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View Full Version : Skills the AF No Longer Needs (or Doesn't Reward)



technomage1
05-23-2013, 06:48 PM
1. Time Management: If you're not working late, you're not doing anything.
2. Job Skills: Who cares if you don't know/do your primary job - that's what subordinates are for. They can do that for you while you're out volunteering. We need you on that bake sale committee.
3. Leadership: Requires giving a $hit about your people. Remember that?
4. Followership: Remember when every level used to exhibit this? Unless you're the President, you're at some level a follower. But today that doesn't seem to matter.
5. Excellence in All We Do: became "Good Enough"
6. Integrity: became "What I can get away with"
7. Service before Self: Now "Self before Service" because the AF won't take care of you
8. Chiefs: Now rare, replaced by E9 politicians
9. Introverts: Not so much as skill but not rewarded. Heaven forbid you THINK before you act or act logically instead of emotionally. Introverts make up 60% of the gifted population - if you want to tap those skills you can't necessarily listen to the person that talks the loudest or first.
10. Reality: Perception is now reality.
11. Self-sufficiency: Trust that people will do the job is gone, replaced by helicopter leadership and micromanagment

All of these are traits or skills that the AF no longer seems to value, at least that I can see. Thoughts/additions? Am I off base? I think these will be the ruination of the NCO corps and by extension the AF, and it seems we're well on our way there.

LogDog
05-23-2013, 07:18 PM
Eventually, the skills the AF no longer needs is us. We have been and always will be replaceable.

Rainmaker
05-23-2013, 07:43 PM
1. Time Management: If you're not working late, you're not doing anything.
2. Job Skills: Who cares if you don't know/do your primary job - that's what subordinates are for. They can do that for you while you're out volunteering. We need you on that bake sale committee.
3. Leadership: Requires giving a $hit about your people. Remember that?
4. Followership: Remember when every level used to exhibit this? Unless you're the President, you're at some level a follower. But today that doesn't seem to matter.
5. Excellence in All We Do: became "Good Enough"
6. Integrity: became "What I can get away with"
7. Service before Self: Now "Self before Service" because the AF won't take care of you
8. Chiefs: Now rare, replaced by E9 politicians
9. Introverts: Not so much as skill but not rewarded. Heaven forbid you THINK before you act or act logically instead of emotionally. Introverts make up 60% of the gifted population - if you want to tap those skills you can't necessarily listen to the person that talks the loudest or first.
10. Reality: Perception is now reality.11. Self-sufficiency: Trust that people will do the job is gone, replaced by helicopter leadership and micromanagment

All of these are traits or skills that the AF no longer seems to value, at least that I can see. Thoughts/additions? Am I off base? I think these will be the ruination of the NCO corps and by extension the AF, and it seems we're well on our way there.

This sums up our brainwashed society in a nutshell. Hard Practicalism and making value judgements has been replaced with new age "subjective reality" feelings based decision making.

LogDog
05-23-2013, 07:55 PM
I got into a conversation about working hours the other day. Despite hard, verifiable, facts about the number of hours worked (more than any other peer), the amount of work produced (more than any other peer), and the quality of work (fewer mistakes than any other peer) -- the perception that the individual wasn't working hard won out since they "left on time every day". And this perception stuck even when all this was pointed out.

There is no interest in facts or logic anymore.
The office I worked once myself and a fellow SSgt used to laugh and joke a lot during the day. The superintendent called me into his office and said he didn't think we were getting any work done. I asked him if we completed our work on time and he said yes. I asked him if the quantity and quality of work was at or above his expectations and he answered yes. I then asked him what the problem was and he couldn't answer it other than to say maybe he was the problem and not us. Perception versus reality without data directs most of what people believe.

technomage1
05-23-2013, 07:57 PM
This sums up our brainwashed society in a nutshell. Hard Practicalism and making value judgements has been replaced with new age "subjective reality" feelings based decision making.

I got into a conversation about working hours the other day. Despite hard, verifiable, facts about the number of hours worked (more than any other peer), the amount of work produced (more than any other peer), and the quality of work (fewer mistakes than any other peer) -- the perception that the individual wasn't working hard won out since they "left on time every day". And this perception stuck even when all this was pointed out.

There is no interest in facts or logic anymore.

LogDog
05-23-2013, 08:04 PM
I got into a conversation about working hours the other day. Despite hard, verifiable, facts about the number of hours worked (more than any other peer), the amount of work produced (more than any other peer), and the quality of work (fewer mistakes than any other peer) -- the perception that the individual wasn't working hard won out since they "left on time every day". And this perception stuck even when all this was pointed out.

