Operation Gridiron’s Thomas Honored, Arizona House Calls On Mattis For Justice

Representative Bob Thorpe, former Air Force Academy cadet Eric Thomas, and Eric’s mother, Rosita Perez Walker.

Former Cadet Eric Thomas, who was instrumental in exposing sexual assaults at the United States Air Force Academy, was honored on the floor of the House of Representatives by Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe. Thomas, whose undercover work was key to the convictions of sexual predators in the Academy lead the Pledge of Allegiance before floor session on Wednesday.

Thomas was joined on the floor by his mother Rosita Perez Walker, who Rep. Thorpe described as a “proud woman who works tirelessly as a nurse and who will not allow us to give up the fight for her son’s future.”

Rep. Thorpe introduces Thomas to members on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives

“U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, and her Republican colleague, Senator John Thune, learned of Eric’s work and the price he has paid for it. They have discovered just how unwieldy the bureaucracy can be in their bipartisan fight for Mr. Thomas,” Thorpe told his colleagues. “Senators Gillibrand and Thune came to Eric’s defense when they learned that for his troubles, Eric’s dream of one day serving his country as a United States Air Force pilot was crushed by dishonest bureaucrats interested in preserving a broken system.”

Listen to Eric on the James T. Harris show

Thorpe referred his colleagues to an article by attorney Daisy Jenkins in the Huffington Post about Thomas entitled: “A Life Sentence for a Former Air Force Academy Cadet Who Helped Expose Sexual Assaults at the Academy? We Can’t Let that Happen!” Thorpe then stated, “We can’t let that happen to this young man whose work with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) protected women from sexual assault and brought to justice predators.”

“When Eric was a cadet in the United States Air Force Academy, he demonstrated great moral courage and wisdom beyond his years, to have the courage to protect his fellow students from sexual assaults,” said Thorpe in a press release. “I ask U.S. Secretary of Defense General James Mattis and U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson to restore Eric to his rightful place, so that he can graduate from the United States Air Force Academy and continue to serve his country as an airman.”

Thorpe received surprising bipartisan support for his letter. Cosigners include senators Peterson, Allen, Fann, Kerr, Kavanagh, and representatives Allen, Andrade, Barton, Bowers, Boyer, Campbell, Chavez, Clodfelter, Coleman, Cook, Dunn, Finchem, Hernandez, John, Kern, Lawrence, Livingston, Martinez, Mosley, Nutt, Payne, Peten, Rivero, Syms, Toma, Townsend and Udall.

The devil is in the details

According one OSI agent, there are generally two kinds of kids who end up as Confidential Informants (CI). The first and most common sort of CI is one that is trying to mitigate the consequences for their own bad acts. In return for more lenient treatment, they will inform on their classmates. The other sort, which is “very, very rare,” according to an OSI insider, sees criminal behavior and must act.

Special Agent Brandon Enos, who worked closely during the Operation, told the ADI that Thomas was one of the rare CIs. Thomas saw “heinous behavior, and did what he could to stop it,” Enos told the ADI.

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For his trouble, Thomas was betrayed and has since spent years being besmirched by a massive USAF Academy public relations crew.

In his floor speech, Thorpe said the “betrayal” of Thomas by USAF officials “has been covered by ABC’s Nightline, The New York Times, ESPN, Slate and the Colorado Gazette. Yet, the sunlight that should disinfect has only blurred the vision of our leaders. We can’t be blinded to this injustice.”

The injustice to which Thorpe refers is the decision by USAF Academy officials to disenroll Thomas from the Academy only weeks prior to graduation. At the time of is disenrollment, Thomas had already received his post-graduation job assignment; a coveted slot at Pilot School.

Later, an investigation by the Defense Department Inspector General found that former USAF Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould hindered the “Operation Gridiron” investigation. Military.com reported in 2016:

While clearing Air Force Academy leaders apart from Gould, the report ripped OSI agents at the school on several fronts.

