Colonel Described as a Toxic Leader-Claims Another’s Flight Hours

| June 5, 2019

Colonel Brenda Carter speaks at a panel. (U.S. Air Force)

Based on the investigation, and testimonies, described in a recently released IG report, this appears to be an example of toxic leadership.

Could you relate to this? You do the work, you “grimaced” through the sacrifices, and gave up a lot to get something done. Then, somebody gets “rewarded” for your efforts. A one-star general, who was a colonel at the time of the incident, is claimed to have done just that.

There is a complaint that detailed that then-Colonel Brenda Cartier claimed four flight hours that belonged to another Airman. This was for performing duties as a Combat Systems Officer. The hours, and pay, were intended only for one person.

Under Air Force regulations, her actual actions didn’t qualify her to either claim those hours or get paid for them. She claimed those hours anyway. The person that was there performing the duties, for which she claimed, was not able to claim what was rightfully theirs.

From the Military.com:

During a flight to Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, from Kirtland, Cartier, wearing the Airman Battle Uniform and not a traditional flight suit, boarded the 4.2-hour flight but did not perform the standard CSO duties. Another CSO crew member was also on board.

“I just assumed that she was going to be a passenger,” one witness said, explaining that Cartier wasn’t in the pre-flight brief or wearing a flight suit.

Another witness on the flight heard Cartier mention, “I’m logging four hours of primary time.”

With the other CSO on board, that meant Cartier took the majority of the paid log time for herself, with the other member able to log only 0.2 hour. Air Force regulations allow for crew members in the same capacity to split time between them. They cannot both take full credit for the flight.

A complaint was filed shortly after the flight.

Cartier denied stating “mark me down for four” hours, the IG said. “I didn’t need time or want the time,” she said in her interview.

The article is an interesting read. If you served in an environment that involved toxic leadership, favoritism, etc., you could pretty much read between the lines and guess on what else could’ve occurred… And how those working under her felt. In every toxic leadership environment that I have experienced, the working environment was hostile, and troop morale was low.

There was one Airman that was giving a brief. Those that knew this Airman’s situation understood that he was having a rough time as a result of a divorce. Instead of showing understanding with the way she addressed him, she asked for a human being, or someone that knew how to give a brief… To come give that brief.

Of course, there were the accusations of her playing favorites. Out of those interviewed, some described her as being a mentor. Others described her as being toxic. It was after she was transferred to a new unit that complaints were forwarded to IG.

She did go back and made adjustments to those hours, claiming only two hours. She should’ve adjusted those hours to claim zero hours.

You can read more here.

Category: Air Force

Comments (54)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Thunderstixx says:

    Ain’t that just like a woman to do that ?????

    *******(covers head and runs to car, jumps in and drives to New Berlin Wisconsin)**********

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Oh, puhleeze!! You dickless wonders do it, too. Get OVER yourself, sport!

      • Poetrooper says:

        C’mon, Ex, you’re gonna confuse the Commissar if you don’t get these gender and anatomy matters straight. We masculine wonders are the dickied variety, while you, ahem, ladies constitute the dickless category.

        Larsie is probably searching frantically through his well-thumbed copy of the Berkeley Guide to Woke Campus Gender Terms to determine how all the testosterone-oozing, knuckle-dragging commenters here at TAH can possibly be dickless.

        Good grief, Ex! It’s not as if the lad(?) isn’t befuddled enough…

  2. Daisy Cutter says:

    Everything is TOXIC today. Toxic work environment, toxic masculinity, toxic relationship, etc.

  3. Keepin' It Real says:

    Years ago, when I presented an idea to my manager, he would immediately say “That’s a good idea, I’m glad I (he) thought of it.”

    I was told that any idea I came up with was proprietary property and was borne out of and was a product of the work environment I was provided.

    I was also told that my job was to make my boss look good.

    Now I find out I can claim toxic work environment?

