Ladies and gentlemen,
Please keep this information within our class.
I do not want this document to be a source document for others to misinterpret
what we are discussing. Since some of this is written from memory, an
error or two is possible. For example, in my comments at the end of this
letter, I may attribute a comment to Lt. Gen. Johnson that was made by
someone else within the room. The points below are accurate to the best
of my knowledge and not opinions unless I clearly state that an item is
I attended at the AOG Board of Directors meeting Friday,
December 6, since the Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, was scheduled
to speak. She covered many interesting items that included the direction
the Academy is going, recent accomplishments, and a few challenges. The
minutes of the A0G Board meeting will be published on the website, so
I will not discuss everything she said.
What I want to do is to update you with the latest information
about the recent use of a confidential informant (CI) within the cadet
wing. I'm sure by now you have read an article or seen emails or posts
on Facebook that talks about a cadet who spoke with the Colorado Springs
Gazette about his allegedly improper dismissal from the Air Force Academy.
Here is a brief outline of what is in the rather length
document . . .
1. The start of the publicity
2. The Players
a. Eric Thomas
b. Skip Morgan
c. John C. Buckley III, MA, JD
d. Vic Andrews
e. Lt Gen Mike Gould
f. Lt Gen Michelle Johnson
g. Roger Carlton, Chairman of the Board,
3. A note about Skip Morgan
4. Skip Morgan's message to graduates
5. Official Academy Response to Gazette article
6. Additional remarks by John C. Buckley III, MA, JD
7. Lt Gen Michelle Johnson's message to the graduate community
8. Remark's by Roger Carlton, Chairman of the Board, AOG
9. My remark's after attending the AOG Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting
and hearing Lt Gen Michelle Johnson's remarks to the BOD.
The start of the adverse publicity
Use your favorite search engine and enter "Honor, Deception amid
Air Force's Cadet Spy System" and pick a couple of articles to read.
I believe the Colorado Springs Gazette was first, but the Denver Post
has an article also.
As I interpret it, it is Eric Thomas' contention that he, then Cadet Thomas,
accumulated excessive demerits as a result of bad conduct while in support
of being a confidential informant (CI) for the Air Force Office of Special
Investigations (OSI). It is his allegation that these excessive demerits
and record of conduct while acting as an OSI CI resulted in his improper
dismissal from the Academy. Further, the OSI failed to support him in
time of need.
1. Eric Thomas - an ex-cadet and formerly a member of
the Class of 2013. Eric is an African American and a former USAFA football
player. He came to the attention of the AFOSI after attending a party
in a hotel near Divide, Colorado after it was visited by civilian police
for cause. More information about this below.
2. Skip Morgan - a retired Air Force colonel and a member of the Class
of 1972. He is representing Eric Thomas.
3. John C. Buckley III, MA, JD - a member of USAFA Class of 1977 and a
local lawyer. I included his remarks as an introduction to "who is"
4. Vic Andrews - AOG Board Vice Chairman - Vic Andrews served 30 years
in the USAF, retiring as a Colonel in 1996. The discussion of who is Skip
Morgan is from an email addressed to Vic.
5. Lt Gen Mike Gould - member of USAFA Class of 1976. Lt Gen Gould was
the Superintendent during the time of the activities under discussion
6. Lt Gen Michelle Johnson - current USAF Academy Superintendent dealing
with the current situation
7. Roger Carlton, Chairman of the Board, AOG - member of the Class of
1967; BG (Ret)
A note about Skip Morgan
Who is Skip Morgan? As you read Skip Morgan's comments
later, you will find out more of his background, but I wanted to include
as a way of introduction, comments from John Buckley, Class of '77, contained
in an email to Vic Andrews.
"...I know Skip Morgan (Col. USAF Ret., USAFA
'72). I hold him in the highest regard, as I do you and many of the folks
on this e-mail... He is not flamboyant. He had a real life before becoming
a lawyer (intel in RVN). He was JAG to CENTCOM. He worked at Legislative
Liaison. He was acting head of the Department of Law before Paul Pirog
became the PP. His opinion was trusted enough by the USAF to be part of
the religious review panel a few years ago that coolly knocked out Mikey
Weinstein's disingenuous arguments about religious freedom at USAFA. Skip
is not a light-your-hair-on-fire knee-jerk kind of guy. He has great character
A comment from me at this point, Skip Morgan also
attended a portion of the AOG Board of Directors meeting on Friday. He
handled himself very professionally and brought up some interesting comments
for the superintendent to consider.