The Office of Special Investigations is an agency that exists outside the influence of local commanders and is empowered to work independently. The report found that OSI was overly deferential to Gould, complying with his bar on interviewing coaches when they could have ignored the general.

“Our evaluation found a lack of documentation at all levels within AFOSI regarding the decision not to interview the football coach and the communications pertaining to the decision,” the report said. The inspector general also reviewed OSI handling of 56 drug and sexual assault cases — including 12 involving Falcons football players — initiated between 2011 and 2012.

“We determined that 32 had no deficiencies and 20 had minor deficiencies,” the report said. “Four drug investigations had significant deficiencies.”

Those investigations were tied to “Operation Gridiron” — a string of probes that started with tips from a cadet informant, Eric Thomas. Thomas was kicked out of the academy shortly before his planned graduation for demerits — minor disciplinary infractions.

Thomas has maintained that he picked up the demerits while complying with orders from OSI, but the agency refused to defend him at a disenrollment hearing.

This week, the Air Force turned back Thomas’ final appeal to be reinstated.

“Insufficient relevant evidence has been presented to demonstrate the existence of an error or injustice,” the Air Force Board for the Correction of Military Records found.

Thomas’ attorney Skip Morgan, a 1972 Air Force Academy graduate, said he wasn’t surprised.

“This whole thing has been a cover-up,” he said.

In other words, the Academy and Air Force leadership publicly and officially denounced any errors or wrong doing of injustice based mainly on the date of OSI engagement with Thomas. But after several years of claiming Thomas’s involvement with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) began on December 7, 2011 by Academy and Air Force officials, the Board of Corrections for Military Records’ report refutes the Academy’s long standing claim and correctly identifies the start of his engagement with OSI as on or about October 15, 2010.

The correct date and other relevant information was not known by Academy or Air Force officials prior Thomas’s disenrollment. Yet, the Board of Corrections for Military Records still found no “injustice” in Thomas’s disenrollment and concurred with the Academy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals also determined the start date was on or about October 15, 2010 and that Thomas was engaged with and directed by the OSI throughout the time and in matters directly resulting in demerits and his ultimate disenrollment.

It is unclear as to the source of the bureaucrats’ intransigence; whether it is simple stubbornness, a cover up, or a result of the confusion caused by the multiple different claims made about Thomas’ disenrollment by United States Air Force Academy officials.

One thing is certain, those officials have gone to great lengths to muddy the water and discredit Thomas. In a response to a 2014 article in The Gazette, which broke the Operation Gridiron story, officials wrote:

Eric Thomas was disenrolled from the Air Force Academy on 2 April 2013 for failing aptitude and conduct probation, excessive demerits, and a pattern of military misconduct. In fact, Mr. Thomas’ pattern of misconduct began in his freshman year and he accumulated a significant number of demerits, confinements, and restriction to base to December 2011. In fact, the demerits Mr (sic) Thomas accumulated for misconduct prior to his agreement to be a Confidential Informant exceeded the 200 demerit “threshold” noted by the Gazette article. In short, Mr. Thomas did not display the aptitude for service in the United States Air Force.

Yet, a review by the ADI of all available materials clearly shows that Thomas had only earned a total of 90 demerits prior to the OSI engagement.

Calling on Mattis

In his letter to Mattis and U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Thorpe calls for officials to “investigate, and hopefully, rectify an injustice dealt” to Thomas. The letter reads in its entirety:

Dear U.S. Secretary of Defense General James Mattis and U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson:

The below signed Arizona State Legislators call upon you to investigate, and hopefully, rectify an injustice dealt to an Arizona citizen, former Air Force Cadet Mr. Eric Thomas. Due to a lack of comprehensive knowledge surrounding the facts of his recruitment by the USAF Office of Special Investigations, and “Operation Gridiron,” Mr. Thomas was prejudicially disenrolled from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

For approximately 5-years, Mr. Thomas has patiently waited for the opportunity to discuss his case with Air Force officials. During this period, his story has been reported numerous times in print and television media, including ABC’s Nightline, The New York Times, ESPN, Slate and the Colorado Gazette, but so far it appears that Air Force authorities have not fully investigated his case. Democrat U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her Republican colleague, Senator John Thune also took a keen interest in his story and have personally advocated for Mr. Thomas.

