by Andy Weddington
Wednesday, 08 November 2017
Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting. Joyce Meyer
But there is something to be said for experience - especially leading people, investigating people, and learning from seasoned true leaders.
Thirty-nine days ago the next under commentary - about an incident of supposed racism at the United States Air Force Academy - written and published. A quick reread for full context helpful.
This morning over first cup of coffee a news article substantiated the position proffered in commentary ...
"We can confirm that one of the cadet candidates who was allegedly targeted by racist remarks written outside of their dorm room was actually responsible for the act ... the individual admitted responsibility and this was validated by the investigation."
Why did he do it?
To get out of pending disciplinary action for other misconduct.
As reported, yesterday, in an email, Lieutenant General Jay Silveria wrote, "Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed ... you can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect - and those who don't understand those concepts, aren't welcome here."
But that was not the general's tone in his reactionary video, before the investigation complete, that he directed the cadets pull out cell phones and record. For they were guilty until proved innocent.
That is not leadership, at any level.
Certainly not the sort of leadership (what not to do) productive to shaping young men and women as military officers.
The cadet is no longer enrolled at the Academy.
The general is, as young Marines said back in my lieutenant days, "a chocolate mess."
The general is one who needs to join the cadet.
Sir, thank you for your service but time it is to resign and retire.
You are welcome!
THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INVESTIGATING AND INVESTIGATED
by Andy Weddington
Saturday, 30 September 2017
People who jump to conclusions rarely alight on them. Philip Guedalla
Trending yesterday on social media was a little more than five minutes video of Lieutenant General Jay Silveria, U. S. Air Force, Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, addressing cadets, faculty, and staff.
The three-star passionately spoke to racial slurs scrawled outside the dorm rooms of five black students at the Academy Prep School.
His message, rightly, was one of intolerance thereof. Well, of course.
Last evening Bret Baier, on his Fox News Channel program Special Report, had a brief segment about the matter. His concluding comment - the Air Force is investigating.
Last night came an email about the matter from a retired Marine. Some included commentary troubled me.
Watching and listening to the General what first came to mind was the Duke University men's lacrosse team incident of about 10 years ago. If not familiar, look it up.
In short, race and rape was at the heart. A black female (stripper) alleged a few white athletes (lacrosse players) raped her. The investigation (completed) proved the allegations false. It never happened.
But, due process be damned.
Those young men (pleading innocent from the beginning) were publicly vilified, tried, and convicted.
What lingers in memory ...
Who was out front leading the hanging?
Duke University leadership.
And other recent incidents in the news of the "wronged" infusing race but investigative work proved them concocted come to mind.
Because nothing sparks individual and mob outrage and overwhelms emotion faster than the word "racism."
Too often, anymore, it is the calculated word and charge of choice when facts, truths, and rational and logical argument are not on the side of the (believed) aggrieved.
And it is one of the few things that triggers premature "corrective" action(s); even from the sane who know better.
In analogy and contrast to sound marksmanship - it's fire, ready, aim (vice ready, aim, fire).
Just as errant rounds (negligent discharges) cannot be again chambered, retractions (of false accusations) do not endure like first impressions; however wrong and false first impressions prove to be.
Questions after listening to the General and hearing an investigation is ongoing ...
"Is the General absolutely certain one or more of the five 'targeted' students did not have a hand in scrawling the slurs?"
"If one or more of the five students did partake, will the General be as quick to amass his troops and again address the matter? Will he alight?"
To close ...
Once a command inspector, and having conducted and supervised many an investigation, never do I recall an investigation concluding in complete alignment with the initial complaint/allegation. Never.
Mature leadership speaks to investigated matters.
The General's message not so much in question.
Timing, assumptions, and tone certainly.
And certainly some in the lectured audience were, rightfully so, offended.
Yes, racism is intolerable. It's not the American way.
But critical is the discipline of due process investigative work and marksmanship ...
Ready. Aim. Fire!
To jump the gun is to "kill" and kill innocents. Nor is that the American way.
Remember, innocent until proved guilty; even in matters involving allegations of racism.
That, countrymen, is the American way!