Friday, October 26, 2007

Robert Farley, PhD, assistant professor, Patterson School o f Diplomacy and International Commerce has written much about the military. Abolish the Air Force is a title of one of his published scholastic writings where he presents reasons why the United States Air Force lacks usefulness to remain a separate military department.

There is significant misunderstanding of military departments as war-fighting organizations. The military departments do not fight wars. The departments provide war-fighting assets organized, trained and equipped as units to the combatant commanders. The operational (or war fighting) chain of command resides in the power and authority of the President of the United States and subsequently delegated down through the Secretary of Defense, the Combatant Commanders and then to the unit commanders assigned to them in the region they are responsible for.

The Department Chief of Staff, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff are not in the operational chain of command, in fact they have no command appointment or command authority and neither can they appoint themselves to command. When units of the Army, Navy, Air Force mobilize and deploy to conduct military operations, they mobilize and deploy as armed forces of the United States and not as a military department or service. Consequently to suggest the Air Forces missions can be folded into the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps without loss in national power and significant cost saving will result is deceptive because all units of each department (component) do fold into unity of command under the operational combat chain of command.

The combatant chain of command flows directly from the President, to Secretary of Defense to the combatant commander, to the component commanders, to the unit commanders to the commissioned, warrant, and NCO in charge of the smaller tactical elements of the unit. The Department of the Air Force is functional and lacking in authority and responsibility for conducting military operations.

The Department of the Air Force concerns itself with organizing, training, and equipping units to provide a designated capability when needed. Whether there is or isn’t a Department of the Air Force, somebody has to be doing something to ensure units are organized, trained, equipped and ready to do what they are expected to do. More importantly units still need to be commanded by persons having competence and expertise in the employment of air power. Consequently there is minimal cost savings for arguing the abolishing of a Military Department having functional responsibilities that will not go away no matter how those functional responsibilities are realigned.

This attractiveness of mixed utilization of air power absorbed completely into the Army and Navy will unlikely correct unsatisfactory performance and deficiencies of air power that are primarily result from political actions of government and not from combat command and control authority and actions. In an active combat zone or during other than war military operations the mixed joint operation utilization is there. Doing away with the Department of the Air Force would not improve efficiency and effectiveness of command and control. It would not change employment tactics but capabilities not directly supporting Army maneuver on the battlefield would certainly take lesser of an importance when budget decisions have to be made.

With current fight on the battlefield lacking interdiction, counter air, and strategic attack the merits to do away with the Air Force are very attractive. An attractiveness that will immediately disappear the moment any conflict happens with a significant regional power or several less significant aligned regional powers. There is much usefulness in having redundant subordinate headquarter command and control dispersed to control maneuver and employment of units and their smaller tactical elements. It prevents task saturation overwhelming a single headquarters with too much concurrent and consecutive crisis response and management. Having a Department of the Air Force ensures there is air power expertise involved in the command and control of air power assets at each level of the operational chain of command.

Concerns of the Air Force going out of business is directly or indirectly disclosed in comments made by many top uniformed Air Force Leaders and even the Secretary of the Air Force. U.S Army Secretary Pete Geren’s response, when asked about Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne’s recent comments that USAF is “going out of business,” included the “USAF does suffer from a very real disadvantage in the budget battle due to a perception it has little contribution to combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Because they are not in the fight to the degree that the Army is leaves the Air Force “disadvantaged in the competition for funds.” Regarding questions pertinent to tactical airlift the Honorable Geren stated “the Army Owns "Last Tactical Mile."

Certainly-so the debate of the Air Force’s executive agent approach and desire to manage DoD’s medium- to high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) programs certainly indicate the extent of role and mission identity conflicts. However, the simplest essence of identity confusion is disclosed by Retired US Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and former vice chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking at the first public presentation for the Global Air Chiefs Conference. He suggested airmen lack a voice in the national security matters because “Airmen are looked at as technicians. … In many ways we are our own worst enemy. We don’t want to leave the cockpit.” This is certainly true and while not unique to the Air Force the reduction in need for combatants having fighting combat skills and increased need to sustain a higher aptitude force structure trained in primarily mechanical, technical, and management occupations causes a distinct difference from the Army, Marines, and to some lesser extent the Navy. The other distinction is most of the fighters are rated commissioned aircrew having minimal command and lead of units into battle duties and responsibilities.

Since WWII a high degree of education and literacy in the being required to posses a baccalaureate has become more important than being of good moral character and being physically qualified for active service for all the military departments. This combined with baccalaureate becoming equated with craftsman qualification to service or operate complex equipment or in the service sector providing ability to supervise or manage complex programs and operations has diluted the role of commission in the Air Force more than any other military department.

The day-to-day duty role of the typical commissioned officer in the Air Force has become indistinguishable from the enlisted and NCO technicians/specialists. The distinguisher in most instances is not performance or command duties and responsibilities but only possession of superior rank and higher pay. If there is any reason for doing away of the Air Force as a military department it is the abundance of technicians and lack of warriors.

The justification for the Air Force however is task saturation and expertise of applying air power. Unfortunately, it will take a significant regional conflict to demonstrate rapid developing multiple crisis and rapid change requires redundant and separate Headquarters command and control to prevent task situation. An overwhelmed commander managing too many air and ground actions is bound to overlook something that needs an immediate response or lacks the expertise of knowing what assets can and cannot do. This is why airpower expertise and a separate military department are needed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SERE Training for all Airmen

Reference: CSAF's Scope highlights SERE training, AMU reorganization, SERE training to be required for all Airmen, and Air Force to increase SERE training for all.

"As we've seen recently, the capture of military personnel has the potential of exploding into a larger strategic event with global impacts," General Moseley said. "Today's battlefields are non-linear and non-contiguous; their shape and venue change constantly. I worry we've not prepared our Airmen for the world we're operating in."

In today's ever-changing world, Airmen increasingly find themselves in a non-traditional environment outside the wire. SERE training teaches Airmen principles, techniques and skills to survive in any environment, avoid capture, resist and escape if captured.