The evidence strongly suggests that in 2013, Mr. Thomas was wrongly disenrolled due to his efforts with authorities to fight sexual assaults at the Academy. His efforts helped in securing the first conviction for sexual assault in over a decade at the Academy. In total, Mr. Thomas’ efforts helped to result in 3-sexual assault convictions (direct justice for roughly 8-known victims), the highest reporting rate to-date with over 50-victim cases, conducted over 25-victim cases of sexual assault, obtained multiple UCMJ and administrative actions for narcotic distribution / usage and effectively provided information regarding several other counter-intel cases. In short, Mr. Thomas demonstrated some of the highest moral convictions in helping to ensure that the Academy remains a safe and honorable institution.

With over 400 other cadets receiving denial requests, Mr. Thomas was offered a coveted pilot slot and was slated to begin his Air Force pilot training at Vance, AFB in March 2014. He was also given the opportunity to work at the Academy with Med Group Commander shortly after graduation. Mr. Thomas lost all of these honors and opportunities only 6-weeks before his graduation.

Since then, Mr. Thomas has been struggling not only be heard, but to also be readmitted to the Academy in order to finish his education and to pursue his Air Force career. He has yet to be afforded an opportunity to discuss his case with Air Force officials, in order to hopefully reverse this injustice. In fact, he was not contacted by any of his commanding officers prior to his disenrollment, rather, a non-commissioned officer told him of his disenrollment and gave him no opportunity to discuss or contest the action with his commanding officers.

It is very clear that the case against Mr. Thomas hinges upon one simple fact: the Office of Inspector General and the Board of Military Corrections did not reconcile the dates of his involvement as a “Confidential Informant.” Had those dates been reconciled, it would have been obvious that the overwhelming majority of his demerits – which formed the basis of disenrollment – occurred while working for the Office of Special Investigations.

Without the accurate dates, the number of demerits would suggest disenrollment. However, with the accurate dates, it is clear that Mr. Thomas did not earn enough demerits to warrant the “200” cadet career limit threshold of disenrollment:

• With accurate knowledge and connection of misconduct with OSI, Claxton and sexual assault incident: Career Demerits: 149

• Without accurate knowledge and connection of misconduct with OSI, Claxton and sexual assault incident: Total Demerits: 458

The below signed Arizona State Legislators humbly request that you and your staff fully investigate this matter, and hopefully, reinstate Mr. Thomas into the U.S. Air Force Academy with the opportunity to graduate and pursue his Air Force career.

Respectfully yours,
Bob Thorpe,
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 6

Cosigners: Senators Peterson, Allen, Fann, Kerr, and Kavanagh; Representatives Allen, Andrade, Barton, Bowers, Boyer, Campbell, Chavez, Clodfelter, Coleman, Cook, Dunn, Finchem, Hernandez, John, Kern, Lawrence, Livingston, Martinez, Mosley, Nutt, Payne, Peten, Rivero, Syms, Toma, Townsend and Udall.

Time is of the essence

Time is running out for Thomas. Soon he will be too old to train as a pilot. As Rep. Thorpe noted, Thomas has waited patiently – some would say naively – for the system he values to work.

He moved to Arizona at the behest of his mother, who had been told by Rep. Martha McSally that the only way she could be of assistance was if he were her constituent. Despite her office’s promises to assist the young man, staff has responded to his letters sporadically. When they do contact Thomas, it becomes clear that staff turnover has caused Thomas to once again fall through the cracks.

The game of musical office chairs seems to have played a role in the hurried and disjointed disenrollment and his latest attempts to secure congressional assistance.

Enos says that more than anything else, Thomas was a victim of bad timing. Those, who could have come to Thomas’ defense, were not where they should due to big egos and reassignments.

