Killian Memo Has Wrong Deadline, Cites Wrong Regulation

Here is the text of the the May 1972 memo that is purportedly from Bush's Texas Air National Guard commander, Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian:

111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
P.O. Box 34567
Houston, Texas 77034

04 May 1972

MEMORANDUM FOR 1st Lt. George W. Bush, 5000 Longmont .8,

Houston, Texas 77027

SUBJECT: Annual Physical Examination (Flight)

1. You are ordered to report to commander, 111 F.L.S., Ellington AFB, not later than (NLT) 14 May, 1972 to conduct annual physical examination (flight)IAW AFM 35—13.

2. Report to 111th F.L.S. administrative officer for schedule of appointment and additional instructions. Examination will be conducted in duty status.

(Signature)

JERRY B. KILLIAN
Lt. Colonel
Commander

Besides the typographical problems that many have already raised, there are some questions as well about the memo's actual content.
 
For one thing, the proper authority Lt. Colonel Killian should have cited to remind Lt. Bush of his duty to undergo an annual medical examination would have been AFM 160—1. AFM 160—1 contains the actual schedule and other requirements about these medical exams.
 
Indeed, for this we have not less an authority than the Kerry campaign's website:

Para 2—29m, AFM 35—13: 'When a Rated Officer Fails To Accomplish a Medical Examination Prescribed by AFM 160—1 [emphasis added] ...(1)The local commander who has authority to convene a Flying Evaluation Board will direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination. After reviewing the findings of the investigation, the local commander may convene a Flying Evaluation Board or forward through command channels a detailed report of the circumstances which resulted in the officer's failure to accomplish a medical examination, along with a recommendation that the suspension be removed. (2) The individual's major command will forward the report along with the command recommendation to USAFMPC/DPMAJD, Randolph AFB TX 78148 for final determination.'

But according to the AFM 160—1 Bush (like practically everyone else in the Air Force National Guard at the time), was required to get a medical examination every year within 3 months preceding birthday.

President George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946. So according to the controlling authority (AFM 160—1) he had a window from April 6, 1972 until July 6, 1972 to get his "medical."

But his Lt. Colonel is made out to be entirely ignorant of such details: "You are ordered to report to commander, 111 F.L.S., Ellington AFB, not later than (NLT) 14 May, 1972 [emphasis added] to conduct annual physical examination (flight)IAW AFM 35—13."
 
So not only does the author of this memo cite the wrong authority(AFM 35—13 as opposed to AFM 160—1), he gets the deadline for Lt. Bush's examination wrong. The deadline would have been July 6th, as opposed to May 14th.

It is difficult to believe that anybody——let alone a Lt. Colonel ——would not know the proper regulations to cite. It is also hard to believe he would not know the proper deadlines for such an annually occurring requirement. And of course he would have had ready access to Bush's date of birth.
 
More generally speaking, there are other things in this and the other memos that should give us pause, especially when compared to the Kerry campaign's website and its complaints about Bush's National Guard record.


For instance, we know from the authentic NG records that Lt. Bush was suspended via verbal orders.

And yet we are to believe that a Lt. Colonel would take the time to artfully (centered letterhead) type out a memo to order a pilot to take his routine annual "medical"——and that his commander would bother to type it personally.

One would hope that Lt. Colonels in the National Guard would have had better things to do with their time than to give written orders to pilots about such mundane minutia.
 
A cynical person might go so far as to wonder if this material wasn't largely inspired by some of the questions raised on Kerry's aforementioned campaign website, where they delve into this very subject in closely tracking language.

FACT: Bush Was Suspended From Flight Duty For Failing To Take Mandated Medical Exam.

On September 29, 1972, Bush was officially suspended from flying for missing his annual medical examination. The orders note that Bush's suspension is authorized under the guidelines presented in Air Force Manual 35—12 Para 2—29m, which reads that Bush's local commander 'will direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination.' [Aeronautical Orders, Number 87, 29 Sept 72; AFM 35—13, Para 2—29m] Where Are The Complete Results Of The Required Investigation Into Bush's Absence From The Exam?

FACT: The order suspending Bush from flight duty stated: 'Verbal orders of the Comdr on 1 Aug 72 suspending 1STLT George W. Bush...from flying status are confirmed...Reason for Suspension: Failure to accomplish annual medical examination. Off will comply with para 2—10, AFM 35—13. Authority: Para 2—29m, AFM 35—13. 
 
A suspicious person might wonder if the author picked up on the remark in Bush's records that his suspension was done verbally and went wild with the idea.
 
For you will notice in another of these purported memos, dated 01 August 1972, how its author is careful to state that everything was done verbally——and even though his recommendations "were received" there was no confirmation.
 
