GENERAL "BILLY" MITCHELL
1.This paper addresses the demonstration of General "Billy"
Mitchell's USAF core values of service before self and
integrity. General Mitchell displayed these core values in
the face of adversity. He was one of the few airmen who
knew the potential of the airplane and fought for his
beliefs, even at the cost of his own career.
2.General Mitchell exhibited great courage and placed his
service before himself during interservice rivalries
following World War I. Even though he knew that his views
would be greatly opposed, views that the Navy was obsolete,
the Army was not fully effective without an "air force",
and that the air service was an offensive force equal to
the other services, he presented his opinions to congress.
He challenged the Navy and proved the effectiveness of air
power by sinking Navy battleships. The General's defiance
and outspoken beliefs infuriated many leaders of the Navy
In 1925, his insistent attempts for a separate
air force resulted in a demotion to Colonel. Later that
year, the dirigible Shenandoah crashed. General Mitchell
blamed military leaders for "incompetence and criminal
negligence". This outcome of his accusations was his own
court martial on October 25, 1925.
3.General Mitchell represented integrity and perseverance
by continuing his crusade for a separate air force, despite
the setbacks he had endured. He met with public leaders
and tried to gain support for his campaign. He improved
his doctrine of air power, concepts and strategy, and he
published material supporting strategic bombing.
4.General Mitchell is a hero in USAF history. He
manifested the core values of the USAF to the highest
degree, reflecting great credit upon himself. His work
opened the eyes of many that were blind to the impending
importance of airpower...