“We’ve got to start training the total force,” said Chief Master Sgt. John Myers, the SERE career field manager. “It’s a matter of time before we have the airman transporter or ... clerk or personnelist that steps outside the wire for a tour of town and gets grabbed. We’re a target ... out there.”
The public indistinct reasons given for SERE training to be given to all members of the Air Force is: (1) capture of military personnel has the potential of exploding into a larger strategic event with global impacts; (2) prepare all Air Force Airmen for the non-linear and non-contiguous battlefields U.S. Armed Forces are operating in; and, (3) because every Airman is in jeopardy of being captured and needs to know how to survive in this situation. Unfortunately, these indistinct reasons fail to address the conditions and circumstances causing the event and more importantly how avoid capture, resist, and escape has changed from what was encountered during past military operations.

A purpose of SERE training is to give some sound common sense basic knowledge and experience airmen can use when they are cut off, shot down, or otherwise isolated in enemy-controlled territory, when they must make every effort to avoid capture. If captured, SERE training also has a purpose of increasing chances to escape or to otherwise to return home in good physical and mental condition when released or freed from captivity.

The “Code of Conduct for Members of the Armed Forces” makes it clear and distinct how surrender and capture differ. Justification on emotional appeal to herd safety should a member or members of the herd find themselves in a SERE event avoids the larger question is what exactly holds any member of the armed forces to the spirit and intent of the “Code of Conduct for Members of the Armed Forces” and gives individuals the warrior mettle to attempt to avoid capture, resist and escape if captured? SERE training fails to bring with it other equally important elementary training to have the combat skill of being able to shoot and perform simple small team immediate response to ambush drills so the airmen in a patrol or other military element conduction operations outside the wire has a chance to successfully establish a defendable position or concealed position and avoid capture until reinforcements arrive or recovered by combat rescue forces.

Believing SERE training alone will reduce the potential of captured military personnel exploding into a larger strategic event with global impacts and empty context of battlefield description diminishes how lawful combatants fight on the battlefield or how lawful combatants become isolated and captured.

There have been recent captures exploding into strategic events having global impact such as the March 23, 2007 Iranian naval forces seizure at gunpoint of 15 British sailors and marines who were on a "routine" mission inspecting merchant ships in Iraqi waters, or perhaps March 23, 2003 when an Army convoy due to navigational error took a wrong turn into an ambush and found that most of their weapons malfunctioned.

A study of capture events will show many of these events happened because of bad operational planning, poor operation execution, or rules of engagement put military members into an unable to fight back to win situation, on rare occasion some capture events happened because the military member just gave up when hardship and hazard confronted them. Then of course there is going missing events such as Major Jill Metzger who claims capture and escape but nothing can be verified as to who captured her and why. However, captures explode into a strategic event with global impact because something is being exploited by the enemy or by friendly domestic media wanting to make headlines for profit, to promote an agenda, or to influence public opinion. SERE training would not have prevented any of these captures from becoming strategic events having global consequences.

The rules of evasion, resistance, and escape are limited and controlled in the same way rules of engagement controlling, limiting, and restricting U.S. military operations reflect the intent of the Geneva Conventions and other international laws. While there is no dishonor in being captured, successful escape and evasion is rare. Successful escape and evasion after escape is rare because it takes considerable determination, perseverance and a plan. It has additional hazards as once escaped from capture the military member is no longer a lawful combatant so any crimes committed while evading after escape from capture becomes a problem if recaptured by the enemy.

Terrorists typically do not abide by the Geneva Conventions. Current mode of exploitation of anybody they capture is if not immediately brutally mutilated and murdered is video exploitation showing captive held by hooded anonymous guards threatening to decapitate or execute their captive if their demands are not met.

If conduct and behavior once captured by a bunch of terrorist is the concern, I personally subscribe to the advice offered by General Patton who said “nobody won a war by dieing for their country, they won it by making the other poor SOB die for his” and who also said “I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either.”

Trivializing the hazards and hardship of capture to being reduced by SERE training of skinning rabbits, camels, and goats, building shelters, concealment, and overland foot travel is not the most needed training needed to avoid and to survive capture in the typical deployed to military area of operations. I suggest perhaps it would be better to give all Air Force members the basic combat skill of being able to shoot and perform simple small team immediate response to ambush drills so each airman has a chance to successfully fight and avoid capture than to focus only on you will get captured and this is how you will escape and evade. The Air Force needs a culture change from the warriors are the pilots and everybody else is rear element support to all airmen are members of the uniformed armed services of the United States with military obligations to be prepared to fight and defend.

On a tangent, I wonder if concerns “steps outside the wire for a tour of town and gets grabbed” and “"As we've seen recently, the capture of military personnel has the potential of exploding into a larger strategic event with global impacts” is a “tail wagging the dog”.

The went missing misadventures of Major Jill Metzger in Kyrgyzstan while shopping in September 2006 was explained by her as being abducted and subsequently overpowering her captors and running 30-40 miles to freedom. Although her claims are unbelievable and still under investigation she was during the month of July 2007 put on a Temporary Disability Retirement for PTSD resulting from the stress of her capture and escape. SERE training unfortunately can not prevent events that result from lacking character or lacking mental and emotional fitness. Neither should the excuse SERE training is not provided to all airmen be used as the excuse for allowing a cover up.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Temporary retirement official for Metzger
By Patrick Winn - Staff writerPosted : Thursday Jul 19, 2007 12:13:36 EDT

Maj. Jill Metzger’s much-debated placement on “Temporary Disability Retirement” status is official, according to the Air Force.

Metzger, whose claims of being kidnapped and beaten in Kyrgyzstan are still under investigation, will receive pay and benefits during her temporary retirement. Though Metzger has not yet spoken to the media, her family said she was professionally diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by physicians at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Temporary retirement appointments are somewhat uncommon. Metzger is among roughly 230 granted this year so far. There were 516 last year, 459 in 2005 and 325 in 2004, according to the Air Force.

According to Air Force policy, she’ll be re-examined within 18 months. If she’s found to be fit, she can return to duty. If not, her temporary retirement could continue or she could be recommended for permanent retirement or discharge with severance pay. Airmen cannot stay on temporary retirement for more than five years.

