minotlaunchofficersWASHINGTON: The Air Force faces a crisis of leadership, a crisis of confidence, a crisis that must be addressed by whomever is nominated as the next secretary. The service is being battered by news story after news story.

Today we learned of the suspension of 17 nuclear launch officers.

The Associated Press broke the story. And they got their hands on an email from the Minot missile commander. “We are, in fact, in a crisis right now,” the commander, Lt. Col. Jay Folds, wrote in an internal email obtained by The Associated Press and confirmed by the Air Force.

Add to that the Sunday arrest for sexual misconduct of the Air Force officer charged with preventing sexual assault and the service’s widely perceived institutional weakness when it comes to defining its mission and the service clearly faces a major crisis.

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made statements that clearly indicated just how angry and frustrated they are by the sexual assault news.

Senior lawmakers expressed their anguish and concern today about the nuclear force problems. When outgoing Air Force Secretary Mike Donley told Sen. Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, that, “one thing we have to remember is these are lieutenants…,” the senator’s reaction left little doubt as to what he thought of this explanation.

“It is cold comfort to hear these are lieutenants who may be new to the job,” the new chairman of the defense subcommittee replied. Durbin told the blue suiters that, “this news report could not be more troubling.” It, he said, “strikes at the core of our chain of command.” Later in the hearing, Durbin noted that, one officer acted in a manner that “could have compromised the secret codes of missiles.” No codes were compromised, he made clear. But you get the idea.

Donley, in a message meant as much for our allies, Russia, China and North Korea as anyone else, told the subcommittee that the US is “able to maintain a safe and credible nuclear deterrent.”

He also said that the Air Force has, “made substantial progress, I think, in restoring the confidence in the nuclear enterprise.” A former senior Air Force officer agreed with Donley’s assessment and said the service has, in fact, greatly improved the security and robustness of the Air Force nuclear enterprise since the 2007 Bent Spear incident when the service lost track of six nuclear warheads mounted on cruise missiles.

I reached out to a range of former Air Force officers and close observers of the force to see what they had to say.

“The bad — and slightly good — news is that this is not the first Air Force crisis of the past several years. A worrisome trend is that each crisis sinks the perception of the Air Force further around Washington and makes it harder and longer to rebuild no matter who is at the top. It is a service that can recover but only with fresh, invigorated and empowered leadership,” Mackenzie Eaglen, defense analyst at the American enterprise Institute and member of the Breaking Media Board of Contributors, said. “Clearly, fixes in the recent past are not enough or have not been working. Air Force leaders will need to be seen as taking bold, unprecedented steps to regain confidence both within and outside of the service.”

Eaglen bets that “the new Secretary of Defense is watching closely to see if he will need to make an example out of Air Force leadership yet again. So its leaders, both sitting and incoming, should be on full notice. They have very little time to show tangible change and progress across a variety of areas.”

What was the reaction of the service’s senior uniformed leader, Gen. Mark Welsh, to the sex assault scandal, in particular: “I’ve been doing this for 37 years and no one is more frustrated than I am, Chairman (of the full committee Barbara) Mikulski.”

We don’t know many details about the nuclear inspection. Most details about anything that involves nuclear operational details usually are highly classified. The Minot Air Force Base does appear to shed a little light on the issue with an announcement that a March inspection was “a success,” the same term Donley used before the the SASC subcommittee as he tried to explain that the problem might not be as bad as it sounded.

Here’s what the Minot base website says:

“From March 1-13, various Team Minot organizations were reviewed by the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General during the Consolidated Unit Inspection. The CUI is designed to test units on their policies and procedures regarding daily operations, record keeping and a variety of other operational facets. After the smoke cleared, the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing were left standing with overall ratings of ‘Excellent’ and ‘Satisfactory’ respectively.” As anyone who has spent much time with the military knows, getting a rating of satisfactory — especially for something as sensitive as a mission dealing with nuclear weapons — is not something to write home about.

The commander said his airmen were accepting violations of weapons safety rules and security protocols.

While they did receive that satisfactory rating overall, they received the equivalent of a D on one of the 22 tasks involving launch operations. They were rated marginal. That sparked the commander’s email and the suspension of the 17.

Loren Thompson, defense consultant and an analyst at the Lexington Institute, pointed to the suspension of the 17 officers as “a perverse sign of progress. It shows the Air Force is testing personnel rigorously and insisting on accountability.”

