Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Air Force nuclear missile officers: Bored, cranky, frustrated — and court-martialed

Like I was saying: This may be a national problem that sneaks up on us. A report done for the Air Force found that "court-martial rates in the nuclear missile force in 2011 and 2012 were more than twice as high as in the overall Air Force. Administrative punishments, such as written reprimands for rules ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

Like I was saying: This may be a national problem that sneaks up on us.

A report done for the Air Force found that "court-martial rates in the nuclear missile force in 2011 and 2012 were more than twice as high as in the overall Air Force. Administrative punishments, such as written reprimands for rules violations and other misbehavior, also were higher in those years."

This line really struck me: "In his doctoral dissertation published in 2010 after he finished a tour with the 91st Missile Wing at Minot, Christopher J. Ewing said 71 of the 99 launch officers he surveyed there had not chosen that assignment." I have to wonder what that portends for the future of the leadership of the U.S. nuclear force. Is it really true that we just don't care just who is getting handed weapons of mass destruction?

Like I was saying: This may be a national problem that sneaks up on us.

A report done for the Air Force found that "court-martial rates in the nuclear missile force in 2011 and 2012 were more than twice as high as in the overall Air Force. Administrative punishments, such as written reprimands for rules violations and other misbehavior, also were higher in those years."

This line really struck me: "In his doctoral dissertation published in 2010 after he finished a tour with the 91st Missile Wing at Minot, Christopher J. Ewing said 71 of the 99 launch officers he surveyed there had not chosen that assignment." I have to wonder what that portends for the future of the leadership of the U.S. nuclear force. Is it really true that we just don’t care just who is getting handed weapons of mass destruction?

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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