Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates took action Monday to dramatically reorient the leadership of the Air Force, calling for the nomination of the first non-fighter or bomber pilot to lead the service since its inception after World War II.He's a closet Snake-eater though,
His recommendation that Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, who began his military career as a cargo pilot,...
But senior defense officials said that Gates wanted to make a dramatic move to signal a clear break with the past. One official said Gates was looking for an Air Force chief who did not come with a fighter pilot's "call sign" nickname.Good choice, methinks. I think the USN needs a little of that cowbell as well - but not as dramatically as the title of this post. Sad to say, but following the impact on the future fleet of the Clark/Mullen/Roughead years - perhaps it is time to let someone but a SWO take the con ... well ... maybe a SWO from an Amphib background would be OK, but that is about as likely as the USAF being led by a C-130 driver.
Officials said that in bypassing the "fighter mafia" for the chief of staff position, Gates is sending a message that the Air Force needs to focus more on Iraq and Afghanistan, where he has struggled to get the service to provide more unmanned reconnaissance drones.
Schwartz does have experience in combat aircraft. He participated in the 1975 evacuation of Saigon and has piloted the heavily armed AC-130 gunships, the workhorse of special forces.
Back to Gen. Schwarz ... of course, all I could think of is the below.
Hat tip Greyhawk.