Thompson believes that the senior Air Force leadership is poor at communicating with the outside world.

“Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh is exceptionally capable, perhaps the best service chief currently serving, but he has inherited an institution with uneven standards when it comes to leadership. Some of the recent political appointees have been weak, and the quality of general officers varies immensely,” said Thompson, a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors. “This is the most accomplished Air Force in the world when it comes to waging war, but its political skills are not strong and its acquisition community seems accident prone. Such deficiencies bulk larger when threats recede, as seems to be the case today.”

We broke the story that a female with strong experience working with Congress and in industry is the leading candidate for nomination as Donely’s replacement. Debbie Lee James, executive vice president for communications and government affairs at defense and intelligence giant SAIC, could improve the service’s standing on sexual assault issues just by being there — at first. Someone with her experience might just be the right move for a service in need of some.


  • Aurora

    I posited years back after the Barksdale incident that the Air Force strategic branch needed a dose of Navy nuke leadership. How often do you hear about incidents on USN nuke subs? (the Miami fire don’t count as it was caused by a civilian worker). Bring a couple of these Type A flamers out of retirement and give them carte blanche to make “adjustments” in the Air Force nuclear weapons programs and culture. You’ll see results. They’ll wish they had Curtis LeMay back.

    • http://defense.aol.com/ Colin Clark

      Aurora, I found mention on the Minot base website http://www.minot.af.mil/photos/slideshow.asp?id={A1063B2E-AE4F-4813-AB88-BADC1DF28457} that the IG gave these guys a “satisfactory” rating. Would you explain to our readers what that probably means?

      • Aurora

        Colin, can’t open link. Besides, I am mystified as to how grades of “excellent” and “satisfactory” could be assigned and yet its noted that “airmen were accepting violations of weapons safety rules and security protocols.” Potential comprimise of launch codes? Is this for real?

        Back in the day, if this had happened on an SSBN, the C.O. would have been relieved, just for a start. They boat would have been crawling with the “I’m here to help you” kind of guys who you don’t want to meet in your worst nightmare. Good grief, inspectors would walk off dual capable surface ships for far, far less than what is described in your article.

        Is this atmosphere confned to Minot or does it extend across the force?

        • ibe

          It appears teaching discipline and respect eludes the military the same way it does parents anymore. A product of upbringing seems to run deep these days.

          When I was in we were scared to death that our wives might say something that could be construed as negative against the military or even worse political. Now the enlisted have no fear at all of reprisals and speak openly against both. 2 cents

          • christopher richards

            This is very true. And IMO is a direct result of the softening up of BCT, of which I think is a direct result of women in the military.

  • Terry

    The Air Force has a crisis in follower ship. Back in the day when I was at Minot doing the missile officer job there were certain tests where 100% was passing and 97% on other tests was a very average score. The simulator rides for us were convoluted; you had to prioritize properly while doing each task to exactitude. A regular “ride” was a prelude to a training ride, which were evaluations. Local evaluation rides were akin to bungee jumping off Niagara Falls with a CPA measuring each twist and turn. Outside evaluation rides from other the 91st were on par with Darth Vader showing up as the closest thing to a friend you might have, while you were evaluated by someone very scary to Darth. Appears the current breed do not respect the process.

    The AF sexual assault coordinator being arrested for alleged sexual assault is priceless. The solution of going into work areas and cleaning up demeaning pictures of women is a relic of times past, AF did it already months before the arrest. Sexual assault in a department culture that has moved beyond Judea-Christian strictures now often and frequently involves males being assaulted by other males. Rather in such a mode we should have unisex facilities in the DOD and save money, as anything in terms of relationships is considered protected, except assault or harassment. Continuous naked exposure to the opposite sex as is the case in Europe will demystify the issues, though undoubtedly as in the case of Germany which practices this, there may be a lowered to non-replacement birth rate.

    It is hard to lose nuclear weapons when segregation of nuclear and none nuclear weapons is practiced in storage areas. Just saying…..

    I credit over choice and invasive interruptions through electronic media as two key factors that result in the rise of Homo Stupid. In the first case the simple is made unduly complex to market products that are not used, require valuable life time to sort through and harm critical thinking. The electronic media and its capacity for interruption makes us 200% less able to complete tasks according to recent studies. The AF is toying with bionic implants, not a joke, and this could result in better followers in the future who barring weak electromagnetic interference be more efficient and compliant.