Metzger is now with her husband, Capt. Joshua Mayo, an officer stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The Air Force Office of Special Investigation — which employs Mayo — continues to investigate Metzger’s account of abduction and torture. The major has said she was kidnapped from a mall in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, near Manas Air Base, where she was stationed.

Metzger resurfaced three days after her September disappearance with her blonde hair cut short and dyed brown. Internet speculation on blogs and message boards has suggested she faked the abduction, though Metzger said she escaped by striking one of her captors and fleeing into the desert.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Major Jill Metzger's Disability Retirement and relevance to Courts-Martail Jurisdiction

The imminent change of Major Jill Metzger’s active duty status to discharged into temporary disability retired status as reported by the Stars & Stripes and Air Force Times in articles published between July 4, 2007 and July 13, 2007 is lacking official press release confirmation.

The discharge decision to place Major Metzger into Temporary Disability Retirement while claims of her missing status resulted from kidnapping is being investigated is a puzzling mystery as this places Major Jill Metzger into further legal risk of criminal offense of fraudulently obtaining her discharge. Simply any administrative discharge to include disability approval prior to completion of investigation places Major Jill Metzger indefinitely under the policing authority jurisdiction of courts-martial as stipulated in U.S. Code Title 10 Chapter 47 § 803. Art. 3. Jurisdiction to try certain personnel and U.S. Code Title 10, Chapter 47 § 843. Art. 43. Statute of limitations.

This creates considerable challenge to any claim the putting of Major Jill Metzger on the Temporary Disabled Retired List (TDRL) serves purpose to keep her available should the investigation find her missing status was not a kidnapping but rather a misadventure resulting from significant misconduct and moral or professional dereliction.

Although Major Jill Metzger became accounted for the moment she called the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, her status of involuntary absence or unauthorized absence is still undetermined. The lack of evidence indicating an involuntary absence is making great difficulty in declaring she was captured, detained, or missing for any reason beyond her own choice to become missing. While the apparent outcome is USAF Major Jill Metzger being given a disability retirement for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) without a line of duty determination as required by US Code Title 10, Chapter 61, the same news articles disclosing her imminent disability retirement also disclose she is still running competitively and working on a master’s degree. Having established disability retirement the proportion or degree of disability rating does not seem in agreement with impairment, limitation, or restriction the disability is imposing on her quality of life, ability to participate in recreation, or ability to pursue advanced academic degrees.

A primary reason for the disability retirement seems to be resulting from compassion, sympathy, or perhaps pity that Major Jill Metzger be able to get on with her life, but these emotional feelings are very misplaced considering she is indefinitely under risk of court-martial jurisdiction no matter what administrative or disability discharge she obtained while investigations continue into her missing status. If investigations ever conclude with discovery, findings, or conclusions her absence was voluntary and included significant misconduct and moral or professional dereliction her discharge will have been fraudulently obtained.

If a fraudulent discharge was approved, those authorizing Major Jill Metzger’s fraudulent discharge didn’t do so in ignorance (being incompetent) or out of ignorance (unaware of rules and laws applying to the situation and circumstances). Nor can they claim the punishable offenses were dismissed because they acted before investigation was completed and before charges were preferred. Consequently, what is the relation between the investigation and the medical retirement? Sympathy, compassion, and pity are not the medical condition eligibility qualifiers for disability rating needed for a disability retirement. The qualifiers regardless of medical condition, injury, or disease are the degree in which a medical condition, injury, disease limits the military member from performing military duties. With Major Jill Metzger still participating in competitive running and participating in academic studies needed to get a Masters Degree it leaves me uncomprehending and utterly confused how and why a disability retirement was approved unless command influence had self-protective safeguarding need for it to happen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Courtmartial juisdiction once Major Jill Metzger gets a discharge certificate

I seriously doubt the intent of giving her a disability retirement separation is to ensure she also gets charged with the offense of fraudulently obtaining her discharge.

Rule 202. Persons subject to the jurisdiction of courts-martial

Courtmartial jurisdiction over active duty personnel ordinarily ends on delivery of a discharge certificate or its equivalent to the person concerned issued pursuant to competent orders. Orders transferring a person to the inactive reserve are the equivalent of a discharge certificate for purposes of jurisdiction.

(B) Termination of jurisdiction over active duty personnel. As indicated above, the delivery of a valid discharge certificate or its equivalent ordinarily serves to terminate court-martial jurisdiction.

( d ) A person discharged from the armed forces who is later charged with having fraudulently obtained that discharge is, subject to the statute of limitations, subject to trial by court-martial on that charge, and is after apprehension subject to the code while in the custody of the armed forces for trial. Upon conviction of that charge such a person is subject to trial by court-martial for any offenses under the code committed before the fraudulent discharge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Major Jill Metzger is to be put on Temporary Retirement

Father says Metzger is to be put on temporary retirement
By Nancy Montgomery, Stars and StripesMideast edition, Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maj. Jill Metzger, the Air Force officer who went missing for three days in September in Kyrgyzstan, then said she’d been kidnapped, is to be temporarily retired from the Air Force after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, her father said Tuesday.
Metzger is to be on the “temporary disability retired list” starting this month, her father, retired Air Force Lt. Col John Metzger, said in a telephone interview Tuesday from his home in North Carolina.

He said his daughter had been diagnosed with PTSD this spring at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and that two medical doctors and a personnel officer had made the decision to allow her to temporarily retire.

Metzger said his daughter, a former Air Force marathon champion, had gone on leave after her diagnosis and was currently living with her husband, Capt. Joshua Mayo, who’s stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He said she was still running competitively and was working on a master’s degree.

Neither Mayo nor Jill could be reached for comment.

Metzger’s father said she would be drawing retirement pay, and that she’d be re-evaluated in 18 months to see whether she’d be returned to active duty.

“There’s no reason she wouldn’t be fit to go back into the Air Force,” he said. Air Force spokesman Dewey Mitchell said he could not confirm John Metzger’s account. But he said Air Force regulations do provide for temporary disability retirement.

