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Measure Man
06-18-2013, 03:01 PM
Commentary on the AF News site.



Filling squares
Posted 6/12/2013 Email story Print story


Commentary by Senior Master Sgt. Vincent Miller
2nd Maintenance Squadron

6/12/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- As Airmen, we are more than familiar with the need to fill the proverbial squares as we strive to progress in our military career.

To be competitive for awards and promotions, we must commit ourselves to goals such as education, passing the fitness exam, and community service. It is through completion of these expectations and requirements that we become better leaders, managers and Airmen. However, somewhere along the way, we fail to internalize the importance of why we fill these squares.

In reality, the squares are designed to make us better and provide a separation between the willing and unwilling -- the committed and uncommitted. The squares help identify Airmen who are motivated and willing to go the extra mile to better themselves, their team, and the Air Force. It is this drive towards self-improvement that separates one from the masses and establishes his or her true identity.

One square that requires a great deal of commitment is the pursuit of education. As we continually strive to become that "whole person," we must challenge ourselves intellectually and work toward attaining a certification; associate, bachelor's, or even a master's degree. Attending school is not easy and takes sacrifice. It means spending your time writing a research paper, while everyone else is enjoying the weekend. It means taking your textbook on the flightline and studying every chance you get. It means being the security forces Airman I saw reading a biology book while eating breakfast in the dining facility.

At this moment some of you are saying there is no time to attend school; high operations tempo, 40-hour work week, and spending time with family are a few reasons that prevent you from taking classes. Additionally, some of you may feel we should be evaluated solely on work performance.

Honestly, these excuses are hindering you from progressing and improving yourself. If you continue to hide behind them, like I once did, you will never take yourself to the next level.

It took a long time to realize that fear and toxic excuses prevented me from seeking an education. Constant mentorship and a few one-way "conversations" from a chief master sergeant propelled me down the road of education.

Dedicating yourself to filling the squares is a decision only you can make. By filling them you demonstrate the willingness of constant self-improvement and unwavering commitment, which directly benefits you, your team, and the Air Force. Filling the squares also establishes separation from your peers and it is through this separation that you are most likely to fulfill your career aspirations and goals.

Read more: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123351830

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 03:18 PM
Commentary on the AF News site.

Ok, I will play along. By making the effort to CLEP one or two courses I have shown the Air Force I have the desire to achieve an assosciates degree. Now what is it about that degree that really proves I deserve to be promoted ahead of my peers? Say I have two MSgts to choose from and I need to select one to become the new NCOIC. What should I look for? Education, people skills, job knowledge, specialty experience, etc? The biggest problem with the AF is that we attack every problem like it can be solved logically and on paper. In real life we understand that things are often not as they appear but for whatever reason when it comes to certain decisions the AF seems to wantt o take the lazy way out. In jobs in the civlian sector your resume will get you an interview but the interview gets you the job. In the AF it seems that your resume is more important thatn your actual skills even if your resume is not even an accurate representation of you. Can you imagine if the civilian sector posted job requirements and simply hired anyone who meets them? I have never seen a job posted that said do you have an assosciates degree, are you physically fit, do you have 14 years experience, do you volunteer? If so, the job is yours. These are the only four things we care about.

Measure Man
06-18-2013, 03:40 PM
/facepalm

The fact that he wrote and article on filling squares just to fill his own squares is just bewildering to me

This one made me throw up in my mouth a little:


Dedicating yourself to filling the squares is a decision only you can make.

I'm wondering if that can be our next recruiting slogan...

Zxc
06-18-2013, 03:41 PM
/facepalm

The fact that he wrote and article on filling squares just to fill his own squares is just bewildering to me

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 03:43 PM
I get a bad taste in my mouth when we put community service on the same level with education. I just don't see the connection. Giving up weekends & family time automatically equals commitment to the team? Unfortunately, our leadership does not agree with me, since they specifically mention volunteering in 36-2618, enlisted force structure.

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think the reason volunteering is mentioned is because no one would do it otherwise. Have you ever been in charge of putting something together (not AF related) and tried to solicit volunteers? Go to any local Red Cross, Food Bank, or Church and see who consisently shows up. Occasionally you might have a person show up to check it out but for the most part you only get the "regulars". The high school football booster club does soemthing interesting here. If your kid is on the team you can either pay $200 or volunteer for like 5 events. The people who do not have the money can work to help the team. People who do not have the time can buy their way out of it.

If the AF did not "encourage" volunteering you would almost never see any activity (burger burns, AADD, etc) become successful. How many people do you know that would willingly sit around at AADD for 5 hours on a weekend for the priveledge to pick up some drunks if they did not get to put it on their EPR?

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 03:44 PM
I get a bad taste in my mouth when we put community service on the same level with education. I just don't see the connection. Giving up weekends & family time automatically equals commitment to the team? Unfortunately, our leadership does not agree with me, since they specifically mention volunteering in 36-2618, enlisted force structure.

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think the reason volunteering is mentioned is because no one would do it otherwise. Have you ever been in charge of putting something together (not AF related) and tried to solicit volunteers? Go to any local Red Cross, Food Bank, or Church and see who consisently shows up. Occasionally you might have a person show up to check it out but for the most part you only get the "regulars". The high school football booster club does soemthing interesting here. If your kid is on the team you can either pay $200 or volunteer for like 5 events. The people who do not have the money can work to help the team. People who do not have the time can buy their way out of it.

If the AF did not "encourage" volunteering you would almost never see any activity (burger burns, AADD, etc) become successful. How many people do you know that would willingly sit around at AADD for 5 hours on a weekend for the priveledge to pick up some drunks if they did not get to put it on their EPR?

Thomas
06-18-2013, 03:48 PM
It is through completion of these expectations and requirements that we become better leaders, managers and Airmen.

It is this drive towards self-improvement that separates one from the masses and establishes his or her true identity.



I disagree that checking boxes makes someone a better leader, manager, and Airman. They may indirectly get some sort of experience that will help them in the future, but adopt-a-highway or habitat for humanity doesn't build credibility with subordinates like on-the-job experience does.

I personally have a drive for constant self-improvement, but it wasn't taught in PME or sent to me in a 5MT email. It is who I am and how I want to be viewed by the world. I also feel an unwavering commitment to the Air Force. This is why I feel our resources (including people) should be used in the most efficient manner possible, rather than burning duty time on booster club fundraising.

I'm on board with the education push, although it's difficult to quantify exactly how much we get for our investment in that area. Our "professional students" are burning through a lot of Tuition Assistance money just for the sake of doing something.

I get a bad taste in my mouth when we put community service on the same level with education. I just don't see the connection. Giving up weekends & family time automatically equals commitment to the team? Unfortunately, our leadership does not agree with me, since they specifically mention volunteering in 36-2618, enlisted force structure.

Shadowless
06-18-2013, 03:57 PM
Commentary on the AF News site.

Aprils fools?

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 04:06 PM
As for AADD, personally I've driven or played operator on 8 or 9 different nights in the past and I've all but given up on the program; I've not yet once encountered a stranded Airman or "saved" anyone from getting a DUI... People aren't stupid, they're just cheap and don't want to pay for a cab... but they have no problem getting dropped off and planning on AADD as a free cab home. I have no problem with the idea of a drunk bus picking people up, but seeing the constant bullets about 1XX souls saved is ridiculous


One quick note on this. I have probably done AADD about 5 times (used it a lot more than that :very_drunk:). Of all the times I picked someone up only two times probably prevented a DUI. The first was a guy who called us from outside the gate. He just wanted a ride through the gate because he knew they would smell alochol. I suppose that did prevent a DUI but realistically the risk had already been taken as he had driven from the bar to base already. The second situation that preveneted a DUI was when I picked up a completely sober person. This guy's wife had went to a friend's and had a few too many. He was adament that she not drive home but she refused to leave her vehicle. He called AADD and we went and picked him up and dropped him off at her location so he could drive home. I do think this one actually prevented a possible DUI as she would have driven if not for AADD but I do not see any reason why he could not have just called a friend instead of AADD.