Notice how nicely the wording supplies exactly what the Kerry camp was asking for:

111 th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
P.O. Box 34567
Houston, Texas 77034

01  August  1972

Memorandum FOR RECORD

SUBJECT:   Bush,  George W.  Ist  Lt.3244754FG

Suspension of Flight status

1.  On  this  date  I ordered  that  1st  Lt. Bush  be  suspended  from flight  status  due  to  failure  to  perform to USAF/TexANG  standards and failure to meet  annual physical  examination (flight) as  ordered.

2.  I  conveyed  my  verbal  orders  to  commander, 147th Ftr Intrcp Gp  with request  for  orders  for suspension  and  convening  of a flight review  board IAW AFM  35—13.

3.  I recommended  transfer  of this  officer  to  the 9921 st Air Reserve Squadron in May  and forwarded his AF Form 1288  to  147 th Ftr Intrcp Gp headquarters.   The transfer  was  not  allowed. Officer has  made no  attempt  to  meet  his training certification  or flight physical.   Officer expresses desire to  transfer  out  of state  including  assignment  to non—flying  billets.

4.   On  recommendation  of Harris,  I  also suggested  that  we  fill  this  critical  billet  with  a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots  that have  rotated.   Recommendations   were received  but not  confirmed.

[signed]

Such coincidences might make a cynical person even go so far as to wonder if the Kerry camp wasn't involved in the creation of these memos.
 
But I'm sure CBS News will investigate the provenance of these memos so carefully that all will be revealed to everyone's satisfaction——even the most cynical among us.

UPDATE: Several readers have kindly pointed out that then, as now, it was customary to allow a grace period for undergoing medical examinations until the end of the birth month. That would be the effective deadline in Bush's case, would have been July 31, 1972.
 
Such a a practice probably came about because the paperwork for such mundane things is batch processed at the beginning of each month.
 
This comports with the actual record, as Bush was suspended by Killian on August 1, 1972, along with another pilot, who was probably also born in July, and who was also probably not intending to fly in the foreseeable future.
 
It should also be noted that CBS News trumpeted these bogus memos to buttress the long—standing charge that Bush refused a direct order from his commanding officer. Indeed this was dutifully picked by the rest of the Democrat press, as in this headline from the Associated Press which appeared (and still appears) in countless media outlets:
 
Memos State Bush Failed To Meet Standards, Refused Direct Order 

However we now know that this alleged order cites the wrong authority and a deadline off by two and a half months. So even in the extremely unlikely event it was ever issued, Bush was well within his rights to ignore an illegal order.
 
But of course none of this actually happened, except in the imagination of the forger of these documents —— much to the chagrin of CBS, the AP and their allies in the realm of politics.

Here is the text of the the May 1972 memo that is purportedly from Bush's Texas Air National Guard commander, Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian:

111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
P.O. Box 34567
Houston, Texas 77034

04 May 1972

MEMORANDUM FOR 1st Lt. George W. Bush, 5000 Longmont .8,

Houston, Texas 77027

SUBJECT: Annual Physical Examination (Flight)

1. You are ordered to report to commander, 111 F.L.S., Ellington AFB, not later than (NLT) 14 May, 1972 to conduct annual physical examination (flight)IAW AFM 35—13.

2. Report to 111th F.L.S. administrative officer for schedule of appointment and additional instructions. Examination will be conducted in duty status.

(Signature)

JERRY B. KILLIAN
Lt. Colonel
Commander

Besides the typographical problems that many have already raised, there are some questions as well about the memo's actual content.
 
For one thing, the proper authority Lt. Colonel Killian should have cited to remind Lt. Bush of his duty to undergo an annual medical examination would have been AFM 160—1. AFM 160—1 contains the actual schedule and other requirements about these medical exams.
 
Indeed, for this we have not less an authority than the Kerry campaign's website:

Para 2—29m, AFM 35—13: 'When a Rated Officer Fails To Accomplish a Medical Examination Prescribed by AFM 160—1 [emphasis added] ...(1)The local commander who has authority to convene a Flying Evaluation Board will direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination. After reviewing the findings of the investigation, the local commander may convene a Flying Evaluation Board or forward through command channels a detailed report of the circumstances which resulted in the officer's failure to accomplish a medical examination, along with a recommendation that the suspension be removed. (2) The individual's major command will forward the report along with the command recommendation to USAFMPC/DPMAJD, Randolph AFB TX 78148 for final determination.'

But according to the AFM 160—1 Bush (like practically everyone else in the Air Force National Guard at the time), was required to get a medical examination every year within 3 months preceding birthday.

President George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946. So according to the controlling authority (AFM 160—1) he had a window from April 6, 1972 until July 6, 1972 to get his "medical."

But his Lt. Colonel is made out to be entirely ignorant of such details: "You are ordered to report to commander, 111 F.L.S., Ellington AFB, not later than (NLT) 14 May, 1972 [emphasis added] to conduct annual physical examination (flight)IAW AFM 35—13."
 
So not only does the author of this memo cite the wrong authority(AFM 35—13 as opposed to AFM 160—1), he gets the deadline for Lt. Bush's examination wrong. The deadline would have been July 6th, as opposed to May 14th.

