Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby Kris Kross on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:49 am

It's one thing to be a public figure who knows people are out there itching to take you down, willing to pin anything on you.

It's another entirely to be a waste of oxygen like Berry. Like I said, he's not claiming to be Hutterite or some odd cult. He's Roman Catholic. If you're not a priest, we have no problem with women. Or controlling ourselves around them.

And this was back in the early 2000s - the media wasn't itching for an ICBM scandal the way they are now.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby MajorG1000 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:52 am

It isn't a matter of being with him or against him. The job has certain perameters and certain requirements. If you are unwilling or unable to meet those requirements, of live within the parameters, you shouldn't be doing the job. Knowing what I do of the Air Force, I am guessing he was given plenty of opportunities to opt out of Missile Duty, whether it was explicit or implied. He did not avail himself of those opportunities and instead sought to make it an issue based upon HIS moral beliefs and HIS religous doctrine. I believe that was wrong on his part. I do believe however that the Wing CC should have allowed him to crosstrain as he was a sort of "conscientious objector", and this entire matter was blown way out of proportion.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby SAC Killer on Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:27 pm

keskiyo wrote:
SAC Killer wrote:IMHO he should never have made it out of 4315 and to this day I don't understand why they let him graduate.


It's never sat well with me that with all the talk about us being the "best of the best" and having the "standard of perfection," we don't wash more people out at Vandenberg.

If you don't have what it takes to be a pilot, you won't make it through UPT. But if you don't have what it takes to be a missileer... you'll still make it through Vandenberg. And the pilots are "only" flying airplanes - we're dealing with launch-ready nuclear weapons every single day.


In retrospect it was also weird that a 1st LT (me) had to make the decision the colonels on base should have made. All the colonels did was pile on after I made the call.

But maybe part of the issue was that in the 70s, if you washed out of missileer school they generally separated you. That wasn't the case for UPT and we had several UPT washouts. Most worked out ok after they got over the shock. One didn't (attitude, not capability). I remember a meeting we had with a visiting general and someone asked him why UPT washouts got reassigned, but missile washouts got separated. To MajorG's point, the general told us that there were many reasons to wash out of UPT, but brainpower wasn't usually one of them. But SAC thought if you couldn't make it through missile school, it was a brainpower problem and they didn't want dummies. He said it more politely, but that's what he meant.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:40 pm

People who washed out as pilots had a lot of time and money invested in them. In the 1970s Chanute and Vandenberg was only 10 weeks and no JP4 burned. I know to learn the Minuteman I system you didn't have to be a rocket scientist.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby Kris Kross on Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:50 pm

Back in '99 we did wash one guy out in Vandy and rolled another back from my class. It was all test scores. Go figure.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby FL Transplant on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:04 pm

In regards to Lt Berry, at the time I was astounded by his arrogance. I had the impression he believed that all women would be throwing themselves at him in such a manner that he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from rising up to meet their carnal desires, that they absolutely would be unable to stop themselves and in the grips of Satanic desires he'd be unable to restrain himself. He’d be finishing up his MCCC inspections, turn around, and find his female Deputy dressed in the most fetching negligee wanting to do nothing more than satisfy his every fantasy. That if he went on alert with a female she would be breathlessly biding her time in the LCC until she could seduce him and relieve him of his virtue. It was all about him and his potential for weakness; in his mind there was no doubt that each and every female he could be crewed with desired nothing more than the opportunity to get behind a blast door and pump the pins with him. Women on crew existed only to tempt him and had no control over themselves which would result in him losing what little self-control four years at West Point and a commission as an officer in the United States Air Force had instilled in him.