Zxc
06-18-2013, 04:10 PM
Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think the reason volunteering is mentioned is because no one would do it otherwise. Have you ever been in charge of putting something together (not AF related) and tried to solicit volunteers? Go to any local Red Cross, Food Bank, or Church and see who consisently shows up. Occasionally you might have a person show up to check it out but for the most part you only get the "regulars". The high school football booster club does soemthing interesting here. If your kid is on the team you can either pay $200 or volunteer for like 5 events. The people who do not have the money can work to help the team. People who do not have the time can buy their way out of it.

If the AF did not "encourage" volunteering you would almost never see any activity (burger burns, AADD, etc) become successful. How many people do you know that would willingly sit around at AADD for 5 hours on a weekend for the priveledge to pick up some drunks if they did not get to put it on their EPR?

Absolutely, but personally the vast majority of "burger burn" or other Booster Club crap is entirely self-serving and I wouldn't mind seeing it go away entirely. For more mandatory events such as Wing formations, changes of command, etc voluntelling is suitable as needed. As for AADD, personally I've driven or played operator on 8 or 9 different nights in the past and I've all but given up on the program; I've not yet once encountered a stranded Airman or "saved" anyone from getting a DUI... People aren't stupid, they're just cheap and don't want to pay for a cab... but they have no problem getting dropped off and planning on AADD as a free cab home. I have no problem with the idea of a drunk bus picking people up, but seeing the constant bullets about 1XX souls saved is ridiculous

I do value volunteerism and self-improvement, but I think that the level at which they are valued is ludicrous

Absinthe Anecdote
06-18-2013, 04:17 PM
In reality, the squares are designed to make us better and provide a separation between the willing and unwilling -- the committed and uncommitted. The squares help identify Airmen who are motivated and willing to go the extra mile to better themselves, their team, and the Air Force. It is this drive towards self-improvement that separates one from the masses and establishes his or her true identity.

This is a very unimaginative commentary if you ask me. Besides, it isn’t that hard to get the CCAF degree.

The cliché “filling the squares” has a negative connotation and all he does is reinforce it by parroting the same crap he has heard in his mentoring sessions.

I think he would have been better off spending his time explaining the benefits of taking college classes in terms of expanding your personal knowledge and communication skills.
Anyone who improves their written and oral communication skills above the masses is at a distinct advantage in almost every aspect of modern life.

Being good at public speaking is what really sets a person apart in my opinion. If you aren’t good at getting to the point when speaking to subordinates or superiors you are going to look like a dumbass.

That’s how I sold education to my troops; if that failed to spark an interest, I would tell them that taking college classes is a great way to meet new people.

How in the hell does he think that he is going to reach anyone by writing a piece of crap commentary like that?

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 04:18 PM
As for AADD, personally I've driven or played operator on 8 or 9 different nights in the past and I've all but given up on the program; I've not yet once encountered a stranded Airman or "saved" anyone from getting a DUI... People aren't stupid, they're just cheap and don't want to pay for a cab... but they have no problem getting dropped off and planning on AADD as a free cab home. I have no problem with the idea of a drunk bus picking people up, but seeing the constant bullets about 1XX souls saved is ridiculous


One quick note on this. I have probably done AADD about 5 times (used it a lot more than that :very_drunk:). Of all the times I picked someone up only two times probably prevented a DUI. The first was a guy who called us from outside the gate. He just wanted a ride through the gate because he knew they would smell alochol. I suppose that did prevent a DUI but realistically the risk had already been taken as he had driven from the bar to base already. The second situation that preveneted a DUI was when I picked up a completely sober person. This guy's wife had went to a friend's and had a few too many. He was adament that she not drive home but she refused to leave her vehicle. He called AADD and we went and picked him up and dropped him off at her location so he could drive home. I do think this one actually prevented a possible DUI as she would have driven if not for AADD but I do not see any reason why he could not have just called a friend instead of AADD.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-18-2013, 04:32 PM
Absolutely, but personally the vast majority of "burger burn" or other Booster Club crap is entirely self-serving and I wouldn't mind seeing it go away entirely. For more mandatory events such as Wing formations, changes of command, etc voluntelling is suitable as needed. As for AADD, personally I've driven or played operator on 8 or 9 different nights in the past and I've all but given up on the program; I've not yet once encountered a stranded Airman or "saved" anyone from getting a DUI... People aren't stupid, they're just cheap and don't want to pay for a cab... but they have no problem getting dropped off and planning on AADD as a free cab home. I have no problem with the idea of a drunk bus picking people up, but seeing the constant bullets about 1XX souls saved is ridiculous

I do value volunteerism and self-improvement, but I think that the level at which they are valued is ludicrous

I hated reading those bullets (XX lives saved), just like the Air Show funnel cake volunteer bullets that stated "ensured 200,000 attendees enjoyed event." How about a little honesty, or at least back off of the requirement to fill every ounce of white space in the bullet? This alone drives people to flat out lie just to find words that will fill the white space!

MrMilitaryMoney
06-18-2013, 04:55 PM
I hate that we have to fill squares but at least we know what the squares are. I would have never started my degree if I wasn't "highly encouraged" to get my CCAF. Once I started I realized it was't to hard so I continued on and got my Bachelors. I am now working on my Masters. I was originally annoyed by "filling squares" but now I am glad I had to do it.

DWWSWWD
06-18-2013, 04:56 PM
Every one of these that you guys flame, reinforces my notion that I should never write anything. Ever. With these interweb things, it is lose-lose. This cracks me up sometime to consider some of these points made, as a whole. "We put way too much emphasis on education. I go to school, but still......" "Volunteering is stupid, except for the things that I volunteer for." "All Chiefs are E-9s, except for mine. He's awesome." Regarding the emphasis on these things, at one place we had guidance on scoring 1206s that was way too in the weeds, but.... It said of the bottom two categories, score them and then multipy them by .10. Get me? That means Job Performance in Primary Duty, was weighted at 80%, school and bake sales were 10% each. I don't do math but that is roughly how I would consider the performance of an Airman. Shit hot in job? OK, now I'll consider the other two "square fillers." Hope that makes sense. I'm in a hurry for a change.

70gto
06-18-2013, 05:01 PM
The problem with Air Force leadership today is the fact that we promote on the ability to "fill squares", not the ability to lead.

Pullinteeth
06-18-2013, 05:22 PM
I get the frustration with filling squares. I truely do but...would you rather have the steps you need to take outlined for you or just have to guess at what you have to do to make yourself competitive? Personally, I would rather know what I need to do. If I do it or not, that is up to me. I may not LIKE the stuff I need to do to increase my chances but if I decide that I want the best chance for success, I may choose to do them anyway. Don't get me wrong, I don't think filling squares should be the ONLY factor considered but if two people are relatively equal and one has an extra square filled....it makes the decision just a bit easier. If some of those squares are MANDATORY and you don't fill them, that lets your supervisors know that career progression isn't a priority.

71Fish
06-18-2013, 05:25 PM
I hated reading those bullets (XX lives saved), just like the Air Show funnel cake volunteer bullets that stated "ensured 200,000 attendees enjoyed event." How about a little honesty, or at least back off of the requirement to fill every ounce of white space in the bullet? This alone drives people to flat out lie just to find words that will fill the white space!

Honesty like "Continually to work arrives early; does his job well with minimum supervision--Ready for immediate promotion!"

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 05:32 PM
I get the frustration with filling squares. I truely do but...would you rather have the steps you need to take outlined for you or just have to guess at what you have to do to make yourself competitive? Personally, I would rather know what I need to do. If I do it or not, that is up to me. I may not LIKE the stuff I need to do to increase my chances but if I decide that I want the best chance for success, I may choose to do them anyway. Don't get me wrong, I don't think filling squares should be the ONLY factor considered but if two people are relatively equal and one has an extra square filled....it makes the decision just a bit easier. If some of those squares are MANDATORY and you don't fill them, that lets your supervisors know that career progression isn't a priority.

