Dan Schnieders, LTC, US Army Retired
A retired Army LTC myself, I took great interest in LTC Vindman's testimony. In my last military assignment, I also often wore a business suit rather than my service uniform. There are no fixed rules on this. Questions regarding Vindman's uniform were probably more curiosity since he routinely wore civilian suits while performing NSC duties. Why shift gears and wear a uniform when called to testify? Does it give an aura of perceived credibility? That's my guess. Let's speak of Vindman's character. While I respect his service, only a self-righteous "priss" would call out anyone for referring to them as "Mr." Had it continued, perhaps, but Nunes did it once and his tone was hardly dismissive; "Mr." is hardly disrespectful. While Vindman's language skills and heritage may make him unique at NSC, I assure you LTCs are thick as thieves in the corridors of Washington defense/government. We are simply not as special as Vindman seems to view himself.
In testimony Vindman said: "The attacks I've had in the press and Twitter have kind of marginalized me as a military officer." I had to know more about him. Seems Vindman has had some issues with his loyalty being questioned before, like when he made fun of his adoptive nation to Russian army officers during a joint U.S.-Russia military exercise (Atlas Vision) in Germany in 2013. Vindman's exercise supervisor, Army LTC Jim Hickman (now retired) said: "After hearing him bash America a few times in front of subordinates, Russians and GS Employees, as well as hearing an earful about globalization, Obama's plan, etc., I'd had enough. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to step outside. At that point, I verbally reprimanded him for his actions, and I'll leave it at that, so as not to be unprofessional myself. The bottom line is LTC Vindman was a partisan Democrat at least as far back as 2012. So much so, junior officers and soldiers felt uncomfortable around him," Hickman said. "This is not your professional, field-grade officer, who has the character and integrity to do the right thing." Read more at centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2019/11/02/officer-recalls-how-ltc-vindman-ridiculed-americans-in-front-of-russian-officers/. Most officers can separate their politics from their duty. Vindman is not capable of that. He is not the man of character he purports to be.