Skip Morgan's message to graduates
(I am including other documents in my document as to have all/most of
this stuff in one place)
"Fellow graduates and distinguished colleagues,
Looking at this address list leaves me in awe and does me honor. If I
could select a group of people whom I respect more I don't think I could
do better. I would like to add my thanks to John in speaking up on this
matter. I have been largely silent to date other than what Eric has released,
and I want to do nothing that could possibly prejudice him. But I do want
to set the record straight.
People who know me know that my love for the Air Force and for USAFA is
genuine and enduring. I've no wish to trash either. I am a graduate myself
(1972), as is my second oldest son, (2005) who is on active duty at this
writing. By the same token, I have an obligation to my client and to the
truth. What follows is my best recollection of events prompted by a rather
large stack of documents. If there are failings or inaccuracies, they
are mine and mine alone. My memory is not merely imperfect, but probably
doesn't even make the curve.
For the last several years our Academy has faced a near herculean task
of trying to do something about sexual assault, illegal drug use (especially
Spice), and underage drinking. In doing that, they must face the reality
that abuses such as this can and often do occur inside closed, tight-knit,
sub-communities within the Academy-intercollegiate teams (recall the Wrestling
team honor scandal in 1972), and yes, ethnic communities, and sometimes
They also have to take on what may well be an appreciable number of cadets
to whom loyalty to class and classmate trumps all. Shortly before I retired
in 2002 I overheard a first class cadet who had sat on an Honor Board
that had convicted a fellow firstie ream out her classmates, with words
like, "how can you convict a classmate, ever!" (The evidence
of cheating in this case was overwhelming. It was not that particular
cadet's first time before an honor board, either.) She was furious and
didn't care who knew it. What I found so disheartening was not merely
what the firstie said, but that she was apparently so certain that hers
was the prevailing ethic within her class that she felt at liberty to
express it openly.
The toleration clause has always been a matter of some controversy, (recall
that Annapolis does not have it) and this is nothing new. I don't know
how many of us ever confronted the wrenching situation where you had to
choose between tolerating and thus yourself becoming an honor violator,
or turning in a classmate or a teammate. I am thankful always that while
a cadet I never had to make that awful choice. But the reality is that
the Honor Code states that a cadet is required to "snitch" on
a fellow cadet who, after confrontation, is still suspected of having
committed an honor violation. So having cadets tell on other cadets is
also nothing new, at least when it comes to honor. In fact, it remains
a requirement of our Code. Nobody doubts that it runs squarely athwart
the predominant culture of young people today. Recall the West Point cadets
from Texas who had committed murder and actually confided that to their
classmates, so certain were they that it would not get out.
As a general rule under the UCMJ there is not a collateral requirement
to tell on a classmate, even if you suspect him of having committed a
UCMJ offense. This has particular relevance to things like underage drinking,
where USAFA routinely will punish the ranking cadets present where underage
drinking took place, even if they did not directly contribute to it, simply
for not intervening and allowing it to occur. Zero tolerance sounds so
appealing, but has built into it a paradox. Because USAFA makes it clear
that certain things are presumptively cause for disenrollment, tremendous
pressure not to snitch builds into the algorithm, because to do so means
that a classmate is nearly certain to be disenrolled. Thus, systematically,
the zero tolerance policy can have the opposite of the intended effect
because a code of silence virtually descends. Since there is a "death
penalty" for any sort of involvement, or even knowing about it, cadets
figure they have little or nothing to lose by keeping quiet, since if
they're caught either way they're out. I know we'd all like to believe
that cadets are above human nature and moral cost-benefit-analysis, but
the reality is we are all fallen.
Finally, there is the reality that getting an outsider into a tightly-knit
USAFA sub-culture, association or IC team borders on impossible. If it
is rumored that members of the football team were doing Spice, or that
a given squadron has a sexual predator in it, trying to investigate it
without having somebody with access borders on Sisyphean. Again, we must
contend with the law of unintended consequences. BCT has changed dramatically
from when we were there and much of it focuses on building class unity.