  4. AW1Ed says:

    Not smart enough to ‘gun deck’ her flight hours so she steals them? Loser.
    Navy Enlisted Aircrew had it down to a fine art.
    On shore duty it was required to log four hours of flight time a month to continue to receive flight pay, and it had to be on your own time. The officers had no such requirements.
    Stupid.
    So once a month I would wander into one of the P-3 squadron’s Ops Office, where I well knew the Leading Petty Officer (he had to go through my training to qualify, so ahhh, arrangements were made) and like Majic (my Navy tag) my name would appear on certain flight manifests, and so be logged.
    The Ops Scheds Petty Officer, who actually made the additions, watched and learned.
    This all hinged on trust and friendship to work, which I’ll bet was lacking in the One Star’s case.

    • rgr769 says:

      There is no trust and friendship when you work for a raving asshole who is universally hated by practically every man in a 800 man infantry battalion. I know, he was my battalion commander until he was relieved for incompetence in the RVN. If he is still alive, he should be the poster boy for “toxic leadership,” although we never saw him do anything that could be called leadership.

  5. MustangCryppie says:

    4 flight HOURS?!!! Really? Man! Those hours must be hard to come by.

    Man, that’s the duration of a sneeze in a P-3!

    And the way it works in the USN is if you’re in the tube and the tube is in the air, you get the flight hours. Never mattered in the squadrons I supported what you did.

    Seems like the USAF system is too complicated for this squid.

    And is she USAF or USA? Her right sleeve looks like an Army uniform. I never noticed, but I’ve never seen that on an AF uniform.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Heh. It was the obvious unfairness between NFO and Aircrew, and the hours had to be logged on liberty time and not during working hours. A certain FU factor played in as well.
      I once logged three months worth flight time on a Luftwaffe 707 flying from Dulles to Munich and back- in civvies and enjoying Pilsners all the way. Good work if you can find it.

      • MustangCryppie says:

        Ha!

        I sure didn’t need the hours to get my flight skins (and I’m sure you didn’t either), but I would have logged those hours just for the novelty of getting them on a Luftwaffe plane!

    • Mason says:

      If an Airman deploys with an Army unit, the Army will award them the combat patch. It’s not authorized for wear, so it’s technically an honorary thing. It was allowed by certain bases. We had some vehicle operations guys work convoys during the 04-05 Iraq time frame. They went with the 1st Infantry Division, some of them came back with Purple Hearts, and they all proudly wore their Big Red One on the right sleeve of the BDUs.

    • Mike W. says:

      I believe Air Force troops ASSIGNED to a post with the Army can wear the Army stuff they’ve earned ONLY while on the assignment. Leave it and go to ONLY Air Force group, you can’t wear the army stuff anymore. [Jump wings are an exception I believe since they can get them in A.F. too]

  6. 5th/77th FA says:

    Dahell happened to “conduct unbecoming”, or “…to promote good order and discipline”…and “…to encourage the others”? I wasn’t there but I did read both the posted article and the linky article. Seems like this Officer stepped on her whatever females step on when they don’t have what the males step on.

    The “toxic” part her behavior pales when compared to the falsification of official documents. At Mother Bell that type of behavior or the falsification of documents is subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination and prosecution. Fire her ass, right now.

    Are Chair Force 06s paid so little that $250 makes a difference in their ability to buy groceries? I would think that amount would be walking around money. Those currently serving or recently retired may could tell us how much they make.

    • ChipNASA says:

      Seems like this Officer stepped on her whatever females step on when they don’t have what the males step on.

      One word: Clenis.
      😀 😮

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      From what the article says, she ran on a massively inflated and erratic ego, picked and chose whom to favor and who got their teeth kicked in and mostly ran roughshod over anyone and everyone around her.

      She got away with it because SENIOR OFFICER or something and no one caught her or tried to stop her until she pulled this prank. She should have been given a setdown some time ago, but it would have been ‘she said/he said’, with no hard evidence. This time, the evidence was there.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      Are Chair Force 06s paid so little that $250 makes a difference in their ability to buy groceries? I would think that amount would be walking around money. Those currently serving or recently retired may could tell us how much they make.

      WORD!

    • Mason says:

      I can’t find when she was commissioned, but there was an article that said she was a young officer when the prohibition on women flying combat missions was lifted (1993). So she’s got at least 25 years. Which at O-6 means she was making a base wage of $10,841/mo last year (2018). So yeah, I feel like $250/mo wouldn’t even be noticed.