With the budget finally resolved and the denizens of the Hill settling back into their bureaucratic crawl, McSally’s staff should have time to focus on joining the fight for justice. However, with her laser-like focus on winning a Senate seat, few have confidence in her ability and willingness to take on the USAF in any meaningful way.

Women in blue

Thomas was received on the floor last week as the hero he is with one exception. A cynical legislator, who happens to be a National Guard pilot, approached Thomas and his mother and asked how others could trust him after he betrayed his brothers in “blue.” Thomas did not have time to respond before his mom answered; “the women he saved were in blue too.”

In the matter of Eric Thomas – USAFA
2010
Date Event Background Action DoD OIG Report BCMR Findings UCMJ Court of Appeals
10/15 Divide Incident 20 Demerits

Actual Career Demerits: 90

10/22 First Meeting with Special Agent Munson. Thomas and Munson discussed “Divide Incident.” Thomas met approximately twice with Special Agent Munson to provide information and receive directives/levies. Thomas is directed to “keep an eye out.” No Yes Yes
10/29 Thomas enters into first agreement to become a Confidential Informant (CI). Thomas first signs Declaration of Agreement. The first security form requires Thomas to agree not to discuss his engagement with anyone outside of OSI. This key information was denied/not acknowledged in the DoD OIG Report. No UNKNOWN Yes
11/3 Thomas provides written statement to Special Agent Munson No UNKNOWN Yes
11/15 Thomas is formally removed from conduct probation Actual Career Demerits: 90 Yes Yes N/A
2011
Date Event Background Action DoD OIG Report BCMR Findings UCMJ Court of Appeals
2/1 On or around this date, Thomas provides Special Agent Munson written documentation concerning [Name redacted], sexual assault victim [Victim’s Name Redacted] and the “Divide CO” party. Special Agent Munson provides information stating Claxton is a person of interest concerning sexual assaults(s). Tasked/directed Thomas to track and monitor Claxton. UNKNOWN UNKNOWN N/A
3/4 Claxton sexually assaults [Victim’s Name Redacted] . [Victim’s Name Redacted] decides to make “restricted report.”  USAFA did not know of this misconduct at the time of the incident. If it was discussed at the time of misconduct and OSI due diligence, USAFA would have known: the existence/directives of OSI, a sexual assault incident, Thomas would have immediately told the Squadron Commander of the presence of alcohol. Thomas would have stated that he did not know the female, that she was a freshman, tolerated a female behind closed doors and the Claxton case would’ve been investigated. 129 OSI Related Demerits

Total OSI Related Demerits: 219

Actual Career Demerits: 90

Total Demerits: 219

Yes No Yes
3/5 [Victim’s Name Redacted] makes restricted report to SARC. Thus, no investigation. UNKNOWN UNKNOWN Yes
3/8 Meeting with Special Agent Munson. Thomas explained Claxton incident. Munson directs/levies Thomas to closely monitor/track Claxton No action taken because of restricted report, no investigation. No UNKNOWN Yes
4/10 Form 10 – Smoking Hookah 40 OSI Related Demerits

Actual Career Demerits:120

Total Demerits: 249

Yes Yes N/A
8/4 Met Special Agent “Joe.” Thomas was asked for any information by “Joe.” Thomas had none to report. Thomas is instructed to continue Claxton directives and to call OSI with any information. No UNKNOWN Yes
8/13 Thomas signed out according to the CSP. Continued prior directives, followed Claxton. No incidents. Yes Yes N/A
9/10 Signed out according to the CSP. Thomas continued under prior directives, followed Claxton. No incidents occurred/to report. Yes Yes N/A
11/3 Failure to clean room 5 OSI Related Demerits

Actual Career Demerits: 125

Total Demerits: 254

Yes Yes N/A
11/4 Second Sexual Assault attack by Claxton was prevented by Thomas. Did not receive demerits at the time of the incident. Signed out and prevented the sexual assault of [Victim’s Name Redacted]. Thomas would not have received demerits for this incident if he had not provided a written statement (and been directed/tasked by OSI.) 70 OSI Related Demerits

