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Old 11th June 2018, 10:33 AM   #1
Ranb
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Air Force Officer Deserter caught

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/us/mi...-jr/index.html
Quote:
Capt. William Howard Hughes Jr. disappeared in July of 1983 after returning from duty in Europe. He was last seen in New Mexico withdrawing $28,500 from his bank account at 19 different branch locations, the Air Force said in a statement.

.... he was formally declared a deserter on December 9, 1983.

"On June 5, during a passport fraud investigation, the US Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service interviewed an individual claiming to be Barry O'Beirne. After being confronted with inconsistencies about his identity, the individual admitted his true name was William Howard Hughes Jr., ....
Long time to be missing for someone still hiding out. Newspapers back then saw a link between his disappearance and certain events such as the Challenger disaster. Hughes said he went UA because he was depressed.

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Old 11th June 2018, 12:04 PM   #2
dudalb
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He will probably get a dishonorable discharge and that will be the end of it.
Thouhg as an officer couldn't he have just resigned his commission, a option that Enlisted Men don't have?
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Old 11th June 2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...cer-california
Quote:
Hughes enlisted in the air force in 1973, worked in Alabama and studied for a master’s degree through the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio. He was assigned to Kirtland air force base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1981, working with weapons systems and with access to top-secret Nato information.
If he had obligated service after his commissioning, then he could not just resign.
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Old 11th June 2018, 01:02 PM   #4
theprestige
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Thouhg as an officer couldn't he have just resigned his commission, a option that Enlisted Men don't have?
The official .mil is having problems right now, but here's another source:
"Unlike jobs in the civilian world, when you commission as an officer in the Army, you commit to serving in the military for a specific amount of time, usually eight years."

http://work.chron.com/resign-army-of...sion-29124.htm
What's interesting is that, according to that article, even after you've completed your commitment period, your commission remains in effect and you still have to make your case for resigning.

So you might think it's easier to desert than to argue for an early resignation (there aren't very many exceptions you can apply). And depending on your personality and the depth of your depression, you might even think it's easier to desert than to argue for a resignation after your initial commitment is complete.

For enlisted, it's the other way around: After your initial commitment is complete, the military has to convince you to stay on. Officers have to convince the military to let them go. But before the initial commitment is complete, officers and enlisted are pretty much in the same boat as far as getting out is concerned.

Last edited by theprestige; 11th June 2018 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11th June 2018, 01:24 PM   #5
dudalb
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The official .mil is having problems right now, but here's another source:
"Unlike jobs in the civilian world, when you commission as an officer in the Army, you commit to serving in the military for a specific amount of time, usually eight years."

http://work.chron.com/resign-army-of...sion-29124.htm
What's interesting is that, according to that article, even after you've completed your commitment period, your commission remains in effect and you still have to make your case for resigning.

So you might think it's easier to desert than to argue for an early resignation (there aren't very many exceptions you can apply). And depending on your personality and the depth of your depression, you might even think it's easier to desert than to argue for a resignation after your initial commitment is complete.

For enlisted, it's the other way around: After your initial commitment is complete, the military has to convince you to stay on. Officers have to convince the military to let them go. But before the initial commitment is complete, officers and enlisted are pretty much in the same boat as far as getting out is concerned.
Thanks for the clarification. I served 4 years in the U.S. Army as a E.M., but never paid much attention to the rules for commisoned officers.
I knew that West Point Grads had a four year commitment, and suspected that OCS and ROTC officers had a similar obligatation, but did not know that it could be extended beyond the four year period.
Interstingly, enough, I had two years of college when I enlisted, and quickly made sergeant ( a sort of a Shake and Bake program they had)
and as my enlistment drew to a close, I got a lot of enducements to reenlist, including strong hints an application for OCS would be automatically approved.
I declined, I had grown a little skeptical about the Army keeping it promises.
I was proud to have served, and it was a very good experience for me, but I did not want to go career.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

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Old 11th June 2018, 02:53 PM   #6
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Having to live under a pseudonym for that amount of time is punishment enough, in my opinion.
You should be able to give up any job, if you cannot then that is something else.

Last edited by p0lka; 11th June 2018 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 11th June 2018, 03:26 PM   #7
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He signed a contract with the military. Of course he is expected to honor it.
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Old 11th June 2018, 03:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
He signed a contract with the military. Of course he is expected to honor it.
Of course, just like any other job.
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Old 11th June 2018, 05:05 PM   #9
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Since he was an officer and had a security clearance, I'm going to suggest that he was reasonably intelligent. I suspect that he read his contract when he received his commission and was familiar with the regulations regarding his duties.

That said, the articles don't really say much about why he deserted. Maybe he was going through a very harsh time and exhausted all avenues of assistance available to him and nothing worked. Or maybe he was confronted with something very bad in the military he needed to run away from. Perhaps he said the hell with it and got tired of showing up to work on base each day.
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Old 11th June 2018, 08:48 PM   #10
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Jesus Christ! Posted in Albuquerque, NM!!! It's a wonder he didn't take out half the base before taking his own life! The military owes him a medal of honour, an honourable discharge, and 35 years of back pay!
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Old 11th June 2018, 09:05 PM   #11
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I suspect "posted to Albuquerque, NM" is code for "assigned to secret duties at Los Alamos", which is just a short drive away. Perhaps explains why his work was classified.
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Old 12th June 2018, 01:41 PM   #12
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"I did officially resign my commission, but no one there had clearance to read it."
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Old 12th June 2018, 02:29 PM   #13
dudalb
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
Having to live under a pseudonym for that amount of time is punishment enough, in my opinion.
You should be able to give up any job, if you cannot then that is something else.
And you have no idea of how a Military has to function.It cant be ran like a civilian business.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

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Old 13th June 2018, 04:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And you have no idea of how a Military has to function.It cant be ran like a civilian business.