Metzger said that his daughter’s status was something the family had hoped for in the light of what he believes was the horrific experience she underwent in Kyrgyzstan while serving with the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing.

“It’s what we wanted all along,” John Metzger said. “It gives her a chance to gather her thoughts, recoup a little bit and just get away from the Air Force.”

Metzger disappeared from a Bishkek department store Sept. 5. On Sept. 8, Kyrgyz police were called to a home in a nearby town, where Metzger was found distressed and claiming to have escaped from kidnappers. Her long, blonde hair had been cut short and dyed brown and her hands were stained with dye.

Metzger told authorities that someone had put an object in her pocket in the department store, along with a note saying it was a bomb, and that she had been abducted by three men and a woman after following the note’s instructions. She claimed to escape by striking one of her captors and running miles to safety.

Kyrgyz authorities were skeptical, saying store video and witness accounts conflicted with her statements.

The Air Force and the FBI have been investigating the matter, and Metzger testified before a grand jury last fall. But no arrests have been announced, no conclusions publicly released. Mitchell said the investigation was ongoing.The Air Force has been criticized for releasing no information on the case.

John Metzger said the family, as well, wanted the Air Force to make a statement.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Major Jill Metzger-if no leave-what about Medical Retirement?

Apparently USAF Major Jill Metzger is not going on an 18-month leave as the Associated Press reported on June 13, 2007. Although The Stars and Stripes quickly reported on July 5, 2007 that she is not going on an 18-month leave of absence or any other 18 months of leave, there is a complete absence of disclosure of the possibility or probability of medical separation, medical retirement, or other administrative separation. Lack of this discloser hopefully results from understanding a Board of Inquiry must determine her missing status (10USC1501-Missing Person Act) and another Board of Inquiry must make line of duty determination for any disability that was incurred during her unauthorized absence (10USC1207--Sec. 1207. Disability from intentional misconduct or willful neglect: separation).

It is beyond any question and doubt Major Metzger whereabouts and duty status was not known for three days. It is also certainly true investigators have coworkers, immediate supervisors and leadership, and the military member’s who were in the store shopping at the time Major Jill Metzger mysteriously vanished. The only person’s not known, identified or even subject to question are the persons Major Jill Metzger claims abducted her and held her captive.

If the Board of Inquiry into her missing status determines she was captured and escaped as claimed then a Board of Inquiry for making a line of duty termination into the causes of her disabling medical conditions and injuries is unnecessary.

However, if the unauthorized absence is determined to have resulted from misadventure and misconduct the Air Force will have to confront a serious predicament.

The United States Air Force is committed to maintaining a fit and healthy force because the health of the Air Force community is crucial to force readiness. Specifically, all military noncommissioned and commissioned officer ranks in leadership positions have a duty responsibility to identify, assess and refer those persons that may be deemed imminently dangerous to themselves, others, or have an unexpected change in behavior having negative impact in the doing of military duties before suicide or other misconduct results from loss of mental or emotional fitness.

AFI 44-154 SUICIDE AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING implements the training requirements so military leaders have the understanding to do these risk management duties as expected. AFI 44-154 directs training in advanced identification, assessment, referral and personnel management approached be included in all formal professional military education programs (Squadron Commander’s Courses, First Sergeant Academy, Airman Leadership School, NCO Academy, Senior NCO Academy, Air and Space Basic Course, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College). More importantly AFI 44-54 directs “Unit commanders will ensure all personnel complete, during the 15-month Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) training cycle, a mandatory suicide prevention and violence awareness education program. Completion of program training will be documented and a tracking mechanism developed to ensure training is accomplished.

The serious predicament pertinent to the misadventures of Major Jill Metzger becomes if the primary disability causing a 30% or higher disability rating is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other psychiatric condition, the question becomes did the loss of mental or emotion fitness happen before or after she left the store on an unauthorized absence of misadventure. If the loss of mental or emotional fitness occurred before she began her unauthorized absence of misadventure what where the stressors causing the loss of mental and emotional fitness? Why wasn’t her immediate supervisors and leadership doing their duty to refer her to the appropriate mental health care before social or environmental circumstances triggered her into such an acute stress disorder or mental and emotional distraught that she was unable to adapt and deal with being there doing her military duties as expected?

AFI 44-154 SUICIDE AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Training will include advanced identification, assessment, referral, and personnel management approaches that can benefit all persons and particularly those that may be deemed imminently dangerous. AFI 44-109, Mental Health, Confidentiality, and Military Law, DoDD 6490.1, Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Armed Forces, and DoDI 6490.4 Requirements for Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Armed Forces, will guide discussion of both emergency and routine referral procedures to mental health. Emphasis on the leader’s responsibility to ensure the airmen understand: (1) that seeking help is encouraged and not a statement that they are somehow incompetent; and (2) that negative career impact for seeking counseling is unlikely when airmen seek help on their own and when it occurs before any misconduct.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Major Jill Metzger's 18 month leave of absence disappears

Air Force: Major not taking leave
Service still investigating woman’s report of kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

By Nancy Montgomery, Stars and Stripes Mideast edition, Thursday, July 5, 2007

A news report last month was incorrect in saying Maj. Jill Metzger — who made headlines when she went missing in Kyrgyzstan for three days in September and then claimed she had been kidnapped — was to take an 18-month leave of absence from the Air Force, the Air Force has now said.

There is no such thing as an 18-month leave of absence, said Dewey Mitchell, an Air Force spokesman. “That’s just not something people can apply for and do,” he said.

Mitchell said Metzger remained on active duty at Moody Air Force base in Georgia and that a 10-month investigation into Metzger’s mysterious disappearance by the Air Force and the Justice Department was continuing.

“There’s nothing new on that, and hasn’t been for some time,” Mitchell said. “A lot of difficult cases, they last on and on.”

Mitchell said any change in Metzger’s status would likely be announced after the change was made, unless Metzger waived her privacy rights.

The major, a marathon champion, made worldwide news when she disappeared from a department store in Bishkek, near Manas Air Base, just days before her four-month deployment was to end and she was to return to the U.S. and a husband she had married shortly before deploying.

