Does this man deserve flag rank?

racing_kitty

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From the Washington Times:


On the list is Navy Reserve Capt. Timothy W. Dorsey, the same man who, while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, committed what the report said was an “illogical act.” *snip*

*snip* His promotion to admiral has some in the aviation community shaking their heads, especially because minor discretions by flight officers over the past decades have resulted in reprimands and the ends of career.


Now keep in mind, his mistake wasn't "I got the Humvee stuck in the quicksand," or "I pulled too close to a hole in the road, causing it to collapse and fuck up the front end of my big-ass MRAP." He damned near got people killed as a LT(jg). And now he's about to become a rear admiral.

Personally, I think the level of fuck-up was just too big to forgive. Opinions?
 

Marauder06

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On the one hand, whatever happened, happened a long time ago. On the other... wtf, he SHOT DOWN another aircraft during a training exercise, and they let him STAY IN THE SERVICE? :hmm:
 

Salt USMC

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As monumentally DUMB as that particular event was, someone at some level decided to retain him, albeit in a non-flying capacity. As much as he should've gotten the boot, he's apparently been doing pretty well as an intelligence officer, so with all that in mind (and taking the large amount of time lapsed into consideration) I'd say it's okay to promote this guy.

Although, it's rather disconcerting to think about the amount of influence his Dad may have had in saving his career.
 

Marauder06

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I guess it's lucky for him that even with gross negligence, they can only take two months' pay. It would suck to have to repay the cost of an Air Force plane.

Oh yeah, and it's lucky for him he had a powerful father.

I'm surprised that the pilots of the other plane haven't tracked him down and beaten his ass.
 

CDG

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Although, it's rather disconcerting to think about the amount of influence his Dad may have had in saving his career.

This is the first thought that I had as well. That he has friends in high-places that saved his ass. Long time ago or not, the severity of the mistake should govern what action is taken. Some mistakes are more serious than others and should be treated accordingly.
 

Marauder06

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This is the first thought that I had as well. That he has friends in high-places that saved his ass. Long time ago or not, the severity of the mistake should govern what action is taken. Some mistakes are more serious than others and should be treated accordingly.

I agree. This probably should have been an "unrecoverable" mistake. The promotion rate for O2 to O3 in the Army is something like 99%; I would like to think that if a comparable event had happened in the Army, that young officer would have been a "1%-er" when it came time for everyone else to get promoted to O3.
 

Salt USMC

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Perhaps attitudes were different back then. I'm not an officer so I can't comment on that promotion system, but it seems like these days if you get a DUI or are assigned to some fatbody program then you can kiss that next promotion goodbye. Who knows? He's been in the service for 47 years. Maybe he languished as a JG for 10 years before the board even deigned to look at him? Nevertheless, he was (somehow) able to recover from this incident and do good things that didn't involve shooting missiles at things. As a pilot, he's definitely a failure. But as an Intel officer? Maybe he deserves it.
 

Arrow 4

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I think the question should be, is this the right man for that specific job? If the answer to that question is Yes, then promote him. We have all had fuck ups...most of us have had fuck ups that could easily have ended in the loss of someone's life if not our own. If you learn from those mistakes and not get the boot, thank God and drive on.
 

racing_kitty

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I'll admit, y'all have a point. I'm just astounded how many careers were over before they started for blowing a 0.09, and this guy got a second chance. Good on him for making the best of it. But damn...
 

DA SWO

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He was grounded.

Left Active Duty and began a Reserve Career.

Became an Intel Guy (which alone should bar him from flag rank :D) , then serving in IG assignments; he seems to have had a decent Intel Career.

No, I don't begrudge him his promotions.
 

DA SWO

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i remembered the incident, and Incident Board. Google can be friendly.

On an early fall afternoon in September, 1987, Vodka 51, an RF-4C, departed Aviano Air Base in Italy bound, for the Mediterranean. Their job that day was to find the US aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. Of course, part of Exercise Display Determination, a joint USAF, USN and NATO exercise, taking place in the Med, was for Navy assets to defend the carrier and stop detection of its location. The search for the carrier and the defense of it, as always, were to occur within the exercise ROE.