Given that there was little that I knew about him at the time, I still thought he had a vastly overinflated view of himself and his effect on the opposite gender.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby Capt. Bill on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:11 pm

Female crew members were after my time, but never thought there would be mixed crews.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby MajorG1000 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:11 pm

I was told that if I washed out of IQT, I would be separated. That was on Day One upon arrival at Vandenberg. I was not the sharpest tool in the shed, and I did have a significant bitterness from being washed out of UPT. I worked very hard until I understood what the weapon system was...not just being able to follow a checklist. I certainly didn't have it completely down when I graduated, but I continued to work at learning what I needed to know to survive at the Wing. Before I certified for the first time I failed a test on PLSO. Two answers I just flat out didn't know, one answer I mismarked. My test was used as the example to the class, and I was embarrassed to have been singled out. I can tell you though, I never received anything less than 100% on a PLSO question after that. Peer pressure is an amazing thing...and it can be used for both good, and evil.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby MajorG1000 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:16 pm

I just read Transplant's comment on Lt. Berry. Best laugh I have had in a while, and to my thinking based upon what I have read, spot on as well. What a waste of your 15 minutes of fame.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:34 pm

We had a female 2-striper as a pad chief at 0-1, I'd give you her last name, but somebody would make a crude remark.
As for having a female dep, I can see all kinds of possibilities for harassment complaints. Apparently(?) there are very few of them.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby Kris Kross on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:08 am

My wife was also an MCCM (I was 10th and she was 490th) and her first commander when she got to the Wing was a complete ass. Not sexual harrassment mind you, but he made it exceptionally clear to her that women had no place being in the military. He wouldn't even let her drive a crew vehicle. 490th having some of the furthest sites in the wing, she'd have to sit there for 3+ hours and listen to this ass harangue her about how she should be at home, how he would have to "tolerate" her presence in a capsule but he didn't have to accept it, how I wasn't doing my job as a husband by putting her in her place. God forbid there was a female chef riding out that day, when he had two audiences to verbally assault.

My wife complained to her flight commander and (predictably) nothing was done. I offered to settle the matter, but she refused to allow me to even speak with him, like she needed to have her big bad husband fight her battles for her (which I can understand).

She'd come home from alert and just cry. Completely ruined the Air Force for her. Even after things got better when she got a shop job she really loved and later upgraded, her view of the AF that people like this could be allowed to exist and even prosper made her decision to get out. Made mine also, since my wife having a degree in aerospace engineering, I didn't think it was fair to just make her follow me around all over the planet while my career played out, working at AAFES or some crap.

That one horse's ass deprived the Air Force of two good officers. And, after everything we went through since we separated, I'd LOVE to meet that prick in a dark alley somewhere.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby Kris Kross on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:09 am

Separated from the AF that is. I'm still wonderfully married to my wife.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby MajorG1000 on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:34 pm

Kris, in my opinion that most certainly was sexual harassment. It was harassment predicated on her gender, and only her gender. That her commander...and HIS commander believed that it was not only proper, but they could get away with their behavior is unconscionable.
Of course, we still see it almost everywhere from women being paid less than men for the same job, to the remarks that Hillary Clinton is unfit to be president because of the Lewinski Affair. I saw literally dozens of comments on the website Breaking Defense, decrying the gender...and ONLY the gender of the new Secretary of the Air Force. Clearly the United States has a long way to go before racial and gender equality is the norm, rather than the exception.
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby orbitman on Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:57 am

At 66sms, one security chief was a tech in Charlie flight. VERY sharp. The rumor was that he had been on the Bataan death march, survived, and was about to retirre. Dunno ! This would have been in '65-'66. Any other Ellsworth people on this forum ?
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Re: Are You Smarter Than a Nuclear Launch Officer?

Postby MajorG1000 on Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:25 am

I will try to keep this short: When I was in college in Flagstaff, Az, I was friends with a guy named Joe Meehan. He was the Curator of a Museum in Flagstaff and we did Civil War re-enactments together. During one re-enactment in Phoenix, he met a woman who was a nurse re-enacting for the "other side" named Barbara Coe. She was from Tucson. This would have been in 1977-78. They ended up getting married after meeting at the encampment.
That's the back story. Barb Coe's father, Joeseph Coe, (from what she told me) was the last surviving American officer of the Bataan Death March. He of course has since passed away, either in the late 70s or early 80s.
It is a small world. The more we learn about one another, the smaller it becomes, and the more neat stories like this we find out.
I just thought based on the last post, that this was worth posting.
When I was on crew in the early 80s, there was an FSC at Kilo who said his dad was the Corpsman you see climbing aboard the wing of a Hellcat that slammed into the Island of the Enterprise to pull the pilot out. The plane broke in half behind the cockpit, and was on fire, and I remember seeing newsreel footage of this a lot when I was young. I wish I could remember his name...
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