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View Full Version : Have skill lvls gone the way of the do-do?



imported_DannyJ
05-27-2013, 04:14 PM
So since I've arrived at this new duty station (back in Nov) I've grown a pretty good appreciation for what the Airmen here produce given their level of experience and time in the AF. Honestly, I wouldn't ever put kids straight out of tech school here, but apparently that point has been beaten to death with the FM. I've been constantly approached by management here to try to get more out of the folk we have here and when I remind them that there is only so much we can expect out of 3 and 5 lvls (some of the critical thinking approaches they want me to instill, I wouldn't expect most 7 lvls to get...), I'm told that skill level shouldn't come into it and it's just a training issue. I also bring up lack of first hand experience in both the AF in general and in the base level functions, which falls on dead ears.

I recall (all of 6 years ago) that skill levels used to mean something. If you were a 3 lvl, you're job was learning the nuts and bolts of the job and the AF and finishing your CDCs, 5 lvls were expected to be able to complete 95% of the day-to-day with fluency, and 7 lvls were expect to be able to handle pretty much anything thrown at them (job wise). If you weren't signed off on a task, you did not attempt it without supervision.

Anyone else experiencing anything like this?

VFFTSGT
05-27-2013, 05:44 PM
So since I've arrived at this new duty station (back in Nov) I've grown a pretty good appreciation for what the Airmen here produce given their level of experience and time in the AF. Honestly, I wouldn't ever put kids straight out of tech school here, but apparently that point has been beaten to death with the FM. I've been constantly approached by management here to try to get more out of the folk we have here and when I remind them that there is only so much we can expect out of 3 and 5 lvls (some of the critical thinking approaches they want me to instill, I wouldn't expect most 7 lvls to get...), I'm told that skill level shouldn't come into it and it's just a training issue. I also bring up lack of first hand experience in both the AF in general and in the base level functions, which falls on dead ears.

I recall (all of 6 years ago) that skill levels used to mean something. If you were a 3 lvl, you're job was learning the nuts and bolts of the job and the AF and finishing your CDCs, 5 lvls were expected to be able to complete 95% of the day-to-day with fluency, and 7 lvls were expect to be able to handle pretty much anything thrown at them (job wise). If you weren't signed off on a task, you did not attempt it without supervision.

Anyone else experiencing anything like this?

Yeah, I have seen skill levels pretty much mean nothing now. Training paperwork is penciled whipped just to get the 2096 through.

I have evaluated personnel before. Their lack of knowledge was apparent and the trainees even told me their records were pencil whipped.

I tried to address the systemic training issues. No one cared.

Career development is apparently the old Air Force. I've seen Tech Sgt's (and SSgt's) that did not know what a CFETP is.

No one cares if you can do your job or not. Just don't get your name on a PowerPoint slide slow and go to PT.*


*Some might take this as an exaggeration or PT joke, but it is a very literal and serious statement.

RFScott
05-27-2013, 05:57 PM
Yeah, I have seen skill levels pretty much mean nothing now. Training paperwork is penciled whipped just to get the 2096 through.

I have evaluated personnel before. Their lack of knowledge was apparent and the trainees even told me their records were pencil whipped.

I tried to address the systemic training issues. No one cared.

Career development is apparently the old Air Force. I've seen Tech Sgt's (and SSgt's) that did not know what a CFETP is.

No one cares if you can do your job or not. Just don't get your name on a PowerPoint slide slow and go to PT.

^^This^^. It used to piss me off to no end as an additional duty training manager. I had Staffs and Techs who had no clue what the unit Master Training Plan was, or where to find it, despite repeated demonstration on how to use it. Hell, I even created a spreadsheet of all tasks, along with links to all recommended training sources, and people still didn't care. That being said, the use of a shitty system like AFTR didn't help my case, even though it had gotten better in the few years I had to use it. Talking to other training managers, it seemed like some career fields were overburdened with redundancy in transcribing tasks, sometimes using two or three systems to report training status.

I did always think it was funny when my Captain would come by and tell me I needed to get an anthrax shot or take care of some ancillary training, only to tell him that it had already been done, or show him the ADLS certs......

BOSS302
05-27-2013, 07:16 PM
I'm amazed at how many brand new A1Cs are more interested in signing-up for UMUC classes than focusing on their CDCs and upgrade training. I'm also uncomfortable with how many NCOs allow the same A1Cs to perform complex job-related tasks that they are not signed-off on or properly trained on...essentially letting them run before they've learned how to walk. There's a reason why many technical jobs in the civilian world involve apprentices shutting up and performing the menial labor tasks as they learn, absorb OJT, and have a chance for the knowledge and hands-on experience to slowly build a solid foundation that will last a lifetime. This is something a lot of crafts in the military have forgotten.

