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First Female USAF F-16 Demo Team Commander Fired After Two Weeks

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First Female USAF F-16 Demo Team Commander Fired After Two Weeks

Old 14th Feb 2019, 07:54
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Qualified pilot leads demo team - not news.
Qualified female pilot leads demo team - newsworthy in a very ‘passing interest’ sense.
Qualified female pilot leads demo team - absolutely no reason to suspect over promotion, too much too soon or any other agenda.
Team leader removed due to a slip up that itself didn’t make the news - newsworthy in a very ‘passing interest’ sense.
Person who removed person made a puerile video - not news.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 08:03
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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My conclusion?

If it proves one thing, it is that men and women are equally capable of making mistakes.

BV
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 14:14
  #23 (permalink)  
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Taking this as a straight and unlinked question:

Originally Posted by tartare;10389201If a manifestly incompetent commander is appointed to a unit like this - how does it work in terms of military culture and the on the ground reality of command and control?

[b
Generally you suck it up, know you will be posted before them or they will be posted within 2_years[/b]

Do the subordinates just grin and bear it - hoping more senior officers will notice?

Yes

Does one of the subordinates go over their commanders head - and have a quiet word with the bosses boss?

Possibly but you need to consider personal politics. The person may have friends in high places Or the subordinate has friends in high places.

​​​​​​

Or is there a `work to rule' type scenario - where subordinates more or less tacitly rebel against the commander?

Yes, often occurs with 'old hands - new broom' scenario

Just wondering...
Some bosses have history. Old sweats just keep their heads down. Within a sqn it is essential that there is loyalty and loyalty is a two way street.

Years ago we had a farewell speech by out commander. It began 'never before have I experienced such a bunch of rebellious junior officers . . . '

Said it all really.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 14:59
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Taking this as a straight and unlinked question:



Years ago we had a farewell speech by out commander. It began 'never before have I experienced such a bunch of rebellious junior officers . . . '

Said it all really.
But that could have been the start of a great speech...

CG
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 17:03
  #25 (permalink)  
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. . . but I was very grateful for the support of my senior officers."

As you may gather there was a huge schism between the Execs and the plebes. The sqn cdrs were fine but this was a time of general discontent with lack of information and reliance on the Daily Express for news.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 19:09
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I'm sure the Colonel had solid reasons for the removal and I think it would have been appropriate to share it with the world because right now people are thinking old boys club.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 19:52
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
That process was so fast it almost suggests a massive personality clash. It brings to mind an arrival interview I had once. It was a bollocking and entirely because he had taken a dislike if me.

I am happy to say he got kicked out and I survived.
#metoo!

New boss took an instant [mutual] dislike. I waited until the last straw [delivered in writing to me] and then asked for interview with his boss.
Interview seemed neutral and noncommittal until I asked to be moved.
"Don't do that, I am moving him!"

Result
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 20:07
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I am a bit more concerned about this Air Force member's performance than the young captain's. Sleeping with the enemy, as it were.
Back on topic:
Some of you seem to forget how one becomes a wise old mil aviator.

A good friend of mine lost his aircraft commander papers for 90 days due to flying a bit too low and our CO getting a phone call. XO, OPSO, and CO, called him in, standard Navy ass chewing was administered.
He began his "you are a second pilot again" tour the next day as my copilot on a maintenance check flight.
Who knew? Our squadron, the squadron we shared a hangar with, and of course the Wing.
As the weeks went by and scuttlebutt spread, a few of the other squadrons on the air station also learned of our squadron's black eye. It wasn't broadcast to the whole world via electronic means.

For this hard charging young captain I feel great empathy.
We all trip here and there on the way to becoming seasoned professionals. Her CO should have been able to call her into his office, tell her
"I can't have you doing (whatever) if you are in this billet, so I am reassigning you to ___"
and it remain within the wing. Granted, there is some PR stuff involved with this, but this isn't national news.

Here sit some of you who have been through a similar journey to mine, getting all on board with the naming and shaming game.
There but for the grace of God go I,
F**k the internet age.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 20:28
  #29 (permalink)  
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LW, very true. Also secrecy means the rumours abound, the truth gets embellished and told often enough becomes the true story. Unless you can keep it in house, best get it in the open.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 20:29
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I`ll bet `Maestro16` is a real `fun` guy,wears lumberjacks spurs to climb the greasy flagpole of promotion and placements;
not a lot of `stick time` either for his 22yrs.....