I understand what you are saying here but I think laying out the blueprint tends to create the type of leaders we end up with. The best example I could compare this too is government contracting. In the world of government contracts you basically either have to do a sole source justification or write a contract so heavy on requirements that only one product or company could realistically fill it. What then ends up happeneing is that you only get one possible solution to your problem. Say for example you are looking for new computers. You are a big fan of Microsoft so you make one of your requirements that the new machine be able to run windows. By doing this you have effectively elimanted any Apple based product and decreased competition. So in the end you pay a higher price and possibly an inferior product. While education is valuable by saying that a person must have a CCAF (one example) you have eliminated anyone who may have learned the same lessons from school of hard knocks. In situations where two people are almost indistinguishable things like CCAF and volunteer should count but those factors should be eighted according to actual imprortance. Basically I think I just said the exact same thing as Pullinteeth but I am simply trying to explain that when we provide the recipe we get the exact leader we ordered. If you wants omething different you need to change the ingredients up a little bit.

MrMilitaryMoney
06-18-2013, 05:33 PM
people shouldn't just fill squares to fill them

Thomas
06-18-2013, 05:33 PM
[QUOTE=Pullinteeth;634151]I get the frustration with filling squares. I truely do but...would you rather have the steps you need to take outlined for you or just have to guess at what you have to do to make yourself competitive?
I may not LIKE the stuff I need to do to increase my chances but if I decide that I want the best chance for success, I may choose to do them anyway. [QUOTE]

I agree that at least it's consistent. Throughout my career, I've been told you've got to do more than "just enough" to set yourself apart. I've always thought it was pretty clear what is expected.

I think it should be important to have separate discussions regarding mandatory square filling (like CCAF/Course 14) versus volunteerism. I understand CCAF is important, even if it isn't tough to get. What I don't agree with is the self-serving booster club/holiday party fundraisers or golf tournaments that are a distraction to those that actually want to get some work done during duty hours.
Lumping education and community service together as "square filling" is a bit lazy to me.

MrMilitaryMoney
06-18-2013, 05:45 PM
people shouldn't just fill squares to fill them

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-18-2013, 06:02 PM
[QUOTE=Pullinteeth;634151]I get the frustration with filling squares. I truely do but...would you rather have the steps you need to take outlined for you or just have to guess at what you have to do to make yourself competitive?
I may not LIKE the stuff I need to do to increase my chances but if I decide that I want the best chance for success, I may choose to do them anyway. [QUOTE]

I agree that at least it's consistent. Throughout my career, I've been told you've got to do more than "just enough" to set yourself apart. I've always thought it was pretty clear what is expected.

I think it should be important to have separate discussions regarding mandatory square filling (like CCAF/Course 14) versus volunteerism. I understand CCAF is important, even if it isn't tough to get. What I don't agree with is the self-serving booster club/holiday party fundraisers or golf tournaments that are a distraction to those that actually want to get some work done during duty hours.
Lumping education and community service together as "square filling" is a bit lazy to me.

You have a point. Start the new thread.

71Fish
06-18-2013, 06:02 PM
people shouldn't just fill squares to fill them

That's some really good insight.

SomeRandomGuy
06-18-2013, 06:11 PM
After my last post I thought about my comment "If you want something different change the recipe." It is kind of ironic that we complain about worthless NCOs or worthless leaders when all they are doing is following the recipe/checklist.

Imagine your office had a coffee pot with very specific instructions posted. If you make coffee it must be brewed using Folgers grounds with exactly 2 cups of water. If you choose to drink the coffee you must use exactly two cups of splenda sugar and one cup of Nestle creamer. Now imagine several people in this office like their coffee strong. It would be kind of pointless for them to complain that the coffee is weak these days when the obvious reason is that you are required to sweeten it up to meet the recipe. I think that is what happened to NCOs. We quit telling people to season their NCOs to taste and instead told them to follow a generic recipe.

Zxc
06-18-2013, 06:16 PM
After my last post I thought about my comment "If you want something different change the recipe." It is kind of ironic that we complain about worthless NCOs or worthless leaders when all they are doing is following the recipe/checklist.

Imagine your office had a coffee pot with very specific instructions posted. If you make coffee it must be brewed using Folgers grounds with exactly 2 cups of water. If you choose to drink the coffee you must use exactly two cups of splenda sugar and one cup of Nestle creamer. Now imagine several people in this office like their coffee strong. It would be kind of pointless for them to complain that the coffee is weak these days when the obvious reason is that you are required to sweeten it up to meet the recipe. I think that is what happened to NCOs. We quit telling people to season their NCOs to taste and instead told them to follow a generic recipe.

I followed this coffee recipe and it came out as a thick beige paste. I tried to eat a bit with a spoon but soon began to regret it.

Chief_KO
06-18-2013, 06:18 PM
I detest the phrases "Filling the Squares", the activity will be "A good EPR bullet", and "Shut Up and Color". I also detest the practice of grooming someone for an award...specifically guiding them to a certain activity or event to complete their package.
The over emphasis on volunteering (specifically fund raising) is directly proportional to the $ amount for the doo-dads etc. presented by the various orgs. Go back to a simple framed certificate (total cost around $5), vice spending $50 and up for an Eagle mounted on oak for quarterly/annual awards. How about time off? It's free and is more appreciated than any presento.
Return the focus of the organization (Top III, 5/6, CGOC, etc.) back to helping people and the base...not by one-upping each other each year at who can give away the most bling.
Volunteering should be done for the right reason...to help...be it the food kitchen, AADD, chapel/church, youth sports, etc. NOT for a bullet.

scoot7
06-18-2013, 06:18 PM
40-hour work week
Yeah, that one sounds brutal...

I wish I still had my favorite 1206 volunteerism bullets that I ever read verbatim, but they translated to "he plays with his kids in the park every weekend" and "he makes a date night with his wife every week."

grimreaper
06-18-2013, 06:24 PM
This one made me throw up in my mouth a little:

I'm wondering if that can be our next recruiting slogan...

I wonder if filling squares is the same thing as filling voids...and vectors...and the 5MT's.

imported_DannyJ
06-18-2013, 06:27 PM
Yeah, that one sounds brutal...

I wish I still had my favorite 1206 volunteerism bullets that I ever read verbatim, but they translated to "he plays with his kids in the park every weekend" and "he makes a date night with his wife every week."

You know that's interesting, particularly when you think back to CMSAF Cody's statement about getting more time back to the enlisted... Soon you'll have to have family envolvement bullets on your EPR to prove you're not neglecting your family to volunteer for the FAWKING BAKE SALE!!!!!

imported_DannyJ
06-18-2013, 06:36 PM
When is 5 hrs with the 5/6 Club raising money for the holiday party > 400 hours with habitat for humanity? Only when its the AF.

DWWSWWD
06-18-2013, 07:09 PM
It is kind of ironic that we complain about worthless NCOs or worthless leaders when all they are doing is following the recipe/checklist.

You will never hear me complain about someone just meeting standards. Do your job most every day, meet the minimum for all standards, be well rounded and take care of your people and you won't hear a peep out of me. Hell, I've said 1,000 times that if everyone gave 110%, I'd have topped out around TSgt.

Measure Man
06-18-2013, 07:13 PM
Yeah, that one sounds brutal...

I wish I still had my favorite 1206 volunteerism bullets that I ever read verbatim, but they translated to "he plays with his kids in the park every weekend" and "he makes a date night with his wife every week."

LOL...I remember a buddy of mine had on his EPR that he "spent over 100 hours mentoring local youth recovering from drug addiction...provided counseling, transportation to appts.,"

The EPR never mentioned the "local youth" were his own kids.

raustin0017
06-18-2013, 07:29 PM
Every one of these that you guys flame, reinforces my notion that I should never write anything. Ever. With these interweb things, it is lose-lose. This cracks me up sometime to consider some of these points made, as a whole. "We put way too much emphasis on education. I go to school, but still......" "Volunteering is stupid, except for the things that I volunteer for." "All Chiefs are E-9s, except for mine. He's awesome." Regarding the emphasis on these things, at one place we had guidance on scoring 1206s that was way too in the weeds, but.... It said of the bottom two categories, score them and then multipy them by .10. Get me? That means Job Performance in Primary Duty, was weighted at 80%, school and bake sales were 10% each. I don't do math but that is roughly how I would consider the performance of an Airman. Shit hot in job? OK, now I'll consider the other two "square fillers." Hope that makes sense. I'm in a hurry for a change.

