Ken Delfino, US Navy, ret
Regarding USAFA NCLS speaker Scott Kirby:
I am a second generation United Air Lines (UAL) retiree with just over 32.5 years with the company. My father retired with 32 years, my stepmom with five years. Add 10 and 30 years with my two sisters and you have almost 110 years from our immediate family. Five cousins, two aunts and a wife added another 135 years total.
We were sales reps, a flight attendant, a station manager, an accountant, two secretaries, food services manager and THE corporate historian.
This speaks of LOYALTY and PRIDE in working for what was once a great airline.
When Dad got his start in 1955, then President Pat Patterson had an unofficial ‘family first” philosophy. When I started in 1969 and during the course of my career, I met and worked with many second generation employees. They set a great foundation and felt it incumbent upon ourselves to uphold what they built for us.
Unfortunately, changes in philosophies started showing its ugly head in the mid-late ’80s…after deregulation reared its ugly head.
The United Air Lines that I and my fellow retirees knew then is not the UAL of now and that’s a result of LEADERSHIP from both Kirby AND the Board of Directors which tolerates his actions.
When Dad started with UAL in 1955, there was no DEI program or anything close to it; neither was there one in 1969 when I was hired. Likewise with my relatives.
We earned our jobs if we passed our different training requirements and kept them if we maintained our respective job requirements.
There was a decent amount of us so-called ‘minorities’ in my particular sales department, Hispanics, Blacks and fellow Asians.
No DEI programs mandated that we hire blind, paraplegics, “developmentally disabled” or “people of color”.
United had one “Special Assistant to the President’. Some forward-thinking employee felt we needed a job where some would address needs of the disabled and who better to do that than a disabled person.
UAL hired Bob Sampson, a gentleman who suffered from Muscular Dystrophy which he had since a child. Bob held that position until he retired. I learned a lot from him and that no matter how bad things may be for you, things may be worse for someone else.
I was honored to have served on Academy Candidate committees for two congressmen, Democrat Vic Fazio (’88-’91) and Republican Doug LaMalfa (’11-’15). Pretty much all of the candidates had ‘back-up’ choices if they were not selected.
I was probably the ‘meanest’ of the committee when I pushed the candidates hard on their commitment after graduation.
I told them that many could sport a ring from Notre Dame, Princeton, USC and the like, but VERY FEW could wear the HARD-EARNED RING of an Academy grad.
This is by NO MEANS an insult to those who were commissioned from an ROTC program as a nephew did last spring and his younger brother will next spring. They started their commitments while in high school and all I can do now is support them through their careers.
I can no longer encourage the academies to anyone unless serious changes are made in our military leadership.
In my opinion, Lloyd should be fired for dereliction of duty and the new JCS Chairman should be brought up on charges of Conduct Unbecoming!
This was a lot of verbiage to say that Scott Kirby is NOT the kind of leader who should be inspiring future officers.
Scott Kirby’s morals and actions spit on the graves of true leaders at UAL—William ‘Pat’ Patterson, Eddie Carlson (whom Harvard Business School considers to have been one of the greatest business leaders of the 20th century) and Bob Sampson.
Perhaps I should include Captain Al Haynes whose skill and coolness under fire allowed 184 out of 296 people to walk away from the disastrous crash of United 232 in Sioux City, Iowa.
Some AFA administrator made a wrong choice to invite Kirby to speak to the cadets about ‘Leadership”…and fools approved the engagement.