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Nuke Missile Base Commander Says 'Wrong Won Out Over Right' In Epic Resignation Letter

Posted by on Mar. 28, 2014 at 9:25 AM
  • 9 Replies

Nuke Missile Base Commander Says 'Wrong Won Out Over Right' In Epic Resignation Letter

 

The Air Force on Thursday fired nine midlevel nuclear commanders and announced it would discipline dozens of junior officers at a missile base in response to an exam-cheating scandal that officials called unprecedented in the history of America's intercontinental ballistic missile force. A 10th commander, the senior officer at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., resigned and will retire from the service. A text of the resignation letter the officer, Col. Robert Stanley, sent to his command, titled "A Lesson To Remember":

Wing One Colleagues,

Over the past few months, we have been forced to navigate through some of the roughest waters most of us have ever experienced professionally. We've seen the reputation of our beloved wing and America's ICBM mission tarnished because of the extraordinarily selfish actions of officers entrusted with the most powerful weapon system ever devised by man. As you are now learning, the ramifications are dire. Many lives will be permanently changed as a result.

But this costly lesson must not be in vain.

The lesson? Had just one solitary airman spoken up for integrity, our leadership team would have been able to take action immediately.

Tragically, peer pressure and the fear of being an outcast prevailed. As a result, the misconduct had to be inadvertently discovered by OSI agents.

Think of how different the narrative would be had the silent Airman just come forward. That airman would now be lionized as a hero for casting aside his or her own fear of being made an outcast by a few inadequate peers.

That airman would have single-handedly preserved the honor and dignity of Malmstrom and all the wonderful people who make up this incredible wing.

But it didn't happen. Wrong won out over right ... the voice of integrity was silenced ... and the good guy lost at the end of the movie.

This is a wake-up call for everyone who has lost their sense of right and wrong, for those who have become cynical and for those indoctrinated by modern society to acquiesce when faced with bad behavior.

"All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing." I highlighted this old axiom as the main point of my change of command speech a little over a year ago. I implored our formations of airmen that it never be said of Malmstrom that "we did nothing" in the face of evil. I can't imagine a more vivid reinforcement of that lesson than what we're going through now.

As your wing commander, it occurs to me that I've been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime. It's been one I neither expected nor deserved.

Our amazing airmen and their families, the astoundingly supportive community and the successes of Wing One have far outweighed the bad. Just being allowed to be a small part of your lives is a memory that Cheryl and I will cherish forever. But, like all things of great value, such blessings come with equally great costs. I represent this wing to the world, and we let the American people down on my watch.

With that realization, and the genuine hope that my action will stir even the most apathetic hearts to action, I have decided to volunteer my resignation from this post effective immediately. This request has been accepted. I have also requested, and been approved for, retirement from the United States Air Force. If this sacrifice by Cheryl and me influences just one airman to stand up for what's right the next time they are confronted by immorality, it will have been worth every tear and sleepless night.

But I do have one last command: Each and every one of you must now give your full allegiance, support and enthusiasm to your new commander. I know that you will forge an even stronger team than the one we were so carefully building.

It's been the highest honor of my career to serve with the 341st Missile Wing and the Great Falls community. You will always occupy a special place in our hearts.

Col S.

Robert W. Stanly II, Colonel, USAF

Commander, 341st Missile Wing

Malmstrom AFB, Montana

by on Mar. 28, 2014 at 9:25 AM
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Replies (1-9):
mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM
3 moms liked this

I'm sorry but I call bull shit. If that ficticious airmen that he is talking about had come forward, his / her career would have been ruined and I venture to guess they would have tried to do a damn good job of ruining their lives.

dawnie1
by #1 Raider fan on Mar. 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM

"Epic" is the right word.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this

 I agree

I also feel like this guy is shifting the blame. it happened under his leadership. Taking responsibility isn't saying well it wouldn't have happened if this ONE guy would have TOLD

How about LEAD A TEAM that wouldn't TOLERATE such actions.?

and he gets to retire with FULL BENEFITS..so...what exactly is he giving up?

 

Quoting mikiemom:

I'm sorry but I call bull shit. If that ficticious airmen that he is talking about had come forward, his / her career would have been ruined and I venture to guess they would have tried to do a damn good job of ruining their lives.

 

idunno1234
by Silver Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 11:13 AM
1 mom liked this

Its so sad, but I absolutely agree and almost posted the same thing.  This man is speaking a wonderful ideal but  as usual, reality will never match it.

Quoting mikiemom:

I'm sorry but I call bull shit. If that ficticious airmen that he is talking about had come forward, his / her career would have been ruined and I venture to guess they would have tried to do a damn good job of ruining their lives.


Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 3:10 PM


Quoting mikiemom:

I'm sorry but I call bull shit. If that ficticious airmen that he is talking about had come forward, his / her career would have been ruined and I venture to guess they would have tried to do a damn good job of ruining their lives.

There's a strong ethic in the military of sticking by your squad mates.   'Ratting them out' is not popular.

stormcris
by Christy on Mar. 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

That is like blaming the blue wall. They develop this sort of thinking for a reason and it sticks. Why would one person come out against the military wall?

angelenia
by Silver Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 7:11 PM
Bump
mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

 Not as much in the Air Force. The Air Force is more corporate feeling but what I've read about this scenario the culture of this base and unit was not one that was condusive to doing the right thing.

Quoting Clairwil:

 

Quoting mikiemom:

I'm sorry but I call bull shit. If that ficticious airmen that he is talking about had come forward, his / her career would have been ruined and I venture to guess they would have tried to do a damn good job of ruining their lives.

There's a strong ethic in the military of sticking by your squad mates.   'Ratting them out' is not popular.

 

lga1965
by on Mar. 28, 2014 at 8:46 PM

 

Quoting mikiemom:

I'm sorry but I call bull shit. If that ficticious airmen that he is talking about had come forward, his / her career would have been ruined and I venture to guess they would have tried to do a damn good job of ruining their lives.

 I am sure he would have....most people who try to do the right thing get punished for it. But he should have. Sometimes even when you know that doing the right thing is best, you will still get screwed.

This is why the situation got out of hand with so many of them cheating and thinking that keeping it a secret would work---nobody was strong enough to speak up.

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