The 2007 class of retiring generals

By Bryan Bender

Of the 39 three-and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007, 34 went to work for the defense industry. Their careers provide a snapshot of the diverse roles that America's former military leaders play in the private defense business.

Founded or run consulting firms

Gen. John P. Abizaid, who as commander of the US Central Command was responsible for all US military forces in the Middle East, now runs his own consulting firm, JPA Partners, and was one of the founding partners of Star Strategies Group, a collection of retired generals that boasts "contacts in the United States, Middle East, Europe, and Asia for business and military clients."

Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Baptiste, who retired as deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee, started his own consulting firm, TBaptiste and Associates, and also worked with The Durango Group, a consulting firm that specializes in offering the services of retired senior military officers. He is now president of the National Center for Simulation, a nonprofit consortium of government, academic, and corporate partners. "I did not want to go to work for a for-profit corporation," Baptiste said. "I didn't want to go back into the Pentagon and peddle. The consulting work I did was to help firms write proposals to win contracts."

Gen. Bryan "Doug" Brown, who retired as head of the US Special Operations Command, now has his own Florida firm, Tier 4 Consulting, and is a principal at the Patriot Defense Group, which employs a host of former military personnel who carry out support tasks for the military, from the mundane to security operations. "We don't want to pay for somebody [in uniform] who is defending this country to stand at a gate and check IDs or stand in the back of a mess hall," said Brown, who also sits on the board of several other defense firms.

Vice Adm. Barry M. Costello, who retired as commander of the Navy's Third Fleet, founded his own consulting firm, The Costello Group, and works for AMI International, an international consulting firm that lists a who's who in the defense industry as its clients.

Gen. Ronald E. Keys, who retired as head of the Air Combat Command, runs his own consulting firm, RK Solutions Enterprises, and is a member of the military advisory board of the Center for Naval Analyses, a government funded think tank that advises the Pentagon. He is also a senior advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit think tank, which says he consults for defense companies "on advanced technology, cyber planning and operations, marketing decisions, strategic planning, and policy development issues."

Vice Adm. Justin D. McCarthy, who retired as deputy chief of naval operations, now runs his own consulting firm, Silver Eagle Consulting, and also works for The Spectrum Group, one of the largest consulting firms in Washington specializing in retired generals and admirals. "I was surprised at how many companies hire guys for their influence and who they know," he said.

Gen. Peter Pace, who retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is president and CEO of SM&A Strategic Advisors, a defense and aerospace consulting firm that boasts it has worked on 150 programs worth $1 trillion. He is a member of the senior defense advisory committee at Finmeccanica, the Italian defense conglomerate, and is also on the board of several other Pentagon contractors.


Lt. Gen. Robert Blackman, who commanded Marine Corps Forces Command, is an independent defense consultant in Norfolk, Virginia.

Lt. Gen. Joseph R. Inge, who retired as deputy commander of the US Northern Command, responsible or the defense of North America, is now a private consultant. According to the Corporation for Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. where he is a board member, Inge has a "diverse portfolio that includes support to industry, government, and the military."

Adm. John B. Nathman, who was commander of the Navy's Fleet Forces Command, is now on the board of directors of Burdeshaw Associates, Ltd., one of the largest so-called "rent-a-general" consulting firms, and also advises several defense contractors.

Lt. Gen. Garry R. Trexler, the former deputy commander of U.S. Forces Korea, is now an independent consultant and an associate at Burdeshaw Associates Ltd., one of the largest so-called "rent-a-general" consulting firms ringing the Washington Beltway.

Vice Adm. J. Kevin Moran, who oversaw the Navy's training and education programs, retired to become the chief operating officer of the Investor Relations Group, a corporate communications firm that caters to technology companies.

Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Yakovac, who retired as the deputy to the Army's top acquisition official, is a consultant for BAE Systems and an associate at The Cohen Group, a defense consulting firm that includes several retired generals and admirals. "You spend 35 years in an ethical place," he said. "You don't leave that at the door. But you always have some sheep who stray from the herd."

Lt. Gen. Robert T. Clark, who retired as the commander of the US Fifth Army, spent his first year out of uniform as a private consultant for Booz-Allen Hamilton, a government consulting firm, and says he is now a paid adviser to the Army. The only work he did directly for a defense company was working on a Pentagon contract held by General Dynamics to mentor senior officers in the military but did not include advising the company itself.

Defense industry executives

Lt. Gen. Steven W. Boutelle retired as the Army's chief information officer and was appointed vice president of the Global Government Solutions Group at Cisco Systems, the hardware and software giant that sells to military contractors. He also sits on the boards of directors of several Pentagon contractors.

Vice Adm. Albert M. Calland III, who was deputy director for the National Counterterrorism Center and deputy director of the CIA, is now executive vice president for security and intelligence integration at CACI, which provides information technologies to defense, intelligence, and homeland security agencies.

