Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Redemption ...

OK; I give. I am still getting emails asking for my thoughts ... so here you go.
Capt. Timothy Dorsey is nominated for promotion to admiral despite a 1987 incident in which he intentionally fired a missile at an Air Force reconnaissance plane during a training exercise, nearly killing two aviators and destroying the aircraft, The Washington Times reported.

The official investigation into the shoot-down said the F-14 pilot’s decision “raises substantial doubt as to his capacity for good, sound judgment,” and the Navy banned him from flying its aircraft, the Times said.
He left active duty at first chance, went to law school and transitioned to Intel in the USNR.

From all indications he has served his Navy well in the reserves to include deployments in Iraq and elsewhere. Those who know him best have decided that he would be the best choice for promotion to Rear Admiral in the reserves (which BTW I think is goofy in the extreme. The only GOFO not on active duty should be retired or States' National Guard Adjutant Generals; different topic for a different day).

I know of many officers who by acts of commission and omission found themselves at an active duty dead end - but served with distinction in the reserves - being promoted levels higher than they probably would have on active duty. Some failed to even make LCDR on active duty find themselves as CAPT a decade or more later in the reserves.

Is this because of his family? I don't know. I would bet it was merit based. Does not matter.

I can think of more than one occasion in my career where I was seconds from making a life altering decision, but didn't. As a result of then LTJG Dorsey's actions - some very real people were injured ... but that happens in this line of work. Just ask the people involved in friendly fire incidents, or my friend the JAG who made the call on a strike ... and was responsible for the deaths of over a dozen women and children. She made a mistake - but she is a good officer.

I wish him luck. The easy thing would have been for him to walk away from the Navy - as he will always be described as, "Hey, isn't that the guy who shot down the RF-4C?" Instead, he steered in to the skid and served as best as he could. More than you can say for most.
“It was an unfortunate incident that occurred when I was a rookie naval aviator,” he told the Virginian Pilot on Tuesday. “I regret that it occurred, but I have worked very hard over the years since that time.”

Last week, the nominee for admiral declined to be interviewed by The Washington Times.

“I’m going to have to decline to talk right now, based on the kind of job I’m going to be taking,” he said. “I’m not really big on talking to press for anything."
I don't blame him. I will give him he benefit of the doubt and wish him well. There but for the grace of the Master Arm switch go many.

1 comment:

FCC(SW) said...

no comment at this time except to say that I intend to use the phrase "steer into the skid" at least once per week until no earlier than 2018. Unforunately, my peers and lifestyle will present ample opportunities to make good on this commitment.