Skip to main content

'Drunker Than 10,000 Indians': Air Force General Resigns After Racially Offensive Comment

An Air Force Major General's racially offensive comment toward Native Americans caused him to retire last week.

An Air Force General resigned last week after he commented that a fellow officer appeared to be “drunker than 10,000 Indians.”

Major General Michael A. Keltz, who was formerly the commander of the 19th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, was leading a hearing on April 9 where an unnamed company grade officer was seeking a reduced punishment for alleged public intoxication during a unit event, reporter Jennifer H. Svan of Stars and Stripes wrote.

RELATED: Fact Check: Is Vanilla Ice Really Native? Choctaw Researchers Investigate

Keltz had a photo of the accused allegedly taken at the event and observed that the officer appeared to be “drunker than 10,000 Indians.”

A spokeswoman for Air Education and Training Command confirmed to Stars and Stripes that Keltz did, in fact, utter the inappropriate racial comment and that 75 people were in the audience when it was made.

Last week, Keltz announced he would retire and in a written statement said he “inadvertently made an unfortunate comment.”

News of the racially offensive comparison first broke on the blog John Q. Public when writer Tony Carr posted that Native Americans were in the room during the hearing.

“The audience, which apparently included members of Native American descent, was taken aback,” he wrote. ”Keltz reportedly continued the commentary a little longer, at one point saying the officer looked ‘drunker than 10,000 sailors.’”

Keltz’s resignation went into effect on April 30.