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

The Long March
Pararescuemen assigned to the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, exits a C-130J Super Hercules during a high altitude, low opening jump near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 29, 2018.
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.)

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

Read More Show Less

An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

Read More Show Less

ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

Read More Show Less

The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

Read More Show Less

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

Read More Show Less