Note: This is a working draft for comment and is part of the AWOL Project, a series of online articles examining the military records of George W. Bush from the perspective of the Federal statutes, Department of Defense (DoD) regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures concerning that military service. (Before linking to anything on this site, please read http://www.glcq.com/me.htm )
Please direct your comments, correction, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARPC, & THE 50 POINT BIG LIE
Within hours after being notified (and shown the proof—see Appendix 1) that the website contained egregiously erroneous information, APRC took down the web page with no explanation.
But the deliberate distortion of Bush’s military service predates the posting of false information on the ARPC website. In October 2000, an Air Force major working in the Public Affairs Department of ARPC declared that APRC officials had examined Bush’s records, and found that Bush had met his “minimum drill requirements. When this same officer was contacted at ARPC earlier this year in a attempt to determine the criteria used by ARPC, he attempted to provide the same false information that appears on the web site. When its erroneous nature was pointed out to him, he accused the caller of “trying to get me to say that Bush was AWOL,” when in fact all the caller wanted to know was the criteria used by ARPC. This major promised to look into the subject, but has not returned calls since that time. (see below)
(Note: for a fuller explanation of the Big Lie, see Albert Lloyd, the Media, and the 50 Point Big Lie Part 1.)
For the past four years, the Bush campaign and the Bush administration have been promulgating a very big lie, that Bush was only required to get 50 “points” per retirement year to fulfill his obligations to the United States Armed Forces. This lie was apparently originally perpetrated by Albert Lloyd, a former Texas Air National Guard official who was personally involved in Bush’s military career, and who was appointed by the Bush campaign in 1999 to figure out a way to explain Bush’s failure to fulfill his obligations.
In fact, there was no requirement for Bush to get 50 points per retirement year. Although there is a provision that commissioned officers needed to get 50 points per year to remain in “active status”, that minimum requirement did not apply to Bush because he had an unfulfilled six year Military Service Obligation (MSO), and Guardsmen with an unfulfilled MSO remained in “active status” regardless of how many points they accumulated per retirement year.
Instead, Bush was required, by statutory and regulatory law and Air Force policy, to attend 12 weekends of scheduled “inactive duty” training with his unit in Texas, as well as 15 additional days of “active duty” training. And, as an F102 pilot, he was also required to perform additional “inactive duty” periods of flight training.
Yet, until very recently, the only major media outlet that has even mentioned Bush’s real training requirements has been the Boston Globe, which reported the existence of the real requirements last February. However, the Globe also allowed Lloyd to present the 50 point big lie as fact, without rebuttal in that article.
The Globe has recently made it clear that Bush was obligated to fulfill the training requirements found in the law, and a number of other mainstream outlets, such as US News and World Report, are following suit. Unfortunately, however, incompetent mainstream reporters, such as James Rainey, Stephen Braun and Ralph Vartabedian of the Los Angeles Times, continue to provide legitimacy to the 50 point Big Lie, and when shown evidence that the requirement they cite does not exist, refuse to make corrections. Even supposedly non-partisan websites like Factcheck.org have gone out of their way to promote the big lie, going so far as to selectively edit a quote from the February Globe article cited above to support the administration’s claims.
The statement that “Air Force Regulations only mention a R/R
training requirement” is not only false, but obviously so. Table 3-1 of The Air Reserve
Forces Training Manual (AFM 35-3) makes it abundantly clear that the training
requirement was based on the fiscal year, and not on a “retention/retirement”
year. This table was published on June
1, 1970. It is also clear that the
fiscal year training requirement has a statutory basis [10 USC 275(b)] which
the person who composed this web page chose to deliberately distort and ignore
(A Unit Training Assembly is a mandatory scheduled four hours period of “drill or instruction” performed with one’s unit. UTA weekends were scheduled once a month, and each weekend consisted of four UTAs, two on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Additional Flight Training Periods were additional training periods required of those whose assigned job included flying. As an F102 pilot, Bush was required to attend not just his UTAs, but also perform a specified number of AFTPs each fiscal year.)
(a) Except as
provided in subsection (b), for the purpose of determining whether a person
is entitled to retired pay under section 12731
of this title, the person’s years of service are computed by adding the
following: (1) The person’s
years of service, before July 1, 1949, …. (2) Each one-year
period, after July 1, 1949, in which the person has been credited with at
least 50 points on the following basis:….
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), for the purpose of determining whether a person is entitled to retired pay under section 12731 of this title, the person’s years of service are computed by adding the following:
(1) The person’s years of service, before July 1, 1949, ….
(2) Each one-year period, after July 1, 1949, in which the person has been credited with at least 50 points on the following basis:….
The citation of this statutory provision shows the length to which the author of this piece was willing to engage in intellectually dishonest behavior. The issue of training requirements is applicable to all Guardsmen and Reservists, not just commissioned officers. Yet the author uses a provision that was intended to apply solely to the “Retention and Promotion” of commissioned officers to “prove” a point about training requirements for all Guardsmen and Reservists.
