Saturday, January 21, 2012


“Would you go to combat with this man?”
Phil “Hands”Handley
Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Many years ago as a flight commander in an F-4 squadron, I was required to write an
OER (Officer Effectiveness Report) on each of the pilots and WSOs (weapon systems officers) in my charge. This onerous task was flawed from the outset since it was assumed that the rater would render a totally honest assessment of an individual officer’s unique skills and capabilities as compared to a baseline his peers.

Of course this did not happen, as the slightest negative comment would almost always assure an undeserved denial of promotion… hence the infamous OER inflation creep emerged… where almost everyone was awarded “walk on water” evaluations.

Consequently, continuing PME (professional military education), endorsements from higher headquarters, the officer’s official picture, error free and perfectly typed and punctuated paperwork, assurance that every available space for comments was used, additional duties, and a dozen other irreverent factors that had little or nothing to do with the officer’s primary job as a fighter pilot or WSO.

All of this flawed process was exacerbated by the fact that this occurred during the “pre-computer era”, thus denying the rater with data banks of “flowery remarks”, synonyms, spell checkers, and printers.
It was during this period that a Marine F-4 exchange pilot was assigned to my flight. After about six months, I got a letter fromHQ Marine Corps requesting that I prepare an OER for this pilot.

The OER form was enclosed, with instructions that it was to be
prepared by me, in my handwriting and returned as a single copy.

There were several blocks to be checked, followed by a space for remarks that was only adequate for two to three short sentences… then above my signature block was a question with two choices: “Would you go to combat with this officer?” Check either “yes or no.”

Talk about cutting through the crap! I was impressed at the time and to this day have never forgotten its bottom line simplicity and brilliance.

Try applying that test to the current crop of “leaders” who are in charge of America’s destiny.
For starters:
President BarrackObama
Vice-President JoeBiden
The President’s cabinet
The President’sCzars
Attorney General Eric Holder
A majority of our elected congress
The main stream media
Al Gore and his Climate Change BS
Senator John (two silver stars) Kerry
Others too numerous to mention

Maybe it’s just me, but I damn well would not willingly go to combat with any of them. How in hell did we let this happen before our very eyes… on our watch? We as a nation had better get a grip, turn out in mass for the 2012 national election and throw these self-serving jerks out of power before it is too late. I fear that four more years of political correctness, blatant socialist/Marxist policies, lack of backbone and disregard for our constitution will do irreparable damage.
If we are to remain the greatest nation the world has ever seen, which was built on the loyalty, integrity and sacrifice of generations of patriots whose gym bag our current leadership couldn’t carry… we best get it done.

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