It is difficult to believe that anybody——let alone a Lt. Colonel ——would not know the proper regulations to cite. It is also hard to believe he would not know the proper deadlines for such an annually occurring requirement. And of course he would have had ready access to Bush's date of birth.
 
More generally speaking, there are other things in this and the other memos that should give us pause, especially when compared to the Kerry campaign's website and its complaints about Bush's National Guard record.


For instance, we know from the authentic NG records that Lt. Bush was suspended via verbal orders.

And yet we are to believe that a Lt. Colonel would take the time to artfully (centered letterhead) type out a memo to order a pilot to take his routine annual "medical"——and that his commander would bother to type it personally.

One would hope that Lt. Colonels in the National Guard would have had better things to do with their time than to give written orders to pilots about such mundane minutia.
 
A cynical person might go so far as to wonder if this material wasn't largely inspired by some of the questions raised on Kerry's aforementioned campaign website, where they delve into this very subject in closely tracking language.

FACT: Bush Was Suspended From Flight Duty For Failing To Take Mandated Medical Exam.

On September 29, 1972, Bush was officially suspended from flying for missing his annual medical examination. The orders note that Bush's suspension is authorized under the guidelines presented in Air Force Manual 35—12 Para 2—29m, which reads that Bush's local commander 'will direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination.' [Aeronautical Orders, Number 87, 29 Sept 72; AFM 35—13, Para 2—29m] Where Are The Complete Results Of The Required Investigation Into Bush's Absence From The Exam?

FACT: The order suspending Bush from flight duty stated: 'Verbal orders of the Comdr on 1 Aug 72 suspending 1STLT George W. Bush...from flying status are confirmed...Reason for Suspension: Failure to accomplish annual medical examination. Off will comply with para 2—10, AFM 35—13. Authority: Para 2—29m, AFM 35—13. 
 
A suspicious person might wonder if the author picked up on the remark in Bush's records that his suspension was done verbally and went wild with the idea.
 
For you will notice in another of these purported memos, dated 01 August 1972, how its author is careful to state that everything was done verbally——and even though his recommendations "were received" there was no confirmation.
 
Notice how nicely the wording supplies exactly what the Kerry camp was asking for:

111 th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
P.O. Box 34567
Houston, Texas 77034

01  August  1972

Memorandum FOR RECORD

SUBJECT:   Bush,  George W.  Ist  Lt.3244754FG

Suspension of Flight status

1.  On  this  date  I ordered  that  1st  Lt. Bush  be  suspended  from flight  status  due  to  failure  to  perform to USAF/TexANG  standards and failure to meet  annual physical  examination (flight) as  ordered.

2.  I  conveyed  my  verbal  orders  to  commander, 147th Ftr Intrcp Gp  with request  for  orders  for suspension  and  convening  of a flight review  board IAW AFM  35—13.

3.  I recommended  transfer  of this  officer  to  the 9921 st Air Reserve Squadron in May  and forwarded his AF Form 1288  to  147 th Ftr Intrcp Gp headquarters.   The transfer  was  not  allowed. Officer has  made no  attempt  to  meet  his training certification  or flight physical.   Officer expresses desire to  transfer  out  of state  including  assignment  to non—flying  billets.

4.   On  recommendation  of Harris,  I  also suggested  that  we  fill  this  critical  billet  with  a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots  that have  rotated.   Recommendations   were received  but not  confirmed.

[signed]

Such coincidences might make a cynical person even go so far as to wonder if the Kerry camp wasn't involved in the creation of these memos.
 
But I'm sure CBS News will investigate the provenance of these memos so carefully that all will be revealed to everyone's satisfaction——even the most cynical among us.

UPDATE: Several readers have kindly pointed out that then, as now, it was customary to allow a grace period for undergoing medical examinations until the end of the birth month. That would be the effective deadline in Bush's case, would have been July 31, 1972.
 
Such a a practice probably came about because the paperwork for such mundane things is batch processed at the beginning of each month.
 
This comports with the actual record, as Bush was suspended by Killian on August 1, 1972, along with another pilot, who was probably also born in July, and who was also probably not intending to fly in the foreseeable future.
 
It should also be noted that CBS News trumpeted these bogus memos to buttress the long—standing charge that Bush refused a direct order from his commanding officer. Indeed this was dutifully picked by the rest of the Democrat press, as in this headline from the Associated Press which appeared (and still appears) in countless media outlets:
 
Memos State Bush Failed To Meet Standards, Refused Direct Order 

However we now know that this alleged order cites the wrong authority and a deadline off by two and a half months. So even in the extremely unlikely event it was ever issued, Bush was well within his rights to ignore an illegal order.
 
But of course none of this actually happened, except in the imagination of the forger of these documents —— much to the chagrin of CBS, the AP and their allies in the realm of politics.