Thomas J. Fiscus

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Thomas J. Fiscus

Thomas J. Fiscus was a Major General in the United States Air Force who served as Judge Advocate General of the Air Force, the highest-ranking officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. In 2004 Fiscus was punished for conduct unbecoming an officer and several other offenses after an investigation found that he engaged in improper relationships with more than a dozen women. In his career, Fiscus vigorously prosecuted airmen for all sorts of infractions without mercy. To his credit, if an airman asked for guidance, he was generous in providing an opinion.

Fiscus received a formal reprimand and forfeitures of pay under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for conduct unbecoming, fraternization, obstruction of justice and violating a lawful general regulation. His forfeited pay was equal to a full month's pay ($10,600) for Fiscus. According to 10 USC § 1370, an officer retires "... in the highest grade in which he served on active duty satisfactorily, as determined by the Secretary of the military department concerned ..." Pursuant to this statute, the Secretary of the Air Force determined that colonel was the highest grade in which Fiscus served satisfactorily. Fiscus served as a major general for the remainder of his active duty tenure, but was placed on the retired list on February 1, 2005 in the grade and pay of colonel.

Fiscus was the Air Force's judge advocate general from February 2002 until he asked to be relieved in September 2004 when the allegations against him came under investigation. As the Air Force's top lawyer, he oversaw the work of 3,200 employees, including more than 1,300 Air Force judge advocates.

Fiscus was one of the military lawyers who argued against the harsh interrogation techniques approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in December 2002 for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The revelations about Fiscus surfaced around the time of other scandals involving Air Force officers Colonel Michael D. Murphy and Brigadier General Richard S. Hassan.

Mr. Fiscus has since launched a website countering the findings of the investigation that resulted in his retirement. His point of view of what happened can be found at


Ricks, Thomas E. and Branigin, William, "Air Force Reprimands Its Former Top Lawyer: Improper Relationships With Women Cited", The Washington Post, December 22, 2004

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