      While searching for articles on her to see how long she’d been in, I came across this gem.

      https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2018/07/16/brenda-cartier-leave-kirtland-air-force-base.html

      “My leadership has developed over time,” she said. “I’ve gone into positions of greater and greater responsibility where it shifts the focus being on me and what I want in my career, now the focus, and for years, has been on my airmen and the mission and what’s best for that.”

  7. Slow Joe says:

    I don’t know man.
    She checks 3 of the blocks.
    Female, minority and gay.

    I doubt anything bad is going to happen to her. Probably will get promoted, me thinks.

    • Mason says:

      Bingo. She’s already getting to keep her star, as the SecAF found her promotion to be in the best interests of the AF.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Yep, triple PC and she’s a-gonna ride the Quota Wagon every chance she gets!

  8. borderbill says:

    These bummerhussein types are infectious.

  9. SFC D says:

    I had a particularly incompetent female CSM that required that 3 or 4 “excellent “ bullets be removed from a shit-hot SSG’s NCOER. Interestingly enough, those same bullets turned up on her next NCOER, which she graciously left unattended in the battalion file server. It somehow managed to fall into the view of the entire brigade. I admit nothing. Call my lawer.

    • RGR 4-78 says:

      That would be known as a “double back flip blind f#@k”.

      “Somebody” did good.

    • Ret_25X says:

      She was a shitbird. Period.

      And since I know who it is, we shall speak no more of this topic.

      mwahahahahahaha!

  10. E-4 Mafia 4 Life says:

    According to the Air Force, she’s not authorized to wear an Army Right Sleeve “Combat” patch. She can wear it on her left sleeve if she was prior Army and earned it and it has to be under their Air Force unit patch on the left shoulder.

    Air Force Personnel Center:

    Operational Camouflage Pattern Uniform &
    Two-Piece Flight Duty Uniform
    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q2. For those Airmen who possess U.S. Army shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service
    patches, commonly referred to as “combat patches,” on which sleeve will they be worn?
    A2. Per Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, dated May 25,
    2017, section 19-17, Shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service, authorization to wear a shoulder
    sleeve insignia-former wartime service, commonly known as a “combat patch,” applies ONLY to
    Soldiers.
    If an Airman was previously a Soldier in the U.S. Army and was authorized the wear of shoulder sleeve
    insignia-former wartime service IAW with AR 670-1, they may wear it in addition to the mandatory
    higher headquarters patch on the left sleeve.

  11. USAFRetired says:

    I only have about 5100 flying hours and 220 or so gate months. In the Tactical Air Forces/ Combat Air Forces she wouldn’t have been able to log any time as crew dressed as described in the article. If you ain’t dressed in ramp pajamas or goat skins you can’t be performing crew duties.

    I’ll take a look in the current AFI 11-202 Vol 3 and 11-2HC-130 Vol 3 and see if things are a bit more relaxed in other communities.

    • Cobrakai99 says:

      From the way the article reads it sounds like she may not have even been on the orders, above the line.

  12. 26Limabeans says:

    So I could have claimed flight time and perhaps been awarded the Air Medal for all those times I sat on my ass as a passenger (cargo class) in a C-130?
    Cool.

    • 130 LM says:

      Had an AF Chaplin who tried to do that. I showed him the guidance, told him no. He suddenly wasn’t infested in flying to Afghanistan anymore.

  13. JC says:

    “Mark it ZERO…” (cocking a .45)
    -Walter Sobchak

  14. Martinjmpr says:

    I’m wondering why it takes the Air Force 4.2 hours to fly 600 miles (Albuquerque to San Antonio.) That’s an average speed of 142 mph.

    What are they flying in, a Piper Cub?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      They’re probably flying a World War II WACO CG-4a glider.

    • rgr769 says:

      It was likely some kind of training mission designed to last four hours for pay qual purposes. I doubt it was a direct flight of point A to point B.

      In the Viet of the Nam, I drew jump pay ($110 per month) but we didn’t have to jump every quarter because, well, war. But we spent a great deal of time flying to look for LZ’s for our LRRP teams and supervising insertions from the C&C/back-up Huey.

