Fighting for the truth . . . exposing the corrupt

February 15, 2003

For the second time in three months, we must begin this edition of CAPERS on a sad note.

The Carlisle Barracks community has lost its highly respected Dean of the Army War College. COL Kevin R. Cunningham passed away suddenly at Carlisle Hospital.

His demise is a tragic loss to all who knew him. COL Cunningham was one of the most honorable men to ever serve on the Barracks. He was only 49.

At times like these, one asks oneself why good and decent officers such as COL Cunningham leave us early, while others – “slime” that have infested the Barracks in recent years - continue to prosper and pollute the Earth.

The heartfelt sympathies of all the staff here at go out to Kevin’s wife Linda and their daughter Kristen.

While we are on the subject of “good and decent men,” who could better fit that description than Carlisle Barracks’ beloved Command Sgt. Maj. Don Watkins?

This thoroughly honest man, who earned a reputation for “standing up” for his soldiers on post and lending a sympathetic ear to those suffering and in pain, is retiring soon, our CI’s at post headquarters tell us.

Before he retires this Spring, please go up to him and tell him how much you APPRECIATE his leadership, integrity, and the hard effort he put in for many years to represent what is right, fair and just to all those stationed on Carlisle Barracks.

For AWC students that may not be that familiar with CSM Watkins, please go back and read the Carlisle Barracks BANNER, October 2002 (page 2) “Command Reflections: Treat subordinates with dignity, respect.” His words say a lot about the character of this outstanding soldier.

God bless you in your retirement, Don. You are a Christian who exemplifies what is it to “live” your faith, day-in, day-out. You will surely be missed.

How unfortunate it is, for every officer like COL Cunningham, or top-NCO such as CSM Watkins, Carlisle Barracks has been plagued by a band of “misfits” and “lowlifes” who have hurt the Army’s image and brought nothing but dishonor and disgrace to their memory.

One of those – “PATHETIC BOBBY” – alleged to have “an empty bottle in one hand and inscribed panties in the other” – is most remembered for his infantile temper tantrums and “siccing” one of his CID agents on the retired field-grade officer and now “civilian” editor-in-chief of this web site.

The “bully-boy” intimidation phone call BACKFIRED and was clumsy to say the least, but “good training” for future CID agents - if they could hear it - to learn what NOT to do and say. That is, if you want to stay out of trouble. You see - the whole conversation was captured on tape. Quite “legal” in this locale.

As one of our “recurring villains” – we’re giving Bobby’s “pal” THE BULLY a brief “vacation” from barbs for this month – the egotistical “PATHETIC BOBBY” has made the “news” lately with fiendish “good luck.”

This so-called military “historian,” a legend in his own mind, who didn’t end up on the Beltway selling used cars as many officers on the Barracks hoped he would, has parlayed his allegedly “ghost-written book” on the Gulf War into a lucrative contract with the FOX NETWORK.

Now we can see his ugly mug – he looks many years older than he is – on the TV screen. Why, he is a “resident expert” and “talking head,” for the news anchors who never served a day in uniform. He can easily buffalo them.

But do his network bosses know how much, or how little, “PATHETIC BOBBY” actually wrote in his much-ballyhooed book? We are told the tome was “ghostwritten” by a cadre of overworked and under-acknowledged Army staff officers.

“I tried to stay away from him,” one of our many friends on the War College faculty told us. “I knew he would task me with a burdensome writing assignment and then he would grab ALL the credit for himself.”

We think the time has come to talk a hard look at the record of “family employment” at Carlisle Barracks. Can you spell “N-E-P-O-T-I-S-M,” boys and girls?

There have been some outstanding contributions by student spouses, while the “other half” gets a “ticket punched” at the War College, (one of the most infamous “exceptions” being a “hen-pecked” lieutenant colonel known as SIMON LEGREE who used to work at MHI), but the program has a “downside” as well.

Take the example of BIG BARNSMELL, who followed Steve DiDemenico at the old DCPA. Her husband, DADDY BARNSMELL is a retired warrant officer with a plush second career as a local hospital administrator. BABY-GIRL BARNSMELL carried on the family tradition of milking the service for everything it had to offer. When BABY-GIRL was a soldier stationed overseas, we are told, she would telephone garrison headquarters at 0600 to “bully” any staff on duty into asking the local phone operator to transfer the call to the family home. This worked very well for BABY-GIRL. The toll charges remained with the Army (and taxpayers), but BIG BARNSMELL got to talk with BABY-GIRL for hours “for free!”

When fellow garrison staff experienced “rifled desks and stolen soda pop,” not even the garrison commander’s office was secure. Why did this happen on BIG BARNSMELL’s watch? She was the building security manager and had a personal key.

One senior DCPA manager was her guardian and “protector.” He foolishly allowed her to work “uncompensated overtime” after the building closed. Is THIS how the “snooping” allegedly occurred?

After BIG BARNSMELL underwent extensive surgery, charitable co-workers hoped a “more positive personality” might emerge and that past behavior would be modified. But, alas, it was not to be.

The dumb LOUDMOUTH even promoted “the snooper” when he was garrison commander. He promoted many undeserving people when he held the reins of power. In fact he was alleged to have had his own form of “entry.” The Letort Club lost money “big time” at the Ocktoberfests, we are told, because this garrison commander and his “pals” came back at midnight to carry off any unconsumed beer kegs.

Post “insiders” are reeling from the latest personnel moves at the Department of Public Works. Alan Thompson, longtime director of the program, is being detailed for up to two years or more as the RCI liaison. He will preside over the privatization of the Carlisle Barracks housing program. His hand picked successor will be Safety and Environment Manager Tom Kelly.