RFScott
05-27-2013, 07:54 PM
I'm amazed at how many brand new A1Cs are more interested in signing-up for UMUC classes than focusing on their CDCs and upgrade training. I'm also uncomfortable with how many NCOs allow the same A1Cs to perform complex job-related tasks that they are not signed-off on or properly trained on...essentially letting them run before they've learned how to walk. There's a reason why many technical jobs in the civilian world involve apprentices shutting up and performing the menial labor tasks as they learn, absorb OJT, and have a chance for the knowledge and hands-on experience to slowly build a solid foundation that will last a lifetime. This is something a lot of crafts in the military have forgotten.

Don't forget those barbecues and bake sales!

RobotChicken
05-27-2013, 08:05 PM
:usa2 Now those skills NEVER go out of style......:clock

technomage1
05-27-2013, 08:22 PM
Dodo is one word.but doo-doo would be applicable here too,

imported_DannyJ
05-27-2013, 08:37 PM
Dodo is one word.but doo-doo would be applicable here too,

Cool story bro.

CrustySMSgt
05-28-2013, 04:24 AM
I would agree things are not as clear as they used to be. We get a lot of crosstrainees in my AFSC, which adds to the problem, when you have A1Cs with more technical skill than TSgts. And as we've gottten smaller, we've gotten used to taking the path of least resistance and finding the "go-to guy/gal" regardless of their rank. This results in the expectation that every 3/5-level outght to be able to perform at the level of the hard chargers who take to thing quickly.

VFFTSGT
05-28-2013, 06:31 AM
I would agree things are not as clear as they used to be. We get a lot of crosstrainees in my AFSC, which adds to the problem, when you have A1Cs with more technical skill than TSgts. And as we've gottten smaller, we've gotten used to taking the path of least resistance and finding the "go-to guy/gal" regardless of their rank. This results in the expectation that every 3/5-level outght to be able to perform at the level of the hard chargers who take to thing quickly.

This drives me nuts! Nothing pisses me off more than a service agency telling me "that person" isn't here or worst they "PCS'ed" and are trying to get someone spun up on X. Are you freaking kidding me? How do you have only 1 person that can do X in the first place and you let them PCS without training someone first?!

Things I won't miss.

At least in the civilian world, I get compensated with credits and refunds if a service provider fails to provide a proper service.

In the military, you just live in pain for several years or don't get your orders processed on time and you get it without Vaseline and the Doctor that repeatedly misdiagnosed/dismissed you gets a promotion and the MPF nut still gets a 5.

SomeRandomGuy
05-28-2013, 02:26 PM
I would agree things are not as clear as they used to be. We get a lot of crosstrainees in my AFSC, which adds to the problem, when you have A1Cs with more technical skill than TSgts. And as we've gottten smaller, we've gotten used to taking the path of least resistance and finding the "go-to guy/gal" regardless of their rank. This results in the expectation that every 3/5-level outght to be able to perform at the level of the hard chargers who take to thing quickly.

That is a big problem in a lot of career fields. I was lucky enough to be stationed at a large base for my first assignment. That allowed me the opportunity to deal with all sort of complex issues as an A1C. At my next base I was a SrA and my supervisor was a TSgt who had just crosstrained. This dude was totally clueless. I think the reason they made him my supervisor was so that I could teach him the job. It was always hilarious when I would tell a customer something they did not want to hear and they would ask to talk to my supervisor. I was always happy to let my customers meet my supervisor. His first question to them was always "What did my Amn say?" then he followed it with "Yep, that is the right answer"

JD2780
05-28-2013, 02:46 PM
That is a big problem in a lot of career fields. I was lucky enough to be stationed at a large base for my first assignment. That allowed me the opportunity to deal with all sort of complex issues as an A1C. At my next base I was a SrA and my supervisor was a TSgt who had just crosstrained. This dude was totally clueless. I think the reason they made him my supervisor was so that I could teach him the job. It was always hilarious when I would tell a customer something they did not want to hear and they would ask to talk to my supervisor. I was always happy to let my customers meet my supervisor. His first question to them was always "What did my Amn say?" then he followed it with "Yep, that is the right answer"

Happens in TACP and CCT as well. You'll have an E-6 running a flight of guys with yrs of combat experience mean while sometimes that E-6 acts like he knows everything. More often than not, that E-6 gets mentored by the experienced E-7 as to listen to his E-5s.

fufu
05-28-2013, 03:21 PM
Yeah, I have seen skill levels pretty much mean nothing now. Training paperwork is penciled whipped just to get the 2096 through.

I have evaluated personnel before. Their lack of knowledge was apparent and the trainees even told me their records were pencil whipped.

I tried to address the systemic training issues. No one cared.

Career development is apparently the old Air Force. I've seen Tech Sgt's (and SSgt's) that did not know what a CFETP is.

No one cares if you can do your job or not. Just don't get your name on a PowerPoint slide slow and go to PT.*


*Some might take this as an exaggeration or PT joke, but it is a very literal and serious statement.