There is no interest in facts or logic anymore.
The office I worked myself and a fellow SSgt used to laugh and joke a lot during the day. The superintendent called me into his office and said he didn't think we were getting any work done. I asked him if we completed our work on time and he said yes. I asked him if the quantity and quality of work was at or above his expectations and he answered yes. I then asked him what the problem was and he couldn't answer it other than to say maybe he was the problem and not us. Perception versus reality without data directs most of what people believe.

imported_chipotleboy
05-23-2013, 08:09 PM
I remember the reading materials for Air Command and Staff College actually said good leaders didn't worry so much about having good technical skills for their mission area. Focusing too much on that was called a "Craftsman" style of leadership, which was inferior to the "Warrior" style of leadership, which best I could figure out had something to do with beating your chest, being good at PT, and doing carrier landings at the club.

Bottom line, being good at your job is not important, unless of course it's being a "good stick", in which case it's everything. Looking good is more important than being good.

technomage1
05-23-2013, 08:10 PM
Looking good is more important than being good.

We need to make this the new Air Force motto.

Rainmaker
05-23-2013, 08:31 PM
We need to make this the new Air Force motto.

"Show me a guy who is afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time."~ Lou Brock . Ball Player

OtisRNeedleman
05-23-2013, 10:47 PM
I remember the reading materials for Air Command and Staff College actually said good leaders didn't worry so much about having good technical skills for their mission area. Focusing too much on that was called a "Craftsman" style of leadership, which was inferior to the "Warrior" style of leadership, which best I could figure out had something to do with beating your chest, being good at PT, and doing carrier landings at the club.

Bottom line, being good at your job is not important, unless of course it's being a "good stick", in which case it's everything. Looking good is more important than being good.

Yes, and looking good has ALWAYS been more important than being good or doing good. Very, very few in upper management - I won't call them leadership, the AF has almost no leaders to speak of - care about anything but the outside shine. As long as everything looks good and nobody's getting arrested everything is fine. And the rot spreads. Morale goes down, and you have things like SEVENTEEN missile launch officers being decertified. The bleats of "PT!" and "Bake sales!" continue, to increasingly uninterested ears. And everything will just go on and on, until it doesn't.

OtisRNeedleman
05-23-2013, 10:51 PM
"Show me a guy who is afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time."~ Lou Brock . Ball Player

Then you can beat our top military management every time. The saving grace....our most likely major organized adversaries (China and North Korea) probably have top military management just as weak as ours, just in different ways.

BOSS302
05-24-2013, 12:09 AM
4. Followership: Remember when every level used to exhibit this? Unless you're the President, you're at some level a follower. But today that doesn't seem to matter.


At the Wing monthly promotion ceremonies here, they call them to the stage and promote in groups: airmen, SSgt, TSgt, MSgt, etc. After each is group is called, the script calls for a little flowery language to describe what each group brings to the "fight".

Concerning the airmen, they are called "leaders today, leaders tomorrow". The Staff Sergeants...leaders. Technical Sergeants, leaders. Master Sergeants...SNCO leaders who have the power to say "No!" to leadership. And it goes on.

Well fuck me, if we are ALL leaders, who the hell is saying "Yes sir/ma'am!" and getting the job done? I especially like the bit about the airmen being "Leaders today, leaders tomorrow".

When I was an airman, it was made clear to me that I would do as I was told. Followership was definitely ingrained into me. Granted, my first shop had what could be the last of the breed of "old school NCOs/SNCOs" - they worked us hard but also worked hard next to us, trained us hard but trained us right, and let us party hard...sometimes partying next to us with BBQ and cases of beer at the shop on a Friday afternoon.

The whole "everyone is a leader" vomit reminds me of the "Tip of the Spear!". Everyone is the tip of the spear...resulting in a massive spearhead with no support.

My first CE commander told us our mission went something like this: "You see those static displays at Wing HQ? Those planes look nice don't they? Ignore those planes. Focus on the big sticks holding them up. That's you. You are the big stick holding everything up. Take pride in that."

OtisRNeedleman
05-24-2013, 12:43 AM
At the Wing monthly promotion ceremonies here, they call them to the stage and promote in groups: airmen, SSgt, TSgt, MSgt, etc. After each is group is called, the script calls for a little flowery language to describe what each group brings to the "fight".