You get it...most don't or have not scored records or Qtr/Annual Pkgs. 80/10/10 is the standard formula. It is the exact reason all 1206s are in that order. Primary Duty, Ed, Community involvement (volunteering).

Measure Man
06-18-2013, 08:03 PM
You get it...most don't or have not scored records or Qtr/Annual Pkgs. 80/10/10 is the standard formula. It is the exact reason all 1206s are in that order. Primary Duty, Ed, Community involvement (volunteering).

Sounds great in theory.

However, what tends to happen in practice...is the "Primary Duty" blocks all get scored very tightly together...first, the board just assumes that everyone meeting the board is doing their job excellently, and how do you compare a guy launching and recovering aircraft, to a guy processing orders and decorations?? So, generally, unless there is some stupendous combat achievement or something, everyone is getting pretty close in Primary Duty...or at least reasonably close.

Then you get to the "Other" categories...where it is much easier to compare the guy taking 3 classes toward his bachelor's, vs. the guy who read "Who moved the Cheese"...or the guy who has a "leadership positio in the 5/6 Club, vs. the guy who helped out on a FOD walk...so the differentiation in those categories is much greater...and that tends to be the "make or break" categories...

imported_Renazance
06-19-2013, 07:30 AM
Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think the reason volunteering is mentioned is because no one would do it otherwise. Have you ever been in charge of putting something together (not AF related) and tried to solicit volunteers? Go to any local Red Cross, Food Bank, or Church and see who consisently shows up. Occasionally you might have a person show up to check it out but for the most part you only get the "regulars". The high school football booster club does soemthing interesting here. If your kid is on the team you can either pay $200 or volunteer for like 5 events. The people who do not have the money can work to help the team. People who do not have the time can buy their way out of it.

If the AF did not "encourage" volunteering you would almost never see any activity (burger burns, AADD, etc) become successful. How many people do you know that would willingly sit around at AADD for 5 hours on a weekend for the priveledge to pick up some drunks if they did not get to put it on their EPR?


I've always wondered the same. I'm pretty sure if volunteering was not a part of the whole-person concept or included in EPRs and 1206s, a good majority of folks wouldn't volunteer, especially for crappy details like air show escorts or burger burns. I say take education and volunteerism out of the equation and focus solely on job performance. If someone wants to pursue an education or get involved in their community, then more power to them. Just don't reward them for it. Their reward is the degree they earn or the sense of fulfillment from helping out.

omertalifestyle
06-19-2013, 10:39 AM
Let's see...CCAF done....Over halfway to my bachelors....10 classes completed on my own time in the past year....volunteered my own time for 5/6 club, habitat for humanity, squadron/unit functions, all while doing my job to the best of my ability......still going to be separated because of the AF PT changes and HYT changes......unless my AFBCMR final decision comes in soon. I may be out of the AF already before that happens.

tiredretiredE7
06-19-2013, 12:06 PM
You get it...most don't or have not scored records or Qtr/Annual Pkgs. 80/10/10 is the standard formula. It is the exact reason all 1206s are in that order. Primary Duty, Ed, Community involvement (volunteering).

I sat on over 30 Qtr/Annual boards in 3 different command in 5 different squadrons and the standard scoring was 0 to 5 points per line in all areas. Each package is graded individually and then the board members compare the top three scored Qtr/Annual to each others top three scored Qtr/Annual packages. The board president does not score any of the packages and serves to break any ties or leads a discussion to determine why someone's top three Qtr/Annual scoring varied from the other board members. Then the board members make improvement recommendations to the winning package and turn in the boards results to the 1st shirt. I have never saw a 80/10/10 formula.

CrustySMSgt
06-19-2013, 12:07 PM
I understand what you are saying here but I think laying out the blueprint tends to create the type of leaders we end up with. The best example I could compare this too is government contracting. In the world of government contracts you basically either have to do a sole source justification or write a contract so heavy on requirements that only one product or company could realistically fill it. What then ends up happeneing is that you only get one possible solution to your problem. Say for example you are looking for new computers. You are a big fan of Microsoft so you make one of your requirements that the new machine be able to run windows. By doing this you have effectively elimanted any Apple based product and decreased competition. So in the end you pay a higher price and possibly an inferior product. While education is valuable by saying that a person must have a CCAF (one example) you have eliminated anyone who may have learned the same lessons from school of hard knocks. In situations where two people are almost indistinguishable things like CCAF and volunteer should count but those factors should be eighted according to actual imprortance. Basically I think I just said the exact same thing as Pullinteeth but I am simply trying to explain that when we provide the recipe we get the exact leader we ordered. If you wants omething different you need to change the ingredients up a little bit.

THis is one of the major reason against actually making EPRs reflect "block checking" and trying to quantify actions and translate them to ratings. If you tell folks "this is what you have to do to get ____", that's what most are going to do, nothing more, nothing less. Doesn't allow for outside the box thinkers or those with initiative to come up with something new, because it isn't on "the checklist."


You know that's interesting, particularly when you think back to CMSAF Cody's statement about getting more time back to the enlisted... Soon you'll have to have family envolvement bullets on your EPR to prove you're not neglecting your family to volunteer for the FAWKING BAKE SALE!!!!!

I see those all the time, those that start off reading books in elementary school, then coaching sports through 7,8,9,10... grade, which of course "coincidentally" lines up with the grades their kids are in.


Sounds great in theory.

However, what tends to happen in practice...is the "Primary Duty" blocks all get scored very tightly together...first, the board just assumes that everyone meeting the board is doing their job excellently, and how do you compare a guy launching and recovering aircraft, to a guy processing orders and decorations?? So, generally, unless there is some stupendous combat achievement or something, everyone is getting pretty close in Primary Duty...or at least reasonably close.

Then you get to the "Other" categories...where it is much easier to compare the guy taking 3 classes toward his bachelor's, vs. the guy who read "Who moved the Cheese"...or the guy who has a "leadership positio in the 5/6 Club, vs. the guy who helped out on a FOD walk...so the differentiation in those categories is much greater...and that tends to be the "make or break" categories...

THIS! Easy to compare apples to apples, but get outside a work center and throw some oranges, plums, and a cumquat in there, and things go to shit quick. Should the hua guy who has the cool job win all the awards over the back shop guy who's job it is to hand out tools and is the baddest tool hander outerer that ever walked the face of the earth? It is difficult to rack & stack Airmen from different jobs and levels of responsibility, so MM is right, a lot of the time it does come down to the "other" bullets. When I score a package, my going in position is you did your job. If a bullet can capture how your scope of resonsibility or level of performance is above your peers, you get credit for that. But if your a the NCOIC of widget making and you supervised the making of 15,326 widgets in that quarter, if you don't quantify that number, I don't know if that is high or low. And when I compare you to the PJ who sat ## hours of alert and had 2 saves, you both get equal credit for doing your job.

People get too wrapped up in their functional tribes and fail to dumb things down for the common denominator. This hurts their people on awards and promotion boards, because if I don't know what the 13 acronyms you jammed in to one bullet mean, you get no credit for whatever awesome stuff you may have done (that made sense to you when you wrote it). It is very important to show why your guy/gal is better than the rest on the job and then yes, make sure they also stand out in the other bullets, where you're back to comparing apples to apples.

CrustySMSgt
06-19-2013, 12:08 PM
Let's see...CCAF done....Over halfway to my bachelors....10 classes completed on my own time in the past year....volunteered my own time for 5/6 club, habitat for humanity, squadron/unit functions, all while doing my job to the best of my ability......still going to be separated because of the AF PT changes and HYT changes......unless my AFBCMR final decision comes in soon. I may be out of the AF already before that happens.

and...? :confused:

SomeRandomGuy
06-19-2013, 12:18 PM
Let's see...CCAF done....Over halfway to my bachelors....10 classes completed on my own time in the past year....volunteered my own time for 5/6 club, habitat for humanity, squadron/unit functions, all while doing my job to the best of my ability......still going to be separated because of the AF PT changes and HYT changes......unless my AFBCMR final decision comes in soon. I may be out of the AF already before that happens.