Vodka 51 was flying a special RF-4 TEREC that day. TEREC, Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance, was the AN/ALQ-125, which enabled detection of electronic beeps and squeaks that could emanate from various sources, one being an aircraft carrier group. That’s how Vodka 51 planned to find the Saratoga.

After the flight across Northern Italy and into the Mediterranean, the first order of business for Vodka 51 was to hit a tanker for airborne refueling. Join up and hook up with the tanker was routine and uneventful. While taking gas the RF-4 crew noticed a Navy F-14 had joined on the tanker’s wing. Thinking nothing of it Vodka 51 concentrated on the task and hand and, once topped off, disconnected and left the tanker track to start their search. As they turned away, Vodka noticed the Tomcat did not stay with the tanker but appeared to follow them.

Vodka 51 got their TEREC equipment up and running then started their flight search pattern to hunt for the Saratoga. As it seems to happen on occasion, the cosmic stuff decides not to work and, on this day, the TEREC gear failed to operate. However, the RF-4 guys did notice the TACAN channel that was in use on the Saratoga three days prior was up and transmitting. That would allow them to make the briefed intercept of the Saratoga. As the Vodka 51 started down to the intercept altitude they lost sight of the Tomcat. Fifteen minutes after departing the tanker. a massive explosion engulfed the RF-4. Both the pilot and the WSO were able to eject. Although ejection parameters were not ideal, 550Kts, 5500 feet and negative 2.5 G’s, it was better than not getting out at all. All the egress equipment worked as briefed and, once they regained consciousness, they both found themselves under parachute canopies that settled them down to the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Their time in the water was relatively short, 45 minutes. A Navy rescue helicopter picked them up and brought them to the carrier. Vodka 51 had finally found the Saratoga.

Once they had been medically checked over and given dry clothes Vodka 51 met with the carrier CO. He asked them if they knew what had happened. When they said they thought they might have had a mid-air with the F-14 that had been following them, the CO said, “No, that F-14 was one of ours and he shot you down.” The WSO’s response was, "I thought we were on the same side sir!" To which the Admiral answered, "Normally we are."

After departing the tanker, the F-14 had indeed followed Vodka 51. The Tomcat was being flown by a young, Navy LTJG, tactical call sign "Smoke," a player in the exercise, whose task it was to defend the carrier. Apparently, this was going to be quite an atta-boy, quickly eliminating an adversary so early in the exercise It was his luck that day to see the RF-4 come on station and to be able to follow him into the exercise area after refueling. It was also his luck, or misfortune, that day to be flying with live ordinance for Fleet defense when he was re-tasked from that role to participate in the exercise. The F-14 HUD video recorded his call to the carrier asking, within exercise rules, to engage the RF-4. He was given clearance, within exercise rules, to shoot and destroy Vodka 51. On the video you can plainly hear the Navy fighter pilot call up his left missile. You can hear him say everything is good, announce he’s firing the missile and a release cue is displayed. However, the left missile had a motor malfunction and didn't fire. You can hear the pilot is somewhat confused when no missile departed the rail. Next you hear on the HUD video as the Tomcat pilot called up his right missile and announce everything is good. This time when the release cue is displayed you also see the F-14 is inside the Break X signal, that he's 2500 feet behind the RF-4 and the Air Force jet’s Zweibrucken AB, Germany tail flash, ZR, can plainly be seen. Then a live AIM-9 flashes into the HUD field of view and makes its way to the RF-4 where it impacts in front of the tail section resulting in a huge explosion. While all this is going on, you can hear the RIO’s profanity filled screams asking his pilot what has he done. Then starting a rescue effort the RIO transmits, “MAYDAY, MAYDAY MAYDAY, WE'VE JUST SHOT DOWN THE F-4 AT 060/05 FROM MOTHER, NO CHUTES, NO CHUTES, NO CHUTES.”

