A United States Senator who was never elected by the people has seen his Master’s Degree from the prestigious U.S. Army War College (USAWC) revoked after being found that he plagiarized his graduate research paper. As reported by Fox News on Oct. 10, 2014, United States Senator John E. Walsh (D-Mont.) was found guilty of plagiarization by an Army review board while working towards his Master of Strategic Studies degree in 2007.
War College spokeswoman Carol Kerr said in a prepared statement “The board found that then Colonel John Walsh did commit the offense of plagiarism and thus his Master’s Degree and status as graduate of the U.S. Army War College should be revoked.” Yet the bad news made public didn’t end there for Montana’s junior Senator. Walsh did submit before the review board examples of what he considered “possible extenuating circumstances” for his cheating on his graduate research paper.
Senator Walsh claimed he was suffering from of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as other stressors following the suicide of a fellow soldier. However, whatever the Senator was selling, the review board wasn’t buying. “It should also be noted that other students … have had similar or more serious personal and psychological issues during their year at USAWC, and they have been able to successfully complete course requirements without resorting to plagiarism or other cheating,” the review board’s report said.
Retiring in 2012 from the Montana Guard at the rank of Brigadier General as well as holding the official title of Adjutant General (AG) of the Montana Army National Guard, Walsh was hand picked by Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) to succeed Max Baucus as the U.S. Senator from the Treasure State. With Baucus selected to be the most recent U.S. Ambassador to China early in 2014, Walsh was sworn into the Senate in February, 2014. Prior to his selection to the Senate, Walsh served as Montana’s Lieutenant Governor.
Not his first brush with Army higher ups, Walsh was officially cited by the Army’s Inspector General Investigation Report dated Aug. 25, 2010, of numerous “substantiated allegations.” The investigation criticized Walsh for his using the office of the Montana AG for “private gain” by pressuring junior officers and senior NCOs into joining the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) to muscle-up Montana’s membership numbers and thusly enhancing Walsh’s possible candidacy for Vice President of NGAUS.
The investigation was signed off by General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff. According to an investigative report by the Montana Standard earlier this year “After the report, Gen. Peter Chiarelli … issued a formal reprimand to Walsh, saying Walsh must ‘remain impartial in (his) dealings with non-federal entities, no matter how important or worthwhile you may believe the organization to be.'”
With the exception of the revocation of his Master’s Degree and Gen. Chiarelli’s formal Letter of Reprimand, no other adverse or disciplinary action has been taken by either the U.S. Army or the State of Montana against Walsh. To date, Walsh is still in good standing as an honorably retired Brigadier General of the Montana National Guard.