This effort for records corrections is dedicated to Lt. Col. Russ Dingle, USAF Reserves, retired, who passed away September 4, 2005 after a valiant fight with cancer. As an Air Force Officer and Fighter Pilot, Russ flew over 2,000 hours in the A-10 Thunderbolt II on active-duty, and served as an Instructor Pilot and a Flight Commander for the Connecticut Air National Guard, earning multiple awards as "Top Gun." Russ was selected to lead a flight of A-10's in the U.S. Air Force Gunsmoke competition in 1993, and support of the United Nation's peacekeeping mission over Bosnia in 1996. LtCol Dingle's career was uniquely distinguished by his noble advocacy for Soldier's Health Rights, testifying as an expert witness for the U.S. Congress in 1999, as well as serving as an expert for the Government Accountability Office and the Connecticut Attorney General's Office. Russ' exemplary career included over 16 years of service as a pilot and Captain for American Airlines in the Boeing 767, 737, and S-80. Russ will always be remembered as the intellectual force behind accountability efforts on the anthrax vaccine. His family, as well as his fellow citizens and soldiers, miss him dearly, but will eternally benefit from his life's accomplishments, courage, service, leadership, and most importantly, his honor.
OpEd related to the internal military profession's conflict over duty and trust...
...As noted Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington observed, our professional standards justify disobedience when a military leader is ordered to take a measure that is militarily absurd. Those professional standards are spelled out in our honor code and oath of office.
So when a senior military leader recently said to me, "Perhaps if you don't trust the military anymore, you need to hang up your uniform," I didn't hesitate to respond, "With due respect, sir, my duty is to be a member of a military that is trustworthy."
LtCol Tom "Buzz" Rempfer, USAF retired, ended his USAF career instructing and evaluating MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper missions. Past US Air Force flying assignments included duty as an F-16 flight lead, F-117 instructor pilot, C-130 aircraft commander and A-10 forward air controller, with total flight time of over 5,500 hours. He earned a Master's Degree through the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security, and received the program's Outstanding Thesis Award. LtCol Rempfer was a distinguished graduate from USAF Pilot Training and the USAF Academy where he was an all-American boxer.
This cartoon depicts trust issues, yet many Service-members continued to serve their nation, despite refusing the vaccine, highlighting the inequities imposed on other troops that were jailed, demoted, fined and discharged less than honorably.
The new Clemency guidance to our nation's military correction boards provides a unique opportunity for our troops to ask for redress, request corrections to their records for not only the fact that the anthrax vaccine mandate was illegal prior to December 19, 2005, but also based on the documented inequities where military justice was inequitably applied.