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Thread: Positive General Officer Stories

  1. #1
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    Default Positive General Officer Stories

    No doubt we would crash the servers at MTF retelling the negative Merrill or Doc stories. How about some positive stories about some General Officers. Try to only tell stories you personally witnessed or heard about from an eye/ear witness.

    Here's my first one: Keesler circa 1999 -2001. Second AF CC to visit 81 TRW. We (Bryan Hall) were the first building he would visit and were directed to have NCOs stationed at all the doors he would walk through to open the door as he arrived. As he came to the first stairwell where one of my SSgts was posted he asked her what her job was. "Instructor, block xx" was her reply. To which the General said "Is there a class in session now?" After she replied yes, he politely said she can return to the classroom and teach the students. He then turned to the Captain (I think from the Gp or Wg) coordinating his visit and sternly said "I can open my own F'N doors". Cell phones went a flying as calls were made to the rest of the schoolhouses to pull the door monkeys.
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    While working Transient Alert at Torrejon AB Spain many years ago I was assigned to help with the departure of a two star general. His aircraft was on a hold for some reason and while biding my time waiting for engine start of his aircraft I started playing with a stray dog that always hung around the ramp. At the edge of the ramp was a large puddle from a recent downpour. I started skimming rocks over the water for the dog to chase. I didn't realize we had an audience until the general came up beside me and began skimming rocks too. I don't recall if we had any conversation because it was so long ago, but folks in the tower and base ops never let me forget that day when a two star general and I were skimming rocks for that dog to chase.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    The commander of the 16th Air Force in Spain was a two star named henry K Mooney at the time I was stationed there. Whenever he flew in or out of the base his aircraft was always spotted in front of base ops. Once when he returned from a trip I drove the "Follow Me" truck leading him to the parking spot in front of ops. As we drove past a large Coleman tug there was a SSgt lying up on the back of the vehicle. As the aircraft passed the tug the SSgt did not look up at the wingtip of the general's aircraft which passed only a few feet from the NCO's head. After the engines stopped and the door opened I heard the general say to the steward of the aircraft, "I hate to ruin the great meal you served by chewing some ass, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!" The general stomped down the stairs and trotted over to that Coleman tug and all we could see was the SSgt standing tall while the general chewed him up one side and down the other for not wing walking his aircraft as he taxied by.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    In the early seventies I was a flight engineer on C-141s. On the flight deck the bottom bunk for crew rest was also a long bench seat where three people could sit when no one was lying down. We were on a cargo run from Charleston AFB to Bangkok, Thailand and back when we had a VIP on the return trip. The 4 star 7th AF commander was going to be a passenger on our aircraft back to Dover AFB DE. We did not have a VIP pallet for him so he rode most of the trip in the jump seat, or sitting on the bunk next to the flight engineer. We always carried two, or more flight engineers on each mission. The engineer assigned to this flight with me was a real dufas and showed no class at all. An example: The Loadmaster cooked up a great meal for the general who used the Navigator's stool as a table to eat the scrumptious meal. While the four-star chowed down I was at the panel and the other engineer was sitting on the bunk next to the general. While the general was eating the FE sitting next to him pulled off his boots and started clipping his toenails only inches away fro the food the general was eating. I could see the ears of the AC as they started turning beet red! No one said a word as the general was on the headset with the crew, so we could not say anything. What could we say? I requested and was granted the favor of never being scheduled to fly with that fool flight engineer ever again. When we landed at Dover there was a T-39 waiting to take the general to Florida. he was retiring and going down to look at retirement communities as he told us while cruising back to the states.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    When I was in Panama, our wing CC was BGen David Sawyer.

    I had two real 1 on 1 experiences with him. First one, when he first took over he did an "Immersion Tour"...which the idea basically was the commander would come down to the shop and spend some time there with the Airmen in their jobs to get to know their command a little. Most of them though, did the typical 15 minute spring through the areas and called it a day. BGen Sawyer came and did an immersion in our shop a little differently. He actually spent an entire day with us. He rolled up his sleeves and did the work, under the supervision of a trainer. He was very down to earth.

    The next time was when I graduated the NCO Academy. There were only a few of us from Panama there at the Bergstrom, TX Academy, so we were at one table, and Gen Sawyer sat next to me. Over the course of the evening we talked quite a bit...but, this wasn't like General-talk, "How was class...what did you learn...blah, blah, blah" This was like real talk you might have with your friends or a brother...he shared about his family (he had a young child)...his Mormon faith and how he was planning to do mission work after he retired...this was a guy you could really relate to...swear it felt like we were old buddies there.