Not sure if you are aware of this but the AFBCMR can actually put you back in the AF with backpay if that is what you want. Even if you have already seperated from the AF. I had a friend who went through the return to duty program (to rehabilitate those kicked out with bad conduct discharge). After he completed the program AFPC never changed his AFSC so he was listed as disqualified for cause not eligible for retraining. He was supposed to be eligible for retraining but it was never updated. Despite all of his attempts to get it changed he served out the final 2 years of his enlistment under that code (working at the gym and chapel). Since he was disqualified for cause he could not re-enlist so when the time came he was seperated and he went home. When the AFBCMR came back with their decision they decided he was elgible to re-enlist. They re-instated his rank with backpay and told him to "report to his home of record" (where he already was) and wait for orders which he had the option to accept or decline. He ended up getting orders and accepted them. He then made SSgt first try and is doing well in the AF considering everything he has been through.

tiredretiredE7
06-19-2013, 12:22 PM
I see those all the time, those that start off reading books in elementary school, then coaching sports through 7,8,9,10... grade, which of course "coincidentally" lines up with the grades their kids are in.

Thank you! My last Chief spent more time reading books to kids in child's class and encouraged everyone else to volunteer at the school. The TOP 3 could always be found at the school if they weren't in their office.

CJSmith
06-19-2013, 12:22 PM
http://i.imgur.com/GaR5Iki.jpg

SomeRandomGuy
06-19-2013, 12:22 PM
And one trick ponies stand out. If you like to play softball, basketball, special olympics, habitat for humanity, etc, great! But if you use the same thing every single year, even if you're progressing in that arena, it tells me you like to be comfortable and makes me question your ability to lead outside your comfort zone. That's awesome you've found something you like to do, but find different opportunities to challenge yourself and expand your leadership opportunities.

So if I coached the squadron softball team, volunteered at Alefest, and helped security forces practice breathalyzers would that be diverse enough? If not screw it I'm getting another beer :beerchug:

CrustySMSgt
06-19-2013, 12:31 PM
Thank you! My last Chief spent more time reading books to kids in child's class and encouraged everyone else to volunteer at the school. The TOP 3 could always be found at the school if they weren't in their office.

And one trick ponies stand out. If you like to play softball, basketball, special olympics, habitat for humanity, etc, great! But if you use the same thing every single year, even if you're progressing in that arena, it tells me you like to be comfortable and makes me question your ability to lead outside your comfort zone. That's awesome you've found something you like to do, but find different opportunities to challenge yourself and expand your leadership opportunities.

SomeRandomGuy
06-19-2013, 12:34 PM
And one trick ponies stand out. If you like to play softball, basketball, special olympics, habitat for humanity, etc, great! But if you use the same thing every single year, even if you're progressing in that arena, it tells me you like to be comfortable and makes me question your ability to lead outside your comfort zone. That's awesome you've found something you like to do, but find different opportunities to challenge yourself and expand your leadership opportunities.

So if I coached the squadron softball team, volunteered at Alefest, and helped security forces practice breathalyzers would that be diverse enough? If not screw it I'm getting another beer :beerchug:

Absinthe Anecdote
06-19-2013, 12:50 PM
So if I coached the squadron softball team, volunteered at Alefest, and helped security forces practice breathalyzers would that be diverse enough? If not screw it I'm getting another beer :beerchug:

I’m afraid I would score you low.

To be competitive you need to be involved with puppies, children, the disabled, and veterans groups.

Helping homeless people sounds good; however, be very careful with that one because a lot of people are afraid of bums and junkies, err, I mean homeless people.
Like another post said before, don’t be a “one trick pony” you got to mix it up a little, just make sure you use the right ingredients!

I cover this topic in greater detail in my new book, They Also Baked.

They Also Baked, is the story of the SNCOs contribution to American air power, available on Amazon and at book stores everywhere.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-19-2013, 12:55 PM
I’m afraid I would score you low.

To be competitive you need to be involved with puppies, children, the disabled, and veterans groups.

Helping homeless people sounds good; however, be very careful with that one because a lot of people are afraid of bums and junkies, err, I mean homeless people.
Like another post said before, don’t be a “one trick pony” you got to mix it up a little, just make sure you use the right ingredients!

I cover this topic in greater detail in my new book, They Also Baked.

They Also Baked, is the story of the SNCOs contribution to American air power, available on Amazon and at book stores everywhere.

I just saw a program where homeless would spend their handouts on crack or heroin. I know this isn't a surprise to anyone, but what bothered me most was how a homeless Vietnam vet would panhandle with his dog, which of course got him more handouts by pulling on people's "heart strings." He said he had no problems taking that money to buy his next hit. Disgusting. I'll never give money to another homeless person!

DWWSWWD
06-19-2013, 01:14 PM
I have never saw a 80/10/10 formula. I don't see it any longer. It was interesting at the time and has served me since as a way of thinking about the other stuff. MM is right though. Those are always the delineators. Donated a bunch of my shit to the Airman's Attic. Awesome. You've got to get in those duty areas and see what it is that person is doing and within the context of his job. The finance guy may be doing a better job than the EOD guy. EOD is sexy on a 1206 which makes it tougher to figure the winner. I grade these things all the time. Regarding scoring, I hardly pay attention to how anyone asks me to score a package anymore. I give them back in rank order, top guy, 2nd place and so on. If they ask for points, I tell them my points system is 1-1,000,000 in half point increments. What value are my points?

CrustySMSgt
06-19-2013, 01:15 PM
{on topic} Leading in whatever you do is key, from the time you are an Airman. If you're "participating" in anything, someone is leading you. And if a bullet starts with, "active member", I stop reading. {/on topic}


I just saw a program where homeless would spend their handouts on crack or heroin. I know this isn't a surprise to anyone, but what bothered me most was how a homeless Vietnam vet would panhandle with his dog, which of course got him more handouts by pulling on people's "heart strings." He said he had no problems taking that money to buy his next hit. Disgusting. I'll never give money to another homeless person!

{off topic} Amen! There are better ways to donate your money (or time) that contributes to constructive ways to help. No one with any pride will panhandle... that is reserved for the shameless ones who would rather beg than put any effort in to getting out of the situation. I'm sure there are some out there who really "need" it, but I've seen too many cases of panhandlers walking off to their cars with more money than I make in a day! And if they're smoking, it just bolsters my opinion! {/off topic}

CrustySMSgt
06-19-2013, 01:24 PM
That's a crazy statement. If I'm volunteering, it shouldn't matter if I do the same thing every year or not. Or are you saying it's not actually about helping people, it's ONLY about filling blocks. If that's the case, especially coming from a SNCO, then we truly have no chance of having an EPR ever mean anything.

No, it means I don't give a $%^&* if you like to play softball and dedicate all your off duty time each and every year to play softball. If you wanted to be a proffesional ball player, you should have picked a different career.

Progressing through the "ranks" of something like special olympics or habitat for humanity is a bit more difficult. If you start swinging a hammer or working an event to running a crew/event, to coordinating projects, to being a regional coordinator, etc, then you're growing and having more impact, just like you do at work. If you're not a leader on and off duty, then those who are will stand out ahead of you.

Of course this is all subjective and talking in generalities is easy... every person (and record) is different.

sandsjames
06-19-2013, 01:26 PM
And one trick ponies stand out. If you like to play softball, basketball, special olympics, habitat for humanity, etc, great! But if you use the same thing every single year, even if you're progressing in that arena, it tells me you like to be comfortable and makes me question your ability to lead outside your comfort zone. That's awesome you've found something you like to do, but find different opportunities to challenge yourself and expand your leadership opportunities.

That's a crazy statement. If I'm volunteering, it shouldn't matter if I do the same thing every year or not. Or are you saying it's not actually about helping people, it's ONLY about filling blocks. If that's the case, especially coming from a SNCO, then we truly have no chance of having an EPR ever mean anything.

