Usually, when we discuss the Air Force here, it’s to vent our frustration at them, or make jokes at their expense.

Not today. This presentation was given a few months ago by GEN Mark Welsh, who last week was nominated to be the next Chief of Staff of the Air Force.


7 thoughts on “Leadership”

  1. Much of what he says would apply to any branch of the military. Poignant ending, particularly so with the recent passing of Lex.

    Doesn’t change my opinion of the AF as a service, however.

  2. As I look at the recent past of the US Air Force, I have seen some outstanding flaws. But, if you take the time and analyze these flaws, you will find that they are failures in leadership. These failures are not just at the bottom, but at the top of the Chain of Command. These failures are the result of political and military leaders. I am including all of the Bush ’41, ’43, Clinton and Obama Administrations. In many ways, the Air Force has essentially been at war for the last 20 years or more.

    Quartermaster, it is not my place to try to change your opinion. But each branch of our military has unique qualities for that particular branch. Most people focus on 9/11, I live in the flight pattern that was used to protect both Ground Zero and Washington, DC. During most of the day, the F-16s were in the air. On that day, every branch was activated, not just the Air Force.

    I believe this choice will help correct the deficiencies created by this long term conflict. I am saying this is just the start, not the completion.

    1. Grumpy, my problem with the AF is not one of malice, but one that the AF itself generated. The Army’s complaints about the AF are utterly righteous. We’ve seen the problem with the seizure of the Caribou in the 60s, and the mess with the C-27J just recently.

      The AF wants to be independent, but they really don’t want to live up to what they originally agreed to for that independence. The Army had to build an Air Force as a result, and it has the largest Air Force in the world because of its needs. And the Army needs a tactical AF, and that’s the very thing the AF does not want to be. It wants to be a strategic AF, and I’m fine with that. Let them be.

      The price for that, however, is they surrender TacAir to the Army. The F-16s, A-10s, BEagles, C-130s and C-27Js go to the Army, and the AF can keep the F-15C, F-22s, C-5s and C-17. The AF can then be that strategic force, and the Army can get the support it needs from the air without having to fool with the AF generals who really don’t want to help the Army, and whine when they are forced to do so.

      My father was AF, and I know too well how the AF worked. My father got tired of it and retired before Vietnam ended. He saw what the environment was doing to all the services, and saw what happened immediately post Korea (where he served) and saw it was going to be far worse post-Vietnam. The AF is more PC than the Navy is, and that’s going some. The country does need a good Strategic AF, but right now it’s neither a good tactical AF or Strategic AF. I hope the New CoS makes a difference, but I have serious doubts he will. It will take a man willing to lay his stars on the table and I seriously doubt the man coming on will be any different from the men in the past. LeMay was the last one willing to do it, and it cost him. We don’t have that kind of man in uniform these days.

  3. QM, I hope you won’t be too shocked, but mostly I agree with you. The concept is rather moot on the C-130s, but in my personal opinion, I would rather see the Army have its own Tac Air component. When a Branch of our Military, tries to be a “Jack of all trades”, they are usually a “Master of none”. The biggest mistake that the Air Force has done is shutting down Strategic Air Command, in the old school.. The Air Force can have of tactical component of its own, just like every other branch, including the Army. The biggest question I have is this, how long will we wait until we get safe and functional F–22s and F–35’s and for how much money? We have spent so much money and I doubt there will ever be a functional. I suspect these 2 aircraft are more political than military. In fact, I would track the money to all of the companies involved and then track it to the final recipient.

    QM, there is a question I wouldn’t have liked to ask your father and it would be this. “Sir, what do you think about the last 20 years and its impact on our military?” QM and your father, to both of you, Thank You, for your service to this nation.

    1. My father died in Dec ’90, and so isn’t around to ask. At any rate, being born in April ’30, it’s very likely he wouldn’t be around now anyway. I can tell you, that he didn’t like what he saw in the AF as of March ’71 and that moved him to retire.

      While I can’t give you his opinion, I think he would cringe at what the last 20 years has brought to the military. Ironically, Bush I & II have been two of the worst periods we have had. It’s true that Clinton did serious damage to the services, but what Slick Willie did was a continuation of what Daddy Bush started, and Dubya has been utterly overrated as he did not fix one thing started by Daddy and, indeed, worsened a lot of it.

      Being a Christian, I am utterly convinced that salvation will not arrive on Air Force 1. But, I think we have a right to expect that POTUS will stand up and do his duty for the country. That hasn’t happened since Ronnie Raygun tried in the 80s. He had only 8 years to heal the troubles that the left inflicted on the services, but he made a good effort. But the guy he turned things over to was abysmal, and the next 3 have combined to give us a military that is already pretty much hollowed out. Things have a late Vietnam war feel to them at present, and the blame rests with both Bush and the Kenyan for that.

  4. Quartermaster, this is just my opinion and take it for what it is worth.

    Sorry, about your father. But I think he would be proud of what his son wrote. I believe you wrote to the best of your ability and your input is very hard to do.

    About the Air Force, I must admit, in many ways, you are right. But, this is true of a whole Military force. The last decent President of the US was Eisenhower and he thought he failed. His brother lived about 10 miles from where I live now, in the old family house. As a boy, I can remember the times that he came to my house and talked with my parents.

    As we move forward, we are facing a Presidential election and our options are bad and worse. People do not understand the region of Afghanistan and Iraq or the whole Middle East, for that matter. The conflict in this whole greater region will never end and now we are involved.

    Thank you.

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