    He went on to make two-star, and then passed away 1997...not sure if he got to retire first, I know if he did he passed away shortly afterward. But, he was a very nice man.

    http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7040
    Last edited by Measure Man; 07-05-2013 at 01:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    On a flight from Dover to Ramstein in a C-17. Was sitting at loadmaster station monitoring the 25 passengers who were mostly sleeping. The 2-Star (Army type) was upstairs. He came down to use the latrine. When finished he approached me and asked, "SSgt do you smoke?" "Yes Sir Marlboro Lights." "Can I have one?" "Yes Sir." Passed him the pack and lighter. He and I were talking and smoking. Over the headset..."Loadmaster, Pilot" "Go ahead Pilot" "We smell smoke up here" "I bet you do...the General and I are smoking." "Did you explain to him smoking is not authorized in flight" "No Sir...do you want to?"
    The Captain pilot never said another word. General & me talked NASCAR and football for about an hour. Just a normal guy.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    Met Gen Cody, USA, when he was a one star. Even got to take a ride on a little bird with him. Was quite full of himself but a good guy. His troops loved him.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    Lt Gen "Tex" Brown.

    He was my wing CC when he was a one-star...again, Panama.

    He was an avid and highly competitive volleyball player. He was good, too. Not sure if he played in college or what, but he was a damn good player.

    Anyway, as I mentioned, he was VERY competitive...when he'd get in an intramural game, he'd kind of forget who he was...never forget the time he was all up in the referee's face spitting mad arguing a call with guy...poor SrA was just trying to make a few extra bucks working part-time as a volleyball ref...next thing he knows he has the wing CC all up in his face telling him he is a stupid blind moron, etc.

    Gen didn't hold a grudge or nothing...after the game he was totally cool and shook everyone's hand, etc...he'd just get hot in the moment of the game.

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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    First one was a three star getting me a job. I was about to depart a duty station and due to what I believe to this day was some shady happenings at AFPC (little less ‘supervision’ in 97) I lost a choice job at a base in the northeast. Calling the assignments guy he, with a complete lack of acceptance of his part in this fiasco, told me that since I was between assignment cycles the only assignment available was at Mountain Home. As this was to be my last assignment I was more than a bit peeved to have malfeasance throw a monkey wrench into my plans. Then LTG Lester Lyles was visiting my current assignment (he was commander of the then-BMDO) and I gave him a one-on-one briefing on a program we had going with the host nation. At the end during some conversation my boss mentioned that I was due to PCS shortly. Gen Lyles asked where I was going which elicited a laugh from all my fellow staff members (who knew of my man-without-an-assignment plight). I then explained to the general and when I mentioned that it was Hanscom AFB that I wanted to go to he piped up that “Ron Kadish is a friend of mine, I’ll give him a call”. I thanked the general, thinking it was just a polite offer with no real substance. A week later my boss told me that LTG Lyles aid had called to get my horsepower so he could pass it on to LTG Ronald Kadish, Commander of the Electronic Systems Center. It was at that point that I realized two things. One is who exactly ‘Ron Kadish’ was and two, that the general was serious about the offer to help.

    Funny end of the story is how I had to explain to my new GS 14 boss at Hanscom why a three star general called him and asked…”Steve, this is Ron Kadish. I want to ensure that you guys over there actually have a job for Sgt ‘Mac’”. Two nice guys who happened to wear six stars between them.

    I am sure I have another story…will have to clean out some cobwebs.
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    Default Re: Positive General Officer Stories

    I was the only enlisted member present (MSgt, paralegal) when a brigadier general at Redacted AFB imposed nonjudicial punishment on a first lieutenant. I had my best government-issue game face on, but I was privately surprised at how informal and low-key the proceeding was. The lieutenant wasn't in service dress, she didn't report in, no salutes were exchanged, no behind-chewing occurred. To look at them, you'd almost think they were filling out routine paperwork rather than officially killing her career. I had been expecting something a little more motivational. Given that I was by far the junior guy in the room, I certainly wasn't going to say anything.

    When the lieutenant left and we were gathering up the paperwork, the brigadier general noted that it was the first time I'd been present for one of his Article 15 actions. He said he wanted me to understand why he handled it the way he did, and he explained his rationale even though I hadn't asked. The condensed version is there was no point doing it more formally because the lieutenant's offense was pretty egregious and her days as an officer were numbered. He could have made it every bit as tense as I'd envisioned, but the outcome wouldn't have been different.

    Kudos to the general for seeing the only chevrons in the room, for realizing what a SNCO would expect to see, and for taking the time to explain why.

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