Navy Reverses Itself on Tailhook Pilot

The U.S. Navy this month righted a longstanding wrong when it admitted that Robert Stumpf had been the victim of a politically-motivated witch hunt during the Tailhook scandal.

At the time of the now infamous convention, Stumpf was commander of the Navy’s elite Blue Angels. His crime at the Tailhook convention was that he attended a party which featured several strippers. Although four separate investigations cleared Stumpf of any wrongdoing at Tailhook, in the hysteria over the scandal Stumpf’s previously approved promotion to captain was withdrawn. Seeing the writing on the wall, Stumpf left the military and is currently a pilot for Federal Express.

The Assistant Navy Secretary found that the denial of the promotion was the result of an “injustice” and approved the promotion, including 7 years of back pay.


The Tailhook Hangover. The New York Post, August 6, 2002.

The Old Navy / New Navy. Frontline, PBS.Org.

Time to right a wrong. Mike O’Callaghan, The Las Vegas Sun, August 2, 2002.

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