    • Johnny Mac

      The brits did a study and found that the use of a blackberry actually lowered the IQ of the holder 10%. Our President must own 3.

  • Sam Pensive

    maybe the af needs to get their nuke crews MORE sex when they are off the job?
    things just get way too held back for the typical I live in a silo and guard/hold the keys to WWIII in my hands it seems.

  • Poor Writing

    Add to that the Sunday arrest for sexual misconduct of the Air Force officer charged with preventing sexual assault and the service’s widely perceived institutional weakness when it comes to defining its mission and the service clearly faces a major crisis.
    What did the above statement mean?

  • fermiuno

    Suggestion: determine the guilt/innocence of the alleged offender as provided under the applicable laws.
    THEN, move UP the chain of command to LEARN (not punish) how this happened,
    Right now, it appears that the people in charge are asleep at the wheel….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      My friend too many of them are worshipig Obama

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Koziol/1249178715 Ken Koziol

    Lets turn it over to the whopper.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      What the hell do you mean?

  • greg inwood

    The millitary ( all branches ) and their missions have become a joke. Anything the government is involved in is dysfunctional and misguided. Nothing new ! The President ( Commander in Chief ) and Hagel ( An Idiot ) wonder why the problems exist ? All they have to do is look into the MIRROR !

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      Anything the civilian government touches rots, and there has been way too much micromanaging of the milittary by civilian leaders who don’t know jack, which has degraded the military. Obama won’t just rot it,; he’s out to destroy it.

    • cherokee1934

      They are both Muslims so what would you really expect?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      greg right! Even West Point has now been corrupted by civilian influence. There should be a sign on every base , post and navy yard : Politicians verboten. so Butt out.

  • jigokurei

    Is it no wonder where the crisis is coming from; could it be in the very nature of how our society today has lost touch with the true meaning of family and or religious values, moral decency and common respect toward each other?

    Most of which are destroyed by flagrant airing of despicable and degenerate behavior; most of which is changing and modifying the behavior and values that our youth culture worship today, where sex and violence is the new norm.

    We also need not look any further than to reflect upon the actions of our top elected officials, to see how far the apple falls from the tree with regard to how bad behavior follows a path of least resistance down the chain of command.

    The media and television of today has so callously broken ground and barriers that we haven’t seen in decades; with such open vulgarity, so violently, so sexually, and so casually displayed and aired, as if it is a commonly acceptable norm.

    When men and women values become distorted from common sense, it is often because of their modeling behavior of environmental factors, including emulating the behaviors of celebrities through media and television. That is, instead of resisting what they should know is wrong, they follow what others do (peer pressure) as if it is right, just to fit in.

    The role models of today are Political Leaders and Sports Star’s improprieties and exploits, and Celebrities and Musicians bad behavior, sexuality, and drugs. Men worship power and the mighty dollar and the sex it can buy, and women worship sexuality as a means to reach financial wealth and power.

    • ibe

      Well, you said it. All true and basic. The difference between what America was, and what it has become. Now I’m sure you’ll be flamed by the very ones you speak of. (independent)

    • cherokee1934


    • guystevens

      Also seen in Readers Digest, top 100 most popular in US, top three were actors/actresses who speak words others have written?

    • Bruce

      There’s just one small problem with your analysis, jigo:

      Do you know when all this REALLY started to develop? It was right…about…the…time that the Air Force started allowing Teavangelical Christians to overrun their bases, and for all intents forcibly indoctrinate their cadets, officer corps, and enlisted ranks with their particular brand of “morals”. It would be funny, were it not so INCREDIBLY sad…

      • http://twitter.com/Ekaterina38 Catine E.Perkins

        Well this is a point not considered but it was a known that
        the Air Force Academy tried to restrict their entries to their
        own beliefs. Un Americanism is lurking everywhere.

  • Duncan Mulholland

    Duncan We must remember the fact, that our Air Force gets it’s personnel from American society, so why do we expect perfection. We need MORE Curtis LeMays at the top.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      AMEN Duncan! I know my Dad is rolling in his grave, my son and husband are both glad they are both retired and well out of it now; it sure as hell isn’t the Air Force they all once belonged to.

