The Air Force has identified the two airmen killed in Friday’s apparent murder-suicide shooting at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder, the commander of the 342nd Training Squadron at the 37th Training Wing at Lackland, and Technical Sgt. Steven D. Bellino, a pararescue student at the 342nd, were found dead by first responders, the 502nd Air Base Wing at Lackland said in a Saturday release.
An Air Force official said that Bellino is believed to be the alleged gunman.
“The 37th Training Wing mourns the loss of our airmen and family members,” wing commander Brig. Gen. Trent Edwards said in the release. “Our primary focus at this time is to take care of the family and the men and women who are grieving our losses. A tragedy of this type is felt by each and every member, but we will pull together to help our own.”
An insane story out of Lackland AFB in San Antonio this past Friday. Bear in mind, this story is continuing to develop, so take everything with a grain of salt. I’m repeating what we think we know so far from the Air Force Times and Washington Post.
A bit of background: The 342nd Training Squadron is where all of the prospective PJ, combat controller, SERE, and TAC-P are assigned immediately following boot camp. Air Force basic training takes place at Lackland AFB as well. So, once you graduate, you only have a short bus ride over to another, more isolated part of the base, which is called the Medina Annex. This is where the Pararescue’s 10-week indoctrination and selection takes place. The other guys do whatever little fam they do and and then are shipped off to their other units. This is how it worked when I was there, and it sounds like it’s fairly similar today.
Now read this from the Post:
Bellino, first identified by The Washington Post early Saturday afternoon, had previously worked for less than two years in the FBI, partly in the New York field office. It was not immediately clear how Bellino obtained the rank of technical sergeant, a mid-ranking enlisted airman, after serving in the Air Force for less than a year. But the Air Force does have a program that allows veterans with previous military experience to join the service full time to take specific jobs that are hard to fill, including pararescueman.
In a statement Saturday, the FBI said that Bellino was a special agent for less than two years when he resigned in May 2013.
Here’s that prior service fact sheet. It’s a pretty small program, accepting just 5o people in 2014.
Not to mention that Bellino was no spring chicken. He was 41, which is freaking ancient to go through one of the toughest military selections in the world. Of course, some guys are beasts. A guy in his mid-thirties was going through selection in our class and running sub-five-minute miles all day long. But that’s definitely the exception. Usually, the older guys are being sent through from the PJ National Guard and Air Force Reserve teams, who have their own pre-selection selection process.
This Bellino character sounds like a pretty squirrelly guy. When the first reports that he was “in the FBI” came out, it didn’t say he was a special agent or not, which they have confirmed now. That is crazy. He goes through all of the insane paperwork to become an FBI agent, and then chucks it after two years to go get drowned in a pool at indoc? Strange. Again, not unheard of. I was on a PSD team in Iraq with an ex-FBI agent. I asked him what the hell he was doing with us, and he shrugged and said it was more fun, and that being in the FBI sucked ass. So go figure.
Other reports are saying he was also a previously enlisted Army soldier. That is not at all confirmed, so stand by on that. But I’ve heard it from multiple sources. We will update the post as we hear new information.
During the struggle, the technical sergeant fired at the first sergeant but missed her as she fled. Schroeder then fought with the assailant and was shot three times in the arm before being shot in the head.
The account could not be confirmed by Air Force officials at Joint Base San Antonio, which is handling the case. The San Antonio Express-News asked to speak with someone from the command, but they declined to respond…
…(Chief Master Sergeant Matthew) Nugent, who commands the Tactical Air Control Party schoolhouse at Forbes Hall, did not return messages or an email. He announced Schroeder’s death to a TACP group on Facebook, telling them he wanted to “share the news on the loss of a great leader, officer … and friend.
“Lt Col William “Bill” Schroeder, commander 342 TRS, was killed yesterday by a disgruntled student who was being administered (nonjudicial punishment),” Nugent continued in the Facebook message. “Know that Bill went out swinging. He selflessly gave his life to protect our (first sergeant) and countless others who were in the building.”
