ArmyAviator
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 2:26 am

Decision Not To Fly

Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:29 pm

Hello to Everyone reading this post.

I need the help of the aviation community as I try to save my career as a chief warrant officer pilot in United States Army. I have 19 years of outstanding service in the US Army flying helicopters and airplanes as a Captain/Pilot-in-Command and Test Pilot and have advanced ahead of my peers with an excellent record. I have flown over 3500 hours all over the world and in all types of environments, geographical as well as meteorological. I am commercially rated for multi-engine airplanes and helicopters for Day, Night, and IFR operations.

Because of safety concerns in a Military Intelligence aircraft, I considered it prudent to cancel one flight in Korea out of over 150 mission flights I flew there. I believe my decision to be legally, morally, and professionally correct. My decision was mainstream and in compliance with Army and Federal flight regulations. Furthermore, Army Regulations specifically states that the Captain/Pilot-in-Command will be responsible and have final authority for operating, servicing, and securing the aircraft he or she commands.

On a separate appeal, my Captain/Pilot-in-Command status was restored to me by Major General Alexander, Intelligence and Security Command Commanding General. What remains is to remove a poor officer evaluation report from my records by taking the case to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records. The issue at hand was whether my decision not to fly was mature and correct. On my honor, I believe that what I did was correct and that sensible, reasonable aviators would have declined to fly that mission as well.

I have summarized the circumstances involved for the flight in question. I ask anyone interested to please email me at STardy@msn.com for a copy of the summarization. Please put in the Subject Line: "Send me a Copy" and I will gladly email you the document.

It may be that you need other facts before reaching a conclusion. Please feel free to contact me at stardy@msn.com.

I would like to thank you ahead of time for you help and support with this issue. It has been a difficult road to travel defending my decision, through legal channels, not to fly while trying to ward off false accusations and misrepresentation of the facts by my Chain of Command. Hopefully, after reading the summary, your opinion will be in support of my decision as Captain/Pilot-in-Command not to fly.

My appreciation and gratitude for your help goes beyond words.

 
JeffM
Posts: 7569
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 3:32 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:05 pm

So your thinking the opinions of a bunch of internet armchair "professionals" is gonna help your case?

Good Luck.

Fly Navy
 
saintsman
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:34 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:58 pm

You should think carefully before you take this further. Whilst you may feel agreeved, the fact that your commanders have failed to back you tells me that your case is not as strong as you would like. Taking it further may put a bigger stain on your record.

It may be better to bite the bullet so to speak.
 
Gunships
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:48 pm

19 years as a Chief Warrant Officer, in Army aviation and you're asking an internet forum for advice on your career?


Impersonating a Veteran is extremely offensive to those of us who are.

Be careful how far you take this.

Just my advice.
 
KROC
Posts: 18919
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:33 pm

Impersonating a Veteran is extremely offensive to those of us who are.

Be careful how far you take this.

Just my advice.


Exactly. And I agree with JeffM too. If you were a pilot in the Army for 19 years, you should be intelligent enough (Branch of service with standing) to know that seeking advice here probably isn't the best course of action. If you are for real, there are enough resources you can look into on base (post/camp) to help you with this situation.

Fly Air Force
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:33 pm

On a separate appeal, my Captain/Pilot-in-Command status was restored to me by Major General Alexander, Intelligence and Security Command Commanding General.

Is this not in your officer record?

What remains is to remove a poor officer evaluation report from my records by taking the case to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records.

One poor evaluation report by itself will not ruin 19+ years of service.

The issue at hand was whether my decision not to fly was mature and correct. On my honor, I believe that what I did was correct and that sensible, reasonable aviators would have declined to fly that mission as well.

Honestly, I do not know what comprises a USA officer evaluation but it would seem logical that it contains quite a bit more than just your flying ability/record [that is just one item on the entire USN evaluation]. Unless you have more than one evaluation from the same reporting senior officer, and they contain diametrically opposing evaluations and comments, you're barking up a tree with little hope the tree will respond. Even then all officer review boards understand how much personality clashes affect officer evaluations and a single poor report will be quickly dismissed when weighed against 19 years of "outstanding" reports. The job you're looking at is to ensure all subsequent evaluations remain "outstanding."

