Byrnes was relieved as commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command on Monday by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, according to a brief statement issued by Army headquarters at the Pentagon.
In that post, Byrnes oversaw all Army training programs and the development of war-fighting guidelines. It operates 33 training schools and centers on 16 Army installations and is headquartered at Fort Monroe, Va. Among the command's responsibilities is to oversee Army recruiting and initial recruit training.
"The investigation upon which this relief is based is undergoing further review to determine the appropriate final disposition of this matter," the Army statement said.
Although disciplinary action against general officers is not uncommon, it is extremely rare for a four-star general to be relieved of command. Byrnes held the position as commander of Training and Doctrine Command since November 2002. Before that he was director of the Army staff at Army headquarters in the Pentagon.
Byrnes' tenure at Training and Doctrine Command was already coming to a close, since his successor had been named — though not yet confirmed by the Senate — and Byrnes had not been nominated for another post. He was expected to retire.