SomeRandomGuy
06-19-2013, 01:30 PM
I don't see it any longer. It was interesting at the time and has served me since as a way of thinking about the other stuff. MM is right though. Those are always the delineators. Donated a bunch of my shit to the Airman's Attic. Awesome. You've got to get in those duty areas and see what it is that person is doing and within the context of his job. The finance guy may be doing a better job than the EOD guy. EOD is sexy on a 1206 which makes it tougher to figure the winner. I grade these things all the time. Regarding scoring, I hardly pay attention to how anyone asks me to score a package anymore. I give them back in rank order, top guy, 2nd place and so on. If they ask for points, I tell them my points system is 1-1,000,000 in half point increments. What value are my points?

The awards program is a mess. At my last base we would submit different 1206s for different audiences. If we were submitting the troop for Amn of the Quarter within the finance community we mentioned how the person identified debts and collected them back. Those bullets sound great in the finance community but when the guy from EOD reads them he thinks back to the time finance screwed him. For packages that competed at the wing we had to focus on how many customers were served and how much money was saved while being careful to not to mention that we saved that money by collecting it back from people. I imagine other AFSCs have to do the same thing. The cop who wrote 200 speeding tickets probably is not a popular bullet. It sucks that we have to write bullets instead of just flat out stating what the person did.

sandsjames
06-19-2013, 01:41 PM
Volunteering is about giving of yourself. Your effort and time to benefit someone else. It is a sacrifice. I had violent disagreement with an E-10 here about a stratification for an Airman that was at the school everyday painting or reading or some garbage. He didn't want to consider my guy because he wasn't washing puppies at 1000 every Wednesday. That is when we had the duty discussion. My guy was absolutely covered up with work and leading Airmen. He'd love to wash puppies but that Top 3 didn't do a damn thing if it wasn't during duty hours. I asked the guy, what is our ability to judge someone's sacrifice if all they do is take time from the boss and their teammates? He eventually told me that the Airman absolutely was going to be #1 in the Wing. I said she absolutely wasn't because I convinced my boss that the work guy was #1 in the squadron. (they were both in my squadron) No way to strat someone number one in the wing if they don't leave the sq at #1.

Who the hell strats an Airman?

sandsjames
06-19-2013, 01:45 PM
It's all a joke and a big waste of time. Both EPRs and awards do nothing but consume way too much time we don't have. I'd think people reviewing these things would have better things to do with their time than read a bunch of bullets they know are BS, while paying more attention to format than actual content. "Hey, whoever wrote this is a great writer. You win."

DWWSWWD
06-19-2013, 01:46 PM
Who the hell strats an Airman?

Come on, man. Big A

RFScott
06-19-2013, 01:47 PM
The awards program is a mess. At my last base we would submit different 1206s for different audiences. If we were submitting the troop for Amn of the Quarter within the finance community we mentioned how the person identified debts and collected them back. Those bullets sound great in the finance community but when the guy from EOD reads them he thinks back to the time finance screwed him. For packages that competed at the wing we had to focus on how many customers were served and how much money was saved while being careful to not to mention that we saved that money by collecting it back from people. I imagine other AFSCs have to do the same thing. The cop who wrote 200 speeding tickets probably is not a popular bullet. It sucks that we have to write bullets instead of just flat out stating what the person did.

Very true. I saw a few troops in my time that I thought were more deserving of awards than others, but it essentially came down to a writing/playing the game contest, instead of judging the troops on their own merit.

DWWSWWD
06-19-2013, 01:51 PM
Volunteering is about giving of yourself. Your effort and time to benefit someone else. It is a sacrifice. I had violent disagreement with an E-10 here about a stratification for an Airman that was at the school everyday painting or reading or some garbage. He didn't want to consider my guy because he wasn't washing puppies at 1000 every Wednesday. That is when we had the duty discussion. My guy was absolutely covered up with work and leading Airmen. He'd love to wash puppies but that Top 3 didn't do a damn thing if it wasn't during duty hours. I asked the guy, what is our ability to judge someone's sacrifice if all they do is take time from the boss and their teammates? He eventually told me that the Airman absolutely was going to be #1 in the Wing. I said she absolutely wasn't because I convinced my boss that the work guy was #1 in the squadron. (they were both in my squadron) No way to strat someone number one in the wing if they don't leave the sq at #1.

sandsjames
06-19-2013, 01:55 PM
Volunteering is about giving of yourself. Your effort and time to benefit someone else. It is a sacrifice. I had violent disagreement with an E-10 here about a stratification for an Airman that was at the school everyday painting or reading or some garbage. He didn't want to consider my guy because he wasn't washing puppies at 1000 every Wednesday. That is when we had the duty discussion. My guy was absolutely covered up with work and leading Airmen. He'd love to wash puppies but that Top 3 didn't do a damn thing if it wasn't during duty hours. I asked the guy, what is our ability to judge someone's sacrifice if all they do is take time from the boss and their teammates? He eventually told me that the Airman absolutely was going to be #1 in the Wing. I said she absolutely wasn't because I convinced my boss that the work guy was #1 in the squadron. (they were both in my squadron) No way to strat someone number one in the wing if they don't leave the sq at #1.

Who the hell strats an Airman?

Absinthe Anecdote
06-19-2013, 02:29 PM
It's all a joke and a big waste of time. Both EPRs and awards do nothing but consume way too much time we don't have. I'd think people reviewing these things would have better things to do with their time than read a bunch of bullets they know are BS, while paying more attention to format than actual content. "Hey, whoever wrote this is a great writer. You win."

I used to have so much fun writing those damn things!

Sure, I thought it was ridiculous and I embraced the nonsense and just ran wild with it. I was hardly ever called on it and became known as the “go to guy” for 1206s.

Do you know something else? At least in the 1NX AFSCs there are a lot of people just like me who are sending in slightly masked sarcasm in their 1206s and having their troops win with them.

Pure comedy!

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-19-2013, 02:51 PM
I think we need to toss all pressure to volunteer, and recognition to go along with it. Additionally, we need to focus awards programs on job knowledge and initiative. We can even start awards boards (made up my peers/supervisors) who interview candidates on job knowledge type of questions. We can also evaluate people on the amount of leadership they've exercised in helping to train others, to include formulating/leading training events. We should also give award winners real incentives, such as combining CHEAP certificates (intangible but permanent) with time off (tangible but temporary).

Imagine how much smarter and capable we can be as an AF if we encourage and recognize those who focus on the bottom line?

Measure Man
06-19-2013, 04:12 PM
THIS! Easy to compare apples to apples, but get outside a work center and throw some oranges, plums, and a cumquat in there, and things go to shit quick. Should the hua guy who has the cool job win all the awards over the back shop guy who's job it is to hand out tools and is the baddest tool hander outerer that ever walked the face of the earth? It is difficult to rack & stack Airmen from different jobs and levels of responsibility, so MM is right, a lot of the time it does come down to the "other" bullets. When I score a package, my going in position is you did your job. If a bullet can capture how your scope of resonsibility or level of performance is above your peers, you get credit for that. But if your a the NCOIC of widget making and you supervised the making of 15,326 widgets in that quarter, if you don't quantify that number, I don't know if that is high or low. And when I compare you to the PJ who sat ## hours of alert and had 2 saves, you both get equal credit for doing your job.

People get too wrapped up in their functional tribes and fail to dumb things down for the common denominator. This hurts their people on awards and promotion boards, because if I don't know what the 13 acronyms you jammed in to one bullet mean, you get no credit for whatever awesome stuff you may have done (that made sense to you when you wrote it). It is very important to show why your guy/gal is better than the rest on the job and then yes, make sure they also stand out in the other bullets, where you're back to comparing apples to apples.

I understand that this is good advice for people operating within the system.

If you take a step back and look at the larger picture for a minute...this is essentially an admission that, institutionally, we really don't know how good of a job people are doing, so we recognize and promote people based on the "easy way" of comparing them on things like, PT, volunteerism, school, etc...because it is easier to compare people.

All of that is true...my point though, is that this is a problem that needs addressing, not a "simple fact" that should be worked around.

imported_DannyJ
06-19-2013, 04:52 PM
and...? :confused:

Agreed. Promotion is in your hands. No one to blame but yourself.