Entire squadrons or flights can be punished for the derelictions of one.
This can have the unintended effect of teaching basics and doolies that
class loyalty comes first, and one fails all fail. Neither contributes
to the idea of individual responsibility or accountability.
With respect to sexual assault, USAFA has a policy where the victim could
decide if she wanted to pursue the UCMJ route or not. Again, a female
underclass cadet who might have been victimized by another cadet who happens
to be a member of, say, an intercollegiate team, might be seriously intimidated
by the prospect of being the one to wreck the future of a popular and
implicitly powerful cadet athlete and possibly even the team itself. Once
again, by trying to encourage victims to come forward, an unavoidable
paradox was built into the system.
Eric Thomas is an African-American who was a football recruit. He was
"inside" a lot of the communities that OSI agents could not
expect to penetrate so long as the code of silence within those communities
stood fast. But he had witnessed a sexual assault, was friends with the
victim, who chose not to go along the UCMJ path because she was scared
not merely of the perpetrator, but his friends. He viewed that as a terrible
injustice. He was also present at a major cadet Spice party. When he was
interviewed, he ultimately agreed to become a confidential informant for
the OSI, focusing on sexual assault. Ultimately, he became instrumental
in the general court-martial and conviction of two different cadets for
various sexual assaults. Both had multiple cadet victims. One had five
cadet victims. The OSI lauded him as one of their "most valuable"
confidential informants, responsible for over 25 proactive AFOSI cases.
Yet all of this was underground. Eric's AOC knew nothing of his activities
for OSI; in fact at the time only the commandant, Brig Gen Clark, and
a deputy knew about it.
Eric would tell you straight up he was far from a model cadet. There were
things he did (chiefly breaking restrictions) that had nothing to do with
the OSI. But it is equally true that some of his OTF's that went towards
his demerits and the MRC decision were related to times he was working
for OSI. So, when his AOC recommended him for disenrollment, something
entirely defensible given he knew nothing about Eric's role, Eric's handling
agent arranged with the commandant to take the case to an investigating
officer so that OSI could be more forthcoming to the investigating officer
about tradecraft and what Eric had done for them. They knew that in the
broader venue of a MRC, they could not discuss tradecraft.
Then misfortune stepped in. General Clark pcs'd and a new commandant took
over. At about the same time the leadership at the OSI also changed. The
disenrollment procedure was changed back to a MRC. Just fifteen minutes
before the OSI handler was going to go before the MRC and tell them what
Eric had done, he was ordered by the new OSI squadron commander not to
go. Eric was understandably frantic; his handler, his wingman, had abandoned
him. So on his own he tried to tell the MRC what he had done, but they
were dubious. I do not think it violates any confidence to say that I
too was skeptical of all Eric told me, but I have since received confirmation
to such an extent that I know the above to be true.
After the MRC disenrollment recommendation Eric tried again and again
to contact his OSI handlers through text, cell phones, and everything
else, but received no response. Finally, he got hold of his handling officer
in November of 2012. During all of this time his disenrollment package
was being processed. I do not know the reason for the delay.
It was not until November of last year that his handler finally contacted
Eric, and told him that he would meet with him.
Instead, when Eric showed up he was met by the OSI commander and another
agent who figuratively worked him over for an hour or two, telling him
he was a disgrace, had violated his non-disclosure oath and was unfit
to be an officer, or words to that effect. At this point I attempted to
call the OSI commander, but did not receive a return call the first time.
The second time, I left a message and he did subsequently return the call,
but for whatever reason we were never able to speak one-on-one.
It was at about this point that Eric's disenrollment package left the
commandant's shop and went to the superintendent, Lt Gen Gould. I was
in contact with JA, and told them of my concerns that Eric's role with
OSI had not been fully and completely understood by his chain of command.
Meantime, we sent in the first Privacy/FOIA request to OSI. It was returned
"no records." I know this to be categorically false.
I sent a letter to Lt Gen Gould, a portion of which the Gazette published.