Concerning the airmen, they are called "leaders today, leaders tomorrow". The Staff Sergeants...leaders. Technical Sergeants, leaders. Master Sergeants...SNCO leaders who have the power to say "No!" to leadership. And it goes on.

Well fuck me, if we are ALL leaders, who the hell is saying "Yes sir/ma'am!" and getting the job done? I especially like the bit about the airmen being "Leaders today, leaders tomorrow".

When I was an airman, it was made clear to me that I would do as I was told. Followership was definitely ingrained into me. Granted, my first shop had what could be the last of the breed of "old school NCOs/SNCOs" - they worked us hard but also worked hard next to us, trained us hard but trained us right, and let us party hard...sometimes partying next to us with BBQ and cases of beer at the shop on a Friday afternoon.

The whole "everyone is a leader" vomit reminds me of the "Tip of the Spear!". Everyone is the tip of the spear...resulting in a massive spearhead with no support.

My first CE commander told us our mission went something like this: "You see those static displays at Wing HQ? Those planes look nice don't they? Ignore those planes. Focus on the big sticks holding them up. That's you. You are the big stick holding everything up. Take pride in that."

Don't believe the "everyone is a leader" spiel would be so bad if people were actually allowed to exercise, or in upper positions actually exercised leadership. As it stands, you are quite right. I'll go back to the decertified missile launch officers. If anyone above these young lieutenants and captains were truly exercising leadership there wouldn't be seventeen officers decertified and on their way out of the AF. If you have good leaders you can keep people motivated to do any job. Now seventeen more officers need to be recruited, trained, paid, and provided for, all which comes out of an increasingly-strained AF budget. It's cheaper to keep people in than to constantly keep getting new people. Leadership doesn't cost. It pays, in more ways than one. But leadership requires more effort than doing PT and bake sales, so it's just too hard to do.

One more thing, then I'll shut up. Leadership can motivate people to fight, perform and possibly die, anywhere, any time. Unfortunately, political correctness and the need to show subserviency to often militarily-clueless political management has killed leadership in the military.

RobotChicken
05-24-2013, 12:53 AM
:plane 'Zoomie Pilots'! (just drones anyway) :yo

JD2780
05-24-2013, 03:15 AM
The AF has very few leaders and has mostly managers.

RobotChicken
05-24-2013, 03:40 AM
:boink "PC Drones....":cry

eman_osan
05-24-2013, 03:47 AM
Current Air Force management wouldn't know what a "leader" looked like if they got kicked in the azz by one. Strictly personal opinion, You haven't had a real Chief or Colonel in probably 20 years that would stand and tell you your shi-zit stinks.

VFFTSGT
05-24-2013, 04:17 AM
This sums up our brainwashed society in a nutshell. Hard Practicalism and making value judgements has been replaced with new age "subjective reality" feelings based decision making.

Couldn't agree more.

technomage1
05-24-2013, 10:59 AM
I seriously feel like driving to DC and nailing these to the door of the Chief of Staffs office aka Martin Luther.

I don't think I'd be allowed in the pentagon though. How much is a full page ad in the NY times?

JD2780
05-24-2013, 12:10 PM
Current Air Force management wouldn't know what a "leader" looked like if they got kicked in the azz by one. Strictly personal opinion, You haven't had a real Chief or Colonel in probably 20 years that would stand and tell you your shi-zit stinks.

I now of four full birds in my 11 yrs that would call guys out and fight for guys. That's about it.

OtisRNeedleman
05-24-2013, 04:46 PM
I now of four full birds in my 11 yrs that would call guys out and fight for guys. That's about it.

And sadly, I'd bet none of them ever got a star.

Yeah, I had, and still have, my four heroes, too. I'd still follow any of them into hell today. Only one made full bird. Rest retired as LCs.

Chief_KO
05-24-2013, 05:56 PM
Excellence in your job. Back in the ol' days, SAC had a Master Technician Program. If memory serves, you had to be a 7-lvl, score high on a very difficult job/system specific written test and pass a very difficult hands-on evaluation. Once awarded "Master Tech" you were awarded a patch to be worn on your fatigues.
Sad to say, that went away with the demise of SAC. Every AFSC should have a program like this, and make it very difficult (a true "Master") to attain.

OtisRNeedleman
05-24-2013, 07:08 PM
Excellence in your job. Back in the ol' days, SAC had a Master Technician Program. If memory serves, you had to be a 7-lvl, score high on a very difficult job/system specific written test and pass a very difficult hands-on evaluation. Once awarded "Master Tech" you were awarded a patch to be worn on your fatigues.
Sad to say, that went away with the demise of SAC. Every AFSC should have a program like this, and make it very difficult (a true "Master") to attain.