BOSS302
06-19-2013, 08:47 PM
The best (worst) bullet I've ever seen on an AF Form 1206 was in regards to the annual 4th of July event at RAF Feltwell. Apparently, someone who served chicken wings and nachos & cheese "instilled patriotism/pride in +50k attendees". :uncomfortableness:

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-19-2013, 09:29 PM
The best (worst) bullet I've ever seen on an AF Form 1206 was in regards to the annual 4th of July event at RAF Feltwell. Apparently, someone who served chicken wings and nachos & cheese "instilled patriotism/pride in +50k attendees". :uncomfortableness:

I guess we can't blame the writer, as they surely were told to show "impact." Of course, the only real impact they had was filling someone's stomach with junk food.

imported_KnuckleDragger
06-19-2013, 10:21 PM
the annual 4th of July event at RAF Feltwell. Apparently, someone who served chicken wings and nachos & cheese "instilled patriotism/pride in +50k attendees"
http://www.shirtbutter.com/store/images/merica_cart_main.jpg

The Cooler
06-19-2013, 10:27 PM
{on topic} Leading in whatever you do is key, from the time you are an Airman. If you're "participating" in anything, someone is leading you. And if a bullet starts with, "active member", I stop reading. {/on topic}

and this mentality is why everything is inflated. pretty sure followership is somewhat necessary in the military. we have 2 stripers running around worrying about how to lead projects to get better EPR's. when in reality they should be "learning" how to lead. promoting in the military has become a straight dog and pony show. said it before and i'll say it again.. it's all about playing the game. not sure why people are knocking the guy writing about square filling. isn't that honestly what it's all about now a days? i can only imagine how ridiculous things are going to get in the next couple of years if we actually become a peacetime military.

sandsjames
06-19-2013, 11:04 PM
I guess we can't blame the writer, as they surely were told to show "impact." Of course, the only real impact they had was filling someone's stomach with junk food.

Exactly!!...There are several times I had bullets that were "normal" bullets that stated what I did with the actual "impact" it had. Of course, that's never good enough. If my job is calling for me to do mundane things day after day and the volunteering doesn't save thousands of people, so be it. Let it be what it is. So what if cooking at Feltwell didn't really do anything. The squadron needed people, the person volunteered to do it.

Measure Man
06-19-2013, 11:33 PM
I guess we can't blame the writer, as they surely were told to show "impact." Of course, the only real impact they had was filling someone's stomach with junk food.

Yeah, that whole "impact" thing....

Airman A, spent all night troubleshooting an elusive electrical problem on the "spare" aircaft and fixed it.

Airman B, isn't a very good maintainer, so he works tool crib, well, one day he delivered a TO out to an NCO fixing an aircraft that launched later that day and delivered cargo to the AOR.

Airman B is a hero...because they both did their jobs, but B had a larger impact

UH1FE
06-20-2013, 01:09 AM
I think filling squares is stupid.........but that's what the Air Force wants so that's what they get. At the beginning of each quarter we designate someone to be our NCO of the Qtr nominee. This way they know they need to get everything done they need to fill the 1206. Hey you're it go volunteer twice and make sure you get two education things done to fill it in. But we damn well make sure that person is flying on the day the group board is scheduled so they don't have to deal with the ass pain. This is what 1206 and EPR nonsense gets you. I have filled the blocks the Air Force has asked me to fill. CCAF DONE, Joint PME DONE! Im eligible for course 14 later this year I will get it DONE.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-20-2013, 01:32 AM
I think filling squares is stupid.........but that's what the Air Force wants so that's what they get. At the beginning of each quarter we designate someone to be our NCO of the Qtr nominee. This way they know they need to get everything done they need to fill the 1206. Hey you're it go volunteer twice and make sure you get two education things done to fill it in. But we damn well make sure that person is flying on the day the group board is scheduled so they don't have to deal with the ass pain. This is what 1206 and EPR nonsense gets you. I have filled the blocks the Air Force has asked me to fill. CCAF DONE, Joint PME DONE! Im eligible for course 14 later this year I will get it DONE.

I've always ensured we picked our winners early in the qtr for the same reason. I don't like playing the game, but I've been pretty good at playing to win. In the end, taking care our folks is what's most important.

wildman
06-20-2013, 01:40 AM
What the hell happened to the Air Force I knew? Are ya all talking about active duty, guard or reserve? I am assuming EPR stands for enlisted performance report. What the hell is an AF FM 1206? This sounds like a royal Charlie Foxtrot to me! (Cluster F---). What the hell happened to a base or wing selection board for Base Airman of the quarter? What the hell happened to squadrons nominating individuals to be considered?

Always,
Wildman

fufu
06-20-2013, 02:36 AM
What the hell happened to the Air Force I knew? Are ya all talking about active duty, guard or reserve? I am assuming EPR stands for enlisted performance report. What the hell is an AF FM 1206? This sounds like a royal Charlie Foxtrot to me! (Cluster F---). What the hell happened to a base or wing selection board for Base Airman of the quarter? What the hell happened to squadrons nominating individuals to be considered?

Always,
Wildman

1206s are the form that we put bullets on for an award nomination. Face to face boards are dead, I haven't seen one of those in 8 or so years. I was a SSgt the one and only time I've ever been a part of one. People are "pre-selected" to prep for a Quarterly award these days. Pretty F'ing dumb.

wildman
06-20-2013, 02:44 AM
1206s are the form that we put bullets on for an award nomination. Face to face boards are dead, I haven't seen one of those in 8 or so years. I was a SSgt the one and only time I've ever been a part of one. People are "pre-selected" to prep for a Quarterly award these days. Pretty F'ing dumb.

OMG! Beam me aboard Scottie there is no intelligent life in their Air Force!

Always,
Wildman

Deploy Me Please
06-20-2013, 02:54 AM
Face to face boards are dead, I haven't seen one of those in 8 or so years. I was a SSgt the one and only time I've ever been a part of one.
We had face to face boards for our wing annual awards last year. That was the first physical awards board I had seen since the late 90's. Geo-separated units (board members and nominees) had to be on VTC. It worked out ok. The VTC board member and nominee had some comm issues to contend with that probably put them at a disadvantage. But over all it was a good experience.

tiredretiredE7
06-20-2013, 03:11 AM
I just saw a program where homeless would spend their handouts on crack or heroin. I know this isn't a surprise to anyone, but what bothered me most was how a homeless Vietnam vet would panhandle with his dog, which of course got him more handouts by pulling on people's "heart strings." He said he had no problems taking that money to buy his next hit. Disgusting. I'll never give money to another homeless person!

I used to buy the bums at the local gas station coffee and donuts every morning. I would walk past them and they would ask me for change, I would simply ask them if they drank coffee and bring them coffee and donuts if they were hungry. I never had to worry about leaving my truck unattended. Then I have a bunch of old electronics to a felon who was just paroled and moved into my apartment complex. The guy could see my truck from his window. A lot of other people's vehicles got vandalized in the ghetto I lived in except mine. Simply be courteous to those in need and they will take care of you in return. Some people are less fortunate than we were or are and taking care of them regardless of their past can sometimes make a difference. So the lesson of the story is to have baked good drives (not sales) for the less fortunate near the base and they will often help out when needed.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-20-2013, 03:30 AM
I used to buy the bums at the local gas station coffee and donuts every morning. I would walk past them and they would ask me for change, I would simply ask them if they drank coffee and bring them coffee and donuts if they were hungry. I never had to worry about leaving my truck unattended. Then I have a bunch of old electronics to a felon who was just paroled and moved into my apartment complex. The guy could see my truck from his window. A lot of other people's vehicles got vandalized in the ghetto I lived in except mine. Simply be courteous to those in need and they will take care of you in return. Some people are less fortunate than we were or are and taking care of them regardless of their past can sometimes make a difference. So the lesson of the story is to have baked good drives (not sales) for the less fortunate near the base and they will often help out when needed.

I have no problem giving food or supplies to homeless...just not cash.

