Macke still paying for rape remark

Barring intervention, he's now lost $1,446 a
month in retirement pay

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Adm. Richard Macke's ill-conceived remark about the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawa girl by U.S. servicemen not only resulted in his early retirement but also may cost him money.

Macke's retirement from the Navy on April 1 as a two-star admiral rather than as a four-star flag officer meant a loss of $1,446 a month in retirement pay.

Under Navy regulations, Macke had 60 days to find another four-star job or be automatically retired at the lower rank after he was replaced as Pacific Forces commander by Adm. Joseph Prueher on Jan. 31.

Macke was not given another flag assignment and was officially retired April 1 at his permanent two-star rank.

Pentagon officials said Secretary of Defense William Perry could boost Macke's retirement pay by recommending that the Senate confirm a higher rate - either at the three-star level for the job he held for several years while serving on the staff of the Joint Chiefs, or higher for his job as the commander of U.S. Pacific Forces.

Perry's decision is contingent, in part, upon an internal investigation into accusations that Macke used military aircraft and travel funds for personal business while he was Pacific Forces commander.

As a four-star admiral - the rank Macke held as Pacific Forces commander before he was forced into early retirement on Nov. 18 - Macke was entitled to $7,348 a month, compared with $5,902 a month at the lower rank.

Macke was to join Wheat International Communication Corp as a senior vice president of Pacific Rim operations upon his retirement.

During a Nov. 17 news conference in Washington, D.C., Macke told reporters that the sailor and two Marines accused of raping the Okinawan girl were "absolutely stupid for the price they paid to rent the car, they could have had a girl."

Macke apologized but was forced to retire a day later. Since then, the three servicemen have been convicted of raping the girl.

Macke is the third Navy flag officer in recent years to retire at a lower pay grade than the highest rank he achieved while on active duty.

The two others were three-star Adm. Richard Dunleavy, who lost one star when he retired in 1992 following the Tailhook scandal, and two-star Adm. Ralph Tindal, who lost a star because of an affair with a female enlisted sailor.

Macke, a 35-year Navy veteran, may be the first four-star admiral since Husband Kimmel to be demoted. Kimmel was faulted for the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Kimmel's family has been trying to clear his name for the past 50 years.

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