Well, you don’t see that every day.
General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, took the stage at the Air Force Association symposium wearing (a variation of) a Captain America mask:
General Welsh, who once answered a cadet’s question about what he was wearing under his flight suit by dropping his zipper, has long been a popular and effective leader. His ability to communicate effectively to every Airman — something he does exceptionally well — has been a key to that success.
General Welsh’s entire presentation can be seen here.
Update: Now also noted at the Air Force Times.
Most recent articles on the high visibility sexual scandals in the Air Force have focused on charges of sexual assault, largely with reference to the Lackland basic training incidents. Despite a fairly thorough article at the New York Times (which included that topic), almost no one has been talking about Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Smith — who is threatening to sue the US Air Force over the sexually-charged atmosphere in the fighter pilot world. (The Air Force Times picked up on the story just days ago.)
This is particularly notable in light of the recent “health and welfare inspection” ordered by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Mark Welsh, since the inspection seems to precisely target some of TSgt’s Smith’s allegations (yet the media continues to connect it to other accusations). Notably, there are reports Shaw AFB — where TSgt Smith reportedly lodged the complaint — did a “health and welfare” inspection weeks before Gen Welsh ordered it Air Force wide. The organization representing TSgt Smith, “Protecting our Defenders,” certainly made the connection.
As noted in the New York Times more than a month ago, TSgt Smith has filed an “administrative complaint” (PDF, with attachments) that reads much like a primer on the vices of the fighter pilot world. She seeks Read more
Prepare to hang up those polyester pants, ladies and gentlemen.
As reported in the Air Force Times, Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark Welsh “decided not to renew” the Air Force-wide “blues Mondays” instituted by his predecessor, Gen Schwartz (a widely-panned decision noted even in the infamous Dear Boss letter). This means the authority for the uniform policy reverts to the MAJCOM, rather than HQ Air Force, level:
Accordingly, both Air Force Space Command and Air Force Special Operations Command have ended Blues Mondays. Other major commands, Read more
A few hours after ChristianFighterPilot.com noted the publication of AFI 1-1 (an event that occurred the week prior), Michael Weinstein published his own review of the AFI on his “progressive” Alternet-hosted blog. This wouldn’t be the first time Weinstein and his crew demonstrated a propensity to glean from this site — though once before they at least took the time to backdate their own publication so it looked like they’d found it on their own.
Weinstein’s new missive is little more than a continuation of his prior screed, decrying the service of General Schwartz and, as predicted, taking the first step in trying to ingratiate himself to the new Air Force Chief of Staff: Read more
In December of last year a group called on Congress to investigate the relationship of the US Air Force with Michael Weinstein, the President of his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Weinstein has shown an ability to access private military records, apparently through his “high ranking” contacts, and his public statements seemed to indicate he was given unusually unfettered access to senior leadership.
A portion of Weinstein’s relationship with the USAF was revealed as recently as the blurb on Weinstein’s newest book, when the newly retired Air Force Judge Advocate General, three-star LtGen Jack Rives, “came out” as a strong cheerleader for Weinstein’s cause. Gen Rives had been charged with advising the Air Force in its dealings with Weinstein’s continuous complaints — while he simultaneously supported Weinstein’s “tireless civil rights fight against fundamentalist religious predators in our nation’s armed forces.”
Weinstein has now published a 2,000-word diatribe admitting to Read more
Newly-retired General Norton Schwartz’s parting gift to the Air Force was Air Force Instruction 1-1, a newly formed regulation (dated 7 Aug 2012, three days before his retirement) simply entitled “Air Force Standards” (implementing AFPD1).
Unlike other standalone AFIs, the new 1-1 is essentially a collection of the high points from multiple other regulations, or citations with a Chief of Staff tweak. For example, there are paragraphs on professional relationships, drug use, and paying one’s bills. Airmen are prohibited from ever burning an American flag (except for its reverent disposition), and Airmen can travel in any uniform — except the flight suit. While some people have mocked the fact bullying and hazing are allowed in this AFI if they are part of an approved training program, certain specialized programs do exist that would likely fall under some definitions of “hazing,” despite their essential contribution to the Air Force mission.
There are, however, two notable “new” subjects.
First, General Schwartz included a paragraph from his 2011 memo on “religious neutrality.” The same memo over which Michael Weinstein berated USAFA Superintendent General Mike Gould for not distributing to all Airmen is now Read more
General Mark Welsh became the 20th Chief of Staff of the Air Force last week.
While he is an immensely popular General already, the video and photos of the ceremony in which he became the chief have inspired a slew of responses with one question more indicative of a high school prom than a military event:
What in the world was the General wearing?
It is reminiscent of the Hap Arnold uniform designed a few years ago — which was shelved. The odd uniform had some commenters nervous that (yet another) Air Force uniform change was on its way, but, to this point, that does not appear to be the case. If that’s the first “issue” the new Chief has, it can’t be that bad…
On August 10th, General Mark Welsh will become the next US Air Force Chief of Staff. His Senate confirmation had previously been on hold. Welsh, who is popular for his well-delivered inspirational messages and straight-shooting, will replace retiring General Norton Schwartz. The Air Force Times said one of General Welsh’s first jobs will be to “repair” the damage done to the Air Force’s relationship with Congress — under Schwartz, who has Read more