138th Fighter Wing commander relieved of duty; relationship with subordinate cited
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 02, 2013
3/02/13 at 5:49 AM
The commander of Tulsa's 138th Fighter Wing was relieved of duty after five months as the unit's leader for admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
Col. Scott Rooks was named the Oklahoma Air National Guard unit's commander in August. Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, adjutant general for Oklahoma, accepted his resignation Jan. 7, and he was allowed to retire, said Lt. Col. Max Moss, a spokesman for the Oklahoma National Guard.
Rooks contacted Deering on Christmas Eve to inform him that he "had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an enlisted female member of his unit," Moss told the Tulsa World. The relationship was consensual, Moss said.
Relationships between officers and enlisted personnel violate Air Force Instruction 36-2909, which governs professional and unprofessional relationships between leaders and their subordinates.
Disciplinary action against the woman is possible. Moss did not release her name or position, citing privacy concerns.
Once the relationship was revealed, Deering suspended Rooks and launched an investigation into his actions. Brig. Gen. Glen Moore, assistant adjutant general for the Oklahoma Army National Guard, led the command-directed investigation, Moss said.
"The (investigation) focused on multiple events involving Col. Rooks and the enlisted airman in December 2012, and findings were made that Col. Rooks had violated regulations against unprofessional relationships and fraternization," Moss said.
Rooks met with Moore on Jan. 6, and the following day Rooks met with Deering and tendered his resignation. Moore's investigation was completed Jan. 8, Moss said.
"Additionally, the inspector general, Col. Francis Sherman, conducted an investigation," Moss said. "Based upon the statement in Col. Rooks' written resignation, his inappropriate relationship was substantiated."
Sherman is a federal officer who is independent of the Guard. An investigation is conducted by the inspector general into allegations of wrongdoing whenever the allegations involve an officer at the rank of colonel or above, Moss said.
He said it's vital for unit operations that unit leaders adhere to appropriate standards of conduct.
"The 138th Fighter Wing is a very professional, highly trained and close-knit unit," Moss said. "Loyalty, discipline and integrity are critical components of leadership and command that cannot be compromised."
After Rooks was suspended, Col. David Burgy assumed command of the 138th Fighter Wing. Burgy, a 25-year member of the U.S. Air Force, previously led the 138th Operations Group.
More than 1,200 Air National Guard members work at the Tulsa air base, located north of Tulsa International Airport. The unit, which maintains and operates F-16 fighter jets, was one of the last units to deploy to Iraq.
Original Print Headline: Leader of the 138th Fighter Wing was relieved of duty
Jerry Wofford 918-581-8310
Col. Scott Rooks: He was allowed to retire. The woman could face disciplinary action