As an NCOIC, I was constantly pressured to upgrade my guys early. If I pushed back with legit reasons, I was "mentored" about the names being on the CC's weekly slide and how that would look poorly on the flight and section. But, when a kid doesn't get it, he doesn't get it. My flight chief would make me review the entire section's TBA(~55 peeps) every tuesday and make sure nobody was considered "non-progression".

Pencil whipping after having them read a task once became common. In hindsight, I should have pushed back more. But it was just another battle against the machine I knew I would lose. This MXG in particular could care less about real technicians as long as the slides look pretty.

CrustySMSgt
05-28-2013, 03:28 PM
Happens in TACP and CCT as well. You'll have an E-6 running a flight of guys with yrs of combat experience mean while sometimes that E-6 acts like he knows everything. More often than not, that E-6 gets mentored by the experienced E-7 as to listen to his E-5s.

"I've heard" that sort of thing really stands out on promotion boards, seeing those that came over late in the game (or somehow just managed to somehow NOT have 5-6+ deployments). They definitely stand out!

20+Years
05-28-2013, 03:34 PM
Come on now Crusty, no knocking us home station warriors!

Chief_KO
05-28-2013, 03:36 PM
I'm amazed at how many brand new A1Cs are more interested in signing-up for UMUC classes than focusing on their CDCs and upgrade training.

Back in the day you could not take off duty education till your CDCs were done, and if you were still in upgrade training you had to be ahead of schedule.
My experience as a sq Chief was that the Os "assumed" training was getting done since the mission was. Only after I pulled all the data out of TBA and compiled task coverage slides for each workcenter did OJT get any attention.

JD2780
05-28-2013, 05:01 PM
"I've heard" that sort of thing really stands out on promotion boards, seeing those that came over late in the game (or somehow just managed to somehow NOT have 5-6+ deployments). They definitely stand out!

Yea, when you have a 5 yr SSgt with 6 deployments and an 11 yr TSgt with one to Kuwait or or a couple to afghaniland it stands out. The good cross trainees know this and ask the SrA for training and can run the flight from a management mindset, but still need experience to truly lead.

Some cross trainees can kick ass while others can ruin a flight.

technomage1
05-28-2013, 07:41 PM
Yea, when you have a 5 yr SSgt with 6 deployments and an 11 yr TSgt with one to Kuwait or or a couple to afghaniland it stands out. The good cross trainees know this and ask the SrA for training and can run the flight from a management mindset, but still need experience to truly lead.

Some cross trainees can kick ass while others can ruin a flight.

In my experience the best cross trainees are the ones who you don't know are cross trainees. I've run across a couple where it's come up in casual conversation and I was suprised to hear they had cross trained. They worked their tails off to get up to speed with other "native" career field members, and I have to say I really respect that.

RetC141BFCC
05-29-2013, 01:07 PM
Back in the day you could not take off duty education till your CDCs were done, and if you were still in upgrade training you had to be ahead of schedule.
My experience as a sq Chief was that the Os "assumed" training was getting done since the mission was. Only after I pulled all the data out of TBA and compiled task coverage slides for each workcenter did OJT get any attention.

I guess I am showing my age. In the MX world we did not allow off duty education till you had your 5 skill level I do not know what is so hard about that. Take care of your primary job first.

Shaken1976
05-29-2013, 01:19 PM
When I first got to my current base there wasn't a real training plan, CDC's were mostly over 30 days behind, and TBA was a joke.

I spent a lot of time getting it all up to speed, getting the airmen caught up in CDCs, and fixing TBA.

I went over the new training plan with everyone. It was a step by step guide. It had references and all. We had an inspector come and ask an airman about the shops training plan and he said that he had no clue what are training plan was..... I could only stare at him dumbfounded. I asked if he remembered the conversation we had where they all went over the training plan. He kind of did the dummy...oh yeah...that thing.

He was finally able to figure out what I was talking about. But seriously we had spent a lot of time going over it with each airman and showing them exactly where they were in the training plan.

JD2780
05-29-2013, 01:23 PM
I guess I am showing my age. In the MX world we did not allow off duty education till you had your 5 skill level I do not know what is so hard about that. Take care of your primary job first.

That's not only the maintenance world.

Shaken1976
05-29-2013, 01:30 PM
In my experience the best cross trainees are the ones who you don't know are cross trainees. I've run across a couple where it's come up in casual conversation and I was suprised to hear they had cross trained. They worked their tails off to get up to speed with other "native" career field members, and I have to say I really respect that.

I had just cross trained and come in to a new base. Brand new to a completely different careerfield than my previous one. Not only that but I was the ranking NCO. It was in the middle of an UCI. That was fun. The guy started firing questions at me. It was literally my first day in the shop. I pulled another NCO in and did the best I could. Somehow I got superior performer out of that shit.