"...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, March 25, 2014

Drone Trailer


DRONE TRAILER TV-Version from FlimmerFilm on Vimeo.

I noticed that Brandon Bryant is featured in this documentary, and I'm sure it will be very interesting.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Naomi Wolf - the Anti Tony Carr



"The Keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, of its functions, and its aims.  For Fascism, the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative."

- Benito Mussolini

A military buddy of mine shared this video.  I loved Naomi's documentary on the End of America.  I liked this updated version even more.  This exceptionally valuable talk from a Jewish American, daughter of Holocaust survivors, New York City dweller immediately reminded me of my disagreements with Tony Carr.

While Tony holds the view that none of our American rights in the Constitution should be protected from government if that government thinks it is acting in accordance with the fifty-one percent will of the people while ignoring or violating them, Naomi defends our imperfect Constitution against those who would demean it.  While Tony thinks the name of Hitler should not be mentioned in public discourse, Naomi rightfully recognizes that it is vitally important to discuss recent history where a western nation fell to fascism "legally."

Naomi discusses how the most successful mouth pieces, in media or religion, or the law, perhaps those with credentials from Harvard Law School, are used in the effort to destroy free nations such as America.

Principle and character matters so much more than liberal or conservative, or professed views picked from a salad bar, with the unstated goal of being popular with the masses to organize John Q. Public according to one's own power hungry agenda.

This video above is a must watch for those who take their oaths to our Constitution seriously.  It is absolutely a must for those who serve as officers in our Air Force, or in any other branch of the military.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I Long For Home


I can understand Crowe's character in Gladiator, in as much as he is ready after a career to stop battling and to return home to grow crops.  My gray hair tells me it's time.  The military life has meant more than twenty-five years away from my home.  When I finish my service and return home, it will be an emotional event.  I will certainly sing, hallelujah. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tony Carr - an OPR Made Flesh (Prequel)


Tony Carr, ala John Q. Public, has informed me that the debate we were to have (debating Tony's view that it is okay for government to violate constitutional rights, and that no rights in the constitution are inviolate but that somehow cutting military retirements is a breach of contract) is now off the table.  Tony has banned me and unfriended me on social media, only to take me back like a high school girlfriend, roughly a half dozen times since we have been corresponding.

Is the breakup for real this time?

I think it is.  After all, I really messed up on this one.  Can I have a mulligan?  No, there are some things we do that are just too serious.  So what was it?  The straw that broke the camel's back came in the form of a response on his JQP Facebook page.  Tony posted that military people who have killed the enemy in combat are mentally unhealthy.  Tony, of course, never killed the enemy during his career so I figured he would be open to a different perspective.  I happened to strongly disagree with his insinuation that I, and a great many others I know, are somehow mentally defective because we did our nation's bidding at the tip of the dagger.

My disagreeing with Tony somehow then got translated into me bringing up the irrelevant topic of killing and mental health, rather than me responding to a comment he made introducing that topic, and Tony then pronounced my view (that military professionals can kill the enemy without becoming mentally defective) as somehow offensive.  And he did this on his social media page which purports to discuss martial matters through debate.  Tony deleted my "offensive" comments, then the next day posted a black and white photo of a military aircraft dropping bombs on people below.  I remarked that I hoped that image didn't offend anybody on his page, and he then banned your humble blogger.  Tony then posted about how he had removed me, after his long and gracious and ever so thoughtful determination that I was just one heck of a bad guy with my crazy views.  It's a familiar narrative that I have heard from others who removed my ability to disagree with them and present a differing viewpoint.  A trend item, if you will.  There is a discussion to be had, but some views are just not tolerated...

After Tony removed my ability to respond on his page, scores of my fans from the Digital Clown Show (known as flyingsquadron.com) joined in on the thread, and commented about how I had been banned on that forum too.  Tony certainly shares an audience, and some moderating principles, with the always entertaining and yet saddening Digital Clown Show.  It is a shared audience to say the least, and Tony's opinions are held in high regard by the high ranking, as well as the average guy in the trenches.  He is gifted in the art of politics, or as he calls it, "consensus."

