"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Rain-Covered-Man A-10

Colonel Frank Fitts (ret) - A Rain Covered Man

Today, I have been accused of being a sleeping Major Nidal Hasan, a traitor, just waiting to take violent action against those I serve with in uniform. My accuser? A retired Air Force Lt Colonel. It's not surprising, as this same man months ago went on an online crusade to convince others that I was a psychopath who would turn my weapons on my own troops, and that I was plotting violence against my government, and that I was certain to have a mental breakdown that would result in collateral damage against those around me. He said he hoped that my commander was made aware of my mental issues, and that I was taken off the flying schedule.

This was several months ago. So why his tirade today? Because he discovered my blog post that took him to task for his comments on using Air Force munitions against American protestors. So, of course, he decided that he must illuminate what a threat that makes me to America.

It makes sense, just ask him.

He levies serious charges against me. Awhile back I blogged about the Active Shooter program and how its academically lacking precepts could be used to punish legitimate reformers in the Air Force. Now this former weapons officer and A-10 pilot, continues his diatribe against me online and in front of those I know and work with. How did Dr. "Rainman A-10" reach his diagnosis? That's a great question, and I'll get to it, but I'd like to first provide the credentials of Dr. Rainman. Picture him in his white coat, with his medical degree on the wall, and consider some of his works published in the most reputable medical journals.

Actually disregard my last, he doesn't have any of those credentials. But he does publish quite a bit, and he knows the Air Force and what is right and wrong with it, and he goes out of his way to mentor as only he knows how. For example, he once provided some mentoring to a female Air Force cadet from MIT, who tried very hard to measure up in his eyes, in her apparent hopes to one day be a military pilot like him. She should consider herself lucky to have a retired colonel, a former commander, make himself so accessible to her. In a thread regarding a young female officer trying to fit in with her male counterparts while attending Air Force pilot training, Dr. Rainman opened up his overflowing font of wisdom by stating that, "Pussification of the USAF started with reactions to shit like this. This is exactly what happened to the USAF I joined as an Iron Ass Reagan Baby as soon as we let girls into fighter squadrons." The MIT cadet responded that the "pussification" of the Air Force was not just the result of women serving, but also of the men who ran the Air Force. Dr. Rainman responded to her:
STFU, bitch. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about and even less credibility to to [sic] make such comments. Get a decade of experience in a fighter squadron and I'll talk to you about this. Until then, shut your manpleaser.
The cadet followed up with a witty response, stating "Fair enough, but by the time I have a decade of experience, you will be back in diapers." All thought this a funny and appropriate response, well played. Except for the good Colonel, who had what some might call a psychotic break in response:
The odd thing is you're a fucking cunt cadet who has not served your country for one fucking day, let alone ever flown a military aircraft, and you're talking shit like you have an actual point of view that is anything near valid. In the real world that's how bitches get slapped. Know your role and get on your knees, bitch.
The young cadet spars back and forth in her attempt to show that she can fit in, and that she's just playing the game, by the rough and tumble thick-skin rules that have been stated for the Squadron Bar. It's easy to see the disillusion in her posts, and her participation on the board drops significantly. The lesson is clear, submit to the sacred cows of the group who do not practice the rules they preach, or be gone. She hadn't yet submitted (though she ultimately did and thanked Dr. Rainman for his advice), so the good Colonel gave her a nice parting shot, saying "OK, I've given fair warning...have at her boys. I don't think this is going to last long...they never look all that great once the mascara and lipstick start to smear after five or ten ATM face shots." The crowd obliges, and the "advice" is reinforced by several others who demonstrate how well they fit in with their own contributions, following the lead of The Old Man.

Dr. Rainman raises one thing that is worthy of discussion. Points of view that are nowhere near valid. That brings us to his assertions that I am the next Maj Nidal Hasan, and that the Air Force should take notice.

Before continuing to point out the diagnosis offered, the reader might very well ask why I would blemish my blog by responding to somebody who is quite clearly an idiot of epic proportion, and who appears to be incredibly insecure. After all, this is the internet, and there are many insecure idiots who populate it. The answer is two part. First, the charges he continues to make against me are deadly serious. Second, he has a prominent voice online, and his voice and views have a sizable role in shaping the culture and expectations of the officers we recruit. He is considered "the godfather" of the BaseOps.Net forums, something of a mascot. He enjoys a special place on those forums due to his real world relationship with the men who own and run the forum, and for better or for worse, the forum has actual significance to the Air Force aviation community. Particularly concerning cadets who hope to understand what the Air Force requires of newly minted pilots, who look to current pilots to mirror, so that they can fit in and join the fraternity one day. His voice is therefore significant.

It is a training ground for the next generation of Air Force officers, and Dr. Rainman is the star of the faculty. He successfully taught the young female MIT cadet what was required to fit in and succeed. If you want to be a part of us, you will swallow your pride even when you are right, never pass up the opportunity to remain silent when told to do so, and most importantly, regardless of right or wrong, you will submit.