    • Mason says:

      Sky penises take time to draw, don’t you know?

      In this case they were flying a C-130. Not the fastest, but they are reliable as can be. I remember once we did an exercise. I was on a 130 chalk and my buddy was on a C-5. I was jealous because he was getting the nicer, faster ride. Broke down in Nashville not even half way there. So my plane got there a whole day sooner. Kind of a tortoise and the hare thing.

  15. Martinjmpr says:

    As far as bonus-pay shenanigans go, I’ve seen it before. War story time:

    My Army Reserve unit was mobilized for Operation Joint Guard (the Bosnia/Former Yugoslavia mission) anf we were based at the Intermediate Staging Base (ISB) at Taszar Airbase in Hungary. This was the big logistic base with the large airfield and rail head that all the units passed through on their way in or out of Bosnia and Croatia.

    Hungary, being a “friendly” nation was outside the Hostile Fire Pay/Combat Zone Tax Exclusion region so anybody based there did not get the extra $$ that the soldiers “in the box” did.

    But…as an MP company we had to run convoy escorts and route recons into Croatia. Since Croatia was part of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY for short)it qualified for HFP and CZTE. We ran missions into there every day, so those of us in the line platoons always qualified for HFP and CZTE. The border between Hungary and Croatia was the Drava River and we used to joke that every time you drove over the bridge you could hear a cash register go “cha-CHING!”

    The rule at that time (my understanding is that it has since changed) was that all you had to do was spend one day in “the box” in order to qualify for HFP and CZTE for that calendar month.

    And you know, it was a funny thing that a lot of the high ranking officers and NCOs based at the ISB seemed to need to go to Croatia at least once every other month, either for a meeting or some kind of “coordination.” Or sometimes just for “situational awareness.”

    Even funnier, they seemed to “need” to go there around the 30th of the month, and wouldn’t you know, they weren’t able to get back to Hungary until the 1st or 2nd, which meant they qualified for HFP and CZTE for BOTH calendar months!

    • Hondo says:

      Same thing was reputedly happening during Vietnam. I’ve read that some number of aircrews based in the Philippines always seemed to have missions to Da Nang AB scheduled for the last day of the month – and then develop an aircraft “issue” that necessitated an overnight stay. That aircraft issue never seemed to take more than one day to clear, though.

      Curiously, the same thing would happen again 2 months later. (smile)

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      When I was in A-stan we ALWAYS seemed to get visitations from Flag officers right at the end of the month, I know what y’all mean!

      • Martinjmpr says:

        IIRC some time within the last 10 years or so DoD changed the policy on HFP and CZTE to make it a daily thing. So unless you were based in (and spent every day of a calendar month in) the HFP/CZTE zone, you got a pro-rated amount.

        My guess is that the previous policy of one-day-a-month qualifying you for the entire month was created for the “paper” records that the S1 had to keep. Now that everythings computerized and automated, it’s much easier to calculate a daily vs. a monthly entitlement.

        Of course, computers also make it easier to screw up, but that’s a topic for another post…

  16. Eden says:

    The Air Force has, for a number of years, fostered a toxic command climate. I recently suffered under a protege of such a climate. She got fired. I sincerely hope that the current Chief of Staff is doing everything possible to right the ship.

    This comment on the original article nails it:

    “If Brig. Gen. Brenda Cartier, had been male; we probably would be reading The current Brigadier Gen. director of operations at Air Force Special Operations Command headquarters, had been relieved because of Loss of Confidence to command. Instead all she got was a letter of counseling.”

    • rgr769 says:

      Some with a pussy get a pass. I hear that is what happened with those ladies that couldn’t pass their patrol leader ops at Ranger School until a 0bama regime General Officer became their lane grader.

      • Eden says:

        I hope that’s not still happening. I know a female who will be attending soon who would be VERY upset to get a pass that she didn’t earn.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Equal-opportunity toxicity.

  18. timactual says:

    ” Airman Battle Uniform”

    WTF?

    I spent four years in the army. I can count on the fingers of one hand (with a finger to spare) the times I have seen any officer in my chain of command over the rank of Captain. This incident does not surprise me.