A few interesting side notes.
  • One of the ROE’s of the exercise was that no participating aircraft were allowed to carry live missiles.
  • The Navy LTJG, when asked later by the accident investigation board, said, yes, indeed, he intended to shoot a live missile. He was not court-martialed but put on non-flying duties and never flew again.
  • This very same LTJG’s father was an active Navy Vice Admiral who, when flying combat missions in Vietnam, accidentally shot down his wingman.
  • The pilot of Vodka 51 has ever since been known as Squidbait. He’s had numerous back surgeries as a result of the Martin-Baker ejection; the most recent, earlier this year, 2008.

The accident board determined that Vodka 51 was very lucky to have almost full fuel tanks. Had those fuel tanks been mostly empty, filled with fuel vapors, the explosion would have been much more massive, ripping the RF-4 apart and almost certainly killing the crew.

 

CDG

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The Navy LTJG, when asked later by the accident investigation board, said, yes, indeed, he intended to shoot a live missile. He was not court-martialed but put on non-flying duties and never flew again.
  • This very same LTJG’s father was an active Navy Vice Admiral who, when flying combat missions in Vietnam, accidentally shot down his wingman.
The accident board determined that Vodka 51 was very lucky to have almost full fuel tanks. Had those fuel tanks been mostly empty, filled with fuel vapors, the explosion would have been much more massive, ripping the RF-4 apart and almost certainly killing the crew.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

So he MEANT to shoot a live missile? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. I could give a shit how good of an intel officer he is. If some PFC 11B "accidentally" shot a Bradley with a live AT-4 I bet they wouldn't just let him transfer MOSs. Ridiculous. This clown should have been booted after the investigation.
 

Arrow 4

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So he MEANT to shoot a live missile? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. I could give a shit how good of an intel officer he is. If some PFC 11B "accidentally" shot a Bradley with a live AT-4 I bet they wouldn't just let him transfer MOSs. Ridiculous. This clown should have been booted after the investigation.[/quote]

I can't argue with that logic, he should have been booted.
 

DA SWO

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So he MEANT to shoot a live missile? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. I could give a shit how good of an intel officer he is. If some PFC 11B "accidentally" shot a Bradley with a live AT-4 I bet they wouldn't just let him transfer MOSs. Ridiculous. This clown should have been booted after the investigation.

I can't argue with that logic, he should have been booted.[/quote]
Like the guy who fired the LAW (?) into the ammo dump during Desert Shield? Did they boot his ass?


You guys are missing some of the findings from the incident board.

This happened during the COLD WAR.
Carrier Battle Groups (aka CVG's) had a no-shit MiG CAP up. This guy started the day flying MiG CAP; was re-fragged (after take off) to play in the exercise (in violation of the exercise directive). Why don't people demand that the CAG and Battle Group Commander take a hit? He was put into the situation when he should not have been in the game.

The "Real World" kill that guy Pro-word was the same as the exercise kill that guy Pro-word, the Navy admitted that was stupid and changed that process after this incident.

There is no-way they could have won a Courts Martial. Higher ups screwed the pooch many times before the O-2 pulled the trigger, and why was a O-2 on his 1st deployment by himself; why wasn't he flying as someone's Wingman?
 

racing_kitty

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Having no familiarity with air asset SOP's (but plenty with how to render safe a Martin-Baker), I can understand how this situation built up and came to pass after reading your post, SOWT. The article I first read stated that the pilot was aware that he was only supposed to simulate missile firing, and I based my opinion accordingly.

I am still flummoxed about how he was able to stay in after that colossal fuck-up, but it's good to see what led up to this incident.
 

DA SWO

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Having no familiarity with air asset SOP's (but plenty with how to render safe a Martin-Baker), I can understand how this situation built up and came to pass after reading your post, SOWT. The article I first read stated that the pilot was aware that he was only supposed to simulate missile firing, and I based my opinion accordingly.

I am still flummoxed about how he was able to stay in after that colossal fuck-up, but it's good to see what led up to this incident.
They shoved him into Personnel, and he was a "SuperStar" helping the Tomcat Community, I think he bounced back pretty fast and that is why they let him move into the Reserve Intel Community.
 
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