Unlike a civilian, who generally funds their own education and skill training, the military pays for officer education and training, especially academy-trained officers. And they expect a reasonable return on that investment of time and effort and money.
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Old 13th June 2018, 05:44 PM   #15
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Perhaps slightly off-topic, but the best officer I ever met in my thankfully brief military career was a Captain with 18 years of service. He was being RIF'd (laid off, in civilian parlance) because after all, 18 years and only a captain. They were of course ignoring the 15 years he'd spent as an enlisted man; or, more likely, actively holding that against him. They thought they were being oh-so-generous by allowing him to reenlist as an E6 so he could get his 20 years in and retire as a Captain.
Yes, "military intelligence" is indeed an oxymoron.
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Old 13th June 2018, 05:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Unlike a civilian, who generally funds their own education and skill training, the military pays for officer education and training, especially academy-trained officers. And they expect a reasonable return on that investment of time and effort and money.
Same goes for many enlisted men. The services spend quite a bit of money training them, and expects a return on their investment. Which is why you cannot quit before your term of enlistment is up. (Usually four years;but for some MOS's it's six,the ones requiring extra long and expensive training.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
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Old 13th June 2018, 05:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Perhaps slightly off-topic, but the best officer I ever met in my thankfully brief military career was a Captain with 18 years of service. He was being RIF'd (laid off, in civilian parlance) because after all, 18 years and only a captain. They were of course ignoring the 15 years he'd spent as an enlisted man; or, more likely, actively holding that against him. They thought they were being oh-so-generous by allowing him to reenlist as an E6 so he could get his 20 years in and retire as a Captain.
Yes, "military intelligence" is indeed an oxymoron.
There is good reason for the "Up or Out" policy, but there are pretty stupid cases like this one.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
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Old 13th June 2018, 09:31 PM   #18
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This comment is from what I knew back in the days when the world was in black and white, as I got out a few years before he did his flit. This was what the rules were back then, although I don't think they have changed that much since.

The Guardian said that our missing Capt enlisted in the AF in '73 which would make him 23 years old and saying that he was enlisted first, which I don't think they got right. I am guessing from his age of commission, he was ROTC. People entering the officer corp via the Academy, ROTC, and OCS all incur a four year commitment, although I don't know about OTS. Any school an officer goes to will give him a commitment, determined by the time and/or the intensity of the school. In addition, a non-remote PCS move or a promotion will cause a one year commitment. The good thing about these commitments are that they run concurrently rather than consecutively. As an example, someone going to undergraduate pilot or navigator training takes a four year commitment, so when they graduate, they still have three years remaining on the commission and the UPT/UPN school will get a new four year, so the graduate has four years of commitment at that point. Somewhere along the way he went to school and got a Master’s Degree on the AF dime; I’m reasonable sure that he got at least a four year out of that, but I don’t know how long prior to his run it occurred, to know if he still had a commitment left from that. He would not have had had a PCS commitment since he was supposed to have been assigned to Kirtland in ‘81.

And yes, commitment or no, the commission still holds until something occurs to separate, commitment or not. Resigning is fairly easy with a few caveats if there is no commitment left. The AF did not need any sort of explanation, all that was necessary was to give a resignation letter to personnel, and within two weeks to a month you were out. The only glitch I can think of offhand is if the AFSC (MOS to you army guys) was critical, in which the resignation was accepted, but was forcibly delayed for up to 18 months.

The fact that he had a Top Secret clearance was not the great issue all the news people were shouting about. Every Officer that was a combat aircrew had one. I don’t know what the “Single Scope Background Investigation“ tag on his TS signifies, possibly that he had some sort of special access that other people without it were not privy to. The ending tags were where all the exotic clearances were. TSs were fairly common.

From his job description, it looked like he was part of the E-3 AWACS operation, and did a lot of TDY to Europe for it. It doesn’t look like he was in an AWACS squadron since the E-3s were not at Kirtland, it looks like he was a planner/coordinator rather than one of the pod people.

I think that his disappearance is so old that they will just kick him out, DD probably.

PD

A note on Trebuchet's RIF comment. When I was in England, I got to be a FAC with an armor battalion in Germany; when they went to the woods, I got to go over and go with them. (I was not happy having to go to war in an M-60) I think it was in '73, the army had one of it's periodical RIFS, and clobbered one of the tank companies, while barely touching the rest of the battalion. It took most of the officers and Sgts, leaving 2 Lts and one Tank commander Sgt in the company, although I don't remember drivers and gunners getting hit. I could never figure that one out. Needless to say the Company Co. was a little upset when I talked to him.

Another stupid case.
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