It was provided at the behest of my client. The thrust of my letter was
that I thought the AFOSI had treated Eric badly, yes, even "despicably."
They had deceived him and left him in the lurch at the MRC. Very important
to understand is that I did not know and do not know to this day what
the OSI had told the superintendent or the commandant, if anything, about
Eric. He had no way of knowing that either. But the disenrollment recommendation
flowed inevitably from the fact that the MRC plainly did not believe Eric's
claims. I was told through JA that it would be helpful to General Gould's
consideration if we could provide some corroboration to show he was on
an OSI op at the time of any of his OTFs. Recalling that OSI had declined
to provide any records, in fact had claimed that there were no records,
the only thing we had was a few texts that show that on at least one or
two of his OTFs he was actively working for OSI.
Ultimately, General Gould decided on the disenrollment, but also did not
recommend he be made to pay the cost of his education-something that I
know from many other cases can approach $190,000 for a second-semester
firstie. I had earlier spoken to General Gould on another case about the
devastating effect of that payback, which is brutal. The alternative,
enlisted service, was formerly the presumptive outcome, but manpower and
budget crunches along with a change in the law have reversed the default
to be reimbursement. I gave Eric to appreciate that the decision to forgive
repayment was a major concession, and I believe it was probably made with
Eric's OSI work in mind. He also received a fully honorable discharge.
In the meantime, a second FOIA request to AFOSI resulted in a "no
records" reply. It was not until Eric got his congressman involved
that OSI records came forward. In deciding who is being honest and who
is not in all of this, I think it's important to recognize that twice
the OSI denied that they had any records on Eric. The result was that
I cannot know for sure if USAFA leadership had the benefit of records
that are now available at the time they were making their decision. If
they did have them, then I'm hopeful that they were not aware that OSI
was claiming that none existed.
Because I was once SJA for OSI, I know a little bit about the process
and procedures of recruiting, deploying, and handling confidential informants.
From what I know, this was not followed. AFOSI cannot promise to get a
confidential informant "off" or promise immunity, and Eric does
not claim that they did. What it is obligated to do is to come forward
and state truthfully what a confidential informant has done in the appropriate
forum. Leaving Eric to dangle in the wind at his MRC then berating him
for disclosing his activities does not comport with my recollection of
OSI confidential informant protocols. Lying to a confidential informant
and telling him that there is no record of his assistance is, if anything,
more clear cut.
Apropos to the culture. It took raw guts to do what Eric did. He was targeted
against what at least one of the victims thought to be a group of cadets
who were bulletproof. He bucked the powerful current of umerta (added
by GWD - probably means omertà) within his generation and his culture,
at genuine physical risk. Once he was outed, he became a pariah in every
sense of the word. He may never be able to shake that off. Physical courage
at USAFA is still plentiful, but what we need is the moral courage that
Eric had and has. I don't know that I would have had the strength of character
and the resolution to do what he did. As I told my classmates, "if
we had more like him, we wouldn't need so many of them."
So this long jeremiad ends as it began. This is not about trashing USAFA,
or the OSI corporately, or even the concept of using cadets as confidential
informants. This is about honoring your commitments and telling the truth.
From everything I know Eric's handling agents behaved with integrity-they
may have erred in not preventing him from working on ops while he was
on restriction, which can be chalked up to inexperience. But I can think
of no excuse for telling a cadet you're going to bat for him at a MRC,
then not showing up, refusing to answer his repeated requests for meetings
afterwards, then tricking him into a "special inspection" (some
of us know well what that is) with OSI command when he thought he was
finally meeting with his handling agent, and finally twice lying about
his OSI records. Despite all else, Eric emerged with his honor intact.
I hope this to be the opportunity for USAFA and the Air Force at large
to take a serious look at things like Zero Tolerance, the building of
class loyalty at the expense of individual responsibility, and the a priori
decision that even knowing about a non-honor offense and not reporting
it is as serious as the offense itself. All of them have the effect of
reinforcing the kind of groupthink that we cannot afford in our Air Force
or in our Academy. Whether or not to continue using cadets as CI needs
to be looked at, of course. But it should be done with the understanding
that sexual assault cases in particular will prove difficult to investigate,
still more difficult to result in conviction. That will remain the case
unless and until we can reshape the culture of these young men and women
to accept individual responsibility and acknowledge a higher morality
than protecting your classmates.
