March 15, 2004

CATE GOES ON LEAVE – Embattled former AHEC Director, Col. Alan C. Cate has now gone on “leave,” sources at Carlisle Barracks report.

The bird colonel, who was arrested last month after an altercation with a woman who is not his wife – she told Pennsylvania State Police that Cate grabbed her, threw her to the ground, put his hand on her throat and threatened to KILL her and her dog – was transferred to SSI after and local newspapers and television stations covered the incident.

Since then, Cate decided it was best for him to take military leave. He knew he’d become a public embarrassment to Carlisle Barracks. Cate’s military career looks like it’s over, and his chances for promotion to “general” are now as remote as those of Deputy Commandant, Col. Craig Madden.

Highly-placed sources within Root Hall tell us that the Commandant, Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, had hoped the “problem” would go away if the female accuser failed to return to Pennsylvania from Florida next month. That is when Cate is scheduled to face a hearing before a state judge.

Our sources say Huntoon used “poor judgement” in allowing the arrested and out-on-bail colonel to come to work the following week “as if nothing much had happened.” But when all the media attention – led by MCC’s “fast reporting of the news” hit – the fumbling commandant was forced to take action against the errant colonel.

“It was an incredible mistake to let Cate come to work as usual the Monday after his arrest,” said a female Barracks employee. “What was he [Gen. Huntoon] possibly thinking by not realizing the women who work here – both military and civilian – might be concerned regarding the seriousness of the charge [violence against a woman] lodged against one of the top officers on post?”

“BUMBLING BUCHER’S ANNIVERSARY” – Yes, it’ll be one year on April 1st since fast-track, former Pentagon flack LTC Merideth “Bumbling” Bucher arrived at Carlisle Barracks as a major (P) with plenty of connections.

Sources say the abrasive and obnoxious PAO either was “lucky” to land the coveted 0-5 slot on Carlisle Barracks or she had “friends in high places.” Could one of those be her former PERSCOM “pal” Col. Mike “NO COMBAT” Colpo?

He would be in position to alert Bucher to the fact that “THE DUMMY” – we mean retired LTC Jim MacNeil – who didn’t have very good media relations with the local press and TV after his ham-handed attempts to control coverage of the Bartlett murder case – mercifully left the job last year.

There’s no law against the “chAIRBORNE Ranger” (no combat duty or even one overseas tour in over 25 years for this West Point infantry officer) from lending a hand to a buddy, but Bucher’s inept performance during the censorship fiasco last year – Carlisle Barracks brass attempted to ban from post computers in direct violation of the First Amendment – would not reflect too well on her possible sponsor.

At any rate, we wish Bucher a better year than the one she’s just had. And we hasten to wish her well on “April Fool’s Day.” Maybe in the next 12 months she can learn how to do her job right. Certainly a basic DINFOS diploma would help. How about it, Gen. Huntoon? Can you spare Bucher while she goes down to Ft. Meade to learn her fundamentals? Carol Kerr is certainly capable of “holding down the fort” in a very professional manner while the present PAO is absent.

A NICE GUY RETIRES – One of the truly “nice guys” at Carlisle Barracks is newly retired Staff Sergeant Tommy Shird. For those of you who don’t know, he was Gen. Huntoon’s driver.

This veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Kuwait and Bosnia deserved an extra rocker added to his stripes, but at least he went out the door after 20 years with a Meritorious Service Medal.

Not all MSM’s awarded at the Barracks are as richly deserved. Tommy had a perfect driving record and his courtesy and professionalism made him many friends. We are sorry to see him go.

OFF HE GOES AGAIN – Our item last month about Sgt. Jack Group’s rough treatment of his subordinates made quite a splash when it came out February 15 in CARLSIE BARRACKS CAPERS.

The former E-3, who we are told has never held a supervisory position before he landed this “plum” Carlisle Barracks spot, laid low for a while, stung by our revelations of his “bully-boy tactics” towards the DA guards.

Now our CI’s on post tell us the “sarge” has been spotted numerous times parked in his white van using his cell phone for up to two hours –Anne Ely Hall parking lot and the lots over by buildings 314 and 315. Is that “military business” you’re talking about, Sgt. Group – after 2230 hours at night? We thought the post was pretty “quiet” around then.

“He’s more concerned with screwing us than properly supervising his shift,” said one underling. “But does the PMO care? Not at all!”

DIED TOO YOUNG – The staff and management of wishes to extend our condolences to the family of the late Army War College Professor Winthrop “Win” Rice, who left us far too early, recently, at age 51.

Rice, professor of Education Methedology and Technology in the Directorate of Academic Affairs, was well-liked and respected. He came to Carlisle Barracks from Syracuse, New York. He was truly one of the “good guys.”

May God rest his soul.

SECRET STUFF – If you don’t think rank has its privileges at Carlisle Barracks – where are you from, the MOON? – watch what happens the next time a full colonel gets nabbed for shoplifting in the Post Exchange.

First of all, the arrest is handled under “restricted access” when the MP’s fill out the police blotter. If that was PFC “Elmo P. Burlap” for example, do you think he would rate the same “kid-glove” treatment? No way!

Maybe most people think shoplifters are from the so-called “lower classes” (i.e. enlisted ranks, civilian workers etc.) but you’d be amazed if you got a gander at the names of those nabbed just in the past 18 months!

