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General demoted after affair, "swinging" lifestyle revealed

WASHINGTON -- An Army major general has been stripped of his stars and forced out of the military after a 30-year military career because of a long extramarital affair and “swinger” lifestyle.

An Army spokesman says Maj. Gen. David Haight was demoted by three steps to the rank of lieutenant colonel, a steep and rare downgrade for a senior officer.

The demotion will cost him more than $40,000 in annual retirement pay, based on pay scales for a lieutenant colonel and a two-star general with 30 years in the Army. And it slams the door on what was once a promising career.

Army Secretary Eric Fanning approved the board’s recommendation and made the final decision. The spokesman was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke anonymously.

Haight, the married father of four adult children, was leading an apparent double life, which was exposed publicly by USA Today in August. According to USA Today, he had an 11-year extramarital affair as well as multiple sexual partners, which put him at risk of espionage and blackmail. 

After an Army investigation that issued a report in April, Haight was fired in May from his job of running operations at the European Command. But his firing -- or the reasons for it -- were not made public. Haight formerly served as a top aide to Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which meant that Haight had access to top-secret, sensitive national security information.