I cant express to you the level of disappointment I have right now., More:All-Hispanic flight crew takes off at Tinker AFB to mark National Hispanic Heritage Month. But after every session, the ex-husband said, his ex-wife would immediately call Gersten. The military did not answer questions about multiple formal investigations mentioned in Bodes letter. Ellis did not feel comfortable sharing the specifics of her beliefs other than they are sincerely held, she said, but this was the first time a vaccine violated her religious beliefs. (Kemberly Groue/U.S. To clarify, my religious beliefs prevent me from taking the vaccine, actively promoting the vaccine, and from administering the vaccine to others myself (Im a nurse), Ellis said in a text message. Spurred by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process, the Army and Air Force took on shared responsibilities at the freshly renovated Brooke Army Medical Center a decade ago. An unidentified witness expressed concern to OSI that Gersten was at risk of blackmail over the relationship. In each instance, leaders throughout the chain of command were aware and did nothing to stop illegal, immoral or unethical actions, which was their responsibility, Bode wrote. I am committed to a swift and comprehensive assessment of performance according to the core values, roles/responsibilities and standards in the ways they should enable optimum mission execution, Air Education and Training Command boss Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson said in a statement emailed to Air Force Times Friday. The Air Force saw it differently. At the end of the day, I ensured the orders were issued in a timely manner that didnt compromise my integrity or my religious beliefs and rights, Ellis, who first joined the Air Force in 1997 and has deployed to Afghanistan, told Task & Purpose. As Commander, Col. Powell is responsible for approximately 3,500 U.S. military, civilian and contractor personnel and the combat readiness of U.S. Air Force units at Incirlik and four geographically-separated units in Turkey. Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, relieved Danielson for a loss of trust and. All rights reserved. (SrA Joshua Kleinholz/Air Force). How do you go ahead and do that and not expect to be looked down upon as a leader? They will be re-posted once . Money Minute, What's next for experimental AI projects in the C4ISR sphere, Russians seem to be baiting US jets to dogfight in Syria, general says, Biden awards football trophy to Air Force Academy, Commanders suspended at base where alleged Pentagon leaker worked, Military sex assault reports rise, even as Army numbers fall, Davis-Monthan to launch new special operations wing as A-10 retires. "Our focus is on taking care of our airmen and civilians as we rebuild the command climate in the 317th Airlift Wing.. Lt. Col. Aaron Rivers, the units deputy commander, assumed command of the group. I cant have commanders who choose what orders they execute and what orders they dont, Ellis recalled. While the branch has a religious and medical exemption process like the one Ellis applied for, observers argue that the process is set up to drive waiver recipients out. Did you also not take the smallpox vaccine? Bracknell said. As commander of the 14th Medical Group, Ellis was in charge of the medical care of the 14th Flying Training Wing, where Air Force pilots in training pick up aviation basics in T-6 Texan II training aircraft before moving on to specialized tracks for fighter, bomber, tanker or airlift pilots. Dyess Air Force Base is located in West Texas near Abilene and is home to roughly 3,100 active-duty airmen. It is the second time in less than a year that the 309th, which is part of Hill's Ogden Air Logistics Complex, has lost a commander due to a loss of confidence, a term that military commanders typically use to explain why they have fired a subordinate commander, without specifically naming the reason why. Another gripe deals with how the facilities are laid out. Military and overseas voters will effectively get more time to return absentee ballots under a bill Gov. Col. Katheryn Ellis, the former commander of the 14th Medical Group, told Task & Purpose that on Oct. 12 she was told by the commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing, Col. Seth Graham, to issue an order for two of her civilian employees to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. When you cant issue orders you have been given. Army Col. Ann Meredith has been fired from her position as 89th Military Police Brigade commander. When you cant issue orders you have been given. Caption: Col. Jonathan Chung salutes the flag at the 5th SFAB's Assumption of Command ceremony, June 30, 2021 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington. Get the latest in military news, entertainment and gear in your inbox daily. Another witness reported seeing the two flirting, and once also saw the woman while intoxicated during an event hosted at Gerstens home make a sexually suggestive remark to Gersten. 475 students are trained at the school every year. Service cultures clashed and egos ruled, causing friction on matters large and small, according to Bode, airmen on social media and one retired master sergeant who spoke to Air Force Times. Did you also not take the Hep B? An Air Force colonel who was relieved of command last month at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, claims she was fired after she refused to order her subordinates to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. Boring stepped into the role in June 2020 after the group's previous commander, Col. Randy Ackerman, also was relieved of command in May 2020. As commander of the 317th Airlift Wing, Owens, a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, was responsible for organizing, training, and equipping 1,200 personnel to operate, maintain, and sustain C-130J aircraft engaged in combat operations worldwide. Bode, an orthopedic spine surgeon, said he repeatedly raised problems to his chain of command but that his superiors downplayed or ignored the concerns. UPDATE: Air Force Reserve Colonel Promotion Announcement. He and his wife divorced in December 2018. Former Air Combat Command head Gen. Mike Holmes relieved Gersten of command in person at the Air Force's Corona meeting of top generals at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on June. She told investigators that her relationship with Gersten became flirtatious in May 2018. Her work has appeared