She turned up at a house outside Bishkek and told authorities she had been abducted from the store after someone put an object in her pocket and told her it was a bomb. Then she said she was taken away by minibus and escaped after striking one of the abductors and running away.

She was flown out of Kyrgyzstan shortly after her reappearance, first to Bagram air base hospital in Afghanistan, then to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and finally to the U.S.

The Associated Press last month reported Metzger was taking a leave of absence to be with her husband and decide her future, quoting Metzger’s mother, Jeannette Metzger, of Henderson, S.C. Jeannette Metzger did not return phone calls for comment left at her home.

Jill Metzger has declined to speak to reporters, public affairs officials at Moody Air Base said this week; they also said they were precluded from discussing her status.

Capt. Gary Arasin, Moody public affairs chief, said Metzger currently works in a mission support squadron doing administrative work.

The case has attracted a great deal of attention but few facts have been available. Kyrgyz police have been quoted saying that Metzger’s story about how she left the department store is not corroborated by store video, which shows her leaving alone.

They also said vendors near the store told police Metzger was alone when she bought brown hair dye from them, and that U.S. authorities have not responded to inquiries from Kyrgyz authorities.

There have been no reported arrests in the case. But a ban on airmen leaving Manas, imposed after the Metzger incident for security reasons, apparently has been lifted.

Last month in the base newsletter, chaplain Lt. Col. J.P. Minh Vu extolled the base’s many benefits — great climate, no mortars and freedom to go off-base. “We are not in the direct line of fire; we can travel to town, go shopping and enjoy the local culture and many other fringe benefits,” he wrote.

A Web site run by a retired Vietnam veteran,, has made the Metzger case one of its main topics.

The Web site recently reported that its anonymous sources tipped them to what they said was Metzger’s upcoming resignation from the Air Force. Glenn MacDonald, the site’s editor-in-chief, said he was told Metzger also is getting a disability pension.

MacDonald’s Web site has excoriated the Air Force for not releasing information on the case, the news media for not publishing more information about the case, and Metzger, whom he believes fabricated the story and is getting preferential treatment.

“If she had been a ‘he’ or someone without ‘celebrity’ or connections, and done what she did, that person would have been court-martialed by now,” MacDonald wrote in an open letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, posted on the Web site.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Major Jill's Metzger's Temporary Disability Retirement is probably not resulting from sympathy, compassion, or pity.

It isn’t USAF Major Jill Metzger’s forthcoming 18-month leave, administrative separation, Temporary Disability Retirement, Permanent Disability Retirement or whatever it is that is inconsistent with my moral compass, it is that such approved action is bringing with it too much nondisclosure that is breeding distrust and loss of confidence all are equally subjected to the same code of conduct and standards of behavior and performance. Duty, honor, integrity, courage, warrior creed is preached constantly by the Air Force’s top leadership, but their actions in approving an 18-months leave administrative separation, Temporary Disability Retirement, Permanent Disability Retirement or whatever is contrary to the virtues and warrior way these same leaders claim to expect of themselves and of all who are uniformed enlisted and commissioned members of the United States Air Force. These leaders expect compliance with rules and standards, but apparently all military members are not equally subjected to accountability and responsibility for not conforming to the expectations of laws, rules, and policies of conduct, behavior, and performance.

Major Jill Metzger explained her unauthorized absence that began on September 5, 2006 while deployed to MANAS AB, KYRGYZSTAN resulted from being captured and held captive by kidnappers. Her explanation for how her unauthorized absence ended on to September 8, 2006 is she escaped after overpowering one of her male abductors. During a 74-hour period Major Jill Metzger claims being tortured, abused, and starved sufficiently to loose about 15% of her normal body weight, dropping from her normal weight of 107 pounds to 90 pounds.

Major Jill Metzger’s explanation of kidnapping and escape includes opposing extremes of behavior adjustment when confronted with certainly-so probability of significant painful traumatic injury if not death. Her behavior response when suddenly finding a bomb and note either in her back pants pocket or pack back was the spontaneous loss of free-will and autonomy to the point she became docile and unquestioning compliant to the directions, instructions and orders of her captures. When presented with an escape opportunity, her behavior response after being tortured, abused, and losing 15% of her normal body weight was the spontaneous gaining of cunning, viciousness, and extraordinary strength of character that was nonexistent in her personality during her capture. Major Jill Metzger claims she overpowered one of her male captors with such quickness no alarm was given to others during the struggle and the thoroughness of her attack left her opponent completely unable to sound alarm of her escape as she was escaping her immediate area of detainment.

Major Metzger at the time of her disappearance was described as being in excellent health and athletic fitness and considering AFI 10-250 INDIVIDUAL MEDICAL READINESS stipulates members of the Air Force must be medically ready for worldwide deployment to deploy to locations such as (and most certainly-so) MANAS AB, KYRGYZSTAN, it is reasonable to expect and believe Major Jill Metzger had excellent health and athletic fitness on September 5, 2006.

Thus if Major Jill Metzger is being put on the Temporary Disabled Retired List effective July 2007; the two most reasonable conclusions concerning her 30% or greater debilitating medical condition are: it was incurred during her three day unexplained unauthorized absence; or, it existed for many months prior to her going missing, perhaps even preexisting her initial entry into active military service.

If Major Jill Metzger’s disabling medical conditions are direct results of what happened to her during her unauthorized absence and/or missing status from September 5, 2006 to September 8, 2006, then two laws governing all military personnel, USC Title 10, chapter 61--RETIREMENT OR SEPARATION FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY and/or USC Title 10, Chapter 76-MISSING PERSONS direct board of inquiry be established to look into the whereabouts and status of Major Jill Metzger during the period from September 5, 2006 to September 8, 2006. Considering the substantial probability of Major Metzger’s own personal convictable misconduct or willful neglect, Major Metzger is ineligible for processing for disability retirement evaluation until all inquiry is completed and a line of duty determination has been made.