The reporting indicated that Bellino was going to see the commander over some disciplinary issue, which is also curious to me. The commander of the 342nd was NOT directly involved in PJ selection, at least not when I was there. He was there more to handle the paperwork, and in-processing/out-processing. Kind of an administrator and figurehead for the school and the warrior ethos and all. But he isn’t the guy who is drowning you in the pool or making you run 20 goddamn miles.
Now, the 342nd commander WOULD get involved in an airman’s violation of Big Air Force rules. So was Bellino a fuck-up in general, and did something stupid like drink and drive, or bang someone’s wife, or what? It’s very strange that an older guy would be doing dumb shit and getting into trouble during selection. Normally, those are the guys who go to bed early and are there strictly to take care of business, not like a 19-year-old who wants to go to the club. Or was he getting flunked out of indoc and going to the commander’s office to outprocess? The commander seems like an odd figure to have so much hatred for, so much that a candidate would have murderous intentions toward him. Again, the commander isn’t part of the cadre, so none of this makes sense to me.
The stresses of going through the selection process are so intense, you can never say what will make a guy lose it. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when I first arrived at the Medina annex, the PJ candidates were doing a body search for a student who they found hanging by his belt in the woods. It’s a brutal thing. You can’t tell what’s going on in someone’s head at the end of the day. They can hide all of those feelings, all of those stresses that they have from the world, until one day they just snap. And people never see it coming.
A terrible day for the Air Force. There’s a lot more to come out on this one, I’m sure. We will stay on it.
***UPDATE***: Here is the fundraiser page for Lt. Colonel Schroeder. Please visit and consider a donation.
The Army’s first female infantry recruit, a 25-year-old police officer from Louisiana, will report to basic training next year.
Tammy Grace Barnett took the oath of enlistment Thursday at Military Entrance Processing Station Shreveport. She plans to serve in military occupational specialty 11X, one of a series of MOSs that opened to women April 1.
She’ll head to Fort Benning, Georgia, in June 2017 for basic training. The 14-month delay “is to allow the Army to properly prepare for new trainees by having trained female officers and [noncommissioned officers] in position,” Army Recruiting Battalion Baton Rouge public affairs chief Roger Harmon said via email. “This allows female soldiers the opportunity to attend training and serve in a MOS previously only available to male soldiers.”
WHY is the Army putting this shit out? This chick isn’t even going for over a YEAR. You know what can happen in a year? Jesus, at least wait until she graduates basic training before you start jizzing yourself over the Army’s “first infantrywoman.” Damn. Besides, I already told George Hand IV on Facebook that she may be preggo halfway through AIT anyway. We’ll see.
But first, do they have to have female OFFICERS, who have presumably graduated infantry training, to monitor the enlisted chicks as they go through? That right there tells you what a pre-destined scam this is. First, why do women enlisted trainees need to be supervised by women? Isn’t gender blindness the whole point of this crap-show?
Second, there is absolutely no guarantee they will have enough women officers who graduate infantry school in the first place. After all, not a single one has managed to make it through the Marines’ notoriously difficult Infantry Officer’s Course. So they really think within one year they’ll have a whole legion of knuckle-draggging death-dealer chick officers? I’m skeptical. And if there are, you can bet your bottom dollar that the infantry instructors will be told in no uncertain terms, “These women will pass this course,” no matter how much they botch it. Ah, who cares though. Vagina!
An E-4 and his dependa in front of me at NEX dropping 600$ on Beats Headphones. #FinancialLiteracyMonth
— BK (@BKactual) April 7, 2016
A Marine who serves as a chef to the Corps’ top general is in trouble for apparently saying on a reality TV show that he refuses to work with female Marines.
Sgt. Frank Cala, who cooks for Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, was eliminated on Friday’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” by show host Gordon Ramsay.
Cala appeared to blame the women on his team for being kicked off the show. In a video clip posted online, he says: “The Blue Team never had any drama until the females came aboard and that’s when the ship sunk. That’s exactly why I get [expletive] female Marines and I send them back wherever the [expletive] they came from.”
