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Chris Sorrentino, a.k.a CombatCounselor, is a leader and expert in cognitive behavioral therapy. He combines 30 years of experience in psychology with the discipline from having served as a U.S. Air Force officer for 20 years, 4 of those in combat zones, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2005.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Double Standards, Waste, and Favoritism

General Rice - AETC, Commander - August 18th, 2012

Your September 10th, 2012 issue of Air Force Times had several letters posted condemning the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs for applying a double standard to retired officers publicly supporting political candidates while well-known flag officers (Colin Powell and Wes Clark among them) blatantly do the same exact thing on a much grander scale. I agree with many of the writers and am not surprised by the double standard imposed by the chief because flag officers are routinely held to a different, far more lenient standard than their lower ranking subordinates. Now that is leadership...leadership by example...isn't it?

I am also appalled by another piece describing AMC's "contract" with a Carolina pro hockey team. AMC and the writer apparently believe it is OK to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at one sports team while ignoring dozens of others in several different sports. Why did AMC, whose headquarters is in Illinois, think they needed to support a team, under the guise of "public relations", in another state, spending unreported sums on "an 18-person luxury box" among other things?

Besides showing favoritism in contracting (was the contract open to bids from all other teams or was it SOLE SOURCE?), WASTE clearly and quickly comes to mind when DoD and the Air Force are cutting people and benefits rather than tightening the belt on such extravagant items as LUXURY SUITES!

Finally, on a similar note, the photo of General Edward Rice throwing out the first pitch at an August 18th Yankees game (September 17th, 2012 issue) also seems inappropriate on more than one level. I understand that the Air Force has to reach out to the public in terms of positive public relations, but why the Yankees when Rice's closest MLB franchise would be the Houston Astros or Texas Rangers, NOT THE YANKEES! Rice is commander of AETC which, last time I checked, is located on Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TEXAS. The Yankees were not even playing a Texas team for crying out loud...they were playing the Boston Red Sox!

Two questions: 1) Why was Rice in New York and what genius thought it would be a good idea to show support for a team whose closest Air Force base is in New Jersey?; and 2) Why is Rice out of uniform, wearing a NY Yankees hat with his "blues"? If Rice saw another airman in uniform at the game wearing a Yankees hat (or any team for that matter), that airman would surely get a good old fashioned butt-chewing AT THE VERY LEAST.

So why the double standards? Why the waste when good, hard working, patriotic airmen are being drummed out in thousands while major commands and generals live the high life? I have not even mentioned Leon Panetta's $800K+ bill for government plane rides home every weekend, but that is a different story...or is it?

Chris Sorrentino, LtCol, USAF (Ret)

Copyright 2012 - C.T. Sorrentino and CombatCounselor - All Rights Reserved

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