Skip to comments.Memorial service scheduled for Elmendorf general (Suicide Likely Cause)
Posted on 07/30/2008 5:57:22 AM PDT by SkyPilot
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Elmendorf's commander will be honored later this week in a memorial service on base.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Tinsley was found dead in his home Sunday night. Tinsley died of what appears to be a self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, according to Air Force officials. They say no note was found.
Representatives of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will make a final ruling on the cause of death.
A memorial service for the brigadier general will be held 2 p.m. Thursday at hangar one. The service will be open to the public.
This is an incredible tragedy. I can only imagine the horror of his wife and college age daughter watching him bleed to death in their house on base Sunday night.
Whatever his troubles were, they were not worth this.
The guy was a "fast burner" and may have believe his own Officer Performance Reportes and Promotion Rcommendation Forms too much.
But, he always seemed like a gentle, nice guy to me.
The "scandal" here appears to be that he was Gen Moseley's Executive Officer for 2 years.
The AF is rudderless right now. Gen Schwartz is being held up by Congress.
Meanwhile, the AF budget is still being cut to the bone in order to pay for another trim tab for an F-22.
Pardon me for not being up to speed on AF "office politics", but could you expand on this? Seems an odd thing to kill yourself over.
Suicide's a permanent solution to temporary problems.
That's often the case but not always.I'm sure we can all think of situations where,if given the choice,suicide would be the better alternative.Not that we'll ever experience such a situation.
I pray that he has found the peace that escaped him in life.
May G-d grant him and those who loved him peace.
You bet - and no apologies needed. This is sort of like "Inside Baseball" to the Nth degree.
General Moseley and the Air Force Secretary, Mike Wynne, were fired simultaneously in June.
The "For Public Consumption" reason was the B-52 nuke scandal.
Even fired Secretary Wynne admitted that wasn't the real reason in interviews with the press last month. He cited disagreements with Gates over procurement items and the role of the Air Force in the War on Terror.
But part of the "unsaid" reason may be that Moseley was also caught up in a contract scandal that has already claimed the careers of several high ranking officers.
The AF paid millions to a company in a sweet heart deal to make videos for the Thunderbirds. The contract was illegally steered to buddies of Moseley who had retired, including for Air Combat Command chief General "Hal" Hornburg. E-mails relating Moseley to the scandal have been requested by Congress. The matter is still under investigation, even though Moseley has been fired.
As his Exec, Gen Tinsley would have been privy to all of this.
I actually agreed with Gate's decision. The AF also developed myopia where all it could see brand new F-22s on the ramp. In order to help pay for them, it tossed out thousands of people who wanted to serve their country.
I wasn't one of them, but I saw it as a tragic decision.
Meanwhile, the AF continues to bleed.
This is getting ridiculous.
Look at yesterday's news:
Thanks, I recall a thread about the Thunderbirds stuff, but didn’t make the connection to Moseley.
No, it might feel like suicide is the better choice, but most horrible things can be out lived. People get exhaused from being miserable and habituate to the experiecen.
Years ago I knew a couple who had met in a concentration camp - lived through it, married, had children and passed away. I asked the woman what kept her going and she said it was a blessing that she smoked - and every day she would wake up with the goal of finding a cigeratte butt. Her little group would combine the tobacco and try to come up with one smokable item a day... And that was it. Her husband to be ( a man 6'2") was 90 some pounds when they got out... But I digress. What she did was "dumb her expectations down" - and within the confines of total horror she created a life.
It's the way.
When faces with horror, decided if you can make it through the next hour. And if the next hour is too horrible to contemplate, see if you're OK for the next 10 minutes.
And if that doesn't work, look around yourself and see if the next minute is OK.
Bring your expectations down. Are you thirsty? Hungry? At this moment? Cold? At this VERY moment - this 30 second time period - are you OK?
And with the exception of being mauled by a bear or something, most of us can get through a 30 second period of time. Then start building...
I'm suspicious.. a body shot don't sound like a suicide..
An accident maybe, but not a suicide..
Yes,this is all true and logical.But imagine this....you're Hitler and the Russians are closing in....or,you're Goering and you're to be hanged in the morning (remember that Goering took the "easy' way...or the coward's way...out).Or you're on the 105th floor of the WTC North Tower hanging out the window....
