Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub, removed as chief of staff of U.S. forces in South Korea after criticizing President Carter's decision to withdraw troops from there, was reassigned yesterday as chief of staff of the largest command in the Army.
Singlaub will take over June 27 as the third-ranking officer of the U.S. Army Forces Command at Ft. McPherson, Ga., just outside Atlanta, Army Chief of staff Gen. Bernard W. Rogers announced.
Ft. McPherson is the largest of the 12 commands into which the Army is divided. In its 10,000 mile span, which included Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, the continental United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Panama, are 300,000 active-duty soldiers, 260,000 Army Reserve members, and 46,000 civilians.
The command is also responsible for the training of about 410,000 Army National Guard personnel, said an Army spokesman.
Singlaub was returning to Seoul yesterday and was not available for comment.
The announcement of Singlaub's new assignment comes a day after Cater told a news conference the much-decorated 34-year veteran soldier had not been "chastised or punished" when he was ordered to return from Korea to Washington following publication of his comments.
"He was being transfered to a new position at an equivalent degree of responsibility and status," Carter said at the news conference Thursday.
The controversy over Singlaub was touched off when The Washington Post reported on May 19 that Singlaub had predicted Carter's plan to withdraw the 33,507 groud troops from Korea over a 4-to-5-year period would lead to war.
As chief of staff at Ft. McPherson, Singlaub will be run the staff of about 2,000 persons headquartered there, said the base information officer, Col. harry. He wil replace Maj. Gen. John Q. Henion, who was given a third star and command of the U.S. Army in Japan about two weeks ago.
Pentagon officials yesterday officials yesterday indicated Singlaub's new assignment is an exceptionally good one. The Army information chief, Brig. Gen. Robert B. Solomon, called it "a very, very significant job." Singlaub is "a fortunate survivor" said another official.
After confering privately with Carter and Defense Secretary Harold Brown on his return, Singlaub found a forum for his views at a hearing called by the Investigation sub-commttee of the House Armed Services Committee.
On Wednesday, Singlaub told the subcommittee he knew of no senior American or South Korean officer in Korean who favored the troop withdrawal. He also said the Joint Chiefs of Staff have not been provided with the rationale for the Withdrawal.
Armed Services Commitee Chairman Melvin Price (D-III) said Thursday the full committee will look into Carter's Korean policy. The committee is expected to call the joint chiefs to give their personal opinions of the venes June 6 after its Memorial Day withdrawal when Congress recon-recess.