Actual Career Demerits:125

Total Demerits: 324

No Yes Yes
11/4 Provided Claxton statement (only concerning the events of 11/4) and [Victim’s Name Redacted], (not March 2011 incident regarding [Victim’s Name Redacted]) to USAF Security Force. No Yes Yes
11/5 Signed out according to the CSP. Drove sexual assault victim, [Victim’s Name Redacted] home from the hospital. Yes Yes N/A
11/11 OSI requested meeting with Thomas. Thomas signed out according to CSP. Thomas had his first meeting with Special Agent Enos. Thomas provided a written statement concerning Claxton and the 11/4 incident. Thomas provided information on the Asher Clark incident of February 2011. Thomas was directed/levied for multiple targets of investigation. No Yes Yes
11/24 After learning about [Victim’s Name Redacted], [Victim’s Name Redacted] requests her sexual assault report be “unrestricted” to allow an investigation No Yes Yes
11/28 Thomas requested meeting with Special Agent Enos. Thomas signed out according to the CSP. Thomas provides information about the March 2011 incident concerning [Victim’s Name Redacted] and Claxton. No Yes Yes
11/28 Thomas’ documented involvement w/OSI date confirmed by OSI No Yes Yes
11/30 Thomas informs Special Agent Enos of upcoming cadet party on 12/2/11. Thomas is directed to attend the party. No No/Yes Yes
12/2 Thomas signs out according to CSP. Thomas has a pre-briefing w/Special Agent Enos concerning “roofies” party. Thomas is directed/levied to continue gathering information on multiple targets. Yes Yes N/A
12/3 Thomas signs out according to the CSP. Thomas provides information concerning “roofies” party. Thomas is directed/levied to watch multiple targets. Thomas rewrites Claxton statement, as directed, to include both the 11/4 and 3/4/11 incidents on single document. No Yes Yes
12/3 -4 Initiation of Operation Gridiron OSI opens investigation after being informed that multiple cadets have used marijuana, synthetic marijuana, Ketamine and Rohypnol. Investigation involves over 30 cadets. Yes Yes N/A
12/7 Thomas signs out according to the CSP. Signed second Declaration of Agreement and second Security Documentation. Key date of discussion: According to USAFA leadership and various investigative reports, 12/7/11 is the date of OSI engagement. Total OSI Related Demerits (to date): 199

Actual Career Demerits:125

Total Demerits: 324

Yes No No
12/9 CS- 34, AOC, Maj Granistosky requests Thomas’ written testimony from OSI. This jeopardizes Claxton investigation. Granistosky uses Thomas’ written testimony for OSI against him. Does not discuss Does not discuss Yes
12/10 12/1 Thomas is directed to conduct operation involving Beau Riebe and marijuana. Thomas signs out according to CSP. Yes Yes Yes
12/10 Part of Form-10 “Discipline form.” Thomas did not receive demerits at the time of this misconduct. Thomas signed out and conducted OSI operation. Thomas would later be given demerits for OSI operation. OSI Related Demerits: 110

Actual Career Demerits: 125

Total Demerits: 434

12/13 Thomas is administered a polygraph test. Thomas successfully passes. In test, Thomas states, “I have not told anyone about OSI.” Thomas did not receive demerits at the time of this misconduct. Thomas signs out and conducts OSI operation. Thomas would later be given demerits for OSI op. Yes Yes Yes
2012
Date Event Background Action DoD OIG Report BCMR Findings UCMJ Court of Appeals
1/3 Special Agent Enos and OSI directs Thomas to stop signing out for OSI related operations.  Important when considering demerits and known misconduct. All demerits are a result of both following USAFA sign-out procedures and/or my own written statements. Thus, the only reason Thomas did not receive additional OSI related demerits past this date is because of SA Enos directive him to NOT follow USAFA policies or rules.   Does not discuss No N/A
1/4 Not Cleaning Room 4 OSI Related Demerits