Lt. Gen. John M. Curran, who retired as deputy commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, became vice president of the Huntsville, Alabama, operation of defense conglomerate L3 Communications, a position created expressly for him and is responsible for interfacing with the company's customers in the region, where the Army has a series of weapons development commands.

Lt. Gen. Dell L. Dailey served as the State Department's counterterrorism coordinator after a four-decade career in Army special operations and is now president of PAE, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin that specializes in logistics and military training.

Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon, who retired as the US military representative to NATO and was previously head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, in charge of developing new weapons and equipment, went to work for defense giant Raytheon, where he is president of Raytheon International, Europe.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey B. Kohler, who ran the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees US arms sales to foreign nations, is now vice president for international strategy at Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems. Kohler declined to be interviewed, but the company said in an announcement when he was hired in early 2008 that his experience would help to "broaden Boeing's global reach."

Vice Adm. Walter B. Massenburg, who retired as commander of the Naval Air Systems Command, went to work for defense giant BAE Systems as vice president of the Electronic & Integrated Solutions division in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Vice Adm. James D. McArthur, Jr., who retired as commander of the Naval Network Warfare Command, was hired the same year to be vice president of Lockheed Martin's Center for Innovation, the company's experimental laboratory.

Vice Adm. Charles L. Munns, a retired nuclear submarine commander, become chief executive officer of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, which is owned by several large defense companies, including Northrop Grumman and Honeywell, and is under contract to run the Savannah River National Laboratory in Georgia. which is part of the nation's nuclear weapons complex.

Vice Adm. Stanley R. Szemborski, who was deputy director for program analysis in the office of the secretary of defense, went to work for Northrop Grumman as its vice president for corporate strategy, based in Washington.

Vice Adm. James M. Zortman, who retired as head of Naval Air Forces, was appointed less than a year later as vice president of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems, a prime contractor for Navy aircraft and weapons systems

Others in defense industry

Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, who retired as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as chairman of Alenia North America, the US subsidiary of an Italian defense company, and is now on the board of defense companies Boeing, SRA International, and the MITRE Corporation, a government-funded defense research center. He stressed that he also does non-defense work, including as a board member of Monster Worldwide and the Naval Academy Foundation. "I don't spend a huge amount of time on the defense side."

Gen. Michael W. Hagee, who retired as the commandant of the Marine Corps, is on the board of directors of arms manufacturer Remington, defense contractor IAP Worldwide Services, and is a member of the Pentagon's influential Defense Science Board.

Lt. Gen. Jan C. Huly, who retired as the deputy commandant of the Marine Corps, is an independent consultant who has worked for defense contractors Booz-Allen Hamilton and EOD technology, and sits on the boards of several other defense technology firms.

Gen. James L. Jones, who retired as commander of NATO, became an adviser to Boeing, Chevron, and other major companies before being tapped by President Obama to be national security adviser from 2009 to 2010.

Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, who retired as superintendent of the US Naval Academy and was previously assistant chief of naval operations for missile defense, is on the board of EOWaves, Inc., which manufactures components for radar and communications systems. He also has his own consulting firm, Big Sky Insights.

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, former chief of staff of the Army, had his own defense consulting firm, Quiet Pros, before he was called back to active duty in 2003 and is now on the boards of Dyncorp., CAE, Inc., and other defense companies.

Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, who commanded the Army Corps of Engineers, went to work for defense engineering conglomerate Bechtel, where he managed its military construction projects around the world.

Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who retired as the commander of the Army's XVII Airborne Corps and Multinational Forces in Iraq, spent a few months on the board of USFalcon, an information technology and systems engineering firm specializing in defense. He had consulted for the Pentagon, but does not now have any industry ties. "One of the reasons I chose not to do that is that I felt like I would be taking advantage of a revolving door," he said. "There is a lot of hypocrisy there."

Lt. Gen. Donald J. Wetekam, who retired from the Air Force as the deputy chief of staff for logistics, was recommended by another retired general for a job at AAR Corp., which was looking for a retired general to help expand its military supply business. "I was the first retired flag officer they hired," Wetekam, who now runs the company's business development division, said in an interview. "I know exactly what the Air Force has in mind," he said. "I can kind of project what might be on the other side of the fence. He was followed at the company by at least two other retired generals."

Did not enter defense industry

Vice Adm. Donald C. Arthur, Jr. who retired as surgeon general of the Navy, became the chief medical officer of Main Line Health, a network of acute care hospitals in suburban Philadelphia.

Lt. Gen. William C. Boykin, who retired as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, is a professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

Vice Adm. Lewis W. Crenshaw, who retired as the deputy chief of naval operations in the charge of the budget, went to work for Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm where he is now a partner. "I wanted to be valued for something other than having a good rolodex," he said. "When I was in the Navy I was in charge of a $130 billion budget. Everybody laughed at my jokes and returned by calls. It wasn't because of my personality."

Lt. Gen. Dennis R. Larsen, who retired as head of all Air Force training and education, is retired and living in Texas.

Vice Adm. David C. Nichols, Jr., the former deputy commander of the US Central Command in the Middle East, is retired and living in Florida.