An offensive comment last month ended up derailing an Air Force general’s career. Maj. Gen. M. Keltz said four words that weren’t taken lightly: “Drunker than 10,000 Indians.”
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Air Education and Training Command confirmed the ethnic slur, which was first reported in a blog written by a former U.S. Air Force officer and veterans’ advocate.
Keltz was the former commander of the 19th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph; he resigned last week and announced that he is retiring. In a written statement, he said that he inadvertently made an unfortunate comment.
On April 9, Keltz made the comment during an Article 15 hearing where he was the convening authority. At that time, a company grade officer was in the process of seeking a reduced punishment after a finding of wrongdoing, as was determined by the officer’s commander during a previous hearing.
During the hearing, Keltz looked at a photo of the officer standing next to a friend at a unit event where the pair were drinking. Upon observing the photo, Keltz said that the friends appeared to be “drunker than 10,000 Indians.”
A spokeswoman for the AETC, Maj. T. Whaley, confirmed that Keltz had made the comment after looking at the photograph.
According to the writer of the blog, the audience, which included individuals of Native American descent, was taken aback by the comment. Keltz continued his commentary and later said that the officer looked drunker than 10,000 sailors.
Whaley said that there were about 75 people who were attending the Article 15 hearing at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. After the hearing, several people complained to the staff judge advocate about Keltz’s comment.
Whaley said that Keltz offered his letter of resignation to Gen. Rand, who was Kelt’z boss; he accepted it.
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