Put another way, as Dr. Rainman instructs in a thread on leadership, "You've got to pick your battles and you need to maintain your self-preservation instinct."

If self preservation is the priority, then it makes sense to pick no battles at all. That is the lesson many on the board learn and imitate, resulting in de-fanged pretend warriors, who play a part as if in a musical. Bit by bit they are trained to be submissive, to not display courage, or to stand for principle. Like the MIT cadet who learned to take a beating, and then tuck tail in submission, and then to praise her instructor for the lesson. Dr. Rainman's lesson is not without value. Being submissive certainly does help maintain self preservation. The American citizen, however, is not paying for submissive military officers who preserve themselves at the expense of the nation. Such public servants are recognized as cowards at best, and frauds at worst. So rationalizations like "pick your battles" are taught to them to help them justify their value choices to themselves, while a false bravado is taught in order to disguise the truth of their character to others. America's sword is dulled by this subtle training, and the cleverly wrapped lessons from a Colonel who presents an unauthentic replica of the swagger of Robin Olds, but fails to model his substance. Without the substance, the swagger is just fantasy and role playing.

The good Colonel tried to teach me his wisdom. Months ago, after that forum found my blog and posted it with praise, I was prompted to join and get into the discussion, and did so to try to prevent the pitchforks that were inevitable once they found my master's thesis. I took it upon myself to bring the Constitution, and our need to defend it, into the discussion. It's an important topic. I was hoping it would be warmly received. After all, there are many self proclaimed conservatives on the board, and conservative or not, we all should take our oaths seriously.

It began well enough, in threads that have now been deleted, but that I preserved, and many thought I made good points and my board reputation steadily climbed. Several mentioned that the threads I was engaged in formed the best discussion BaseOps.Net had seen in awhile. Several others private messaged me and said they were glad I was posting on the board. But Dr. Rainman found my thesis, and thought I had no business critiquing the fighter pilot or corporate cultures (he was part of both cultures, he said). The fact that I had done so meant I had no credibility in any discussion. After his off topic objection, the discussion continued on the importance of refusing an unconstitutional order if given one. I mentioned my membership in Oath Keepers after a moderator posted a link to the organization. Somebody brought up the illegal email that was sent throughout the fighter pilot community regarding my critique of fighter pilot culture. Then the accusations of being crazy began.

The pitchforks were grabbed and the torches lit, and the young and impressionable began to jump into the insulting foray hoping to score some quick social points with the old heads, including the MIT cadet previously referenced. Still, the discussion turned to the legality of Libya, and also to a healthy debate on military troops disarming citizens after Katrina. While several admitted that they would have refused to disarm American citizens, many were of the opinion that we should always follow orders. I asked Dr. Rainman if he would have disarmed Americans but he refused to answer the question. He did, however, make it clear that he believed officers should never question orders. I was asked what I would have done if the others around me thought it was acceptable to disarm the citizens, and started doing so. Would I turn my weapon on them? I responded that I would not, that my job was simply to disobey unlawful orders. Dr. Rainman then responded:
Bullshit. There is a scenario known only to you and you fellow fringemates. It may be planned or it may happen as several of you are put into a scenario where you look each other in the eye and all hell breaks loose...You do not trust the police or your fellow officers. You will not have to act alone. you are part (and recruit for, even on these message boards) of a shadow organization within the military who will also be clicking their safety off in unison.
The good Colonel followed this up by claiming I was infecting others with my dangerous ideas, and claimed I was responsible for the "unfortunate consequence of entangling the spouse of someone in [my] chain." The spouse he referred to had contacted me on that forum to thank me for raising the discussion, and her husband was not, and is not, in my chain of command. The spouse messaged Dr. Rainman to inform him of this fact, but he continued to make the assertion knowing that it was untrue. Honesty is far less appealing than the narrative of a crazy man infecting the troops in his charge with seditious ideas. Integrity first, indeed. But Dr. Rainman is right that my ideas have reach. They are American ideas, and there are still Americans in this country who recognize them. The spouse, her husband, and my wife and I later discussed those ideas at lunch. The spouse had contacted me precisely because she shares the idea that liberty and the rule of law in America are threatened. She didn't need me to instruct her or convince her to value America. She reached out to me because, like me, she is very worried that those she pays to defend America, may not be able or willing to deliver.

