Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, looks out from the cockpit of a Department of the Navy C-130 undergoing maintenance at Robins on June 25, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Tommie Horton)
There are good leaders and bad leaders, and then there are leaders whose command climates are so toxic and humiliating that they make deployments seem like a cakewalk. Air Force Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II was in the third category, according to a recent Inspector General report.
The 80-page report was unwavering in its condemnation of Levy, who, as head of the Air Force Sustainment Center based in Tinker Air Force Base, was responsible for nearly 43,000 airmen, multiple supply chain wings and air base wings, and nearly two dozen operating locations both within and outside the continental US. But all that authority couldn't stop those directly under his command from hating his guts.
"I think if he was in the battlefield, he probably would've been shot in the back," said one witness, whose sentiment "was expressed by virtually every member of Lt. Gen. Levy's [redacted]," the report said. In total, 35 of Levy's subordinates and other witnesses were interviewed.
Captain Zoe M. Kotnik is the first female Commander and Pilot of the United States Air Force F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, assigned to the 20th Operations Group, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. (U.S. Air Force photo)
After nearly a year on the Joint Staff, I finally feel comfortable in my job. It took longer than I thought. The transition from tactical to strategic is quite the leap. Truth be told, it’s a chasm. The Pentagon can be a daunting place for Army majors. You are the junior officer in every room. Everyone is more experienced and senior to you. However, the experience is a great opportunity, not simply a difficult challenge to overcome. Here are the 12 biggest takeaways from my experience on how military members can thrive in a Pentagon post.