WASHINGTON -- The inspector general of the Army is investigating "allegations of impropriety" by the head of the Indiana National Guard following Monday's Huffington Post report that he recorded a fundraising video for an evangelical Christian organization.
"The National Guard Bureau leadership is aware of the issue," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "Army regulations require allegations of impropriety by Army General Officers to be referred to the Department of the Army's Inspector General for action. The National Guard Bureau confirms that the allegations involving Maj. Gen. (R. Martin) Umbarger have been received by the Army IG."
The Army declined to comment on the investigation.
As HuffPost reported Monday, Umbarger wore his Army uniform as he endorsed Centurion's Watch, an Indianapolis-based sectarian Christian nonprofit that offers marriage counseling to military families. The video was first noted by a website maintained by Justin Griffith, military director of the group American Atheists. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a formal complaint with Umbarger's superior, Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
Soon after being alerted that HuffPost was preparing a story about the video, Umbarger ordered Centurion's Watch to remove it from the website.
Military law expert Eugene Fidell said the video overstepped the line between church and state.