Actual Career Demerits: 129

Total Demerits: 438

Yes Yes N/A
1/9 Maj. Granistosky requests Thomas’ written statement provided to OSI. Does not discuss Yes Yes
1/16 Using Thomas’ written statement for OSI, Maj Granistosky initiates a SCRB Yes Yes Yes
1/17 Special Agent Enos informs Thomas that he will be given a Hearing Officer and directed not to discuss OSI involvement at SCRB or GRB. Yes No N/A
1/19 SCRB Conducted. There is no discussion of OSI during SCRB. No Yes N/A
1/23 GRB Conducted. There is no discussion of OSI during GRB No Yes N/A
1/24 Form 10 – For multiple events from 3/11, 11/11, and multiple OTF’s Cumulative Total 309 demerits/176 confinements/99 tours. Date in which total demerits concerning OSI and the Claxton case are formally given. OSI Related Demerits: 309

Actual Career Demerits: 129

Total Demerits: 438

No Yes N/A
1/31 Air Officer Commander (AOC) issues Letter of Reprimand to Thomas. Yes Yes N/A
4/13 Thomas was provided ”Immunity documentation” from Superintendent, Lt. Gen Gould:
“…Under this immunity, your testimony and statements, as well as information directly or indirectly derived therefrom, may not be used against you in a later trial by court-martial…”
No Yes N/A
5/8 Form 10 – Late to Cadet Quarters shift OSI Related Demerits: 20

Actual Career Demerits: 149

Total Demerits: 458

Yes Yes N/A
5/8 Thomas receives no more “negative Form 10’s” after 8 May 2012. Therefore, he receives no more demerits. Actual Career Demerits: 149

Total Demerits: 458

No Yes Yes
6/1 Lt. Col Gryzen obtains Thomas from class and directs him to the OSI office. Thomas contacted and met with Special Agent Enos and conducted an OSI operation. Yes No N/A
6/18 Claxton Court Martial Convened Yes Yes Yes
6/26 Thomas is unaware, and was not informed of or received documentation concerning “new O-299” Yes No N/A
6/5 O-299 CG-4CC Concurs with disenrollment by signing O-299 No Yes N/A
7/20 O-299 Vice Commandant of Cadet signed sending case to Military Review Committee (MRC) No Yes N/A
7/23 On or about this date, Special Agent Enos and Thomas are told there would be a MRC No Yes N/A
8/5 Thomas requested that Ms. Curnell (coordinator in Commander’s office for MCR actions) speak with OSI and Special Agent Enos to attend the MRC Yes Yes N/A
8/7 Special Agent Enos states, “Your AOC despises you and assumes you will be kicked out because of his scrub comments.” Does not discuss Does not discuss N/A
8/8 Special Agent Enos states: “Me and SA Crist talked about this (the MRC). Our commander is a terrible public speaker and he does not know you. I am a better public speaker and know you very well.” No Yes No
8/28 Special Agent Enos states: ”You will be moved to another squadron. Say you want to graduate more than anything and you have made mistakes that you learned from. You can tell them you have assisted OSI but cannot elaborate. They can call me with any questions during the MRC. I hope you don’t feel like I worked you until you can’t work anymore.” Does not discuss Yes N/A
8/28 Special Agent Enos confirms he will attend the MRC, “I will come in and speak on your behalf about Claxton tomorrow”. No Yes Yes
9/21 Special Agent Enos informs Thomas that he is out of the country and to call OSI for any questions/concerns Yes No Yes
9/24 First FOIA request made for all documentation concerning Thomas’ engagement with OSI. Government fails to respond. Yes No No
10/3 Thomas’ mother sends an email to OSI Public Affairs, attention of Ms. Linda Card. Mother seeks an audience with OSI together with USAFA leadership. No Does not discuss N/A
10/7 Thomas requests OSI documents from Special Agent Enos to provide to his chain of command. Special Agent Enos ordered to not respond. Yes No N/A
10/11 Thomas makes a last attempt to speak with Special Agent Enos via text/phone call.

All communication with Special Agent Enos ends prior to disenrollment.