    • cherokee1934

      We need the draft back and make every man serve his time. If the women want to serve then let them continue to join as they always have. I served with some pretty good women during my time in the USAF.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KMoore4318 Kyle Moore

    Our Commander
    and chief have bigger fish to fry than the war on Woman, There is the church,
    and the Military to Fry.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      Kyle Moore AMEN, you nailed it my friend.!

    • cherokee1934

      You really mean Our Muslim in Chief…..

    • kkevo92

      Oh..that’s clever! Idiot

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Gomez/724378595 Junior Gomez

    what can we expect from The Obama military where gay men can shower with straight men?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mario.guajardo.7946 Mario Guajardo

      Yeah, that’s it. Before Obama there were no problems whatsoever. Get a grip

  • rdm

    i know it is not right but this should not be put in the public it should be handled and now the whole world knows what is going on. just like when the us gov. makes plan to go into a country to help or aid in a conflick it is known before it happens. this is so wrong and it is one of the reasons why this country is in the place it is in now

  • ER

    It’s all fun and games until someone blows up Wisconsin.

  • Randy

    And remember folks, Obama is the commander in chief.

    • cherokee1934

      Like we don’t have enough trouble already?

  • Nicole

    My dad was in the Air Force back in the 50’s; he would turn over in his grave if he saw what has happened. For years now, it has been a constant disaster and disgrace. Wasn’t it last year that they had several flight issues, too?

    • cherokee1934

      I was in the USAF during the same time as your dad and this upsets me a great deal.

  • Nicole

    The base here in San Antonio, Texas has some serious issues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mario.guajardo.7946 Mario Guajardo

    “A worrisome trend is that each crisis sinks the perception of the Air Force further around Washington” Are you kidding me? The system is corrupt. One party refuses to do ANYTHING perceived as endorsing policies proposed by the President. Apparently, even if it benefits Americans. How is that any sign of competence on the civilian side of things? The media stokes the insanity and unreasonable criticisms such that too many fools spout words like “socialism” and “communism” without any clue what those words really mean. Granted the fools in Washington inevitably influence military policies but how do you gain the confidence of clearly corrupt politicians?

    • p38l5

      I would be more than happy to discuss Communism and Socialism with you, having seen the results first hand. And, a POTUS also has to compromise, rather than talking about “revenge” and the “enemy” when talking about people he disagrees with, claiming people are trying to take care from the disabled, cancer research, etc. He set a tone, Now he has to live with it. Reagan worked with Tip O’Neil. He did not bash the Rich, constantly talk about “fair share”, goes back to bed when four men died and then goes out campaigning. The POTUS needs to Lead, not Divide. He needs to Lead, not Play Golf or B-Ball. He needs to Lead, not constantly campaign. Blaming people because they vote against his ideas, guess what? That is part of the system. Sometimes, you need to do a little smoozing instead of campaigning against those who disagree with you.

      • Scott Thrasher

        I couldn’t agree with you more. I am tired of one side making a law then blaming the other side when it goes through and everyone is being hurt by it and Potus who came up with oh like Sequestration has also said any atempt to go around it or repeal it he would veto it. Then he tries to blame his advisaries when it is inforced and starts causing problems. I also don’t understand why the War Room wasn’t spun up at 5pm when Potus was notified about Benghazi attack. Instead of nothing being done and Obama flying off to a Fund raiser in Las Vegas the next morning even missing a situation meeting so he could make that flight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1637084597 Hucklebarry Finn

    This is a disgusting display of completely inept leadership by the new breed of so-called Military structured training personnel and ultimately our commander-in-stupid. Bring a few of us old time Air Force Chef’s back out of retirement to straighten this branch out…and get these F-ing politics OUT of the game of Military prowess and Military discipline the way it was meant to be. There is no excuse for MY Air Force to be involved in this kind of maggot non-sense…makes me want to puke. Give me General Welch’s ears for 30 minutes…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Waller/100000028132731 Phillip Waller

      Mr. Finn: I would be the first to hire you to go on any base, and have complete charge to kick butt and take names! My Dad, loved working on the old SAC bases in the early Air Force. (ca 1953) SAC didn’t play. I think the problem, and subsequent lack of discipline, started when SAC was dismantled. Your FIRST duty, Mr. Finn? Replace those DAMN Greyhound Bus Driver Uniforms with more appropriate military attire that men would be proud to wear. An Airman should be as proud to wear the uniform as a Marine in Dress Blues.

