Space Force official kept his job after being investigated for adult toys and “mankini” at work

Andrew Cox, director of the Space Warfighting Analysis Center, speaks Sept. 21, 2021, at the Air Force Association’s Air Space & Cyber conference. Credit: AFA livestream

A high-ranking civilian member of the United States Space Force -scrutinized for his poor behavior and bizarre sexual fixations- managed to keep his job despite a damning Inspector General investigation.

Former director of the Pentagon’s Space Security and Defense Program Andrew Cox, who currently is the head of the Space Force’s new Space Warfighting Analysis Center, had a laundry list of leadership demerits and other violations following an IG investigation.

Some of Cox’s former Space Security and Defense Program colleagues remember him for receiving sex toys at a 2018 “Bad Santa” party, and for his Borat-esque “mankini.”

“It was chartreuse green, and he brought it out into the main area,” one person said of the clothing item. “He [told us he] put it on in front of his wife and bent over and said, ‘Honey, how do you like this?’”

It should be noted that Cox put the item on over his clothes, but well within view of colleagues and their families.

Cox was known for his antics, sparking a 2020 IG investigation.

While Cox was known at SSDP for his superb leadership and creativity, his playfulness was something that rubbed a few the wrong way.

“He has a leadership style where he likes to bring everybody in, kind of take the problem apart … and have lots of people in the room,” one complainant said in the IG report, obtained by the Air Force Times. “When he’s not talking business, [he] is … acting like a 13-year-old boy.”

“Cox has done good things for this country- things that most people will never know about,” another person said of the man. “I … want him there, just without the [character] issues.”

Cox was regularly given sexually-themed gifts as a joke- something that some of his subordinates had an issue with.

Cox appealed the investigation’s findings, and the Air Force dropped three of its six allegations of misconduct. He was simultaneously promoted to his current position.

However, Cox hardly got away with his antics- he received a letter of reprimand, took demerits on his performance review, and was denied a bonus of $27,000.

Additionally, Cox’s prestigious nomination for a federal award, which had a cash prize of $40,000, was rescinded.

“The Air Force fully acknowledged the substantiated allegations of unprofessional conduct by Mr. Cox and its impact on the workforce and mission,” government officials said in a statement. “The Air Force also acknowledged that Mr. Cox had a spotless performance and conduct record. … The Air Force believes it took appropriate action in formally reprimanding Mr. Cox.”

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