that she was going to be a passenger,” one Airman told investigators.

Cartier claimed her job was to listen to in-flight communications on her headset, telling investigators that she was there to “monitor take-off and landing…watch the instruments, watch the fuels, just keep an eye on what the pilots are doing.”

After 4.2 hours of flight time, Cartier allegedly hogged four hours, leaving other Combat Systems Officers aboard the 0.2 hours needed for their flight time. This could not be proven by the investigators, though they did confirm she asked for flight hours.

In the end, the Inspector General concluded that Cartier made a false official statement with intent to deceive.

The investigation into Cartier began after members of her former unit, the 58th Special Operations Wing, filed complaints against her, citing the false flight hours and a toxic command climate.

In her previous role as a colonel in charge of the 58th from June of 2016 to July of 2018, Cartier reportedly was profane, quick to anger, disrespectful of those below her and often played favorites.

At one point, Cartier was accused of chastising an Airman for giving a subpar briefing, demanding that her subordinates “Bring me a human that can answer my questions.”

“Whether Col. Cartier said send ‘a human’ or send ‘someone,’ the statement had a lasting, negative effect on [redacted] and others present at the meeting, with witnesses recalling this instance as an example of Col. Cartier failing to treat a subordinate with dignity or respect,” the report said.

Cartier also reportedly referred to one officer as a “f***ing idiot” to her subordinates. At the time, the officer was going through a divorce.

While Cartier earned her star in August of 2018, the official ceremony is scheduled for June of this year.

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