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AFMC Command News

Air Force two-star general will retire as a colonel

  • Published
  • By Headquarters AFMC Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley, the first Air Force general officer to be court-martialed and convicted, will retire as a colonel, with an effective date of June 1, 2023.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall made the final retirement officer grade determination.  

Cooley was relieved of command of the Air Force Research Laboratory on January 15, 2020, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead, related to alleged misconduct which was then under investigation.

During an April 2022 general court-martial proceeding, a military judge found Cooley guilty of one specification of abusive sexual contact for kissing a civilian woman without her consent in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 12, 2018.  He was sentenced to a reprimand and forfeiture of $10,910 pay per month for five months.

By policy, officers are not automatically entitled to retire at the highest rank held.  Instead, an officer is retired in the highest grade in which the officer served satisfactorily, as determined by the Secretary of the Air Force.