      • Fred

        One big problem is every time they change top leadership, some general wants to change uniforms, organizations, names of units, bases, etc for no reason at huge costs. Why?……..just because they can.

    • afyrbond

      Mr. Finn,

      Please keep in mind when the 2007 Bent Spear occurred, who was the commander-in-stupid at the time? The real stupid president, GW Bush.

  • dan

    America’s leadership is a DISEASE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Metych/100000160464011 Thomas Metych

    Thank’s Emperor Obama. Another Fine Mess You Got Us Into………

    • Gandalf

      These problems have been going on for much longer than Obama has been in office. If you had bothered to read the article, you would have noticed that the most major issue occurred in 2007. In case you can’t do simple math, that was two years before Obama took office.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

        Gandalf, its MUCH worse now. It’s escalating

  • p38l5

    Having worked for both Organizations (5BW and the 9I1ST), I can suggest one thing; Bring Back SAC/Strategic Air Command. Peace Is Our Profession, War Is Just A Hobby. The U.S.A.F. needs one organization to handle its Nukes, an organization that has a high standards and focuses on Just the Nukes, Ma’am. And, stuff flows down hill. Poor Leadership, all the way to D.C., leads to Poor Performance down the chain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.lutz.3152 John Lutz

    Libya…., B E N G H A Z I….., Unconstitutional appointments, Secret drone war, and

    N O W this……?????

    I T ‘ S A L L a comin a crumblin D O W N………

    Smells like High Crimes and Misdemeanors…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee


  • http://www.facebook.com/hank.kerchef Hank Kerchef

    sitting in holes waiting to push a button to end the world ????? I would supply these guys with all the women they want to screw,,,,, and give them satellite tv to watch,,,, shit try letting them act normal and feel normal,,,, Geeee ,,that just might make less on the edge when it comes time to push the button.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank1946 Frank ODonnell

    Be Careful Out There !
    – Hill Street Blues.

  • Jake

    BIG toys for BIG babies.

  • tcdesalvo

    It all comes down to accountability. When leaders do as they please without being held responsible for their actions, followers emulate the same conduct. Do as I say not as I do has never worked. As long as there are questions about accountability at the top of the leadership pyramid, misconduct will be the norm to the most junior follower. When our politicians learn to lead by example rather than fiat discipline problems will fade away. Until then, the beat goes on.

  • kkevo92

    That’s what you get when a branch of the military (Air Force) tries to “civilianize” it’s officer’s and enlisted personnel. To much political correctness and not enough disciplain, to much 9 to 5 attitude and not enough dedication to duty. And this is also slowly creeping into the Army and Navy, and a little bit into the Marines.

    • christopher richards

      It is already in the other branches. I witnessed it in the Army during my last days in with all the new recruits that had absolutely no discipline.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559025480 Linda Lee

      kkevo, your insight is stunning. ^5

  • RICH

    What is the big dea when Bill Clinton their commander in chief did it – they just empeached him – gave him a pass – and the democrats relected him. Seems a double standard here. Senators and congressman and governors do it all the time. Hollywood does it all the time. Seen on daily TV all hours of the day. (Both sexes) Now lets add more female and gay soldiers in the foxholes in the rain sharing a poncho. What’s a little sharing of ammo on a dark and lonely night? Let me count the unwilling?

  • itzfatcat

    Best Air Force in the world when it comes to waging war, but its political skills are not strong. Get real, General Officer ranks are as political as it gets and is one of the largest problems. They have to be butt kissers and skimmers to get the resources they need. They should be leading and planning rather than playing one up and plying the halls of Congress.

    • http://defense.aol.com/ Colin Clark

      If only being a general officer was that clear cut. An intelligent and eloquent AND forceful leader can get much more from Congress than can one who plays the negotiating game. But our society now shies away from personal confrontation or its appearance and military leaders are the product of their society. A commander possessed of integrity, technical knowledge and courage can go far on the Hill. But they must be rewarded for it by their civilian bosses.
      Colin Clark, Editor, AOL Defense

  • itzfatcat

    Service members are representative of the group of people they come from. Look around you; the goodlib socialist folks have taken over. It is all give me rather than what can I give. Work ethic, respect for authority, and productivity has gone to hell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clanehart Chester Lanehart


  • Astrologic

    Sexual misconduct is normally processed ‘internally’, unless… there is a political reason to make it seem like it’s time for all these inept ‘mysogenist’ men to be replaced by a ‘sensible’ brilliant woman… All it takes is a press release to get ‘public opinion’ on the side of ‘change’… Never take the ‘news’ at face value…

  • mr mike reality

    What do they expect after forcing homosexuality on the military?

