Brig. General Rick Uribe is up for promotion to major general
The Marine Corps will consider promoting a one-star general in September who was reprimanded in 2018 for treating an aide like a personal servant during a deployment in Iraq, the service announced Thursday.
In a service-wide administrative message, Brig. Gen. Gen. Rick A. Uribe was announced as one of other brigadier generals up for promotion to major general at a September 10 selection committee in Quantico, Virginia.
Navy officials were unable to answer questions by the deadline, including whether Uribe’s rebuke would be among the documents reviewed by the board.
A July 2018 report by The Pentagon inspector general alleged that during a 2016-17 tour of duty in Iraq, Uribe “solicited or permitted” his aides to use official time to fetch his laundry, get meals, carry around personal items and snacks, and writing unofficial letters and reserving equipment for him at the gym, among other ethical violations.
Uribe’s aide, a junior officer not named in the report, told investigators that she was “only doing personal business” for the general in Iraq.
In response, Uribe told investigators it was an incredibly busy job that didn’t leave him much time to go to the dining room or drop off his laundry. However, investigators questioned Uribe’s predecessor’s advisor, Maj. Gen. William Mullen, who said that Mullen “always carried his own clothes” and “made it a point to always pick up and drop off his own laundry.”
Uribe also had the aide stand by and reserve gym equipment for him when he was called away, sometimes for up to 40 minutes, the report said. Uribe denied the assistant ever waited that long, but acknowledged he “usually” asked his assistant to stand by the gear until he returned. Investigators asked him what purpose this ultimately served, and he replied, “Nothing.”
Uribe previously served as Inspector General of the Marine Corps from September 2015 to May 2016.
“While I believe that some of the substantiated allegations are unjustified, I realize that I have been abusively employing my aide and abusively accepting small relief loans from my aide,” Uribe wrote in response to the IG report.
“While it would never have occurred to me to conduct these activities in the garrison, in the fog of the combat zone, it seemed kind of acceptable. I learned a lot from this process and will deal with these topics much more intensively in the future. At the end of the day as a leader, my only right is to be held accountable for my actions.”
Following his deployment to Iraq, Uribe served as second-in-command with the California-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force before transferring to US Southern Command, where he is currently responsible for Combatant Command’s strategy, policies and plans.
Uribe, who was promoted to his current rank ahead of his peers on June 2, 2017, will be the senior officer under review by the Major General Promotion Board. He is considered “above the zone,” a promotion category made up of officers who were previously considered but passed over for promotion.
When Uribe was previously considered for a promotion remains unclear.