Special Agent Enos does not response. Enos is ordered to not respond and end all communication prior to disenrollment. Yes No Yes
2013
Date Event Background Action DoD OIG Report BCMR Findings UCMJ Court of Appeals
3/13 Thomas goes to Inspector General’s Office (IGO) to make an IGO complaint and/or Congressional Inquiry. Thomas is told that he would need more documentation to for my allegations concerning OSI and USAFA leadership. Yes No Yes
3/7 Thomas’ mother meets with Col. Anderson, and requests his involvement concerning OSI and squadron concerns Does not discuss Does not discuss N/A
3/10 Thomas emails Col. Anderson briefly explaining the connection of OSI and the misconduct. He requests Anderson’s assistance concerning squadron matters and an audience with OSI. Does not discuss Yes N/A
3/10 Thomas emails Col. Anderson and provides him with Thomas’ squadrons “CS-34 MFR” plea for assistance from USAFA leadership. Yes No Yes
3/13 Thomas emails Lt. Col. Tilo requesting him to attend the meeting between USAFA/OSI permanent party. Thomas requests additional meeting with him/counsel/USAFA and requested OSI documentation. Thomas receives no response. No Yes Yes
3/13 Lt. Col. Gryzen orders he and Thomas meet concerning the email and MFR for Col. Anderson. Lt. Col. Gryzen orders an apology to Col. Anderson and “mutinous” behavior. Yes No N/A
3/21 Thomas goes to IGO’s on Academy grounds. Thomas makes official IGO complaint concerning OSI and USAFA leadership. No Does not discuss Yes
3/22 Thomas files second FOIA request for all documentation to include but not limited to Special Agent Munson/Special Agent Enos, Declaration of Agreement, Security Documentation, Claxton 2011-2012 statements, Asher Clark 2011 and [Victim’s name redacted] 2010 statements. Thomas is  inexplicably not provided proof of OSI engagement after a second official request for records prior to disenrollment. No Does not discuss Yes
4/8 During disenrollment, Thomas desperately requests to speak with the Supt. Lt. Gen. Gould to discuss/explain the connection of OSI and misconduct. Thomas was denied request to meet with Gould prior to disenrollment. Thomas was advised of this by a non-commissioned officer. Yes No No
4/8 Thomas is disenrolled from the USAF Academy Actual Career Demerits: 149