Yes, Virginia. Even colonels and AWC students get “light-fingered” from time-to-time. How do you explain it? Who knows? Kleptomania, perhaps. At any rate, the “brass” do their share of stealing along with everyone else. It’s just that the Command could keep it under wraps, at least until now.

GOOD CHOICE – There are few military writers in this country with the superb credentials of Pultizer Prize-winning historian and journalist Rick Atkinson.

We have his two best-selling tomes on our bookshelf at home: “The Long Gray Line” a narrative account about West Point’s class of 1966 [be sure to read up on retired Gen. Weasely “I worked my way through West Point” Clark, the Clinton stooge who turned out to be a miserable flop on the campaign trail.] - and “CRUSADE,” the quintessential book on the Persian Gulf War.

Rick will be the next holder of the General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership and will teach in residence at both Dickinson and the Army War College for one semester beginning this September.

Our editor-in-chief is a retired, multi-tour, combat veteran of Vietnam and field-grade officer. Maybe he’ll take another trip out to the Barracks this fall to see Atkinson in action. It’d be worth the time, we think. And we’ll be sure to stop by various locations on post to say hello, especially to the folks in Root and Collins Hall.

BLAST FROM THE PAST – Does anyone remember the colonel once stationed at Carlisle Barracks that got nabbed by the cops “cruising” a seedy section of Harrisburg, Pa. late one Saturday night in his Cadillac?

It seems he wasn’t looking for “female” companionship, it was the other gender. And worse than that, a source “in the know,” tells us the high-ranking officer was, what police call, a “chicken hawk.”

So much time has elapsed since the “pinch,” we don’t know for sure what Barracks officials did about the case, but chances are the colonel is happily retired now, collecting his checks and breathing a sigh of relief that – at least some of the time – the brass at Carlisle Barracks get a “free pass” when they get in trouble with the local police.

Just ask THE BULLY and his enabler, former Commandant, Gen. “inscribed panties” Bobby Scales. He’s the two-star who tried to kick in a locked door on post and spat out so many foul-mouthed curses in front of women that a bold male civilian worker at Carlisle Barracks filed a “violence in the workplace” charge on him. The infantile temper tantrum unfortunately went unpunished and the “whistleblower” got a transfer to Germany. At least PUMPKIN HEAD failed to get a "third star", like his buddy, pompous, retired Gen. Richard “I’m Colin Powel’s pal” Chilcoat.

Readers of CAPERS will recall Chilcoat as the commandant who offered wronged worker Barbara Vanner $50,000 to “go away” when she filed a sexual harassment charge against a top civilian on post. For anyone else, he’d sign a career-ending letter in a “nano-second,” irregardless of the accused person’s innocence. Thank God both generals are OUT of the Army. Not a moment too soon.

PETERSON’S “SNITCH,” NOW SUSKIE’S “RAT” – At least that’s what deep cover CI’s (confidential informants) tell us. The BRAWLER has correctly sized up the new PMO and is gaining “points” by catering to his boss’s every need.

“They’re great pals,” says one observer. “You’ll see them eating together all the time. He was the old PMO’s snitch. Now he’s the new one’s rat.”

Which leads us to ask the question WHY does Carlisle Barracks get so many low-caliber PMO’s? One right after the other! Not only are most of them “boobs” – we had an easy time outsmarting Peterson during the Bartlett murder case – but they tend to use the Constitution of the United States like so much “toilet paper.”

One of the worst, was a jackbooted thug who lost his temper threatening an undercover FBI intelligence asset over the telephone who he knew was equipped with a voice-activated mini-cassette recorder. Talk about “stupid!” The LTC blew it trying to act the “bully.” He was a fool, instead.

This punk ended up in “Palookaville” teaching ROTC, after retiring rather quickly as an 0-5, instead of keeping the “chicken” colonel wings he wanted to wear out the door. We hope he remembers us every month when he gets that lighter-than-anticipated pension check. Of course, at any amount, he’d be “overpaid.”

We’ve actually been “kind” to him, considering what we know and could write about his “extracurricular” activities. This loser liked his “bottle” and some of the female employees of the LeTort Club even more, back when he infested the installation.

His best “drinking buddy” was the Kentucky rug merchant. What can you say? Water finds its own level. Especially in a sewer!

One Barracks icon told us the ex-PMO was “an obnoxious jerk, a real asshole.” So this creep and retired lighth colonel has few friends left on post, except perhaps “NO COMBAT” Colpo. Those two got along great when “Mikey” was garrison commander. That kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Of course, the Barracks hasn’t been that lucky with garrison commanders either, save for “Ty” Smith, who was head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Especially one “protected” predator who liked to quiz attractive white women in the commissary with the old line: “Ever been with a Black man?” You can be sure he didn’t mean “in church!”

We’d like to end the CAPERS this month on a positive note. By praising Sgt. “Tex” Shane of the DA Guards.

This thoroughly professional police officer did his best, performing CPR on a female automobile crash victim for five solid minutes, trying to save her life.

Unfortunately, the lady died from injuries sustained in the auto smashup at Post and Claremont Roads. But “Tex” Shane gave it his all, and Carlisle Barracks is rightfully proud of this man who is a credit to the security force.

We at “salute” you, Tex.




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