ATC had something similar with their Master Instructors. You had to have two years on the platform, take a bunch of in-service training courses, and pass an evaluation in the classroom. I want to say you also had to have completed a special project, like developing a course or a block thereof, but could be wrong. Since I had developed several blocks of a new SIGINT officer course that was covered. Master Instructors wore a different cookie and had a different patch. Got mine just before putting on captain in 1985. Was the first officer instructor at Goodfellow to get one in many years. When I subsequently went to Randolph worked in a training support job so continued to wear the Master Instructor cookie. Wore it from 1985 until 1992.

wildman
05-24-2013, 07:13 PM
I remember starting out with a 3 level on my AFSC an having to take an pass corespondent tests administrated by the community college of the Air Force. I remember it went next to a 5 level and then to a 7 level. I think a Cmsgt had to have a 9 level. I also remember you could not be promoted without having obtained to appropriate level for the rank.

Always
Wildman

JD2780
05-24-2013, 07:59 PM
And sadly, I'd bet none of them ever got a star.

Yeah, I had, and still have, my four heroes, too. I'd still follow any of them into hell today. Only one made full bird. Rest retired as LCs.

Malackowski

Bouchaine (sp)

Both of those guys wouldn't hesitate to walk out of their office and go bullshit with a bunch of staffs and techs without scheduling it. If we were doing some crazy thing for PT he would rearrange his schedule to meet up with us. Both made Brig Gen.

You could here Malackowski coming down the hallway, he would be saying hi to everything and you couldn't dodge him.

Chief_KO
05-24-2013, 08:38 PM
ATC had something similar with their Master Instructors. You had to have two years on the platform, take a bunch of in-service training courses, and pass an evaluation in the classroom. I want to say you also had to have completed a special project, like developing a course or a block thereof, but could be wrong. Since I had developed several blocks of a new SIGINT officer course that was covered. Master Instructors wore a different cookie and had a different patch. Got mine just before putting on captain in 1985. Was the first officer instructor at Goodfellow to get one in many years. When I subsequently went to Randolph worked in a training support job so continued to wear the Master Instructor cookie. Wore it from 1985 until 1992.

AETC redid the Master Instructor Program around 1999. Made it way tougher (too tough IMO). At the time they required some additional college courses, and if you already had them there was not grandfathering. This was on top of your 281 ratings and the AETC courses required. In my last 3 years at KAFB no one in our flight ever received Master Instructor. I think since then, some sanity returned to the process.

BRUWIN
05-25-2013, 02:25 AM
Excellence in your job. Back in the ol' days, SAC had a Master Technician Program. If memory serves, you had to be a 7-lvl, score high on a very difficult job/system specific written test and pass a very difficult hands-on evaluation. Once awarded "Master Tech" you were awarded a patch to be worn on your fatigues.
Sad to say, that went away with the demise of SAC. Every AFSC should have a program like this, and make it very difficult (a true "Master") to attain.

USAFE had it too...although I only saw it at USAFE bases with a SAC type mission such as Lakenheath. I got one...they were rare until McPeak took over and everybody got a trophy, and then they just dumped it.

jondstewart
05-25-2013, 06:22 AM
1. Time Management: If you're not working late, you're not doing anything.
2. Job Skills: Who cares if you don't know/do your primary job - that's what subordinates are for. They can do that for you while you're out volunteering. We need you on that bake sale committee.
3. Leadership: Requires giving a $hit about your people. Remember that?
4. Followership: Remember when every level used to exhibit this? Unless you're the President, you're at some level a follower. But today that doesn't seem to matter.
5. Excellence in All We Do: became "Good Enough"
6. Integrity: became "What I can get away with"
7. Service before Self: Now "Self before Service" because the AF won't take care of you
8. Chiefs: Now rare, replaced by E9 politicians
9. Introverts: Not so much as skill but not rewarded. Heaven forbid you THINK before you act or act logically instead of emotionally. Introverts make up 60% of the gifted population - if you want to tap those skills you can't necessarily listen to the person that talks the loudest or first.
10. Reality: Perception is now reality.
11. Self-sufficiency: Trust that people will do the job is gone, replaced by helicopter leadership and micromanagment

All of these are traits or skills that the AF no longer seems to value, at least that I can see. Thoughts/additions? Am I off base? I think these will be the ruination of the NCO corps and by extension the AF, and it seems we're well on our way there.

You totally hit the nail on the head with this one! I don't know how it got this way, but sometimes I think that for the past 10-15 years, internet and other high tech has just burned out people's brains, at least in the younger troops. Every other person is just plain apathetic, whether a hard worker or lazy. So, to verify what has been mentioned:

1. Time management--Yep, if I left work even 5-10 minutes after my 9 hours was put in, it was questionable if I completed my job. There is something called efficiency!
2. Job skills--A 17 year Chief, if you want to call him that, that I worked for and Services. As far as I know, he knew diddly-squat about the career field and he was all about dealing with the higher-uppers and managing the subordinates. And his "I Love Me" wall didn't seem to reflect anything job-related he did
3. Leadership--A bull$h!t word and politician's word in today's Air Force. Most higher-uppers seem to think professionalism is about looking good and being impersonal or directly managing subordinates
4. Followership--The PFE stated it was a good trait to have along with leadership, but being a follower is a bad thing, making it out like you're passive and/or a kiss ass
5. Excellence in all we do--just another BS cliche. Mediocrity is tolerated in every place I've seen. Airmen and many NCO's I see working in customer service or medical are no more professional than a lot of youngsters I see working at McDonald's or any seemingly menial job!
6. Integrity--Yeah, it matters as long as you don't get caught
7. Service Before Self--What a crock! MSgt/Lt Col at very highest is the best you can expect if you really practice that!
8. Chief's--my least favorite people today! In my early days 1989-early 1990's, I worked with under fine individuals that were Chief's or retired chiefs that were worthy of respect from anybody! Even those that were crusty or hardasses were fine individuals and I could see past that! But 90% of them are now what you mentioned! And the ones that aren't and really act as Chief's usually have their hands tied and can't do much!
9. Introverts--what I am and I paid a huge price for it with a smattering of 4 EPR's!
10. Reality--Yes, the reality is that if you don't kiss ass and politic, you have a career of mediocrity! Not that it's any different in the real world!
11. Self-sufficiency--If you display that independent trait, then many helicopter managers will have a hard-on for you!

wildman
05-25-2013, 07:08 PM
Sadly I saw this starting to happen when I retired in 1988. I had hoped it would turn around an am very sad to read in this above post that is apparently not the case. I am proud to say I served with some damn fine individuals but towards the end they were getting to be fewer an fewer.

Always
Wildman

technomage1
05-27-2013, 12:21 AM
Excellence in your job. Back in the ol' days, SAC had a Master Technician Program. If memory serves, you had to be a 7-lvl, score high on a very difficult job/system specific written test and pass a very difficult hands-on evaluation. Once awarded "Master Tech" you were awarded a patch to be worn on your fatigues.
Sad to say, that went away with the demise of SAC. Every AFSC should have a program like this, and make it very difficult (a true "Master") to attain.

Nowadays it's considered bad to be too good at your job. I'm not kidding, though I wish I was. It shows you haven't embraced the whole person concept.

RobotChicken
05-27-2013, 01:10 AM
:clock Just got too be a 'jack of all trades and a MASTER of all'!!!!! :closed_2

JD2780
05-27-2013, 01:11 AM
Pilot.....

RobotChicken
05-27-2013, 01:12 AM
:frusty See(READ) post 14.......:faint

El Kabong
05-27-2013, 01:18 AM
this is a sad state of affairs.

RobotChicken
05-27-2013, 02:44 AM
:faint Navy is going too take over all Air Farce air ops! Why you ask?? Don't need golf courses on 'bird farms'!! :lol:cheer2

fufu
05-28-2013, 03:06 PM
Excellence in your job. Back in the ol' days, SAC had a Master Technician Program. If memory serves, you had to be a 7-lvl, score high on a very difficult job/system specific written test and pass a very difficult hands-on evaluation. Once awarded "Master Tech" you were awarded a patch to be worn on your fatigues.
Sad to say, that went away with the demise of SAC. Every AFSC should have a program like this, and make it very difficult (a true "Master") to attain.

This would never work in todays AF. Some whiny bitch would cry, the "leadership" would feel sorry for him/her. Everyone would be a "master technician"......

SomeRandomGuy
05-28-2013, 03:13 PM
Skill the AF no longer rewards: Being physically fit. I score a freaking 95% on my PT test and I get marked as "meets standard" Some other slacker can score an 80% and still get the same checkmark.