Col. Thomas Jackman, former head of the Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing, left his post after just one year in command back in 2015. Now, a new report alleges that his rapid dismissal came as a result of the combat veteran’s abuse of his rank and privileges. Namely, Jackman is accused of taking an F-16 Fighting Falcon on a thinly veiled romantic getaway to Washington D.C.
The report comes from a website called VTDigger as a part of a series they claim will shine a light on “allegations that male officials have mistreated women, have abused alcohol and have been given preferential treatment by superiors,” in the Vermont Air National Guard. According to the report, VTDigger gained access to the retired colonel’s e-mail correspondence with the woman in question, a female U.S. Army Colonel they have opted not to identify, and were able to further substantiate their claims through sources within the command that have chosen to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. According to the website:
When Jackman’s superiors found out about his assignation with the Army colonel, they were quick to take action, according to a former Guard member with knowledge of the investigation that followed. All documents and information concerning Jackman’s excursion to Washington were personally handed to Brig. Gen. Joel Clark, the Guard’s chief of staff, while Jackman was in Washington.
Jackman was ordered to fly home on a commercial flight, three former members said. Moultroup then traveled from Burlington to Washington to pick up Jackman’s F-16 and fly it home.
There was no official Vermont Air National Guard release when Jackman was removed from his role and replaced by Col. Patrick “Pig” Guinee, who has also since retired. This would seem to substantiate VTDigger’s claims to some extent, seeing as the appointments of both Jackman and Guinee’s later replacement both received video and written coverage from the branch.
Jackman was reportedly warned of impending administrative action to be taken against him, but was able to instead submit for retirement — allowing him to keep his full retirement pay and benefits without any punitive marks on his record.