Readers share their thoughts on Mitch Wade

Reader Jim A. writes to say that Mitch Wade’s fitness reports in 1989 and 1990 and  1992 from supervisors including future Director of National Intelligence John McConnell aren’t so impressive when you take a closer look:

 Naval Reserve officers who came on board active duty commands for two-week annual training periods usually got this very same (or very similar) fitrep, year in, year out as long as they managed to stay out of trouble and not set the place on fire. This sort of inflated fitness report is also a major reason why the Naval Officer Fitness Report system was overhauled a few years later (didn’t work out very well, but that’s a different story). With everyone a superlative water-walker, it was hard to separate the wheat from the chaff and I saw way too much chaff promote up during the 1990’s.

When I read his write-ups (the textual portion on page 2), it appeared to me he didn’t really do all that much during those two training periods. Morocco and Somalia weren’t all that “hot” in July, 1989 (Somalia was not too much later, though). By Dec, 1990 the Pentagon wasn’t “the” place to be for an aspiring junior officer. This was during the final phase of Operation Desert Shield, the buildup to Desert Storm, the first Iraq War, which kicked off the next month. Guys really looking to promote up were out in the fleet or elsewhere in the Middle East, most typically Saudi Arabia. Mitchie-boy was in the rear with the beer. Myself, I was more than happy to be at a small Naval facility in the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia-North Carolina state line at the time.

I guess what I really wonder is didn’t he think someone out here wouldn’t recognize his fitreps for what they are? They’re simply attestations that he spent some time at a particular command on annual training and managed not to incur the wrath of the Chain of Command.

How do I know all this? I was in the Navy from 1973 to 2006, both as an enlisted sailor and as an officer. Not so long after Wade’s visitation there, I also served at that very same JCS/J2, only for two years, not two two-week training periods. I’ve seen more than a few Mitch Wades in my time.

You can read his full comment here. And here’s another comment from someone who knows quite a bit about Wade’s charitable venture,  the Sure Foundation:

I notice Mitchell Wade’s attorneys left the Sure Foundation off the list of his good deeds. It only took fourteen directors and four advisors to spend a grand total of $390k on the Sure Foundation’s “worldwide projects” over a four-year period.I wonder what happened to the $100k grant for Marion Barry’s wife, Effie, to promote art for children in DC.

As far as I know, no one ever questioned why the Sure Foundation sponsored a White House Fellows trip to an Irish resort which was advertised on the official White House website. The trip was supposed to be for orphans but I don’t know how many orphans, if any, ever made it to camp.

Two former directors and one former deputy chief of staff of the Defense Intelligence Agency served on the foundation’s board of directors and the president was the head of an obscure, loosely monitored, give-away program at the Department of Energy.

I’m “sure” they all enjoyed a lovely day of racing and picknicking at the Foxfield Races in Charlottesville and the “elegant and lively black-tie gala” held in the garden at historic Seven Oaks Farm in Greenwood that followed.

And I’m “sure” the taxpayers picked up the tab for this so-called charitable event.

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