Gen. Darren McDew, the newly confirmed commander of the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, is on the short list of top generals likely to replace Gen. Mark Welsh, the current Air Force chief of staff, according to Defense News.
The current favorite to replace Welsh is Gen. Lori Robinson, commander of the Pacific Air Forces. If Robinson is chosen, she would be the first female chief of staff of any U.S. military branch. Another likely contender is Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command, according to Defense News.
The article noted that McDew just took over as Transcom commander, and that it would be unusual for him to move back to the Air Force so quickly after such a move. But an unnamed source in the article argued that Transcom is not a particularly hard job to fill if the need arose.
“That job won't keep McDew out of the running,” the source said.
Like Robinson, McDew lacks a fighter pilot background, having flown support aircraft like the KC-135 tanker and C-17 transport. Sources indicated, however, that this is less an issue for McDew than McDew’s experience and the general respect for him inside the Pentagon.
Most sources who discussed the topic ranked the likely order as Robinson, McDew, then Carlisle, although one source was adamant that Robinson will not be the pick.
At least 83,000 American service personnel are still missing in action. These soldiers are assumed dead, but are still unaccounted for. They rest in unmarked graves in foreign countries, or at sea. Of that number, 73,500 of them fought in World War II, and 9,645 in the wars since, according to DefenseOne.
The Defense Department’s Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office, known as DPMO, and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or J-PAC, are charged with matching remains with names. But these offices “find” and account for only around 70 of these veterans every year.
Transgender people are present in the armed services at a higher rate than in the general population.according to Military.com
The latest analysis, published last year by UCLA researchers, estimated that nearly 150,000 transgender people have served in the military, or about 21 percent of all transgender adults in the U.S. By comparison, 10 percent of the general population has served.
The findings have pumped new life into a theory that psychiatrist George Brown has developed to explain what he had witnessed. In a 1988 paper, he coined it “flight into hypermasculinity.”
Brown’s findings take on added weight at a time when the Pentagon is considering whether to lift its ban on transgender service members.
Brown’s transgender patients told him that they had signed up for service when they were still in denial about their true selves and were trying to prove they were “real men.”
Some patients had deliberately chosen the military's most dangerous jobs. In one case described in the paper, a 37-year-old patient with a long history of cross-dressing had been a laboratory technician on a base in Germany but gave that up to become a combat helicopter pilot at the height of the Vietnam War, a job with a high death rate.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.