And I'm not even mentioning having some slowly growing,incurable cancer and the doctors say that it's the type for which pain meds don't work (if there is such a cancer).
So,yes,what you're saying is true and logical in most (99%?) of cases.
Always in the chest with the generals. I was taken aback when the guy who faked his medals did this but now two the same way.
Suicide is an irrational act. To try and comprehend it via rational thought is fruitless
“... a body shot don’t sound like a suicide.”
ADM Mike Boorda
I knew a number of fast burners during my career. Some were competent and did very well and some were promoted too far ahead of their experience and maturity levels. For one it was a problem of never knowing how to make a reasoned decision under pressure and he was relieved of duty. For two others, both promoted to lieutenant colonel 4-5 years below the zone, the pressure of command at a point when they should have still been senior captains or junior majors led them to recurring and spiralling alcoholism. One found himself involved in a minor scandal which promised to tube his career so he killed himself. Too many of these types would be much better off if they made the rank on time because they really do believe all of that sunshine that is pumped up their skirts.
My wife reminded me today about him - and I realized he was a much better guy than I even remembered. I now regret my post saying he might have believed his own OPRs. As I look back, he was perhaps one of the kindest men I knew.
We lived a few doors down from each other when we both were at the Pentagon about 10 years ago. When it snowed in N. Virginia one February, Tom came over to my house to help me shovel.
He took my young daughters camping once.
My wife knew his wife better than I knew Tom, but I still really liked him. He made fun of me when I told I was going back to fly and the plane they gave me was the C-21 (the Learjet 35), and then I ribbed him back that it was in Germany.
I have profound sadness in my heart now that those memories have suddenly rushed back. I guess I put them in the back of my mind.
It is a tragic loss, and I wish his wife and children God's grace and peace.
I understand what you are saying. The individuals whom I remember were great people on an individual level and I believe could have handled the pressures if they had progressed through normal or near normal timelines and gained the needed experience. They all did believe that they were well qualified to be commanders and decision-makers while many of their contemporaries believed or knew otherwise. I think that the higher level sponsorship and adulation that goes with these situations does the recipients little good when they are in a corner and find that they cannot live up to the expectations of their superiors or their own expectations of themselves. The military does not do anybody any favors by consistently pushing untested officers into and through very responsible positions before they are really ready.
Was this the downsizing that occurred during the 90s ?
I knew of some who had 17+ years inservice who had to leave the AF short of their 20 years.
Or was this more recent?
Hey AF vet!
I hope you know I remember you Happy Grrrl as a great Freeper.
In answer to your question......oh nooooooo.
This was a recent massacre - called "Force Shaping" (nice PC term, huh?)
Basically, it was all a scheme to try and sacrifice human being serving their country for procurement dollars.
I know this was part of the reason Secretary Gates was so pissed off.
In fact, he was so ticked off, he reversed the decision to do so while Gen Moseley's firing paperwork was still warm.
Now, here is the current Air Force problem.
Moseley basically raped every nickel in the Air Force budget he could for the F-22. He called it every name in the book: "Lean", "Six Sigma", "Smart Ops 21", etc...
Basically, it was TQM, "Do more with less", and "Work Smarter, Not Harder!"
People have lost faith.
There is also a bigger problem.
Thousands of highly skilled contractors have had their contracts terminated, and Moseley had a "plan" in place to convert them to GS positions.
Only one problem.
A lot of engineers, contracting specialists, PhDs, consultants, and other highly skilled people don't want to have the honor of being a GS-10, GS-11, or GS-12 with its awesome pay! (SARCASM)
Moreover, now the Fed Union is involved and wants to increase its numbers - so the Dems in Congress are cheering this sham on.
Moseley screwed that up too.
The last thing he really screwed up on was ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Recon) aircraft.
He refused to see the benefit of looking for more ways to perform ISR missions. The Army got tired of asking the AF to do it - so they installed the electronics on board their own C-12s and other aircraft and just did the job themselves.
The AF looked like total fools.
Anyway, sorry to bring this all up on this thread.
I am angry and saddened at Gen Tinsley's death, and what this did to his family. My wife knew his wife pretty well.
My prayers to them.
You don't have to convince me of that. My Mom committed suicide.