One U.S. Army veteran says he discovered a hand-written hate note on his car windshield Monday that has since gone viral after it was posted on Facebook.
Staff Sergeant Thomas Keane, who served in the U.S. Army for 24 years from 1990 – 2014 and was awarded a Purple Heart for his service, makes no secret of his passion for the U.S. military. The van upon which the note was left is decorated with military-themed bumper stickers, including one that states he served in Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War, and Keane’s family flies a military flag on the front porch of their St. Cloud, Minnesota home, according to KMSP-TV. Keane believes the note’s author targeted him because of his obvious support for the military.
Hmmm…St. Cloud, Minnesota? The numerous spelling and grammatical errors lead me to believe that this is perhaps an English learner. Maybe one of Minnesota’s numerous Somali residents resents Keane for waxing all of the skinnies in Mogadishu? Ah, I’m just speculating. Besides, seeing how goddamn dumb college students are these days, this could have just as easily been written by a super-earnest, white hippy hand-wringer.
Either way, Keane, don’t worry about it. Whoever it was isn’t fit to tongue-bathe your balloon knot after a twenty-mile hike. Contact us if you need support.
A former Navy SEAL who claimed to fire the shots that killed Osama bin Laden appeared “very confused at the scene” when he was arrested for DUI after being found asleep in his car, an official said today.
When authorities in Montana responded to a complaint of a man passed out in a car in a parking lot early Friday, they found former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill. They woke him up and noted that O’Neill seemed “impaired,” Butte-Silver Bow County Undersheriff George Skuletich told ABC News today.
O’Neill appeared to be “very confused at the scene,” Skuletich said. “He seemed like he was under the influence of something.”
Skuletich said O’Neill failed a sobriety test at the scene and refused to take any more DUI tests. Skuletich said O’Neill failed a second field sobriety test at the local jail.
This guy seems like a weird dude. I remember when his story first came out that he lost his benefits because he decided to get out with only a few years before 20. Obviously, if you don’t do 20 years, you don’t get shit. He could have spent two years running the gym at Coronado Island, kicking back and enjoying life, but he dropped all of it for…what? To sell a book? Weird.
I have respect for him, obviously, but he’s always doing strange shit. Just go home, O’Neill.
The Navy’s ultra-versatile P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has risen to all-star status both within the halls of the Pentagon and on the export market. It has been at the center of the search for MH370 and at the tip of the growing dispute over China’s man-made islands in the South China Sea. Now it has has made headlines once again, locating marooned men on a deserted island in the Pacific.
For nearly three days, the three men had been stranded on the Pacific island of Fanadik after their 19-foot skiff capsized. They had originally set out from Pulap island on April 4 and after they were thrown from their skiff, they swam through night before finding temporarily refuge on Fanadik island. Once there, they constructed a large “HELP” sign out of palm leaves on the deserted island’s small beach area, a move that likely saved their lives.
Those are some good survival skills, son! Great job by the Navy. Don’t sail a 19-foot-boat around the Pacific Ocean.
A man watering his lawn while naked was arrested after he allegedly threw a beer bottle at a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy before making threats with a knife on Wednesday, authorities said.
A deputy responded to the 400 block of Sixth Avenue Drive in Kingsburg around 7 p.m. after receiving a report of a nude man watering a yard. The subject, identified as 37-year-old Robert Lopez, was “known to be hostile toward law enforcement,” according to a news release from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Lopez emerged from the home less than a minute later, allegedly holding a knife with an eight-inch blade, according to the release.
He took 10 steps toward the deputy before being commanded to drop the weapon by the law enforcement personnel, who threatened to shoot Lopez if he didn’t comply with the order, the release stated.
Lopez dropped the knife, but then allegedly picked it up again and threw it at the deputy. The knife missed, hitting a fence instead, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
After throwing another beer bottle toward other deputies who had responded, an assisting deputy fired a bean bag round at him, the release stated. The round hit Lopez in the stomach.
This guy is lucky to be alive. And are those tattoos or just magic-marker drawings? @BKactual
*Brief News Roundup this week due to ops tempo. Back big next week.—BK