Several days ago, FOTM’s lowtechgrannie posted a video of a media rarity — a reporter who doesn’t toe the party line and isn’t afraid to speak the truth. He’s Fox19 Cincinnati news anchor and investigative reporter Ben Swann.
At the end of the video, Swann noted that in the space of less than one month after the 7-hour Islamic terrorist attack of September 22, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four high-level U.S. military flag officers had been removed, for one ostensible reason or another. The four are Generals Petraeus, Allen, and Ham, and Admiral Gaouette. (In the U.S. military, flag officers are general officers in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard of such senior rank that they are entitled to fly their own flags to mark where the officer exercises command.)
Swann withheld speculating on what this quite unprecedented attrition of senior U.S. military officers means. But this attrition cries out for some effort at explanation, no matter how speculative.
We’ll begin with the facts that we’ve been told……
U.S. Air Force
In 2011, 157 U.S. Air Force officers were fired on the eve of their retirement, to avoid paying their pensions.
Joshua Flynn-Brown and Kyndra Miller Rotunda write in The Wall Street Journal of December 28, 2011, that the “relieved” officers included pilots flying dangerous missions. According to Department of Defense Instructions, those within six years of their 20-year retirement (with no disciplinary blemishes on their record) have the option to remain in service. Nevertheless, the Air Force terminated airmen a few years away from retirement en masse, citing budget constraints.
One of the exemplary “relieved” officers is Maj. Kale Mosley (photo to right), an Air Force Academy graduate and a pilot who has flown more than 250 combat missions. He deployed to Libya in the summer of 2011 with 30 hours notice. When he returned, the military immediately sent him to Iraq. Just as he was boarding the plane for Iraq, the Air Force gave him his walking papers, effective Nov. 30. Maj. Mosley, the father of a toddler and a newborn, will not receive a pension or long-term health-care benefits for his family.There was briefly a law that allowed people who left the military short of twenty years to get prorated pension and health care benefits, but it expired in 2001.
( I found a Kale Mosley on LinkedIn, who identifies himself as a Multiengine Transport Instructor Pilot in Wichita, Kansas Area. ~Eowyn)
In 2012, 25 U.S. Navy commanders were relieved of duty. Here’s a list of the commanders, from the Stars and Stripes of September 12, 2012. The list is sure to grow because 2012 isn’t over yet.
1. Cmdr. Derick Armstrong, commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans, was relieved “as result of an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline.”
2. Cmdr. Martin Arriola, commanding officer of the USS Porter, fired Aug. 30 due to loss of confidence in his ability to command after the vessel collided with a tanker.
3. Capt. Antonio Cardoso, commanding officer of Training Support Center San Diego, fired Sept. 21 for violating the Navy’s policy on hazing.
4. Capt. James CoBell, commanding officer of Oceana Naval Air Station’s Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic, was fired Sept. 10 pending an investigation into his leadership.
5. Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak was replaced as the skipper of the USS Vandegrift on Nov. 2, after a rowdy and booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia, in the month previous.
6. Cmdr. Franklin Fernandez, commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24, fired Aug. 21 due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command for allegedly driving under the influence.
7. Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette was replaced as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis pending the outcome of an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate judgment, the Navy announced on Oct. 27.
8. Cmdr. Ray Hartman, commanding officer of the amphibious dock-landing ship Fort McHenry, dismissed Nov. 19 for allegations of misconduct.
9. Cmdr. Jon Haydel, commanding officer of the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego, fired March 12 amid an investigation into “personal misconduct.”
10. Cmdr. Diego Hernandez, commanding offer of the ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming, relieved Feb. 4 after he was convicted in an admiral’s mast of dereliction of duty for mishandling classified materials.
11. Cmdr. Lee Hoey, commanding officer of the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory, San Diego, fired May 1 due to poor command climate.
12. Cmdr. Dennis Klein, commander of the submarine USS Columbia, fired May 1 for inadequate performance in administration and operations.
13. Capt. Marcia “Kim” Lyons, commander of Naval Health Clinic New England, relieved April 6 after problems were identified in an annual command climate survey.
14. Capt. Chuck Litchfield was relieved from command of the USS Essex after it collided with the replenishment oiler Yukon off the Southern California coast on May 16.
15. Capt. Robert Marin, commander of the USS Cowpens, relieved Feb. 10 on suspicion of “inappropriate personal behavior.”
16. Capt. Sean McDonell, commander of Seabee reserve unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 in Jacksonville, Fla., relieved of duty Nov. 26 for mismanagement and unspecified “major program deficiencies.”
17. Cmdr. Corrine Parker, head of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1, fired April 16 after an investigation revealed the possible falsification of administrative records.
18. Capt. Lisa Raimondo, commander of Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Md., relieved of command on June 29 due to a ”a significant lack of leadership and integrity that eroded good order and discipline in the command.”
19. Capt. Jeffrey Riedel, program manager of the Littoral Combat Ship program, was “temporarily reassigned” pending a command investigation into allegations of inappropriate personal behavior.
20. Cmdr. Sara Santoski, commanding officer of the Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, fired Sept. 1 due to a loss of confidence in her ability to command following a crash that resulted in the death of two sailors.
21. Cmdr. Sheryl Tannahill, commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center Nashville, relieved of command Sept. 16 amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship.
22. Cmdr. Michael Ward, commanding officer of the USS Pittsburgh, fired Aug. 10 for personal misconduct.
23. Capt. Michael Wiegand, commanding officer of Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in San Diego, relieved Nov. 8 amid allegations that funds were misused under his watch.
24. Capt. Ted Williams, commanding officer of the Mount Whitney in Italy, was fired Nov. 19 for allegations of misconduct.
H/t my friend Mark S. McGrew