Lt. Col. Ralph Featherstone Short Biography
Lt. Col. Ralph Featherstone was relieved from his post as commanding officer of the Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 due to his ‘poor’ judgment.
He was flying in the rear seat of the F/A-18D fighter jet and claimed that he did not know the pilot was going to perform the potentially dangerous pass.
He’s now a lieutenant colonel and U.S. Marine Corps aviator and Ralph Featherstone credits hockey for teaching him some invaluable life lessons. #HockeyIsForEveryone #ThisIsHockey https://t.co/UleaAg208r
— NHL (@NHL) April 5, 2018
Lt. Col. Ralph Featherstone Fired
‘I can’t tell you why the pilot descended,’ he said.
‘Obviously I’m unhappy with the way this turned out, but, as commander I’m ultimately responsible. If deemed outside the box, I’m responsible.’
He said it’s unlikely he will be promoted after this and that his career is essentially over.
The ceremony was held to mark the transition from old F-18 fighter planes to the new F-35C Lightning II jets.
The pass took place at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California, which was once home to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, otherwise known as TOP GUN. It where the hit 1986 film starring Tom Cruise was filmed.
Video obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune shows the dangerously low pass.
While Featherstone was not the pilot who flew the plane, as commanding officer he is ultimately held responsible for the actions of his subordinates.
The 3rd Marine Air Wing said in a statement that Featherstone was ‘relieved for cause following concerns of poor judgment.’
“The relief came as a surprise from an otherwise exceptionally performing commander with a long and distinguished career,’ the statement says.