But when the hearing began this week it emerged that he was the only alleged perpetrator who was still a current Salvation Army member.
His suspension came on the same day as the inquiry heard boys at a Salvation Army home in Sydney were "rented out" to strangers who sexually abused them.
Yesterday afternoon the Salvation Army issued a statement.
"In light of evidence tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Salvation Army has suspended retired Salvation Army officer John McIver pending further investigations in regards to the matters raised," the statement said.
On Tuesday the Salvation Army Commissioner, James Condon, indicated Captain McIver's future was being considered.
"We're looking at that right at this moment, and we were looking at that before the hearing today," he said.
The homes being examined are the Bexley Boys Home in Sydney's south, the Gill Memorial Home at Goulburn in southern New South Wales, the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys at Indooroopilly in Brisbane and the Riverview Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland.
Major McIver worked at the Bexley home from 1968 until he moved to become manager of the Alkira home in 1974.
He served as the manager at Indooroopilly until 1976.
The Salvation Army promoted him from captain to major in 1980 and he subsequently retired.
Boys allegedly beaten and raped by suspended officerMajor McIver has been described in the royal commission as "brutal".
He is accused of sexually assaulting a young boy known as GA at Bexley and then threatening to "beat the life" out of him if he told anyone.
The Salvation Army later paid GA $40,000 in compensation.
Major McIver is also accused of throwing a boy known as FT onto a concrete walkway at Bexley and raping a boy identified in the commission as EK at Indooroopilly.
On other occasions at Indooroopilly he allegedly burnt a boy on the leg with a cigarette and whipped a boy's genitals with a strap.
Counsel assisting the commission Simeon Beckett told the inquiry on Tuesday that two staff at the Alkira home tried to help a boy who had been assaulted by the then captain.
"They attempted to take a boy to hospital after Captain McIver had dislocated his shoulder," Mr Beckett said.
"Captain McIver refused use of the car and forced the arm of the boy back into its socket."
The Queensland Department of Children's Services was notified as early as October 1974 of Major McIver's actions, but concluded "the punishment administered was excessive".
Major McIver has not attended the commission's hearings but the inquiry has been told he refutes the allegations of sexual abuse.
The Salvation Army says the four other men being investigated by the commission are not current members of the church.
Victor Bennett died in 1986 and Lawrence Wilson resigned from the Salvation Army in 1982 and died in 2008.
Russell Walker was dismissed in 1974 after being convicted of indecent assault, while Donald Schultz was dismissed in 2005 and is now in a nursing home with dementia.