Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Alcohol, sex, and toxic leadership seem to go hand-in-hand in some military units

So reports Sig Christensen from San Antonio, where Air Force officers allegedly partied down improperly.

22nd August 1972:  Dash, the famous old English sheep dog who has starred in the Dulux paint commercials for 12 years at the reception held in honour of his retirement. Surrounded by Bollinger champagne bottles Dash takes it all laying down.  (Photo by Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images)
22nd August 1972: Dash, the famous old English sheep dog who has starred in the Dulux paint commercials for 12 years at the reception held in honour of his retirement. Surrounded by Bollinger champagne bottles Dash takes it all laying down. (Photo by Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images)
22nd August 1972: Dash, the famous old English sheep dog who has starred in the Dulux paint commercials for 12 years at the reception held in honour of his retirement. Surrounded by Bollinger champagne bottles Dash takes it all laying down. (Photo by Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images)

 

So reports Sig Christensen from San Antonio, where Air Force officers allegedly partied down improperly.

A reader who is an Air Force officer comments:
The official report referenced in this article almost certainly fails to capture the magnitude of unprofessionalism and damage caused by two officers that had made it through a rigorous screening process for leadership.... This article prompts several questions. Why were there no mechanisms that could effectively remove these two officers from their position as they were carrying out unprofessional conduct? Why were they allowed to go on to very selective school assignments? What happened to the Airmen under their command who saw their careers derailed? Can they reach out to the service to have their cases reexamined? How on Earth did these two get through the screening process and stay in their positions? How many other servicemembers suffer under toxic leadership, but not necessarily from illegal or unethical behavior?
Photo credit: MICHAEL WEBB/Keystone/Getty Images

 

So reports Sig Christensen from San Antonio, where Air Force officers allegedly partied down improperly.

A reader who is an Air Force officer comments:

The official report referenced in this article almost certainly fails to capture the magnitude of unprofessionalism and damage caused by two officers that had made it through a rigorous screening process for leadership…. This article prompts several questions. Why were there no mechanisms that could effectively remove these two officers from their position as they were carrying out unprofessional conduct? Why were they allowed to go on to very selective school assignments? What happened to the Airmen under their command who saw their careers derailed? Can they reach out to the service to have their cases reexamined? How on Earth did these two get through the screening process and stay in their positions? How many other servicemembers suffer under toxic leadership, but not necessarily from illegal or unethical behavior?

Photo credit: MICHAEL WEBB/Keystone/Getty Images

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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