The Army will court-martial a former head of its special operations division on charges stemming from a two-year investigation into some of its covert units, a spokesman for the Military District of Washington said.
Lt. Col. James E. Longhofer is accused of disobeying a lawful order, dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer. None of the charges relates to financial misconduct.
"I will be vindicated," Longhofer said. "These are trumped-up charges that have resulted from a desire to destroy the Army's special operations capability developed during former Gen. Edward C. Meyer's tenure as Army chief of staff."
His court-martial, set to begin Feb. 18 at Arlington Hall, is the second trial resulting from the investigation that some critics have charged is being pressed by Army officers who are uncomfortable with the Army's involvement in covert activities. Army officials have declined to discuss the investigation.
The first trial involving the Special Operations Division ended with an acquittal in December for Master Sgt. Ramon Barron, who was charged with filing false claims against the government.
Another former Army intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Dale C. Duncan, has been indicted for fraud as a result of that investigation. His trial is set in U.S. District Court in Alexandria next month.
The Army has declined to release details of the charges against Longhofer. The court-martial decision followed a special proceeding similar to a grand jury inquiry that began in September. Pretrial motions are to be heard next week.