Best Defense

While we were passed out: Firings all around, an Elvis impersonator at a change of command and a 4-star gets arrested

Here are some of the things that happened while I was out working.



Best Defense is in summer reruns. Here is an item that originally ran on September 8, 2015.

Here are some of the things that happened while I was out working:

— The commander of the Marine female training battalion got the big boot. This one made me squint a little — being a female Marine is tough, being a Marine commander at boot camp is hard, and being a female Marine commander in boot camp I think is perhaps impossible.

— The commander of the Marine Personnel Administration School, of which I had never heard, also was relieved. Shouldn’t the Marines make the Navy do administration?

— The female commander of an Army health center was fired for allegedly trying to get her subordinates to bend the rules when she failed to pass a weight test.

— Old Bergdahl was charged with misbehavior before the enemy.

— The Army booted the commander of the MP brigade at Fort Bragg, but kept it covered up and allowed the guy to retire quietly. Amanda Dolaskinski of the Fayetteville Observer got the goods by filing a FOIA request. I also hear that after he was removed from command at Bragg he was shipped off to Afghanistan as an advisor. And of course I wish the Army would follow the Navy’s example and simply disclose the firings of C0s at the 0-5 level and above.

— Speaking of which, the female commander of the USS Shamal, a coastal patrol vessel, was relieved over the old confidence problem.

— And the XO of a Trident refit facility in King’s Bay, Georgia, got ejected from the game for getting into a fistfight with the husband of a civilian employee with whom he was having an affair, following the issuance of a military protective order telling him to stay away from her. Got that? The fight was ruff enuff to put him in the hospital.

— On the other hand, Cmdr. Sean Kearns, who fought his way through a court martial to get command of a ship (albeit an old one), was promoted.

— On the undercard, a retired Army 4-star got in a fight with a Chinese food deliveryman over the price of the food.

— The director of an over-medicating VA facility dubbed “Candy Land” was fired.

— Speaking of vets, former President Bush Jr. charged a charity for wounded vets some $100,000 for a speech. This makes me queasy.

— An Elvis impersonator chauffeured a Canadian officer during the officer’s change of command ceremony.

— My only Trump comments: The presidential election is shaping up as “Hacks vs. Quacks.” And Trump strikes me as the American Berlusconi.

Photo credit: A Syn/Flickr (cropped)

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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