I suspect the best you can hope for in a corrections board review is the right to submit a rebuttal argument into your permanent record.... probably not worth it.

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
ArmyAviator
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 2:26 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:43 pm

To JeffM, Saintmans, Gunships, KROC, and AAR90:
Wow, I never knew there would be so much negativity in this web-site. However, all advise is meant to help the individual receiving the advise, right?...?...? My Civilian Military-Lawyer out of DC who retired after 30 years as the SJA for the Joint Chief of Staff thought it would be good to approach the "military experts" via a web-site to ask them of their opinion. From your own admission, maybe he (and I) was wrong. Maybe you are right for telling me that I am wrong for "thinking the opinions of a bunch of internet armchair "professionals" is (are) gonna help your case?"

As far as your words of caution about taking this further, impersonating a Veteran, and "One poor evaluation report by itself will not ruin 19+ years of service," you couldn't be more wrong. I AM a Veteran with two wars and several peace keeping operations under my belt. I think I've earned the title, thank you very much. As far as the warning about taking this further....There IS no recourse about taking this further but my legal right. In the beginning, I thought "Hey, I am locked in for retirement. Why don't I just roll over and pop smoke at 20?" But every SJA, IG, Commanding General, and DA representatives have all told me to "not give up, fight this, you can do it." I am a fighter, that's what I have been trained to do for the last 19 years. We are not quitters. If we were, we wouldn't be in the business that we are in gentlemen. So respectfully, with or without your help, I will see this through. As far as one bad OER not really hurting my record...Thanks for the words of encouragement. Unfortunately, the Army (as well as the other branches I assume) subscribes to a "Zero Defects" Army. As much as I wish your words were true, the boards "tank" a file that has ANY "Below Center of Mass" evaluations.

Unfortunately, the Army OER IS left wide open to the Commanders' whim. If you were to ask me before all the transpired what I thought, I can honestly say that my reply would have been very similar to yours. However, as a victim fighting one false accusation after another, I can honestly say that my view point has changed 180. (Try walking a mile in those shoes...) I will say that there is much more underlying this story than what I posted (Due to space constraints) FYI: My case generated several Inspection General investigations into the Battalion Commander and his conduct. I was not his only victim. There were several other high ranking officers as well over the course of a year. Bottomline is that these investigations all concluded that the Battalion Commander was wrong and I was correct in my actions. Hence, my reinstating of my Pilot-in-Command status. Unfortunately, only the Army Board of Corrections of Military Records has the authority to repeal my OER. Gentlemen, it's not about proving my innocence but gathering enough "professional statements" that say that they would not have flown the mission either. These board members are Non-Aviator Civilians and do not understand a "cockpit view." However, they do understand that there is strength in numbers. That is why I have monitored this web-site for the last couple of months to see what kind of professionals I would be dealing with. If I didn't think you were of a high caliber, I would not have posted my request. Just a thought but why not email me asking for a copy of the events summary? This is not a biased document but merely a listing of facts of the night in question. (I.e., Weather, airplane maintenance, safety, etc.) It will more than likely read like a fictional tale for those of you who are having a hard time believing that something like this can and does happen. And this doesn't commit you to anything but just reading it. If you feel compelled to write something, than I would be most grateful.

 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:35 am

Just a thought but why not email me asking for a copy of the events summary?

Probably because is has no bearing on the issue you bring forth... the attempt to expunge your permanent record. US Army has already decided their interpretation of your action. My reading the event summary will change nothing.

As far as your words of caution about taking this further, impersonating a Veteran, and "One poor evaluation report by itself will not ruin 19+ years of service," you couldn't be more wrong.