My understanding is that the finalization of Eric's case awaits disposition
in the Secretary's Review Boards Agency, or its modern equivalent. The
point at this stage is that Eric was deprived of due process when the
OSI failed to support him at the MRC, and when they failed to provide
discoverable records in time for him to use them in his disenrollment
package. We cannot know if either or both would have been persuasive,
but that's why a due process violation is so serious. If Eric fails to
persuade the Secretary, he has recourse to the Air Force Board for Correction
of Military Records-a process that in my experience can take a year or
more. Eric is not out to hurt USAFA or the Air Force, both of which he
still loves. On the other hand, if it is found that people within the
OSI or elsewhere were complicit in some of the deceptions here, then accountability
should be demanded. The institution does not suffer, but is strengthened
when it admits error and holds those responsible accountable. But here
as in politics, a cover up can be more damaging by far. John said it best,
USAFA is a national treasure. The one thing I know about this address
list is that all of us believe that and will do what is in our power to
protect and preserve it.
Official Academy Response to Gazette article
Air Force's Reply to the Gazette article - NOT a
reply to Skip Morgan!
An article in The Gazette on Sunday, 1 December, titled 'Honor and
Deception - A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to
inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward' talked about an Air
Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Confidential Informant
Program. The program uses people who confidentially provide vital information
about criminal activities that would not otherwise be available. AFOSI
uses that information to initiate or resolve criminal investigations.
This is an Air Force-wide program and is not something unique at the Air
The article further alleges that the Academy, via the AFOSI, uses cadets
as informants and then "disavows them afterward."
The Gazette focused on an ex-cadet, Eric Thomas.
The article does not portray an accurate or complete view of Eric Thomas'
activities while at the Air Force's Academy.
Mr. Thomas began his Academy career in 2009 as a member of the Class of
2013. The Gazette article asserts that Mr. Thomas was disenrolled from
the Academy because of the work he did for OSI - that USAFA merely used
him and then disavowed him.
Eric Thomas was disenrolled from the Air Force Academy on 2 April 2013
for failing aptitude and conduct probation, excessive demerits, and a
pattern of military misconduct. In fact, Mr. Thomas' pattern of misconduct
began in his freshman year and he accumulated a significant number of
demerits, confinements, and restriction to base prior to December 2011.
In fact, the demerits Mr Thomas accumulated for misconduct prior to his
agreement to be a Confidential Informant exceeded the 200 demerit "threshold"
noted by the Gazette article. In short, Mr. Thomas did not display the
aptitude for service in the United States Air Force.
Eric Thomas met a Military Review Committee in August 2012. This committee
is a panel of five officers in the grade of Lt Col or higher. That panel
considers the cadet's military record and votes on a recommendation to
the Commandant of Cadets. In Mr. Thomas' case, the committee recommended
disenrollment based on his history of disregarding Air Force Academy rules.
Although AFOSI personnel did not appear before the Military Review Committee,
they did meet personally with the Commandant and Vice Commandant to discuss
Mr. Thomas' cooperation with AFOSI investigations.
Thomas began work with the AFOSI in December of 2011 and not in 2010 as
stated in The Gazette article. Furthermore, The Gazette article creates
the impression that AFOSI asked Mr. Thomas "to infiltrate academy
cliques" when in fact Mr. Thomas was already a part of these social
circles in the months prior to any AFOSI investigation.
At the time Mr. Thomas was approved by AFOSI to assist as a confidential
informant in December 2011, he was told that he was not allowed to violate
the law, Air Force or DOD policies, or Academy rules. Mr. Thomas acknowledged
these instructions in writing. Contrary to what The Gazette article states
("he was regularly directed by agents to break academy rules"),
at no time did AFOSI agents ask then-Cadet Thomas to violate this agreement.
Nevertheless, Thomas continued to break Academy rules while on probation
and while working with the OSI.
