Recent Articles

Without Representation: the Urgency of Election Reform

Without Representation: the Urgency of Election Reform

America exists because a group of visionary rabble-rousers realized they were without representation in the halls of government and demanded change. They rejected the notion that society functioned best with a common, unlearned mass governed by anointed nobility. They saw the virtue of educated citizens representing themselves.  This is the most fundamental idea of our republic. All these years […]

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General Reportedly Disparages Fellow Officer: a Teachable Moment About Mistakes and Character

General Reportedly Disparages Fellow Officer: a Teachable Moment About Mistakes and Character

Part 1.  Anatomy of a Mistake. Leaders have many tools at their disposal to rally teams and create unified action.  Candor is one of the most important.  But like any instrument wielded by a leader, candor can become a liability if wielded indiscriminately or without regard for circumstances.  Brigadier General Mark Brown, Commander of Second […]

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Another One Bites the Dust: “Amateur Hour” Continues in AMC with Continuous Unexplained Firings

Another One Bites the Dust: “Amateur Hour” Continues in AMC with Continuous Unexplained Firings

Lt. Col. Tyson Willis was relieved of command of the 30th Airlift Squadron (30 AS) on August 25th, replaced by Lt. Col. Joey Dible.  Willis’ wing commander, Colonel Patrick Rhatigan, reportedly flew out to the squadron’s location in Cheyenne, Wyoming to personally preside over Willis’ departure message and to explain the firing decision to the […]

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Why.

Why.

The eagerness to question power is as American as apple pie, but it’s a dying impulse in America’s Air Force. Until the service is once again willing to hold itself accountable and wield its authority reasonably, enthusiasm for an external reform movement will persist. * * * * * Why shake a fist at the United States Air […]

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Losing Confidence: Damage Control Backfires as 4-star Confronts Disquieted Airmen

Losing Confidence: Damage Control Backfires as 4-star Confronts Disquieted Airmen

JQP featured a long-form case study last week about the seemingly arbitrary sacking of an Air Mobility Command (AMC) squadron commander and the implications of this and other recent firings for an Air Force struggling to prove to legislators, the public, and even its own airmen that it does not have an ethics problem.  The […]

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Raging White: The Jettisoning of Lt. Col. Blair Kaiser and the Air Force’s Ethics Problem

Raging White: The Jettisoning of Lt. Col. Blair Kaiser and the Air Force’s Ethics Problem

I wrote briefly in a recent piece about the unseemly firing of Lt. Col. Blair Kaiser, a highly accomplished and well-regarded officer who deployed just weeks after taking the controls of a Wyoming-based C-130 squadron, dominated a critical command role in Afghanistan, and returned home to a surprise pink slip. Without a sensible explanation, he […]

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Jammed Controls: the Systemic Reasons Why Bad Firings Usually Stick

Jammed Controls: the Systemic Reasons Why Bad Firings Usually Stick

Many have wondered aloud recently, with respect to manifestly questionable calls made within the US Air Force’s leadership cohort, why we so seldom see corrections to what appear to be poor decisions.  Given that the service’s cultural roots are so faithfully associated with the ability to rapidly and flexibly change course when the situation dictates, […]

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