Ever since I read Tony's first blog post about how he was incredible, and destined for flag officer rank, but chose to turn it down and get out, I have been corresponding with, and carefully evaluating, his opinions and his character.  I have some very strong opinions about Tony, yet those wouldn't be worth sharing in the realm of ideas, if it weren't for the fact that he enjoys a significant pulpit in the digital discourse.

For those reasons I look forward to sharing what I have learned from my interactions with Tony, in as academic a manner as I can muster.  Tony has already made me aware that if I stray one bit and slander him, that there are some great lawyers in his neck of the woods.  I explained to him that the term he was looking for was "libel" rather than slander, and I'm expecting some tuition to be sent my way since I have educated Tony quite a bit over the last year in basics of the law.  Tony also let me know that he might call my commander if he deems my comments over the line, in our online discussion and debate over ideas.  That for some reason stirs yet another memory, and I thought it was interesting to note how his thread quickly resulted in some disparaging me because of my civil suit against a couple Border Patrol agents.

So many dots to be connected in this discussion of public service.  It's an important discussion, and friction produces light.

At any rate, I think Tony Carr provides an outstanding opportunity for discussion when it comes to officership and public service.  He provides a wonderful case study of words, which he is ever so gifted in employing, and how those words relate to tangible reality.  Put another way, I believe Tony Carr is a living, breathing, embodiment of the Officer Performance Report (OPR).

When clowns across the internet run their pie holes, only after banning me from the discussion, I will respond to them on my new Facebook page - Martial Matters.

Friday, March 14, 2014

SECAF Nailed It - Character is the Center of Gravity


Recently the Secretary of the Air Force emailed airmen the following:
To All Airmen,

Following is a very important message from General Welsh, CMSAF Cody and me regarding Core Values in our Air Force. I ask each of you to read it, internalize the message and rededicate yourself to our Air Force and our Core Values.

Respectfully,

Deborah Lee James
-------
To the Airmen of the United States Air Force:

Being an Airman is more than a job. When we voluntarily raised our right hands and took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, we became members of the profession of arms. Underpinning that profession is the sacred trust given to us by the American people. To meet their expectations, we must build our lives and shape our service on the foundation of our core values: Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence In All We Do. Throughout our history as a service, Airmen with tremendous moral courage have taught us there is no replacement for virtue, character, dignity and respect. Today’s Airmen—active, Guard, Reserve and civilian—must continue this tradition.

When Airmen fail to live up to our core values, the reputation of all who serve is tarnished. We must have the strength of character to do and say the right things at the right times, always with diplomacy, tact and respect. Being a wingman does not mean protecting those who lack integrity or fail to uphold the core values; it means not tolerating them. You are accountable not only for your actions, but also for failing to take action if you see bad behavior.

Today we challenge each and every Airman to reaffirm their commitment to our core values by finding new ways to live these values each and every day. This reaffirmation will strengthen the trust between Airmen, and our commitment to one another. It also reassures the American public we are worthy of their trust.

Thank you for representing the Air Force so well and exhibiting pride and courage in our service. If you have questions about our core values, please seek out guidance and assistance from people who can help: commanders, first sergeants, chaplains and inspectors general are available to provide counsel and advice. Because of who we are, and what we do, Integrity, Service and Excellence carry special meaning for all of us. Always remember that it is an honor to be called “Airman.” We must earn that honor, every day.

Deborah Lee James
Secretary of the Air Force

Mark A. Welsh III
General, USAF
Chief of Staff

James A. Cody
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

Emails can't magically fix organizational problems, nor should they be expected to.  But they can help, and this message is helpful, in so much as airmen trust that leadership means what it says.  That's a problem if airmen can't walk into an MPF without seeing dozens of "Integrity" and "Courage" posters on the wall, before witnessing their leadership act completely out of step with the hallway pictorials.

Deeds not words.  That is where the rubber meets the road, and certainly when it comes to displaying the courage and character the Secretary instructs us to remember is required to earn the honor of being public servants in our air service.  Anybody can talk a good bar game.  Principled action is required - and action in this department is very difficult and does not win friends.