  • itzfatcat

    Military personnel (including the Air Force) are representative of the culture they come
    from. Sexual assault and abuse occurs throughout our citizenship so why does
    anyone believe it would be different in the military services. Many of our leaders at all levels are guilty of this abuse, even presidents. Go to work on the root causes and not the symptoms. Poor work ethic, no respect for authority, feeling of entitlement without working for it, and declining moral behavior runs rampant in this country. And liberal politicians feed it to get votes no matter how destructive it is. We are becoming slaves to our government and special interest groups who are playing the one up game to get their way over the other groups. We hear almost every day how corrupt our government agencies have become. The government keeps chipping away little at a time to condition us. Bottom line we are a divided nation and there is little national pride left.

  • OlBob

    I knew when I left it in ’66. it was climbing into the handbasket.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gestepp1 George Estepp

    with the pres and congress trying to flood the continental US with ILLEGALS with amnesty, many of which may easily be agent provacatours maybe its time to do away with A large part of the land based legs of the TRIAD and depend on FBM SUBMARINES to deal with the bulk. Although I have it on believable authority better systems now exist but the public isnt to know about that technology. It would by necessity be land based. Scaler Wave

  • Dave

    A college degree doesn’t make a leader. I spent 24 years with the military.
    I can count the number of real leaders on one hand and the number of decent
    officers on two. The best officers I ever hand were Mustangs, people who started
    out enlisted and worked their way up the ladder. The number of unqualified
    officers was staggering and scary.

  • Brian

    So what have we got? Nuke silo operators who don’t know what they’re doing and Obama pressing for nuke reductions. Sounds like a plan.

  • Poetess13

    If anyone is surprised at this kind of atrocity happening during the Obama administration, I would have to question their thinking due to all the questionable activity that’s gone on thus far. Now they need to do something to stop & correct these problems.

  • greggebhardt

    It is a leadership problem. Not just here but through out our government.

  • quickbobo1

    When my neighbors nephew was told he wasn’t a good enough Christian to graduate cadet training, out in Colorado, he and I damned near drove out from NY to bitch slap some SOB, American uniform or not !

  • http://twitter.com/Ekaterina38 Catine E.Perkins

    Forget history, one is blind in one eye, Know not history, one is blind in both eyes
    and that is applicable to the Air Force.
    They broke away from the Army, with much tenacity and reason, since West
    Point and Anglo Saxons controlled the Army. So the Celtic Anglos, Irish and
    others remained mostly enlisted men. Many including Hap Arnold made the
    break and the Air Force became an entity within it’s self but then, as happens,
    the Celtic Anglos (mainly Appalachia) were in control and then,standards changed.
    In all probability, for a military man, General Curtis LeMay was the most effective
    General the Air Force ever produced, since most leaders in the Air Force
    gave impressions of Civil Service attitude.Gen. LeMay was tough, selective
    and skilled in separating the excellent from the borderline cases also seemed
    he had his power base stacked with the best. The men truly respected him
    and a movie was made about him at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Tx,
    about him. This no doubt caused some envy among others. A great military
    leader but a bad politician. I can only add OMG to that one.
    This is only an observance by a Cook Book and Gardener’s mentality and
    even if it is now known that the Soviets were not wanting war but injected
    on the American People for profits…as many wars are…the Air Force never
    seeming attained the military standards of the U. S. Army…of whom, did
    more, for later giving more effort to bringing end to cultural and racial
    discrimination. Our history of our Army is quite interesting and great,
    as is our history and literature for such a young Nation.
    The height of Army Medicine at Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Tx
    and other entities were not surpassed anywhere. So credit must be given
    to our past West Point Leadership but our military is woven into our
    history and seeming THE PEOPLE no longer know, who we are as a Nation
    also our responsibilities.
    Remember also, the Air Force always had a sexuality code of their own,
    so OFF WE GO INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER and this they went.