It is this same phrase, “satisfactory participation” and its variants (“unsatisfactory participation”, “satisfactory performance”) that occurs throughout the Code of Federal Regulations and Air Force policy and procedure manuals, to define training requirements.
Whoever wrote this page, and authorized it to be posted, clearly did so with the intention to mislead. Not only did the author ignore the fact that Air Force Regulations establishing a “fiscal year” training requirement exist well before 1978, he went out of his way to distort the nature and intent of the statutory provisions he cites. Given that the “big lie” being told here is the exact same one that was told by the Bush campaign in 2000, and given that this page was published on the ARPC website less than five months after Bush was sworn into office, it is difficult to believe that the distortions and lies are unconnected to Bush taking control of the Federal government.
APRC took down the web page within hours of being notified of its completely inaccurate nature (see Appendix 1). ARPC has promised an investigation of the matter, but would make no further comment as of this writing.
“Major Thomas A. Deall, a spokesman for the Air Reserve
Personnel Center in Denver, said last week that officials there now believe
that after looking at Bush's records, he met minimum drill requirements
before his discharge.”
“Major Thomas A. Deall, a spokesman for the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, said last week that officials there now believe that after looking at Bush's records, he met minimum drill requirements before his discharge.”
This story raises a number of questions regarding political
corruption of ARPC.
1) Who ordered/directed that Bush’s records be reviewed, and why?
2) How was this review conducted, and by whom?”
3) What criteria were used to determine that Bush had “met his minimum drill requirements?
In an effort to get answers to these questions, I called the APRC spokeman named in the article, Thomas A. Deall. Since 2000, Deall has received promotions in rank (to Lt. Colonel), and it turns out that Deall was not just a spokesman, but Chief of Public Affairs for all of ARPC. And, as it turns out, ARPC’s “Public Affairs” office is responsible for the ARPC website.
So, on September 1, 2004, I called Lt. Col. Deall to find out about the “review” of Bush’s records. Below is an excerpt from an email I wrote to a reporter immediately after that phone call…
I wanted to find out what criteria was used for
"minimum drill requirements". Lets put it this way....
according to Deall, there were none. He tried the "good year
for retirement" but when I pointed out to him that NO ONE was required to
get a "good year" he backed off on that, and went to the "he was
a mobilization asset" argument---i.e. that as long as Bush remained a
member of the Ready Reserve, he had met his minimum
requirements. (basically, he was saying that it would have been OK
if Bush didn't train at all if he was classified as a "reinforcement
designee"--those were the people who had served in the active component
for a few years, then went into the "reserves" but did not have to
train, but could be mobilized on an order from the President.) Then
I pointed out that Bush was placed in an Inactive Status effective September
15, 1973, and was no longer IN the Ready Reserve.
And he tried to hit me with the bullshit about the "Inactive Reserves", which I disabused him of immediately.
Finally, he tried telling me that the people who were on the "Inactive Status List Reserve Section" were considered "mobilization assets"....and they weren't. The term "molization asset" is not found in any of the regulations or laws that I've seen...there are "mobilization augmentees" but those folks are all SELECT RESERVES (ready reservists who train).
He kept insisting that I wanted him to say that Bush was AWOL, and I kept telling him NO, all I wanted him to do what tell me what criteria was used to determine that Bush had met his "minimum drill requirements".
He then said he didn't know if he could find that out, because it was thirty years ago blah, blah blah....until I, of course, mentioned to him that four years ago, he was able to say that Bush met his "minimum drill requirements", and he must have had some basis for saying that....and that having done this task four years ago, it should be EASY to go back and do it again.
Basically, its OBVIOUS that ARPC never actually reviewed the requirements that existed back in 1972, and that Deall was talking out his ass the entire time
After I had pointed out to Deall that APRC had done the work in 2000, he did agree to look into the question, and call me back. He did not do so. He also did not return a call to the reporter I had written to. I called again, and left a message. No reply. And last Friday (October 8, 2004) I called again. This time, Deall refused to answer any questions about the review he said had been conducted by APRC in 2000, and referred all questions to the White House, even after I pointed out that I was asking about actions taken by ARPC itself pursuant to those records, and that the White House would not have that information.
Thus, the questions concerning the ARPC’s record review remain unanswered. Did it ever take place? If so, was it an official review? Or was it something that Thomas A. Deall cooked up on his own?
But there is no question that Lt. Col. Thomas A. Deall is now acting on behalf of the 2004 Bush campaign, rather than on behalf of the United States Armed Forces. Deall’s clearly dishonest and evasive answers, and his accusation that I was trying to get him to say the “Bush was AWOL”, demonstrate that he is using his position to promote Bush’s candidacy, and did so in 2000 as well.
Those interested in questioning Deall further about this “review” of Bush’s records can reach him at the ARPC’s Public Affairs office at 303 676 6515.