If potentially debilitating medical conditions preexisted her June 2006 arrival at MANAS AB, KYRGYZSTAN, the worsening of her debilitating medical conditions were either triggered during her 3-day unauthorized absence or her debilitating medical conditions began becoming noticeable worse after she deployed to Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan. Why did she avoid seeking medical treatment for her rapidly worsening ailments and discomforts? If manifestation of her disabling medical condition was rapidly changing for the worse, how were the deteriorating or worsening medical condition changes effecting her daily behavior and daily job performance and if her deteriorating or worsening health was impacting her daily behavior and daily job performance how was this not noticed by coworkers and supervisors?

If intentional misconduct or willful neglect is mitigated by a chronic long time existing loss of mental or emotional fitness the culpability resulting from incompetence extends to her supervisors and medical care providers who failed to either refer her to the proper medical care or to provide proper medical care prior to her deployment to Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan or during her deployment at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan.

Yes—the laws, rules, and standards are relatively clear and straightforward, so simple a caveman is capable of understanding, yet the Air Force’s top leadership is either incapable or unwilling to make an effort to learn and evaluate the relevant facts and then subsequently conduct an inquiry that will result either in judgments and conclusions being made with certainty or in judgments and conclusions having the force of probability behind them. A chapter 61 temporary or permanent Disability Retirement cannot be given by law until a line-of-duty inquiry is completed into the possibility of intentional misconduct and willful neglect. When it comes to disability rating why are some combat wounded veterans subjugated to mindless mechanical following of the rules and many delays in getting final determination of their disability rating and a non-combatant such as Jill Metzger be given exception to the rules and speedy processing for a disability retirement she lacks eligibility to be processed for?

There is a chain-of-complicity and a chain-of-events lacking accountability combined with the lack of appropriate intervention that entangles her immediate supervisors and her immediate chain of command. The minimal effort to comply with laws, rules, and standards is not resulting predominantly from sympathy, compassion, or pity. The missing status or unauthorized leave status of Major Jill Metzger during the period from September 5, 2006 to September 8, 2006 shouldn’t remain an unsolved mystery or unsolved case if Major Jill Metzger is being processed for and is to receive a disability retirement.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Major Metzger's unexpainable disappearance

Major Metzger’s whereabouts became unaccounted for on September 5, 2006 while shopping in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She was missing until she was found alive on September 8, 2006. Nine months after she went missing her disappearance remains unexplainable other than by her claim of capture, detainment, escape, and evasion. Nine months later we are being told she is being given an 18-month leave-of-absence when more accurately she is being put on the Temporary Disabled Retired List (TDRL) and quietly administratively separating her to avoid completing official inquiry into possibilities of her misconduct and the misconduct of others.

Major Jill Metzger was deployed to an active imminent danger pay location directly supporting on-going combat operations in Afghanistan. She went missing and her explanation is she was kidnapped which is the same as saying she was captured. Consequently the same dilemma exists for both Major Jill Metzger and the United States Air Force. Was this a crime against an individual or was it a hostile act of a group against the United States. Major Jill Metzger is at a loss to give an explanation why somebody needed to specifically capture and detain Major Jill Metzger and the United States Air Force and the United States State Department is unable to identify an active group hostile to the United States conducting kidnapping or attempting to kidnap members of the United States military in Kyrgyzstan. It’s even more embarrassing because the Kyrgyzstan government can’t find a single criminal organization involved in her kidnapping and in fact offered official opinion she went missing to have an abortion.

This is why she received no hero’s welcome on return to Moody AFB and more importantly why there is nothing being done as required had her involuntary absence resulted from a hostile action against the United States in a declared imminent danger pay location. This is also why most people suspect misconduct and why her going missing is still being investigated by the State Department and the United States Air Force.

USC Title 10, chapter 61 makes it clear a disability resulting from the member’s intentional misconduct or willful neglect, or incurred during a period of unauthorized absence are conditions causing ineligibility for permanent or temporary disability retirement entitlements. An inquiry into misconduct is required if misconduct is suspected. This is the first law being ignored by top leaders of the Air Force by putting her on the TDRL while inquiry into her unexplainable going missing status is ongoing.

Kyrgyzstan law enforcement official’s apparently suggested she went missing to have an abortion. If so, the act or deed of getting an abortion isn’t misconduct and more importantly § 919a. Article 119a.--Death or injury of an unborn child—specifically prohibits prosecution of any woman with respect to her unborn child and decision to have an abortion. Consequently, presuming the reason for the unauthorized absence from duty was to get an abortion, the conduct and behavior causing the pregnancy and the conduct and behavior of taking an unauthorized absence in the manner deliberately chosen to get the abortion, and the claim of kidnapping followed by subsequent escape and evasion is the misconduct. Acts of misconduct extend at the deployed location to include, if abortion was the cause for going missing, would extend to conduct and behavior of partner or partners as the father was probably not the spouse.

More relevant however is Title 10, USC, Missing Persons Act which prescribes obligations, responsibilities, duties, and inquires should a member or members of the armed forces on active duty who is in a missing status; or a civilian employee of the Department of Defense or an employee of a contractor of the Department of Defense who serves in direct support of, or accompanies, the armed forces in the field under orders and who is in a missing status. This is the second law being ignored by top leaders of the Air Force by putting her on the TDRL while inquiry into her mysterious missing status is ongoing and her intentional misconduct or willful neglect is suspected.

DOD Instruction 2310.5, Accounting for Missing Persons, 31 Jan 2000 distinctly and clearly defines “captured” as “A person who has been seized as the result of action of an unfriendly military or paramilitary force in a foreign country.” This instruction prescribes procedures throughout the Department of Defense for the determination of the status of covered persons and for the systematic, comprehensive, and timely collection, analysis, review, dissemination, and periodic update of information related to such persons. The actions required by this instruction would put closure on the accounting of her being or not being a missing person.

Once the missing person or persons is found, DOD Instruction 2310.4, Repatriation of Prisoners of War (POW), Hostages, Peacetime Government Detainees and Other Missing or Isolated Personnel, 21 Nov 2000 prescribes the requirement to ensure all returnee-debriefing information is correctly and expeditiously disseminated to the proper Agencies and more importantly to develop and disseminate studies and reports on lessons learned from returned personnel debriefings. The actions required by this instruction would put closure on the accounting of her being or not being a missing person unless it is otherwise determined the status was other than missing such as for example deserted, absent without leave, or dead. Clearly Major Jill Metzger is not dead, so was she missing or was she absent without leave, or something else?