The General will also have a bit of `egg `on his tie as well....
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 22:05
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Thanks PN.
I find it fascinating to learn about how military command and control really works.
At times a lot more fluid and political in practice than many civilians seem to think it is - quite like corporate politics in fact.
Back on thread - if the DUI allegation is true - I wonder if the Captain reported herself?
Technically just over the limit - or rat-arsed...?
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 01:18
  #32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Here's a hit piece on Col. O'Malley for the #MeToo era:
The Daily Mail has picked up Col. O'Malley's 'Breath mint for his b***s' video in an 'exclusive':

EXCLUSIVE: 'If there's one thing more important to me than tactical aviation, it's a healthy pair of b***s!' Colonel who removed first female captain of an Air Force demo team is seen singing in spoof video about discomfort in male genitalia

Colonel Derek O'Malley, 45, is seen performing a song and dance about the discomfort of men's genitalia while flying, in a video filmed in the mid-2000s
O'Malley recently dismissed the first female captain of an elite Air Force Viper demo team, Zoe 'SiS' Kotnik, 30, of her command after just two weeks
Officials did not provide specific details on why she had been ousted, but O'Malley said in a statement that Kotnik had made 'mistakes'
A resurfaced video shows the colonel sprinkling Gold Bond Powder on the puppet-like penis and testes
'If there's one thing more important to me than tactical aviation, it's a healthy pair of balls,' he says in the video


Pictures and lyrics from the video in the link below.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6705423/Colonel-removed-female-captain-Air-Force-seen-crude-video.html

I'm telling you, those Air Force pilots will never be accepted by polite society.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 01:21
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Bubba....Air Force Pilots are Altar Boys compared to your common US Army Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot!
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 07:58
  #34 (permalink)  
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SASLess, officer and gentleman or professional aviator. Your call 👹
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 11:50
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PN, Real Live Officers (RLO's) were commissioned as an "Officer and Gentleman" by Congress.....Warrant Officers were appointed as such by the Secretary of the Army with zero mention of the "Gentleman" part thus imparting an interesting dynamic into the situation.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 12:39
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Joining the dots together, something binary like DUI sounds the most plausible. Timeframe too compressed otherwise, as 99% of other reasons to remove a commander would take a little time to percolate, and ironically, given O'Malleys history, I suspect he might be on the less hasty side when it comes to such a drastic step. An infringement of that nature, involving external authorities would leave him little choice, a judgement which I am sure he would have "road tested" up the line before implementing.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 15:24
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Originally Posted by falcon900 View Post
Joining the dots together, something binary like DUI sounds the most plausible. Timeframe too compressed otherwise, as 99% of other reasons to remove a commander would take a little time to percolate, and ironically, given O'Malleys history, I suspect he might be on the less hasty side when it comes to such a drastic step. An infringement of that nature, involving external authorities would leave him little choice, a judgement which I am sure he would have "road tested" up the line before implementing.
Author Tyler Rogoway interviewed Col. O'Malley about his own road to redemption after the raunchy Gold Bond video inadvertently went viral in the pre-YouTube era.

We Talk Mistakes, Redemption, And Leadership With Commander Who Fired First Female Demo Team Leader

Long before removing F-16 pilot Zoe Kotnik from her post, Colonel O'Malley faced his own controversy and he's finally ready to talk about it publicly.

BY TYLER ROGOWAY FEBRUARY 14, 2019
Derek "Maestro" O'Malley was a young fighter pilot rising quickly in the ranks when he decided to make a particularly crass gag video. What came next was nothing he ever imagined. All that he had worked for was suddenly at stake. But the Air Force gave him another chance, one that he ran with and has since achieved incredible heights of success, becoming the wing commander of the prestigious 20th Fighter Wing based at Shaw Air Force Base. Then, just days ago, it was his turn to make a disciplinary decision just like his superiors had in regards to his mistake a decade and a half ago. This one would be far more publicized. Now Colonel O'Malley relieved the first female demonstration team leader the Air Force ever had, Captain Zoe Kotnik, after just two weeks on duty. His decision made international headlines and the details surrounding it are still shrouded in secrecy.

After the video he created years ago, which is infamous in the fighter pilot community, was
published on this site in relation to the ongoing story about the dismissal of Zoe Kotnik, O'Malley made the decision to reach out to us to share his story publically for the first time. And an amazing and intimate one it is. It speaks to the failings in all of us and how it's not necessarily how you fail, but how you redeem yourself and use your experiences, no matter how unpleasant, to become a better person and a more thoughtful leader.

Judging by his responses alone, we need more people like O'Malley in the top echelons of the USAF's leadership, ones who have learned to see the potential in people even when it is highly inconvenient to do so. For a force that is struggling to retain personnel,
including pilots and maintainers—those who are absolutely critical to its core mission—giving people a second shot when it is possible to do so is really a necessity not a luxury.


The interview is here, it's a good read in my opinion:

We Talk Mistakes, Redemption, And Leadership With Commander Who Fired First Female Demo Team Leader - The Drive
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 15:27
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Airbubba,
I had already read the interview you refer to, which is what made me think O'Malley would be inherently less likely to be hasty or indeed unforgiving. Given his own experience, I suspect whatever she did must have left him / The Air Force with little choice. Added to which, he wouldnt need much in the imagination department to realise that this would reignite interest in his own past incident, so another reason to believe that he had no choice but to remove her.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 16:39
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Go to the links above and look beyond THIS story. There are lots and lots of sub links to AF personnel who lost the confidence of their boss. It’s an SOP title whenever ANYONE gets sacked. Some do criminal things, some sexual, some violent, some neglectful, but ALL get the same headline. Don’t read anything into what she has done , you’re always just guessing
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 10:14
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new team boss

interesting background - just seven years ago was flying King Airs around Afghanistan...
https://www.shaw.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/1756017/major-john-waters/
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