Air Force pilots are qualified leaders

I am writing concerning a recent letter in The News Enterprise that presents the notion that being a combat pilot and officer in the Armed Forces of the United States doesn’t require the leadership skills to qualify to become a United States senator. At that notion, I scoff. They certainly possess the capabilities and they are qualified. I spent nearly 30 years of my life around military officers and combat pilots during a career in the United States Air Force. I spent a year in a Search and Rescue Control Center where we were involved in the Combat Air Rescue of pilots who were shot down in enemy territory in North Vietnam and Laos. Those pilots on the ground being rescued and those on the mission to rescue them were certainly qualified leaders.

Unfortunately, too many of these pilots instantly were disqualified because they were shot out of the sky and killed. I watched dozens of pilots launch from a base in Germany during the Cold War to practice what were likely to be one-way missions to deliver nuclear weapons on our prime adversary, Russia. They were equipped with eye patches for one eye so that if they survived the trip to the target and were blinded by the blast, they still would have one good eye left to try to get home. They all were qualified leaders.

Additionally, becoming a private pilot or an airline pilot is a wonderful achievement. However, please don’t attempt to equate the experiences of an airline pilot to a combat pilot. That endeavor is ridiculous. It is like equating the driving experiences of a bus driver to those of a Formula I driver on the international circuit.

Richard Rogers

Elizabethtown

(2) comments

JAMESTROY

I certainly respect combat pilots for their courage but their expertise is limited to the cockpit of a war plane -- a senator must connect and collaborate with people to solve complicated problems with no easy answers. Military people tend to think of military solutions to problems but we have to start working with other countries to solve the global problems such as pandemics, climate change, and weapons proliferation.

DONO

I could care less if she were a janitor or street performer. I would vote for her IF she believed in limited government. She doesn't. She is a big government, high tax, pro choice liberal who will contribute to the ruin of the country. I strongly urge everyone to NOT vote for her.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.
Terms of Use. The complete terms of use policy can be found at the bottom of this page.