Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

The Perils Of Command

by Leroy Stutz

Spring Semester, 1964, 8th Cadet Squadron
AOC - Captain Mauger
Squadron Commander - Steve Mayo
Operations Officer - Karl Richter
Executive Officer - Leroy Stutz

The week before Christmas leave Capt. Mauger calls Karl and I into his office and tells us that he is laying his Air Force career on the line by putting us in the #2 and #3 positions in the squadron. Any screw-ups and we are gone.

Time frame - February or March
Scene - Terrazzo, Wing Saturday Morning In Ranks Inspection
Weather Report - Had snow on Wednesday and Thursday but the diggers and fillers plowed the snow to the edge of the terrazo. Friday - a warm day; some snow melts. Friday night - fairly hard freeze. Saturday morning - the sun is shining.

Steve Mayo is off with the debate team, so Karl is the acting commander. The squadron forms up for inspection. Karl oders, "Prepare your flights for inspection."

The AOC shows up, Karl turns and announces, "Capt. Mauger and I will inspect A Flight, B and C Flight commanders inspect your flights, executive officer assume command."

I come forward, saber salute, and stand in front of the squadron at parade rest. After a few moments I hear something like ice breaking and some muffled laughs behind me. A few minutes later General Stone and his yes men come walking in front of the squadron. I come to attention and salute.

He returns the salute and says, "Move those men forward out of the water." I say, "Yes Sir", salute, do an about face and order, "8th Squadron, five paces forward, march!" I backstep five paces and say, "Carry on."

The next thing I knew, Capt. Mauger was in my face wanting to know why in the hell I moved the squadron while he was inspecting one of the flights. His final words were, "Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

I said, "Yes sir, General Stone told me to move them forward, so I did." Capt. Mauger then said, "The General was here? What else did he say?"

I told him, "Nothing, sir. They just kept on walking on down to the left."

Capt. Mauger then said, "Good job, Stutz. Carry on."
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