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.)

(Air Force photo / Tech Sgt. Oneika Banks)

Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.

Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.

"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.

Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."

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(National Archives / Marine Corps Photo / WO Obie Newcomb, Jr., November 1943)

The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.

The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Daniel Snider)

Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.

During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.

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MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.

Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.

State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.

North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.

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Screenshot of a propaganda video featuring former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.

Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.

The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."

Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.

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