Maj. Gen. Clay L. Garrison. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn/U.S. Air National Guard

The head of the California Air National Guard and one of its five wing commanders have been removed from their positions amid complaints of reprisals against whistleblowers and allegations of a cover-up of misconduct that reached into the highest ranks of the organization, officials announced Friday.

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A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing, 194th Fighter Squadron, Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, takes off from Starokostiantyniv Air Base, Ukraine, Oct. 9 as part of the Clear Sky 2018 exercise. (U.S. Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn)

For Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pineda, a 15-year veteran of the California Air National Guard, the military was a family calling. She followed her older sister and brother-in-law into the guard, where she now holds an administrative position at the elite 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno.

On a March morning four years ago, Pineda was about to dress into a uniform she had stored overnight in a stall in the women's bathroom when she made a foul discovery.

Someone had urinated in her boots.

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