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Air Force officials announce court-martial sentence for former command chief

  • Published
The week-long court-martial of Chief Master Sgt. William Gurney, the former command chief of Air Force Materiel Command, concluded Jan. 28 with a six-member panel of male officers sentencing the chief to 20 months confinement, reduction to rank of E-1 and a dishonorable discharge for 15 violations of the UCMJ.

Of those violations, Chief Gurney initially had pleaded guilty to seven violations of Article 92 for dereliction of duty for failing to maintain a professional relationship with seven different female Airmen, all who were junior in rank to him; one violation of Article 92 for wrongful misuse of government property for other than official purposes; one violation of Article 120 for indecent conduct with a female master sergeant; and four violations of Article 134 for committing adultery with four separate female Airmen, all who were junior in rank to him.

During the court-martial, the panel found the chief guilty of two violations of Article 93, maltreatment. They found him not guilty of one violation of Article 120, unwanted sexual contact; and two violations of Article 134, misuse of official position. When the court-martial began, there were 19 charges against him. One charge of obstruction of justice was dismissed by the judge during the arraignment portion of the trial.

Before sentencing, Chief Gurney stood before members of the court to apologize for his actions.

"I would not wish this on my worst enemy," he said.

He said he hopes that this trial brings a measure of closure for all involved, and he publicly apologized to the 10 women named in the case, to his family. He also offered an apology to his commanders and Airmen "for not living up to the core values that are instilled in us."

Following sentencing, Chief Gurney's case will move into legally required post-trial proceedings, during which he will have the opportunity to present matters for the convening authority's consideration in determining a final sentence. However, by regulation that sentence cannot exceed that which the court hands down.