When Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby was relieved as commander of the 1st Infantry Division last year, it was under a shroud of secrecy.
Officials declined to comment on the nature of the reason for his suspension, and a week later, the Army named a replacement to pick up where Grigsby left off and lead the division's headquarters element into an Iraq deployment.
But now, documents obtained by Army Times through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that Grigsby was having an inappropriate relationship with a female captain on his staff, and despite warnings from his chief of staff and command sergeant major, he carried it on.
"I do not want to make any excuses, but you can see from my record that I have been deployed [eight] times for a total of [six and a half] years — practically every other year since 9/11," Grigsby wrote in his response to the April memorandum of reprimand that sealed his fate. "Due in large part to this frenetic schedule, I have been struggling with my family situation for a while, attempting to balance a military career and be the husband, father and grandfather I desired to be and what my family reasonably expected from me."
While nothing indicates that Grigsby's relationship with the captain was sexual, according to the IG investigation, there was a perception on the staff that their relationship had become physical.
Two submitted IG complaints alleged that the relationship was affecting Grigsby's decision-making, and that rumors were flying around headquarters that Grigsby's wife was aware of the relationship and had moved out of their home.
Grigsby acknowledged that it crossed the lines of professionalism.
"Ultimately, I should have not confided as I did in a female subordinate, building a professional and personal relationship with her, bypassing the formal chain of command, and building a perception of favoritism towards that person," he wrote.
Grigsby was fired from the top job at the Fort Riley, Kansas-based division on Sept. 26 amid an inspector general investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship, acting Army Secretary Bob Speer wrote in a memo to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in late May.
Grigsby has since served as a special assistant to the director of the Army staff, where he requested and was granted an Aug. 1 retirement date this year. Based on his conduct, Speer wrote, Grigsby will retire as a brigadier general.
"Not only did you choose to engage in this inappropriate relationship, you also actively ignored warnings of your chief of staff and division command sergeant major regarding your public interactions with this captain," former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Allyn wrote in the memorandum of reprimand. "In doing so, you placed your personal interest above those of the unit as it prepared for combat."
In his response, Grigsby emphasized that he is in weekly counseling to sort out the issues that led to his poor decisions, and that he believed he served honorably as commander of the 1st Infantry Division.
"I base this assessment not only on my observations, but the evaluation of the unit's performance during our Division Warfighter Exercise and the continued execution of the Division Headquarters and numerous brigades currently deployed throughout the world," he wrote.
The 1st Infantry Division headquarters left for Iraq to support anti-ISIS operations — and particularly, the battle to reclaim Mosul — a month later, in October, led by Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin.
"I looked at my wife and I said, I’m just going to be me, and we’re going to look forward to this mission, and that’s what we did," Martin said of cutting short his previous command tour to take over at Fort Riley.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT