Racially Charged Rant Results in Punishment for Air Force NCO

Tech. Sgt. Geraldine Lovely is under investigation at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for recording a profane Facebook video rant about her subordinates. (Facebook video screen capture)
Tech. Sgt. Geraldine Lovely is under investigation at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for recording a profane Facebook video rant about her subordinates. (Facebook video screen capture)

This story has been updated.

Nellis Air Force Base officials say they've removed a noncommissioned officer from her supervisory role after she made racially insensitive comments about her subordinates in a Facebook video that went viral on social media last month.

"In accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Geraldine Lovely was held accountable for her actions," Maj. Christina Sukach, 99th Air Base Wing spokeswoman, told Military.com on Wednesday. Sukach clarified on Thursday that Lovely had been removed from her position as a supervisor of other airmen.

Sukach, who withheld details of Lovely's rank in her initial statement, said that while specifics of the case cannot be released, "99th Air Base Wing leadership is satisfied with the outcome."

"A military member's administrative record is protected by the Privacy Act of 1974," Sukach said. "These cases are not tried in social media but handled through the fair and due process afforded to military members under public law and regulations."

She added, "Nellis Air Force Base leadership emphasizes that any activity which disparages anyone because of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated. Service members are responsible for their own actions, to include social media. Our airmen are too valuable, and our mission is too complex and perilous, to accept anything less than the tenets of our core values: integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do."

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Tech. Sgt. Geraldine Lovely came under investigation after she was suspended for making a profane slurs against black female subordinates during a "Facebook Live" video posted on Jan. 26.

These "f---ing issues with my airmen and my NCOs, that are lower ranking than me, but they're black females. And it pisses me the f--- off that they have no f---ing respect and constantly having an attitude, and what the f--- is up with that?" Lovely said in the video.

"Like I'm trying my best to hold my professionalism with them, but good God, that they don't have f---ing respect whatsoever. Everytime I talk to them, [imitating the airmen] 'No, ma'am,' " she said.

She continued, "It's just like, they're talking down to me. And I'm trying to tread lightly as a higher-ranking NCO not to f---ing blow the f--- up and start a fight club."

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The video, which was posted to a private group page called "Nellis Burn Book," was eventually sent to the public Facebook group Air Force Amn/nco/snco, which is popular within the Air Force but isn't officially run by the service.

In weeks following, retired Master Sgt. Steven Mayne, the administrator for the Amn/nco/snco Facebook group, paused posts to the Facebook page until Nellis officials provided details as to how they addressed Lovely's behavior.

Mayne said it was in the interest of transparency that taxpayers understand what happened.

"I believe they should state [Lovely's] rank, duty title, and if they restored her supervisory duties," Mayne told Military.com on Wednesday, after Sukach released a statement. "And that the legal process is vital, along with protecting one's privacy while overall maintaining good order and discipline."

Whether or not Lovely has been reduced in rank or reassigned remains unclear. Prior to the incident, she was listed as an administrator at the base's fitness center, part of the 99th Force Support Squadron.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

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