in Air Force Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy, the Frederick News-Post (Md. The service even kicked out nearly 40 basic military and technical trainees for refusing the vaccine. While a single senator cannot prevent confirmations, a hold significantly delays confirmations because the Senate needs to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish forces have killed the leader of the Islamic State group during an Copyright 2023 Military.com. So we need to move on.. The list. from around the world. Ellis took command of the 14th Medical Group on July 7. He explained that any request for a religious exemption would go through rigorous scrutiny to determine if the religion in question is legitimate and why a service members faith is opposed to this particular vaccine. Col. Christopher Ayres was removed by Maj. Gen. Roger W. Burg, the 20th Air Force commander. However, Felton said the colonel will be reassigned to a staff position, though she did not say where in the Air Force that position would be. Money Minute, What's next for experimental AI projects in the C4ISR sphere, Russians seem to be baiting US jets to dogfight in Syria, general says, Biden awards football trophy to Air Force Academy, Commanders suspended at base where alleged Pentagon leaker worked, Military sex assault reports rise, even as Army numbers fall, Davis-Monthan to launch new special operations wing as A-10 retires. Ellis had been in command for just four months. BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --. In this photo from Aug. 25, 2022, Allen delivers remarks during an event at the base. More:Former Oklahoma City police officer found not guilty in domestic violence case, This means living by core values every day and empowering subordinate leaders to promote these values through teaching, coaching and mentorship, Koscheski said. In this photo from Sept. 1, 2022, Hunter congratulates senior airmen at an event at the base. The former commander of the 496th Air Base Squadron and U.S. Friday, Mar 24. Hunter was introduced as the wings training commander in June 2021. Between October 2010 and June 2019, Gersten engaged in inappropriate relationships with several women, the IG found, and intended to act indecorously and indecently with them. -- Stephen Losey can be reached at stephen.losey@military.com. She previously held command and staff positions at the company, battalion, and brigade levels, Army officials said. The Army did not respond to a request for comment. 2023 www.oklahoman.com. Those unvaccinated airmen will be in violation of a lawful order and subject to discipline under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Air Force wrote in a news release. Afterwards, Gersten admitted the relationship, the report said. On Oct. 21, the colonel was relieved of command due to a "loss of trust and confidence in her ability to lead and maintain readiness of the men and women of the 14th Medical Group," Rita Felton, a spokesperson for Columbus Air Force Base, said on Oct. 22. Air Force Col. Jason Allen, vice commander of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, was given interim command of the wing after Col. William Hunter was. Updated Nov 2, 2021 7:52 PM EDT. A missile wing commander at North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base was relieved of command for a loss of confidence in his command abilities following a series of recent incidents that included the rollover of a semi-trailer carrying missile parts, an accident caused when the driver tried to swat away a large insect that had landed on his back. Before that, she was the Air Force Surgeon Generals Deputy Chief Nursing Consultant at Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Va, where she oversaw healthcare operations for 5,000 nurses across the Air Force. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you better, and I am elated to have the opportunity to serve alongside of you.. Task & Purpose reported: They scored poorly on the Operational Risk Management test used to gauge the crews readiness to fly, which led the aircraft commander to cancel the sorties.. 475 students are trained at the school every year on average, as of 2016. The 81st Training Wing is home to the Air Forces largest technical training group and trains nearly 30,000 airmen each year. We do not typically discuss the specifics of personnel actions outside of the chain of command, Felton said on behalf of wing commander Col. Graham on Thursday. "The position of command is a position of trust," said Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, commander of the Air Education and Training Command. The first female pilot to lead the U.S. Air Force's Viper team was asked to leave after two weeks on the job, the Air Force Times reported. Maj. Gen. Michelle Edmondson, head of the Second Air Force, relieved Col. William H. Hunter from his role as commander of the 81st Training Wing on Tuesday due to "a loss of trust and. Apparently, the two civilians in question had already been vaccinated, but Bergin said the wing commander, Col. Graham, needed the order to be issued anyway, Ellis recalled. On February 12, 2019, news that the first woman to lead an Air Force demonstration team was fired after just . Though the 14th Flying Training Wing public affairs office said Ellis was relieved due to loss of trust and confidence in her ability to lead, the Air Force in general has buckled down on its insistence that airmen get vaccinated. There's no more reliable source for news about your Air Force. Bode said he filed a complaint to the 59th Medical Wing commander that he hoped would stem rampant harassment, defamation and abuse of authority. While Gersten and his then-wife were living apart and in the process of separating, they were still married during several months of Gerstens relationship with his girlfriend, which violated the Uniform Code of Military Justices prohibition against adultery. He previously served as the 31st Maintenance Group Commander at Aviano Air Base in Italy. Felton declined to go into specifics as to what led to the relief, and Ellis herself declined to comment for this story. The sorties were canceled. Follow him on Twitter @StephenLosey. Learn more here and be sure to check out more great stories on our homepage. He said, I think you know what this is about. Gersten also engaged in inappropriate relationships with two other civilian women who worked for the Defense Department while he was still married, the report said. | 14th Medical Group, I am so humbled and honored to be your commander, Ellis said at the change of command ceremony. 