Quite a “move up the ladder” for Tom, with a huge pay boost to boot, as he assumes the director’s duties. We imagine everyone is happy with the arrangement except BATTLING BROTHER BILL, Alan’s long-time running-mate and confidant. “Stay tuned,” kids, as the sparks may soon fly!

The HARPIE from Dillsburg is “hanging on” and fighting hard to keep her job as frustrated officers in the “A wing” squirm. We hear she and her attorney have filed a “questionable” workers compensation claim, alleging the investigations she faces have produced “severe headaches” (no kidding!) and an alleged “nervous breakdown.” Hi, Brenda.

If she keeps up this “charade” long enough, MG Ivany may be retired. Then she can hope a new commandant will let the disciplinary action “slide.” We know this “lady” has produced GENUINE “nervous breakdowns” among her female subordinates, so maybe she took enough notes on their real symptoms to be convincing in her current claims?

We don’t think the portly, parachuting prosecutor – he sure does need some PT - have dug far enough into this colorful federal career. We mean not only the Colpo investigation some time back, but also Fred Bucci’s thorough and comprehensive EEOC report on “Ms. Dillsburg’s” harassment techniques towards subordinates.

How about the candid sworn testimony our “old friend” Alan Thompson gave on what kinds of behavior he observed from the infamous HARPIE?

Perhaps the most telling incident regarding “fitness for duty” occurred when a former commandant, THE HERO OF GRENADA and his wife were attending a social event at the Letort Club. The “booze” flowed freely. When the general and his lady got up to leave, “Ms. Dillsburg” preceded them to the front door. As she staggered before them, she “passed out” and fell across the doorway. Both the commandant and wife were then obliged to “step over” the woman’s 249 pounds of “pickled cellulite.” The general should have imposed discipline the next day, but this failed “leader” didn’t do anything. Maybe he figured it wouldn’t be “politically correct.”

Our other news from the contracting office concerns the “heart-breaking home-wrecker of Carlisle Barracks,” a.k.a the “Bony Blond Bombshell.” This GS-09 tries to tell the garrison commander how to do his job and amuses co-workers by putting incoming calls on the speakerphone so that all may laugh at and ridicule the poor folks who need help with purchasing orders. Her full-time interest, however, is the year-round “hunting season” for an “0-6 pension.” We hear that she has just sent a certain colonel home to tell his wife and family that “he doesn’t want to be married anymore.”

The CAPERS wishes to “recognize” a “changing of the guard” in the non-appropriated fund program which supports soldiers on post. Bill Foster (USA ret.) replaces Dave Stine at the award-winning Bowling Center and Luis Mora is doing great work, our CI’s tell us, as manager of the Skill Development Center. Both men have been noted for outstanding customer service accomplishments. Two more reasons why Carlisle Barracks is still, despite a handful of losers, a great place to serve.

The incredible flap over $265 for the Dunham nurses’ uncollected union dues has FINALLY come to a “resolution.” On the eve of a judge’s ruling that would have humiliated the Civilian Personnel Office, the pompous, portly major running the JAG office – “More PT needed to pass the APFT” – has “waved a white flag,” or should we say “thrown in the towel?” The Army will have to pay the union $265 in the next 45 days. “Inquiring minds want to know” WHY so much administrative time and expense went into such a “no-brainer” issue? Is it because the hapless JAG could use a few more brains himnself, or is he just a “victim” of circumstance?

We hear that a popular and attractive young wife of a retired colonel, with two kids to her credit, was (genuinely) “sexually harassed” at Carlisle Barracks. We point out it was REAL, to differentiate between the genuine thing and a spurious charge used as a means to destroy a targeted officer.
The perpetrator in this case, we are told, is a MAJ “GRUMBLE,” who has a particularly “obnoxious” wife. This much disliked officer “can be the nicest guy one minute and then turn around to be the most arrogant, nasty, jerk the next,” says one of our Collins Hall CI’s.

The harassment began back in 1999, under PATHETIC BOBBY’s failed tenure. How typical! It was “one thing after the other” with this pompous brass hat. That was a big part of the reason “Bobby” had to “go out the door’ as a two-star. His schemes and dreams of wearing “three stars” were undercut by his own mismanagement and behavior.

GRUMBLE’s repeated “harassment” – it’s not what you do, it’s who you know – eventually led to a slow-moving EEO case with expensive consequences for the Army. The lady victim gets to retire early with a “five-figure” financial settlement. She obviously had a strong case.

And the “tom-catting” major must leave the Army soon despite the stubborn support of his patron, LTC Gordon Thigpen III. Our CI’s report the REMTECH CORP (more on them next month when we “blast” THE DUMMY, he just retired) offered the female victim a well-paying job in the newly-privatized computer operations center, which she declined.

We have been very frank in our admiration for the generally fine job that Gen. Ivany has done as Carlisle Barracks best commandant in many years. Of course, following Chilcoat and Scales, there was only one way to go – UP.

Last month we strongly recommended the Pentagon keep Ivany on the job and give him his much-deserved third star. Unfortunately, we didn’t take into account our great unpopularity down there where flunkies are detailed to “monitor” MCC on a daily basis. Some of our best CI’s come out of that building, but that’s another story. Apparently our strong “endorsement” of Gen. Ivany had the “opposite effect” intended. He will now be retiring, we are told.

But cannot take ALL the blame for this fine general going “out to pasture.” Someone “very close” to the general rubbed too many people the wrong way and THAT, more than any deserved praise we had for the man who “cleaned up” Carlisle Barracks, figured in the end to his military career.

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