Best Defense

Annals of military discipline: Ireland, plus U.S. Navy and Army civilian employees

A commandant (major) in the Irish Air Corps called a lieutenant colonel a “piece of shit” and poked him in the chest.

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A commandant (major) in the Irish Air Corps called a lieutenant colonel a “piece of shit” and poked him in the chest. It was his second court martial (the previous one was several years earlier). On this new charge, the Irish officer was found guilty of assault. The judge docked him 10 days’ pay and reduced him in salary but not in rank.

The light sentence reminded me a bit of a case in the Vietnam War where a Special Forces NCO chucked at grenade at his unit’s XO. The more the court heard about the behavior of the XO, the more the court sympathized with the NCO. He did a year at Leavenworth but wasn’t discharged and wound up serving another 17 years, retiring as a master sergeant. Don’t try this career path at home, kids!

Meanwhile, the guy who used to head the Vehicles Technology Directorate at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Grounds pleaded guilty of making (along with his co-conspirators) $750,000 in contracts on a company he and his wife created. On one project, the Baltimore Sun reported, the guy “billed the government for $35,000 in labor by one of his relatives, who was described as an aerospace engineer, but was actually a retired school cafeteria worker.” I wonder if this explains why Humvees are so uncomfortable to ride in.

And a civilian engineer in the employ of the Navy tried to sell some plans for aircraft carriers to Egypt. It is not clear to me what Egypt would have done with them, besides perhaps offer them to Vlad the Aggressor.

Also, there was a shooting yesterday at the front gate of the Air Force base in Little Rock, Arkansas.

(HT to

Wikimedia Commons

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 Twitter: @tomricks1

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