Planet of the Mapes

Readers David Jacobson and Jon Longerbone have written to comment on the FR and FV suffixes appended to the applicable service number in bona fide Guard documents discussed by Colonel William Campenni here yesterday. Jacobson points out that the suffixes distinguish between Reserve commission and Regular commission as an officer, not between reserve duty and active duty. Reserve commissions were given to ROTC and OTS officers, while regular commissions were given to Academy graduates.

Atlanta attorney Harry MacDougald is the Mapes nemesis who got the ball rolling on the exposure of the fraudulent 60 Minutes story on the evening of its broadcast. Harry writes: “Ms. Mapes continues in flagrant violation of the first rule of holes. I posted a short rebuttal of a short part of her letter to the NYT in a FR thread devoted to your post on the subject.” Harry focuses on two sentences from Mapes’s letter to the editor of the Times Book Review in this post.

UPDATE: This morning Colonel Campenni adds a clarification:

The FR for Regular officers and the FV for Reserve officers was inadvertently swapped in [our] “Mary Mapes’s Hell” item.

FV was for any reserve officer, including a reserve officer on active duty and a reserve officer in the Air Force Reserves. It has to do with the source of the commission, not the organization, because each of these three commissioning categories falls under different provisions of the US Code.

The “active duty” statement is confusing, because any officer, Guard, Reserve, Regular, can be on active duty — he does not change the code when he goes on active duty. Most officers on active duty have Reserve commissions, not Regular commissions.

The FG/FV/FR suffixes are seldom used anymore, because the relational data bases that make up modern computer systems can cross link to all the important data using the Social Security number ID as the search criteria. That was not the case in 1969. Today, the Social Security number is almost always used alone, without suffix, except for a few instances, like on award citations and a couple of other documents.

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