Dr. Rainman is also concerned with ideas. Toxic ideas and dangerous speech that must be controlled, and cannot be allowed to spread. We must not allow these crazy, plotting, devious people to share their crazy viewpoints. As Dr. Rainman stated when he provided more of his diagnosis of me on the forum:
Like all lunatics his mental health issues will result in a major psychotic break unless they are professionally treated. He will eventually self destruct in a major flameout. Hopefully no one gets hurt but there is no guarantee. There will likely be collateral damage and one of the effects will be this site going down the shitter. Clear enough?
He later added dementia and sadism to his diagnosis, and claimed I was responsible for "dangerous speech" that "incites insubordination" and that would destroy their web forum. He then appealed to the moderators. The Constitution thread was locked. A moderator made it clear in the now deleted Libya thread that "politics" would not be discussed, and the discussion slowed almost to a halt. Then my posts began to get deleted, including a poll I started, to see who had displayed courage outside of combat and to share what they had risked to do the right thing for their country. Courage outside combat was apparently an unacceptable topic. When it became clear that I could not post or participate without having my contributions censored, I told the several moderators who had banded together, to get it over with, to ban me if I would not be allowed to stand on the merit of my ideas. After all, the forum is private property and when in a man's house I abide by his rules or I leave. I was banned.

Months later, after several requested the unlocking of the Constitution Debate thread (a thread now renamed, with posters renamed to falsely imply various accounts are the same person), the thread was deleted, then altered, then "restored." Some ideas are just too crazy and must be stopped. As Dr. Rainman has taught us, those ideas and a dedication to defending them in accordance with an oath before God, is clear proof of somebody who is psychotic, and crazy, and secretly plotting against his government. Passionately advocating the defense of America and its rule of law, is evidence of intent to attack America and subvert its rule of law.

At least in the mind of the good Colonel, who knows women ruined the military, and who can spot a traitor on sight. The good Colonel knows what's what, and our next generation of young aviators are eager for his wisdom, and ready to measure up to his example. Especially since his example is appealing, in that it focuses on self preservation, instead of risking self to strengthen America.

This good Colonel walks into view, dripping from the rain, his white t-shirt drenched. A loud talking, macho, patriotic, heroic defender of freedom. A real American patriot in the eyes of the neighbors. But he has a secret.

He's not who the neighbors think he is.

So get back to discussing how to drop munitions on American protestors, Colonel. That's real American Beauty. But make sure you dry yourself off, Rainman. You're soaked. And, of course, don't forget to remind the youngsters about dangerous speech. In the real world, you know, "that's how bitches get slapped."


  1. well said. and i will add, from a civilian standpoint, my own thoughts:

    considering those posting are supposed to be the "best and brightest" and the "defenders" of our "freedoms," i have .0001% of hope for this nation.

    sure, they have the right to speak about blowing people up. the 1st amendment protects that speech. the irony here is that they are speaking about blowing up the people who, also, are exercising their rights of free speech. a right that, even though they disagree with (or can't figure out exactly what) the points the protesters are attempting to make, they should be doing their utmost to uphold.

    the absolute horrifying part about it all is that these "men" have the ability to blow up said protesters. there are no hypotheticals here. i don't give a sh*t if they are only speaking of such things from a humorous aspect (which i highly doubt due to the their seeming inability to identify or produce satire and their love of all things mangled and destroyed), to discuss such things on a public forum, knowing full well that some of the people advocating such actions have access to and the ability to actually carry out such things (blowing up american citizens) is irresponsible at the least, reprehensible and repulsive at the medium and treasonous when viewing it from the Rule of Law's perspective.

    the men possess so much pride, all i can hope for is that these people will devour each other in the process of seizing power. but, i'm very aware of the human psyche and all it takes is a common enemy (in the case of the above men, it would be american citizens they have vilified) to unite them in their quest to eradicate the world of people that aren't a penny-stamp replica of themselves (ideologies included).

  2. The culture has serious challenges for sure. But I'm not sure Air Force aviators are a good representation of our military as a whole. I hope not. Many have commented on the culture as a pampered, entitled, arrogant one that sees itself as some sort of nobility. That characterization is nothing new, and perhaps this talk of using force against protesters isn't that new. Stinks of passed down Vietnam memories.

    But these protestors now aren't protesting Vietnam, and I'm not sure anybody has agreed on what they want. But the fact that some military officers are talking about napalming them and cheer them being pepper sprayed, is perhaps a major change in the culture. Violence against protestors, simply for protesting.

    This is perhaps the ultimate herd/sheep "fit in" crowd in the military. And it's largely image based. That's why so many who should be otherwise, act so juvenile. The arrogance leads to them shine their asses in public as they do, without being embarrassed as they should. Reminds me of the WIC instructor I quote in my master's thesis, who had the nerve to actually tell a television crew and the nation, that even if a student pilot was able to successfully fly the F-15C, if he didn't fit in socially they would wash him out. Priorities.

    It's a culture that needs a great deal of reform, no doubt, and the Air Force really needs to take the Constitution seriously. So much garbage taught in PME, and yet most officers have no idea about the core document that forms the nation and, by regulation, the first duty of the DoD - which is to support and defend the Constitution.

    It's not good for civil-military relations when those who civilians pay to protect their rights, are too busy playing grab ass and talking of violating them.