The sex scandal that led to the resignation of David Petraeus, one of the country's most decorated soldiers and director of the CIA, rocked the country as details about an alleged extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell became public.
Petraeus is perhaps the highest ranking officer laid low by scandal recently, but he is far from the first.
Several senior officers in recent months have been investigated or demoted for inappropriate behavior including sexual assault, corruption, or simply showing a lack of good judgment. media:17698561
David Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA and admitted to having an extramarital affair. Though, he did not name the woman, sources say she is his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The affair was exposed when the FBI launched an investigation into emails Broadwell sent to another woman, Jill Kelley, a close friend of the former four star general, sources told ABC News. Petraeus was one of the most admired military minds of his generation, orchestrating the U.S. successes in Iraq and Afghanistan and the affair sent a shockwave through the military and intelligence communities.
The FBI investigation that led to Petraeus' resignation inadvertently revealed evidence that Gen. John Allen, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, was sending tens of thousands of "potentially inappropriate" messages to a woman who was not his wife. According to law enforcement sources, Allen sent 20,000 to 30,000 messages, some described by sources as "inappropriate" and "flirtatious" to Jill Kelley, the same woman whose complaint to the FBI led to the discovery of Petraeus' affair. Allen denies that he and Kelley had an affair and an intermediary described the emails as "innocuous." President Obama so far is backing Allen.
During what was already a bad week for the military's top brass came news that another senior official, four-star general William Ward, who commanded U.S. forces in Africa, had been demoted. Ward was the subject of a year-long inquiry that found he had inappropriately spent tens of thousands of dollars on lavish trips and hotels and used government aircraft to transport family members around the world. He was ordered to repay $82,000 in restitution.
In 2010, Stanley McChrystal, a celebrated general commanding international forces in Afghanistan, tenured his resignation to President Obama and issued a statement of apology after a magazine profile suggested he and his staff openly mocked civilian leaders including Vice President Joe Biden. "I extend my sincerest apology for this profile," McChrystal said after being recalled to Washington to meet the president face to face. Following McChrystal's resignation, he was replaced in Afghanistan by Gen. David Petraeus.
In June, Col. James Johnson was expelled from the Army and forced to pay a $300,000 after a court martial found his conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman when he was found guilty of adultery, cohabitation and bigamy -- all military offenses -- for conducting an affair with an Iraqi woman.
Before news of the Petraeus affair broke, the scandal that shook the military to its core was the ongoing case against of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair. Sinclair, former deputy commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, faces a possible trial on allegations that he committed a string of sex crimes involving four female officers and a civilian. The case is currently in the equivalent of a military grand jury. He has not entered a plea.