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Clash of Opinions on Marine Stories

May 26, 1991

The current scandal at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is one of many continuing problems that have existed in the military for more than 200 years. Misuse of government equipment will not stop or even fade away.

The problem persists because senior officers ask junior officers for special favors, and it places the junior officers in an unusual situation. The careers of junior officers are in the hands of senior officers that expect these special favors.

Americans can understand the need for inspection trips and also flying time to maintain a person's proficiency. It is those unusual trips that have the appearance of personal pleasure at government expense with limited justification and explanation that will cause Americans to question the need and judgment of those involved.

It is now up to Corps Inspector Gen. Hollis Davison to sort things out. In the meantime, Brig. Gen. Wayne T. Adams, who has been reassigned to Virginia, has refused to allow Col. Joseph E. Underwood access to Marine bases except for a few special places. This seems rather petty and totally out of character for what we expect of a U.S. Marine Corps brigadier general.

Inspector Gen. Davison's successful investigations will go a long way toward erasing the scandal from the Marine Corps. We all look forward to reading his final report.

PHILIP W. JENNINGS, Garden Grove

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