The attempt to quietly administratively separate Major Jill Metzger from active duty by putting her on the TDRL certainly-so raises probability publicly disciplining this officer will besmirch the reputation of commissioned military appointments and the United States Air Force. More directly it gives appearance there is no equally subjected to the law if person holds certain commissioned military rank and concurrently has the right command connections.

10 USC Chapter 33 Section 532 Qualifications for original appointment as a commissioned officer puts in place the requirement the person appointed a military commission “be of good moral character”. To command military units requires a military commission. To impose punishment on a military member after being convicted of a military offense of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) requires appointment to command. This is why moral competence of the commissioned military office is of such critical importance. Misconduct and malfeasance are similar relevant to the lacking of be of good moral character. They differ in that malfeasance requires cooperation of two or more persons. Consequently what is motivating the top Air Force leaders to quietly administratively separate Major Metzger on TDRL without any inquiry determining her missing status as being captured and that her missing status wasn’t resulting from intentional misconduct or willful neglect?

Putting Major Metzger on the TDRL for purposes of administrative separation convenience is a slap in the face of every combat wounded or killed inaction veteran and their family members. If placement on the TDRL is justified it should be given after all inquiry into her going missing is completed not before, especially with the wide spread suspicions the cause for going missing and medical disability is her willful neglect or intentional misconduct. Why isn’t there official disclosure her status was missing resulting from capture by unfriendly people to the United States and not from her intentional misconduct or willful neglect?

The peculiarity of Major Jill Metzger’s July 2007 disability retirement

The putting of Air Force Major Jill Metzger on the Temporary Disabled Retired List (TDRL) is an immoral and unethical transgression against all veterans who served their military obligation honorably with good conduct regardless of one enlistment or several. Many veterans have had the misfortune of being physically injured doing the mission or subsequently developing traumatic stress reactions (post-traumatic stress disorders) at some time after doing the mission.

To be considered for a disability retirement the military member must meet or exceed a 30% disability rating threshold. Disparity in disability retirement ratings is undeniable. During the period from the year 2000 through the year 2006 the Air Force awarded disability retirement to 27% of its disabled troops compared to Navy’s 36%, Marine Corps’ 18%, and Army’s 13%. That debilitating conditions are ignored, underrated or overrated lacks deniability, however, for the majority of disabled retired veterans post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not the primary disability rated diagnosis.

PTSD is a natural recovery process, a normal reaction to an abnormal event, which may or may not develop into a chronic disorder. In its chronic and delayed forms, PTSD is a neurotic disorder arising out of an actual traumatic event itself. To get a 30% or higher Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) rating though an MEB prior to discharge from active duty or through the VA after discharge typically requires the military member or the veteran to have a documented medical history of a many month sustained pattern of hospitalizations, daily psychotropic meds, and regular counseling.

During the nine months after she went unexplainably missing on September 5, 2006 while shopping in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and her equally unexplainable being found alive on September 8, 2006, Major Jill Metzger has been observed running and doing other unhindered intense physical activates and equally as important she apparently was performing military duties commensurate to her rank, grade, and experience in the 347th Mission Support Squadron’s manpower office at Moody AFB, GA. Lacking any observable physical impairment to range of motion of joints, limbs, back neck, or loss of strength, flexibility, dexterity, vision or hearing makes it reasonable to assume her 30% or higher disability rating results primarily from presence of systemic disease or is of psychiatric in nature. It is unlikely a sudden unexpected discovery of a systemic disease is causing the 30% or higher disability rating, consequently it is reasonable to assume the primary rated disability is loss of mental fitness that requires frequent hospitalization, daily psychotropic medications, and regular counseling that brings with it significant industrial impairment (i.e inability to work).

There is something other than or in addition to disparity of how disabilities are rated causing Major Jill Metzger to be rated at or above the 30% disabled threshold at which military members gain eligibility to be designated disabled retirees.

There was no military mission that led to her disappearance; there was no military mission that put her into the hazards and dangers of an active combat zone. The peculiarity of Major Jill Metzger’s disability retirement includes the contradiction her disability may have resulted from her own misconduct or willful neglect. The United States Air Force and the United States Department of Justice have been inquiring into her September 5, 2006 to September 8, 2006 missing status for the past nine months and there is end in sight to this inquiry. Major Jill Metzger is at a loss to give an explanation why somebody needed to specifically capture and detain Major Jill Metzger and the United States Air Force and the United States State Department are unable to identify an active group hostile to the United States conducting kidnapping or attempting to kidnap members of the United States military in Kyrgyzstan. The inquiry is further complicated by the Kyrgyzstan government suggesting she went missing to have an abortion. Major Jill Metzger certainly wasn’t given a hero’s welcome on when she return to Moody AFB. An inquiry has yet to determine and verify her missing status and more importantly an inquiry has yet to say her disability is in the line of duty or resulted from her own misconduct or willful neglect.

Putting Major Metzger on the TDRL for purposes of administrative separation convenience is an immoral and unethical wrong doing to every combat wounded or killed inaction veteran and their family members. If placement on the TDRL is justified it should be given after all inquiry into her going missing is completed not before, especially with the wide spread suspicions the cause for going missing and medical disability is her willful neglect or intentional misconduct. Why isn’t there official disclosure her status was missing resulting from capture by unfriendly people to the United States and not from her intentional misconduct or willful neglect?
Malfeasance at the highest levels is strongly suggested if she is quietly removed from the Air Force through use of an MEB and a chapter 61 medical retirement without any official disclosure of the truthfulness or untruthfulness of her claimed capture and subsequent escape and evasion.

The decision to put her on the TRDL without completing inquiry and determining her missing status is despicable. Chapter 61 medical retirement is specifically prohibited by law to be given to a military member whose disability resulted from intentional misconduct or willful neglect.

