The director of operations for U.S. Northern Command was suspended last week, the command confirmed to Military Times.

Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Lestorti, the combatant command’s top operations officer, was removed from his position by Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of NORTHCOM, due to “a loss of trust and confidence,” NORTHCOM spokesperson Air Force Col. Elizabeth Mathias told Military Times in an email. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Davis will serve as the acting operations director, she said.

Lestorti did not respond to a request for comment. The Messenger was the first to report on Lestorti’s suspension.

A NORTHCOM official said that Lestorti’s removal is “permanent.”

An Army officer who knows Lestorti personally told Military Times that Lestorti’s firing was not due to personal misconduct.

“He held people to a high standard and I think that came to a head,” said the officer, who spoke on the condition his name not be used, as he was not cleared to speak to media. “It’s not because of any allegations of personal misconduct of a nefarious nature.”

Before moving to NORTHCOM, Lestorti had served as the Deputy Director for Global Integration and Current Operations with the Joint Staff. Prior to that, Lestorti served as the commanding general for the 78th Training Division out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey from July 2018 to October 2019.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a reporter at Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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