Army general approved to retire despite 97% reporting her for hostile leadership

Then-Brig. Gen. Amy Hannah (now Amy Johnston), chief of SHAPE Public Affairs, accepts the rank of brigadier general during her promotion ceremony Sept. 5, 2018. Brig. Gen. Hannah has served in the military for 27 years and is a native of Findlay, Ohio. (NATO photo by Tech. Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez, USAF)

A US Army brigadier general is retiring, closing a legacy of hostile workplace complaints and other command climate issues.

Retiring Brig. Gen. Amy Johnston, formerly the chief of Army public affairs, is said to have “violated the standards set forth in Army Regulation 600-10,” an Army spokesperson said.

The spokesperson, who spoke from a position of anonymity, stated that Johnston has formally received a general officer memorandum of reprimand and is “preparing for her approved retirement.”

A command climate survey revealed that 97% of people surveyed in Johnston’s office reported a hostile work environment, with 100% of those surveyed saying the public affairs office was a hostile workplace.

According to T&P, Johnston was known by many for setting impossible standards and enforcing guidelines in an inconsistent and often contradictory way.

“I was like, I don’t know what to do. I can’t handle this anymore,” one officer recounted. “Nothing I do is right. Everything I do is wrong. She gives guidance one way and then turns around and tells you that’s not what she said … And all along I’m trying to keep it together, because it’s a professionalism thing. I don’t want to be seen as weak.”

Others felt that while toxic to a degree, Johnston had a hard role as a brigadier general in an environment where she had to deal with higher-ranking officials.

You put a one-star in charge of public affairs, and you’re expecting them to corral two-, three-, and four-stars who won’t listen to her?” a second officer said. “Do you think that’s really fair?”

Johnston’s exact retirement date has not been announced.

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