Army Suspends Ex-General's Contract After Tweet Appears to Mock Jill Biden

The U.S. Army has suspended the contract of a retired three-star general following the discovery of a recent tweet mocking first lady Dr. Jill Biden.

Lieutenant General Gary Volesky previously served as a prominent spokesman for the Army and received a Silver Star for his service in Iraq. Prior to his suspension, he had a $92-an-hour consulting contract with the Army, serving as a "senior mentor" to various officers and students.

The general's troubles emerged due to a tweet from June 24, according to USA Today. The first lady had tweeted a message about the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, lamenting that the right of women to choose had been "stolen" after "nearly 50 years."

Volesky then tweeted in response, "Glad to see you finally know what a woman is."

army general jill biden
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Gary Volesky has been suspended from his consulting contract after an inappropriate political tweet he sent to first lady Dr. Jill Biden. Above, Volesky addresses soldiers at a ceremony in 2015. Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

Volesky's response, USA Today reported, was a breach of traditional military decorum, which calls for retired officers on the Pentagon payroll to avoid speaking out on partisan political matters. He was suspended by Lieutenant General Theodore Martin, commander of the Combined Arms Center, and will remain suspended pending the results of an investigation into his conduct, an Army spokeswoman confirmed to the news outlet.

Volesky's tweet has since been deleted.

However, his tweet echoed a common anti-transgender sentiment among the American right-wing, which questions the validity of the identity of trans-women. The idea gained mainstream attention during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, when Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee asked her to define what a woman is.

As USA Today reported, Volesky's response to the first lady was not his first instance of seemingly political statements on Twitter. Last July, Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming tweeted about being "honored" to serve on the House select committee that is investigating January 6, noting that the necessity of the investigation should come before "partisan politics."

"This is all about partisan politics," Volesky tweeted in response.

Newsweek reached out to first lady Jill Biden for comment.

"What's difficult to understand is why he or any other retired senior officer would undermine the military's reputation for being above politics just to score some cheap partisan points on social media," Andrew Bacevich, emeritus professor of history at Boston University and a retired Army colonel, told USA Today.

Volesky is the latest of many retired military officers to make partisan political statements in recent years. Most notably, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn made numerous comments against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, and later briefly served as a national security adviser to former President Donald Trump.