In accordance with the Academy's processes, both the former Superintendent
and the Commandant of Cadets considered then-Cadet Thomas' entire Academy
record-military conduct, academic performance, and physical fitness. Although
his cooperation with AFOSI was a factor, since much of the misconduct
that formed the basis for his disenrollment occurred prior to incurring
an active duty commitment at the start of his 2-degree (junior) year,
the Air Force Academy recommended that recoupment be waived. In September
2013, the office of the Secretary of the Air Force waived any active duty
service commitment as well as reimbursement of the cost of education.
I included the remarks below because they represent some
of the remarks I have heard from others. Between the several documents
included in this collection, you should have an appreciation for the many
opinions and a number of unanswered questions. Some may eventually be
answered but not all!
Additional remarks by John C. Buckley III, MA, JD -
from an email to Vic Andrews
I understand that this is USAFA's argument. It makes
sense, but the obvious question is: is this simply a convenient press
release to justify the result now that this case has seen the light of
The Academy's official statement does not address what
the real issue is. The real issue: Is USAFA, or the OSI at USAFA, asking
some cadets to do things that are inherently against the principles of
honor and integrity that were ingrained in us when we were at USAFA? A
simple "not true" from OSI is, unfortunately, not good enough
for me. Perhaps I'm naive, but I really believe in those concepts, as
do every one of the names I recognize in this e-mail.
Here's my concern, in a nutshell...I know Skip Morgan
(Col. USAF Ret., USAFA '72). I hold him in the highest regard, as I do
you and many of the folks on this e-mail. Skip's words...were...CHILLING.
He is not flamboyant. He had a real life before becoming a lawyer (intel
in RVN). He was JAG to CENTCOM. He worked at Legislative Liaison. He was
acting head of the Department of Law before Paul Pirog became the PP.
His opinion was trusted enough by the USAF to be part of the religious
review panel a few years ago that coolly knocked out Mikey Weinstein's
disingenuous arguments about religious freedom at USAFA. Skip is not a
light-your-hair-on-fire knee-jerk kind of guy. He has great character
and integrity. I have grave concerns about his statements in the context
of what USAF is or is not doing in these investigations.
We (grads particularly) need to know what OSI did or
did not do in this case. I believe this is too big to trust the USAFA
leadership (which was not there, and had no responsibility for this investigation)
to solve, particularly given that OSI is not in the Supt's direct COC.
It is a public issue. If we have a rogue agency telling cadets what this
young man alleges - even if it's only 10% of what he alleges - then we
all need to be concerned. We don't need to use lies, threats, and cheating
by cadets to trap bad guys. Many of us on this e-mail have been cadets
as well as AOCs, coaches, academic instructors and flying instructors
at USAFA (I've been blessed to be all four). There are other ways to get
bad guys...period. And that is what is what is so disturbing to me. There
are other ways.
In short, I'm not looking to place blame. I simply
want the truth. And the truth can be suspect if it originates only from
the agency and folks with the biggest conflict of interest.
Our alma mater is a national treasure. That's why this case is too big
for just the USAF to resolve in a black hole, without full disclosure.
And how it gets resolved determines whether the values we all learned
- integrity first, service above self - are just words we expect cadets
to follow, or really a culture propagated in the current "real Air
Thanks for letting me vent, folks.
Lt Gen Michelle Johnson's message to the graduate community
From the Academy Superintendent
Many of you have seen the Colorado Springs Gazette article published on
1 December 2013 entitled, "Honor and Deception" which focuses
on the use of cadets under the Air Force Office of Special Investigations
(AFOSI) Confidential Informant (CI) Program. The article does not portray
an accurate or complete view of Eric Thomas' activities nor AFOSI operations.
The AFOSI uses the CI Program at all Air Force installations to gather
vital information about criminal activities and is not unique to USAFA.
Historically, the CI program has rarely been used at USAFA, and when employed
it is deliberate, judicious and limited to felony activity; there are
no ongoing operations.
Many of you have voiced concerns regarding inconsistencies between a CI
program and the Cadet Honor Code. I want you to know that the chain of
command does not condone lying, cheating or any violation of the Honor
Code in support of CI investigations and that I will exercise oversight
of any operations involving cadet confidential informants. I recognize
that articles such as these hit an emotional chord, particularly with
our graduates. I remain committed to providing a safe and respectful environment
for all, rich with tradition, where only those ready to lead emerge as
part of the Long Blue Line.