Still, words are important, and our new Secretary has nailed the most important issue plaguing our service from top to bottom.  Character.  Some lament that our serious issues are a leadership problem, bristle that guidance like this comes from the top in such an imperfect organization, and point the finger at the top.  Their criticism isn't without merit.  But in my view, we have less a leadership problem and much more a followership problem in our service.  When those of us in the trenches do the right thing and act as professional public servants, regardless of any impact to our careers or convenience, then our organization will improve, and the next generation of leadership will be plucked from our ranks.  Be the Air Force you know the nation deserves.

So if you care about our service and our ability to make good on the investment the taxpayers provide, then take this email to heart and elevate your service.  Mentor your peers who advise you to "play the game."  Share with them that what we do is not a game, it's deadly serious and important.  It's a profession.  This email from the Secretary can help in that endeavor.  Pay particular attention to words used like courage, character, profession of arms, sacred trust, constitution, and honor.  

Then live it, regardless of what others around and above you do.  Service.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PYB Going on National Television News


I've been invited to discuss defending the Constitution on a major television news network in the very soon time frame, and I look forward to that opportunity.

I'm probably the least suited person I know for the television business, but my itinerary says there is a "hair and makeup" session so I hope that makes everything good to go.  Or maybe they mistook an attack pilot for a fighter pilot, and just threw the makeup in as a courtesy.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Is the Air Force Dam About to Burst?


It started off as an announcement of doom and gloom right before the Christmas holidays, so that people and their families could plan their futures and have some certainty.  As folks are fond of saying in the service, bad news doesn't get any better with age, and the force shaping news was certainly bad.  It was yet another stressor for already stressed airmen, but the service attempted to mitigate it.

Unfortunately, that is not what happened by a long shot.

Those of us who have been around awhile have heard the warnings from leadership for decades now.  We are breaking the force.  We cannot sustain this ops tempo.  Something is going to give.  It appears that day has arrived, as service members are apparently flocking to leave the Air Force.

After delayed information, several false starts, divergent information from AFPC and neon question marks illuminated across wings throughout the Air Force, the service has decided to call knock it off on the voluntary separation programs, as the Air Force Times recently reported.  It has been dubbed a "strategic delay."  Weeks earlier, the Air Force called a halt to the involuntary program and nullified issued guidance.

Rumors now abound across the internet.  There are reports that the Chief of Staff of the Air Force was unaware of the problems in the force management program until a few days ago.  Many are voicing their opinion that the A1 needs to be fired, and that heads need to roll for an embarrassing debacle that has hurt people and the mission.  Others are complaining about job interviews and job offers that will now go by the wayside as they try to plan their family's lives based on the information they were explicitly given for that very reason, which has now become null and void.  And there are rumors from people who claim to know someone inside AFPC, that claim the Air Force circuit breaker has simply popped after being overwhelmed with the number of applications from airmen voluntarily seeking to exit the service.

Some of those rumors put the number at 40,000+ voluntary applications, while others put it at 50K, 70K, and even 100,000 applications.  With a rumor-producing vacuum of guidance, it's hard to know where the truth lies.  I don't imagine a number will ever be confirmed publicly, but all the evidence suggests to me that an overwhelming number of service members want out of our Air Force, and they want out now.  Of course, the previous TERA likely provided the same indicators, although only a trickle were approved for early retirement.

This should be good news for a service that stated a goal of removing 25,000 airmen over five years, and that maintained that it would use voluntary programs to the maximum extent possible to lessen the requirement for involuntary measures.

But it is not good news.  Rather, it's the ultimate climate assessment.  The voluntary exodus of tens of thousands of airmen into a bad economy, realized or not by the flesh peddlers, just goes to show that something is terribly wrong in our service.

It will be very interesting to see how this force shaping program is handled from here on out.  Whatever the decisions made with the fate of airmen, one thing is certain.  They will leave one way or another, it's just a matter of when and how.

What will the Air Force do then?

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) Amicus Brief

I'm very happy to announce that the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) today filed an amicus brief in support of my appeal to the Fifth Circuit, over the unconstitutional actions of Border Patrol agents while I was stationed at Laughlin AFB.

It's an excellent legal brief by the TCRP, and you can read it below.

Those interested in watching the thirty-four minute video of the detention at the checkpoint that formed the basis for my civil suit, can view the video here.