Military

A Fired California Guard General Had Subordinates Run Errands, Chauffeur His Mom

January 10, 2023Tom Wyatt
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Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Magram will be involuntarily transferred to the Air Force retired reserve, a move that California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Brandon Hill called “parallel” to a discharge. Photos courtesy California Air National Guard.

For the fifth time in four years, a senior officer in the California National Guard is leaving their post under a cloud of misconduct.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Magram will be involuntarily transferred to the Air Force retired reserve, a move that California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Brandon Hill called “parallel” to a discharge.

Magram was until recently the state’s assistant adjutant general for its air component, responsible for the California Air National Guard’s five flying wings, composed of 4,900 members.

Magram becomes the fifth high ranking officer in the California National Guard or Air National Guard relieved or forced to retire since 2019.

129th Conducts Tests GINA

Then-Col. Jeffrey Magram (Lt.) in 2012. Photo by NPS Staff Writer, Kenneth A. Stewart.

Magram’s dismissal comes after inspector general inquiries found the brigadier general was inappropriately utilizing personnel for personal tasks, such as completing Magram’s online training and chauffeuring him to appointments. The LA Times reported that the IG found that Magram had a subordinate complete his annual security training after he was locked out of the Guard’s computer system, and had subordinates drive him more than 100 miles to a dental appointment and accompany his mother on a shopping trip to Whole Foods.

“Your conduct has caused me to lose faith, trust, and confidence in your ability to continue serving,” wrote Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, the California National Guard acting adjutant general, in a memorandum to Magram.

Magram’s entire career has been in the California Air National Guard, much of it as a rescue helicopter pilot. He initially joined in 1989, as an enlisted trumpet player in the Air Guard band before commissioning and training as an HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot. He flew search-and-rescue missions with the California Air Guard’s 129th Rescue Squadron at Moffett Field, near San Jose.

After details of the allegations against Magram were reported by the Los Angeles Times in June of last year, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin stepped down as head of the California National Guard.

Baldwin, who took the California Guard helm in 2011, spent the final three years of his career weathering a storm of scandals that plagued the organization stemming from Los Angeles Times investigations.

Final 120th Fighter Wing F-15 flight

Three F-15 Eagle jet fighters assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, Calif. on Oct. 24, 2013. National Guard photo/Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson.

The Times’ investigation began with a female member of the California National Guard’s 144thFighter Wing’s report that a fellow Guardsman had urinated in her boots. Concerns over handling of the incident, referred to by some in the 144th as “Pissgate,” spawned the inspector general investigation that would ultimately be the downfall of the Guard’s top brass.

Maj. Gen. Clay Garrison and Col. Dan Kelly were both relieved of duty after allegations surfaced that they covered up wrongdoing, including the destruction of DNA evidence and retaliation against service members.

“Based on this article, and in addition to other evidence collected, it would appear that there is a culture of reprisal, or at a minimum the perception of reprisal, that has a long stemmed history within the 144th,” said a report from the inspector general, referencing the original article by the Los Angeles Times.

Soon after, Col. Victor Sikora, also of the 144th Fighter Wing, was relieved of command for actions deemed “intimidating” against potential whistleblowers in the wake of the investigation.

The 20,000-person Guard has been responding in recent weeks to the ongoing onslaught of winter storms devastating Northern California.

Read Next: DISPATCH: 82nd Airborne Paratroopers Doing What They Do Best

Tom Wyatt
Tom Wyatt

Tom Wyatt is an intern at Coffee or Die Magazine. He is an active-duty Naval Special Warfare boat operator and a proud father living in San Diego, California. Tom is a budding reporter, looking to pursue journalism and fiction writing upon exiting the Navy.

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