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All Rights Reserved. He practiced law for 23 years, even serving as commandant of the . Their sexual relationship began in a distinguished visitor suite at Nellis one evening in July 2018. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. The retired master sergeant argues that the Army and Air Force officials in charge are more concerned about self-preservation and looking good at promotion time than creating a healthy work environment for the troops under them. Meredith is a 23-year veteran with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is based in Washington, D.C. 2023 Stars and Stripes. But by fall 2011, he noticed something wasnt right in his relationship. She recalled Graham saying as much during her relief of command meeting. Ellis case is part of a larger conflict unfolding within the Air Force as it arrives at Tuesdays mandatory deadline for active-duty airmen to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 2023 Stars and Stripes. The Air Force saw it differently. The Army did not comment further on the investigation, citing a service policy that protects administrative information. All Rights Reserved. Airmen are being told, No, you cant leave and go talk to a first sergeant. The mission of the Air Force Reserve Command is to provide combat ready forces to fly, fight and win. According to taskandpurpose.com, another site dedicated to news for active-duty military members, veterans and their families, the crews that showed up exhausted for the training sorties were not given no-go pills that help airmen rest. The 14 individuals were the first to complete a new streamlined naturalization process, The Air Force is shutting down the personnel services website myPers as part of an ongoing effort to modernize the branchs digital human resources platforms. The 14th Medical Group enhances the flying mission through medical responses to flying emergencies, delivery of aerospace and operational physiology training, and optimization of human performance. Forces Morn Air Base was relieved of command in April, days after it emerged he pushed an airman to conceal their . Col. Jay Bertsch, a commander at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, Col. Douglas DeMaio, commander of the Alabama Air National Guards 187th Fighter Wing, and Lt. Col. Kenneth Beadle, commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, were all removed due to a loss of confidence in their leadership. These objections were included in my religious accommodation request.. Maj. Gen. Koscheski, 15th Air Force commander, said in a statement the 552nd Operations Group needs men and women who foster a culture of dignity and respect. Lt. Col. Jimmy Brown, in command of the 741st Missile Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, was relieved of command on Monday by Col. Michael Lutton, 91st Missile Wing commander, "because of a loss of confidence in Brown's ability to lead his squadron." Published Oct 22, 2021 5:59 PM EDT. Articles may contain affiliate links which enable us to share in the revenue of any purchases made. The vaccines, he said, will protect you and your family. Bode declined to be interviewed. How stupid am I?. Witnesses described Gersten as personable, charming, sensitive to womens issues, and one who frequently hugged or patted subordinates about the shoulders, the report said. The witness warned Gersten afterwards. The retired senior NCO has no qualms about the quality of care at Brooke Army Medical Center, noting that things run more smoothly in the trauma center and intensive care unit. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone at 8885294543, by e-mail at info@tullylegal.com or by clicking the button below: Ready to book your consultation? Because she felt the order conflicted with her religious beliefs, Ellis consulted with the base legal office the morning of Oct. 13 to figure out what to do next. The change removed Col. William Hunter as the wings training commander at Keesler Air Force Base, which is located on Mississippis Gulf Coast just west of Biloxi. CNN Two US Air Force commanders and four of their subordinates at a key nuclear base in North Dakota were relieved of duty this week after their units failed an inspection designed to. There was always some half-story to explain the calls from Gersten, he said. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez. Airmen were held to Army rules that unnecessarily complicated their jobs and slowed medical procedures, the former respiratory specialist said Thursday. from around the world. The Department of the Air Force partnered with suicide researchers to compile over 1,000 data points for each person who. However, Ellis believed Grahams order conflicted with her own religious beliefs, as well as a request for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate which she filed on Sept. 17. Gen. Gerstens notoriety for being the general officer who slept with his [redacted] brought discredit upon the Air Force, the report said. Still, he cautioned others not to take leadership positions at the beleaguered center. These objections were included in my religious accommodation request.. An investigation substantiated five of Bodes nine claims, he said, but the wing commander dismissed the IOs findings and substituted findings of her own that unsubstantiated all issues, unilaterally declaring that all was well.. The data is clear the vaccine is the best tool to fight this disease. To grow this culture, we need all airmen to embrace this mindset and know they are the decisive factor that makes us the worlds greatest Air Force.. The Space Force uniforms are steadily getting fleshed out, with progress on everything from PT gear to new service dress items, including the debut of the women's service dress skirt. Some people will be court-martialed.. Commander of Cannon Air Force Base medical squadron relieved, Defense electronic health records rollout is halfway done, even as VAs is delayed, Dozens of VA medical centers slated for closure, total rebuilds under new infrastructure plan, An absolute slap in the face: Medical group superintendent kept her job after investigation found she created a toxic workplace. He was promoted to his current rank in August 2015. any request for a religious exemption would go through rigorous scrutiny, have several options for dealing with troops. the monitor in mcallen, texas obituaries,