On Thursday, October 7, 2004, I discovered the APRC’s “Big Lie” web page. I wrote the following to the address found on that page:
I wish to point out a very significant error in the piece found at
http://arpc.afrc.af.mil/xp/JRFYvsRR.htm which states
--- Prior to 1978, the Air Force regulations only mentioned a R/R training
---- The annual training requirement was established by 10 U.S.C.
1002 (a) (redesignated as 10 U.S.C. 12642) and 1332 (a) (redesignated as 10
----- Both of these cites refer to a "50 point" requirement
"in any applicable yearly period" and "each one-year period"
Simply put, this is completely and absolutely false. I will refer you to
the Air Reserve Forces Personnel Manual from the early 1970's, Table 3-1,
Note 1, which makes it clear that
the training requirement was a fiscal year requirement, not an R/R year
(you can see the table itself at
http://www.glcq.com/regs/table3-1.pdf and you will note that it is dated
June 1, 1970)
Various other parts of this of this manual also make it clear that training
requirements were based on the fiscal year, such as table 16-3, which
requires that all substitute training for missed UTAs be performed "within
the same fiscal year".
You can also see the obvious evidence that training was tracked on a fiscal
year basis on the payroll records, which maintained a cumulative totals for
UTA and AFTP points earned each quarter for the "CUR FY" (Current Fiscal
Year) and "PREV FY" (previous fiscal year).
In fact, your statement regarding an annual training requirement being found
in 10 USC 12732 is false--- all that is contained in 12732 is a requirement
for POINTS to be earned in order to be credited with a "good year toward
retirement", and nowhere in that statute (or anywhere else, for that matter)
is there any REQUIREMENT that someone get a "good year toward retirement".
Please make the appropriate corrections on this page, because its obvious
that whoever wrote this did not do the proper research.
A few hours later, I received this reply.
Thanks for your input. We will look into this and make the necessary
corrections. This article was written a long time ago.
James R. Jenkins
Division of Plans and Policy
From: Herbertson Joe H GS-11 ARPC/XP
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 7:11 AM
To: Jenkins Jim R GS-11 ARPC/XPX
Subject: FW: Dual Training Requirements (FY vs. R/R)
Jimmy, this one is right up your alley,
Joe Herbertson GS-11
Directorate of Plans
Air Reserve Personnel Center
I responded by pointing out that “2001” is not a long time ago, and pointing out additional misrepresentations of the meaning of statutory law cited in the piece…
Dear Mr. Jenkins:
Thank you for your response (although the article could not have been written that long ago, since its dated June 1, 2001.)
One other thing that I did not point out is that the reference to 10 USC 1002 (renumbered 10 USC 12642) is also inappropriate in terms of a training requirement per se. It is really only a reference to maintaining "active status", and applies only to Commissioned Officers---and other provisions restrict that definition further to Commissioned Officers who have completed their MSOs. In fact, the only real significance that "active status" has is in terms of accruing time served toward the awarding of the 15 membership points each year. (Active status means you earn time toward points, Inactive status meant you don't, of course).
As such, the "status" question is really just an extension of the "retirement points" issue, and has nothing to do with required *training* per se.
Although I cannot speak with any authority with regard to what the question of "R/R year vs Fiscal Year" prior to the late sixties, I have spoken to people knowledgeable about the interpretation of statutory and regulatory law, and according to them when the word "year" is mentioned in the US Code or the Code of Federal Regulation, the default assumption is "fiscal year" unless some other "year" is specified. Insofar as the basis for the training requirements found in the statutes date back to 1916 (with regard to the National Guard) and that the essential requirements (48 "periods of inactive duty", and 15 days of "active duty per year), have remained unchanged during that time, my guess is that the "fiscal year" training requirement has existed for almost as long as state militias have been an official part of the United States Armed Forces as "The National Guard".)
(see notes for 32 USC 502 (1972 statues) found at
By early that afternoon (about 2PM EDT), I discovered that the “Big Lie” webpage had been removed, with no explanation. I did not hear back from Mr. Jenkins. When I called the next day, I was told that he was out of the office for the day, and that no further comment or explanation was available at that time.
 The Globe article said “The minimum annual requirement for National Guard service in 1972 was one weekend a month -- 24 days -- and 15 days of active duty -- the same basic requirement that exists today, Lieutenant Colonel Coennie Woods of the National Guard Bureau said in an interview.” FactCheck.org ignored the 24 day “inactive duty” training requirement, and wrote “The newspaper said Guardsman are required to serve 15 days of active duty to meet training requirements.” Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who is the Director of the organization which runs Factcheck.org, gets a great deal of newspaper and television exposure commenting on issues like press coverage of Bush’s military service. The selective editing of the Globe quote was brought to her attention, but no changes were made to the site.
 The linked file is a screenshot of the page in question. A cached version of the same page can be found at
 originally, the “fiscal year” provision was included in 50 USC 1009.