Why Are So Many O-6s Behaving So Badly? And Other Military Mischief

The Long March
U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.

Air Force colonels be freaking out:

  • Here’s an unusual one. The commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base got the big heave-ho for alleged financial improprieties. He had been in charge for less a month.
  • An Air Force colonel was arrested after getting rowdy at a Boy George and the Thompson Twins concert in Dayton, Ohio, last week. I look forward to a defense based on “that’s what a mosh pit is for.”

Don't worry, other O-6s are trying to keep pace:

  • The reason for the relief a few months ago of the Coast Guard captain commanding its Long Island sector was inappropriate behavior with three female Coast Guard members. The information was obtained by the redoubtable Julia Bergman of The Day newspaper through a FOIA request. The captain said in his own defense that he is “a touchy feely guy.” Something like that makes me think he needs a lawyer.
  • The former head of the Army MPs in Stuttgart was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and dismissal from the military for choking his wife.
  • More weird stuff from the implosion of a Marine colonel. Among other things, “The colonel was accused of forcing a subordinate officer to send him photos of his wife in lingerie and sharing them with Mapson. Mapson said Wilson later demanded nude photos and a used pair of the woman’s underwear. Mapson said Wilson also made crude sexual comments to a fellow Marine’s wife, drank to excess every day, drove drunk, [and] sent an inappropriate email to Mapson.” 

Meanwhile, back in the Navy:

  • The skipper of the USS Bremerton (SSN 698) was relieved after confidence in him was lost
  • Likewise curtains for the CO of USS Florida (SSGN 728) (Gold). Not for the first time on this boat.
  • The XO of the USS Decatur was fired after ditto.
  • A retired Navy captain was charged with taking $145,000 in bribes from old “Fat Leonard.” He had moved on from the Navy to FEMA in Hawaii. Triple dipping?
  • Another Fat Leonard case seemed to fall apart in court. Makes me wonder if defense counsels are finding the holes in the cases. “The proof? You can’t handle the proof!”

But, Tom,” you may inquire disconsolately, “what about the generals, please don’t forget them, have them been good?” Well, OK!:

  • The Army booted the two-star commanding the rather obscure CASCOM command, which is the Combined Arms Support Command, of which I had never heard. Official Army reasoning for the move remained obscure.
  • The Air Force opened an innovation lab in, uh, Montgomery, Alabama. Not really a state known for it. But then the Army thinks that Augusta, Ga., is a peachy place for its cyber command. I mention these here because I wonder if the people making these decisions should be fired. This is like the Navy opening a sea navigation center in Nebraska. (And yes I know about Navy nuke school in Idaho.)


Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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Capt. Jonathan Turnbull. (U.S. Army)

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