CHAPTER 61--RETIREMENT OR SEPARATION FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, Sec. 1207. Disability from intentional misconduct or willful neglect: separation states: “Each member of the armed forces who incurs a physical disability that, in the determination of the Secretary concerned, makes him unfit to perform the duties of his office, grade, rank, or rating, and that resulted from his intentional misconduct or willful neglect or was incurred during a period of unauthorized absence, shall be separated from his armed force without entitlement to any benefits under this chapter.”

Major Metzger is the free-agent of her own acts and deeds (unless she lacked or lacks mental fitness to act reasonable) and failed to provide a reasonable explanation for her disappearance and reappearance. Without knowing any facts or truths it is reasonable probability the disappearance was caused either by a loss of mental fitness or extraordinary emotional distress. Regardless, the resulting questions needing answers more concerns her immediate supervisors and immediate chain-of-command as there was a failure to refer to appropriate health care or to take any interest in her mental, emotional, or physical well being before she disappeared. It appears to me something being covered up. Consequently there needs to be some official disclosure of at least some of the facts of the alleged Metzger abduction and escape and evasion from captors for many reasons before this separation is allowed to quietly happen without any question or scrutiny.

The purpose of military law is to promote justice, to assist in maintaining good order and discipline in the armed forces, to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the military establishment, and thereby to strengthen the national security of the United States. Since it is beyond any question and doubt Major Metzger whereabouts and duty status was not known for three days and that her explanation is in significant lack of reasonable validity and probability. If she was not abducted and captured as claimed the most probable remaining causes are all directly resulting from her personal misconduct and unfitness to hold commission.

Her actions, deeds, and acts during the period she went missing need inquiry in order to assign blame or praise. If she is not above the law, inquiry needs to discover and answer if her personal conduct, behavior, and judgment contributed to her going missing or not. If her intentional misconduct or willful neglect is found to be the only direct causes for her going missing, there should some accountability through the military justice system.

Chargeable offenses identified in articles of the UCMJ she could have violated and could be charged with are:
Article 86 Unauthorized Absence (If she was not kidnapped)
Article 107 False Official Statements (If she was not kidnapped)
Article 133 Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a Gentleman (if she was not kidnapped)
Article 92 Failure to Obey Order or Regulation (If she was not kidnapped)
Article 134 False Swearing (If her kidnapping and escape explanations are discovered to be false)
Article 134 Adultery (if speculation is discovered to be true)
Article 134 Fraternization (Speculation, may or may not be applicable-just can not be ruled out)
Article 134 Self Injury without intent to avoid service (if her misconduct caused a temporary medical condition making her immediately medically disqualified to continue performing her military duties at the deployed location and even more so if she went AWOL to secretly get medical treatment from an unauthorized treatment center that resulted in further self injury).

The decision to place Major Jill Metzger on TDRL brings with it gross contradiction and compromise of the underlying rules or precepts adopted for governing persons serving a military obligation and for determining the military member’s eligibility for disability retirement. It is about the rules must be fair, and the practice of following the rules must be equitable, so whatever standards apply, imperially apply to all with no biases against some or favoritism to some.

Please ask your elected representatives in the Congress, the Senate, The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, and The U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to inquire into this.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Academic achievement-educated or not educated

The United States education produces largest college-educated pool of workers in the world, but educates many more people in the liberal arts and professions such as education, accounting than it does engineers, scientists and other specialized fields needed for research and development for producing either old or new products. Since high-wage manufacturing tends to based on engineering expertise and expanding high-tech industries it appears the quality of educators and the curriculums they design and teach have direct influence on economic technology.

Countries compete economically on being the lowest cost producer of different goods and services and if the education process isn’t producing inferior academic achievement lacking ability to be there doing specialized job skills of expanding high-tech industries there needs a change in the secondary-education system that gives increased academic achievement in reading comprehension, technical writing, and mathematics.

Colleges and Universities pump-out white-collar managing support staff, new commissioned military officers, and those having professional political ambitions. Each graduate is in principle expected to have the knowledge to make decisions and gets higher pay and responsibilities as a result. Eventually as work experience is gained these graduates become the selection pool of the next generation of top level bosses, decision makers, and elected office holders.

My question:

It appears happenings of scandal, criminal mischief, and criminal wrong doing is increasingly involving respected powerful business managers, influential honorable elected office holders, and higher rank military commissioned officers, is something systematically wrong or lacking in curriculums or perhaps it is the moral competence of educators a direct contributing cause for this trend?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Achieving a good education, is it possible when focused on providing vocational specialization?

Baccalaureate academics is become more focused on vocational specialization in a field for purpose of the student earning a living and getting the higher paying work rather than education having something to do with being a progressive activity resulting in the ability to do several other kinds of work rather than the kind they where trained to do.

The institutions of education throw young developing minds together to work, play, and organize themselves with minimal compulsorily exploration and discovery having purpose of building and establishing rational foundations for good physical, moral, and social behavior. The phenomenon of getting an education has become more partying and being fun than being concerned with the quality of the educating. A baccalaureate degree from any college or university has become no better than from another and even more discouraging the difference between educated and uneducated is becoming harder to distinguish in the work place or for that matter in the politicians holding and trying to hold elected office.

High academic achievement focusing only on pure vocational training lacks sufficient inclusion (if any at all) of continuous education in the social, moral, and scientific contexts within which wisely administered callings and professions must function. Education should not cause social reform through propaganda and popular myth but rather by exposing minds to ideas and knowledge in a way that develops critical thinking skills needed to have autonomy. Becoming autonomous requires self-mastery and self-direction.

Education has become so diluted of required curriculum having standards students have analysis, synthesis, and evaluation ability of subjects studied that many graduates from respectable colleges and universities are ill-equipped to understand much of anything above the level of a comic book without the use of Cliffs Notes. From my observations in the workplace many who have had the benefit of formal education acquired a significant combination of misinformation, little or no exposure to studies of philosophy, and reinforcement of many slipshod study and work habits.

So my questions are:

Is there decay of formal education?

If there is decay, is the increasingly allowing educators to dodge and neglect their responsibilities and duties to develop and sustain curriculums that provide a quality education a symptom of the decay or a direct contributing cause of the decay?