Total Demerits with OSI investigative work: 458

Yes Yes Yes
4/8  A Sexual Assault victim provides witness documentation concerning the incident with Claxton on March 2011 to assist reversal of Thomas’ disenrollment. The Sexual Assault victim was the vicitm from the Claxton in March 2011. No Yes No
4/16 Thomas follows up with IG complaint of 3/21/2013. Thomas completes second IGO complaint to include a Congressional Inquiry, includes fact that he was not able to meet with Lt. Gen. Gould and receive OSI documentation. Yes No Does not discuss
6/1 Special Agent Enos claims that he begins to experience retaliation from Lt. Col. Tilo as a result of the Congressional Inquiry No No Yes
6/5 Thomas receives Congressional response: “On April 23, 2013, AFOSI leaned that responsive records were located at the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) at Suitland, Maryland.” Yes No Does not discuss
6/5 Congressional response reads: “At no time did AFOSI direct or influence Cadet Thomas to break any rules or policies of the Air Force Academy.” Thomas finally received partial documentation to include but not limited to OSI Source Meet Reports. They disprove claim that Thomas was not directed to “break any rules or policies of the Air Force Academy.” No Yes Yes
6/16 Thomas files third FOIA request for all documentation to include but not limited to Special Agent Munson/Special Agent Enos Declaration of Agreement, Security Documentation, Claxton 2011-2012 statements, Asher Clark 2011 and [Victim’s name redacted] 2010. No Yes Yes
7/11 Thomas receives additional OSI documentation via Congressional request. Only now does Thomas have in his possession any type of substantial documentation from OSI to provide for USAFA leadership. Yes No Yes
7/15 Thomas begins to tell his story to writer at the Colorado Springs Gazette N/A N/A N/A
9/27 Cadet Thomas discharged from the Air Force Yes Yes Yes
12/1 Colorado Springs Gazette release first article: “Honor and Deception” N/A N/A N/A
12/5 USAFA responds to article. According to experts, “Displays and states minimal understanding of “CI program.” USAF claimed the OSI program and all relevant information did not exist. Yes No Yes
12/19 USAFA Supt. Lt Gen. Michelle Johnson orders IGO inquiry. Denies any involvement and connection between OSI and disenrollment. No No Yes
2014
Date Event Background Action DoD OIG Report BCMR Findings UCMJ Court of Appeals
2/20 The February IG Report is released. Falsely claims Thomas’ involvement with OSI began 12/7/2011. Yes No No
5/1 Thomas begins working with Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s office. Yes Does not discuss Yes
5/27 Special Agent Enos provides “MFR for Congress.” USAFA did not know this information prior to disenrollment or later media productions.
Begins to escalate and draw national attention.
Yes Yes Yes
8/1 Colorado Springs Gazette: Between the Lines article reveals 2/3 party concerning the use of “Roofies, marijuana and other illicit drugs. This article provides the USAFA the first understanding and acknowledgment, publicly, of my engagement with OSI.
USAFA leadership did not correctly understand the depth and magnitude of the discussed story and its engagement/connection with OSI prior to disenrollment or this article.
No Yes Yes
8/3 Because of the Colorado Springs Gazette: Between the Lines article USAFA Supt. Lt. Gen. Johnson initiates an investigation into the USAF Athletic Department. No No Yes
8/9 NY Times publishes: Informant Debate Renewed as Air Force Revisits Cadet Misconduct Yes Yes Yes
8/20 As NY Times article indicates, Sen. Gillibrand and Sen. Thune sign a bi-partisan letter for investigation of Thomas’ case. Yes Does not discuss Yes
11/5 ESPN airs E:60 “Operation Gridiron” Does not discuss Does not discuss Yes
11/29 ABC’s Nightline releases Operation Gridiron Does not discuss Does not discuss Yes
2015
Date Event Background Action DoD OIG Report BCMR Findings UCMJ Court of Appeals
2/10 Thomas interview with DoD OIG investigator, Ms. Erika Westry, in Wasington, DC. N/A Does not discuss Yes
3/11 Claxton Dubay Hearing Does not discuss Yes Yes
3/12 OSI testimony during Dubay Hearing Does not discuss Does not discuss Yes
3/13 Special Agent Enos and Thomas requests an audience from USAFA leadership. Request was denied. No Yes Yes
3/14 Colorado Springs Gazette states: “Testimony revealed that former Cadet Eric Thomas may have signed initial paperwork to become a confidential informant months earlier than Academy officals have admitted and that OSI officials may have lied to top Academy brass about the nature of Thomas’ work.” The Colorado Springs Gazette report begins the exposure of erroneous information and action taken by USAFA and OSI leadership leading up to disenrollment. No Yes Yes
3/14 Colorado Springs Gazette releases article: Hearing Testimony Reveals Subterfuge Of Air Force Academy Informant Program No Yes Yes
4/8 Package is provided to BCMR
KEY: Department of Defense – Office of Inspector General = DoD OIG | Board of Corrections for Military Records = BCMR | United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces = UCMJ | Court of Appeals Office of Special Investigations = OSI | Confidential informant = CI | Cadet Sight Picture = CSP (Policy and Guidance for Cadets) | SCRB = Squadron Review Base Committee | GRB = Group Review Board Committee

1 Comment on "Operation Gridiron’s Thomas Honored, Arizona House Calls On Mattis For Justice"

  1. Thank you Eric Thomas and Representative Thorpe for acting honorably, sadly the exception in too many instances of public and private life these days. President Trump, the Commander In Chief should act on this matter immediately to right another wrong perpetrated on Mr. Thomas and on the American people by nameless and faceless Federal bureaucrats. In addition to righting the wrong against former Air force Cadet Eric Thomas, The President must make sure appropriate disciplinary actions are taken against the military and civilian culprits.

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