----USAFA Superintendent. Lt Gen Michelle Johnson
Remark's by Roger Carlton, Chairman of the Board, AOG
The Superintendent had a frank and candid discussion with the AOG Board
of Directors at Friday's regularly scheduled meeting. Due to the high
level of interest, the Superintendent permitted the meeting to be open
so other graduates could attend. The Superintendent was forthright in
taking and answering questions from everyone in the room. Discussions
lasted more than an hour and those present articulated multiple views
and concerns regarding the OSI case.
The Board is confident the Superintendent, her senior staff, and the Air
Force's leadership are taking steps to address these current, critical
issues. As additional information develops, the AOG will make that available
to the graduate community.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
AOG Board Chair
My thoughts after attending the AOG BOD Meeting and
hearing Lt Gen Johnson's remarks
She started her comments on this particular subject by
stating that the Gazette did not run a fact check on this information
prior to publishing it. Early records do show that this particular cadet,
who is named in a newspaper as Eric Thompson, had accumulated over 200
demerits in his first two years in the Academy. This is in itself raises
questions about the disenrollment process which she will improve.
Gen. Johnson is having ongoing discussions with the OSI
both locally and in Washington.
First, points by Gen. Johnson as well as I can remember.
The use of confidential informants within the cadet wing is not
The chain of command is aware when informants are recruited and
or placed in a unit
On occasion, there are groups or pockets of people that cannot
be penetrated by outside resources and CIs are used within the cadet wing
The use of CIs has been directly responsible for the removal of
a serial rapist, and others exhibiting unacceptable conduct. (This point
may have been stated by another in the room, but not contradicted by the
The three recent court marshals for sexual misconduct have been
a direct result of the work of CIs. (This point may have been stated by
another in the room, but not contradicted by the general)
Gen. Johnson is pushing for the minimum use of CIs within the cadet
It is not her decision alone, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force
and the IG (the owner of the OSI) has input
To the point of the quality of the cadets within the cadet
wing today - -
Gen. Johnson started her remarks by reminding everyone in the room
that she too is a graduate and cares deeply about the Academy
It is her top priority to recruit the best candidates possible
and to do all she can to maintain quality, qualified people within the
Here's my editorial
As you may or may not remember, we had several cadets
discharged for marijuana use when we were Doolies. We also had two very
large scale honor scandals while we were cadets. Those guys in suits with
the AOC's when they came through our open ranks and removed cadets from
the terrazzo during the evening meal formation were indeed OSI agents.
The results of the investigation into what happened these
past few years will not satisfy everyone. We may not get all of the questions
we have answered to our satisfaction.
I know that:
1. The current Superintendent is extremely qualified and highly committed
as are the Commandant and Dean
2. We recruit the best but we still turn up with some less than desirable
3. Getting rid of them is NOT easy
4. The Academy staff is constantly looking to improve the process of how
we improve the quality of the people we bring in the door
5. We must not create "false-positives" in our process - let's
not miss the many talented candidates we need by striving for a perfect
candidate pool whose size does not meet our needs
6. Interrogation techniques should meet the same standards we require
of our cadets - particularly in recruiting CIs and interrogating witnesses
7. We must understand that few of us know the ins and outs of investigative
8. Potential recruits are identified as candidates by their conduct or
membership in questionable groups (mostly opinion but based on experience
as an SP)
9. Most of the comments I hear relate to being bad at the Superintendent,
the OSI, the entire Cadet Wing or all of the before mentioned - and without
the benefit of knowing what really happened!
10. The following points and concerns have been brought to the attention
of the Superintendent from multiple resources for her consideration. I
list them here without comment by me! They are:
a. The Academy experience is not the place
to add the extra tension caused by having CIs
b. Interrogation techniques that include
lying is not appropriate, especially to witnesses
c. How do such people get by our screening
d. Are our athletic teams represented to
a higher degree in investigations?
e. Why does the identification of candidates
for disenrollment take so long?
f. Why is the process of disenrollment so
complicated and lengthy?
Your humble Class Advisory Senator