That was my opinion based upon sitting on a number of USN selection boards. We regularly "threw out" the single evaluation that didn't square up with the years of outstanding evals. Only you can decide what you want to do... and it looks like you made your decision long before asking for opinions here. If you feel it is that important, go for it.... and good luck.  Big grin
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
MD88Captain
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 9:50 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Thu Jan 15, 2004 7:42 am

When I was "in", going "outside" would've been the kiss of death no matter how right I was.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1182
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:19 pm

I am not sure how things work in the Army, but in my service, we have a chance to rebutt the evaluation we are given. And the commander has a chance to rebutt our rebuttal...

Even then, I have a right to communicate directly with the president of the selection board to address any abnormalities in my record if my record is involved in that particular selection board.

However to correct an incorrect evaluation on paper or to discard a evaluation requires you to contact the original commander and ask him to reconsider or rewrite it, etc. Something that is harder for you as time passes... So the best opportunity is making that statement at the time you receive the evaluation. I know this particular statement probably doesn't help you now...

I know in another service, the poor evaluations are called "double-signers" the first signature shows that you have seen the evaluation, the second signature shows that you know you are receiving a poor evaluation and that you have a right to make a statement to address those poor marks.

But I agree with AAR90, that if your record consistently shows high performance, it should not be a problem. You have been advanced ahead of your peers, you state. So it seems that your poor evaluation has not hurt you... yet.

There already has been outside investigation into the commander that gave you the poor marks, then that "reputation" probably has become well known among the members of the selection board and in the Army as a whole probably or at least his peers. At least in my service, if the commander in question is known to be a "harsh grader" or an "easy graders" or a total "wild turkey" then that is taken into account when considering the remarks and grades of that commander's evaluations across all of the officers he has ever rated... All that really matters is where you fall when ranked against your own peers and all the other officers your commander has ever rated.

But in the end, promotion and selection is based on consistency. either consistent outstanding performance, consistent average performance, consistent marginal performance, or consistent poor performance, and the boards can see that over a series of evaluations and make the appropriate decision. and especially after 19 years of evaluations.

(My service here, don't know what Army does...) The selection/promotion boards go thru several hundred/thousands of records in a very short span (a week or two), and to tell you the truth, they only spend several scores of seconds, rarely more than two minutes looking at each record... They don't have the time to pour over your record... That's the briefer's job... The briefer flashes your record up on the screen, and starts briefing highlights and discrepancies and points out any trends and anything that stands out above the norm either outstanding or adverse, then the board makes their decision.... on whether you are selected or not... it's that quick...

I (my personal opinion here) think that as long as you are able to achieve your military career objectives and that you continue you exhibit your continued outstanding performance, then this poor evaluation has not hurt you in anyway. What's done is done, so just put it behind you and carry on smartly, and continue to close, make contact and destroy the enemy with overwhelming firepower and maneuver....

Good Luck to you... whatever you decide to do.

Woodreau / KMVL

Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
L-188
Posts: 29874
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:24 pm

Hey ArmyAviatior.

Although us poor enlisted signal guys didn't hang out with you officer types, let me direct you to a website that you might find more help on then this one.

http://www.military.com

There have several forums including one dedicated to Army Aviation and Unit forums divided up by type of service.

Chances are that you will find more people with better input on that site then here.

Good Luck,

I had to see the army burn anybody, Felt that fire before.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
ArmyAviator
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 2:26 am

RE: Decision Not To Fly

Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:01 am

To AAR90, MD88Captain, Woodreau, and L-188:

Thank you all for the words of encouragement and advise. I truly appreciate your responses. I guess it's just hard to receive a bad "report card" after so many years of dedicated service and HUGE sacrifices and bending over backwards supporting the commands to ensure mission success. Yes Woodrea, you are right...the boards do look at consistency.

I wish I could write more but unfortunately my wife was hospitalized last night due to pregnancy difficulties. I logged on just long enough to email family and friends. We're 13 weeks earlier but the doctors are doing everything they can to keep her from going into labor. This is our first so its all very new to us. Take care everyone and God Bless.

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