Aboard a C-130 over Fort Bragg all paratroopers are equal, except the jumpmasters who oversee the jump.
That's the way an airborne operation is supposed to be, Fort Bragg officials said. But in practice, an Army report found that jumpmasters on Fort Bragg often felt intimidated by those higher in rank, leading to preferential treatment for higher ranking soldiers in the 18th Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division.
Leaders said they are fighting that perception and working to make airborne operations safer following the death of a colonel during a jump on post in September 2013.
A special investigation into a VIP culture found evidence supporting such an atmosphere. The special investigation was ordered by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno after the investigation into the death of Col. Darron Wright.
Investigators spoke to hundreds of Fort Bragg paratroopers, conducted surveys and interviews, and observed training as part of the follow-up.
The majority of those surveyed said a VIP culture exempted "high-ranking individuals from institutionalized procedures that apply to the rest of the airborne population" and "enabled much of the trouble described" in the report following Wright's death.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/military/inquiry-following-colonel-s-death-notes-vip-culture-at-fort/article_55bfee45-0bb3-519e-9689-5074e98f1c5c.html
Behind the byline
Here's an inside look at how some of my favorite stories came together.
All Bergdahl Beyonce Civilian In The Barracks Ebola Enterprise Green Beret Hearing Humanitarian Mission Hurricane Relief Inactivation Iraq ISIS Mall Gunman Operation Toy Drop President Obama Profiles Public Records Realignment Short-notice Deployment Training Deaths Training Exercises VA Videos