CrustySMSgt
06-20-2013, 05:00 AM
and this mentality is why everything is inflated. pretty sure followership is somewhat necessary in the military. we have 2 stripers running around worrying about how to lead projects to get better EPR's. when in reality they should be "learning" how to lead. promoting in the military has become a straight dog and pony show. said it before and i'll say it again.. it's all about playing the game. not sure why people are knocking the guy writing about square filling. isn't that honestly what it's all about now a days? i can only imagine how ridiculous things are going to get in the next couple of years if we actually become a peacetime military.

Followership is absolutely necessary! I am 100% against inflaition! I agree, don't put lipstick on a pig and call it a leader. We need Average folks (followers), above average folks, and high-level leaders. Hmmm... sounds a lot like ratings on an EPR. Some AIrmen (people) are natural leaders and their leadership manifests early. They are the ones who are the informal leaders in their shop, taking care of their fellow Airmen. They are the ones figuring out how to do things better (and to get those changes accepted), leading the dorm council to make living conditions better, and they stand out. I can't argue some have lost focus on where leadership is most important (obviously it is on the job). Inflation is what has resulted in the dog & pony show types being in the mix with those who really are leading where it counts. If you can get a 5 by busting your ass on the job or get the same rating from being an expert bake sale organizer, what are those who can't cut it on the job going to do? Take the easy route. If we reward those who really are 5s where it counts, they'll get promoted over the posers.


What the hell happened to the Air Force I knew? Are ya all talking about active duty, guard or reserve? I am assuming EPR stands for enlisted performance report. What the hell is an AF FM 1206? This sounds like a royal Charlie Foxtrot to me! (Cluster F---). What the hell happened to a base or wing selection board for Base Airman of the quarter? What the hell happened to squadrons nominating individuals to be considered?

Always,
Wildman


OMG! Beam me aboard Scottie there is no intelligent life in their Air Force!

Always,
Wildman

Dear sir,

Thank you for your service. :usa2

But believe it or not, things have changed a little in the 25 years since you retired. While I appreciate your desire to stay in touch, the Air Force is 1/2 the size it was when you retired and has 10x the OPSTEMPO. While we're not perfect, there are also things we do much better than we did when I enlisted almost 28 years ago. And trust me, those who retired 25 years before you retired were saying the same thing about "your" Air Force.

Measure Man
06-20-2013, 05:08 AM
I think filling squares is stupid.........but that's what the Air Force wants so that's what they get. At the beginning of each quarter we designate someone to be our NCO of the Qtr nominee. This way they know they need to get everything done they need to fill the 1206. Hey you're it go volunteer twice and make sure you get two education things done to fill it in. But we damn well make sure that person is flying on the day the group board is scheduled so they don't have to deal with the ass pain. This is what 1206 and EPR nonsense gets you. I have filled the blocks the Air Force has asked me to fill. CCAF DONE, Joint PME DONE! Im eligible for course 14 later this year I will get it DONE.

How is that Joint PME thing going?? When it first came out, it was NOT supposed to be an "atta boy" thing...was just available for people to going to joint billets. I predicted long ago that it would eventually be a "bullet"...though it was never supposed to be.

I can't quote it now...but when it first came out, there was some verbiage about it's intent and how it was NOT meant to be an expectation, or achievement for anyone not scheduled for a joint billet

Measure Man
06-20-2013, 05:19 AM
It went back & forth, first you could put a bullet; then they said no, it is listed on your SURF, that's good enough; and now it's back to being OK as a bullet.

Been 5 years or so since I took it, when actually going to a joint billet, and while a lot of it was standard rambling nonsense, I did actually get something out of it. With all the contact we have with other services (joint bases, deployed, joint schools...) I think it is beneficial for everyone.

IOW, its another block to check

Measure Man
06-20-2013, 05:22 AM
I have no problem giving food or supplies to homeless...just not cash.

We have a homeless guy in our small town that has a dog. My wife always buys a couple of cans of dogfood, keeps them in the car until she sees him and gives food for his dog.

CrustySMSgt
06-20-2013, 05:28 AM
How is that Joint PME thing going?? When it first came out, it was NOT supposed to be an "atta boy" thing...was just available for people to going to joint billets. I predicted long ago that it would eventually be a "bullet"...though it was never supposed to be.

I can't quote it now...but when it first came out, there was some verbiage about it's intent and how it was NOT meant to be an expectation, or achievement for anyone not scheduled for a joint billet

It went back & forth, first you could put a bullet; then they said no, it is listed on your SURF, that's good enough; and now it's back to being OK as a bullet.

Been 5 years or so since I took it, when actually going to a joint billet, and while a lot of it was standard rambling nonsense, I did actually get something out of it. With all the contact we have with other services (joint bases, deployed, joint schools...) I think it is beneficial for everyone.

Measure Man
06-20-2013, 05:33 AM
It went back & forth, first you could put a bullet; then they said no, it is listed on your SURF, that's good enough; and now it's back to being OK as a bullet.

Been 5 years or so since I took it, when actually going to a joint billet, and while a lot of it was standard rambling nonsense, I did actually get something out of it. With all the contact we have with other services (joint bases, deployed, joint schools...) I think it is beneficial for everyone.

IOW, its another block to check

Zxc
06-20-2013, 06:05 AM
It went back & forth, first you could put a bullet; then they said no, it is listed on your SURF, that's good enough; and now it's back to being OK as a bullet.

Been 5 years or so since I took it, when actually going to a joint billet, and while a lot of it was standard rambling nonsense, I did actually get something out of it. With all the contact we have with other services (joint bases, deployed, joint schools...) I think it is beneficial for everyone.

I was thinking of taking it while deployed. Will likely work with some joint forces, but there's no direct requirement for it... Kind of in a 'filling the block' sense, but also in a 'get it done while I have extra time and am not eligible for WAPS next cycle' kind of way too

Zxc
06-20-2013, 06:14 AM
Leadership > Impact every time, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. We're supposed to do things we care about and make a difference, but often leadership slots are unavailable / hard to come by for stuff like working at food banks or H4H. At the same time, the meaningless tasks such as self-serving fundraisers are incredibly easy to take lead on and often weigh more heavily in leaderships' eyes. To me, that's what drives the 'filling the squares' mentality, because I personally do both... and even though I enjoy giving back to the food bank, its unbecoming of an NCO to help out in the community when I could be commanding a squadron, AFSA, or 5/6 bake sale

Zxc
06-20-2013, 06:17 AM
It went back & forth, first you could put a bullet; then they said no, it is listed on your SURF, that's good enough; and now it's back to being OK as a bullet.

Been 5 years or so since I took it, when actually going to a joint billet, and while a lot of it was standard rambling nonsense, I did actually get something out of it. With all the contact we have with other services (joint bases, deployed, joint schools...) I think it is beneficial for everyone.

I was thinking of taking it while deployed. Will likely work with some joint forces, but there's no direct requirement for it... Kind of in a 'filling the block' sense, but also in a 'get it done while I have extra time and am not eligible for WAPS next cycle' kind of way too

CrustySMSgt
06-20-2013, 07:07 AM
Leadership > Impact every time, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. We're supposed to do things we care about and make a difference, but often leadership slots are unavailable / hard to come by for stuff like working at food banks or H4H. At the same time, the meaningless tasks such as self-serving fundraisers are incredibly easy to take lead on and often weigh more heavily in leaderships' eyes. To me, that's what drives the 'filling the squares' mentality, because I personally do both... and even though I enjoy giving back to the food bank, its unbecoming of an NCO to help out in the community when I could be commanding a squadron, AFSA, or 5/6 bake sale

Understand everyone can't lead everything. But over the course of time, those who are recognized as leaders end up in leadership positions, either through initiative or because someone puts them there.

It really is hard to put this all in perspective when you look at small pieces of the big picture. Until I sat on a promotion board and spent a couple weeks looking at almost 1200 records did I see just how wide a range of folks there really are, yet how small the "beaten zone" of ratings is.

If every year your involvment consists of flipping burgers, washing cars, or "inspiring patriotism" by filling bellies with nachos, you really aren't having a significant impact on the lives of your Airmen, base, or community. Nor are you growing as a person or leader. You can overcome this by kicking ass on the job and getting results there, IF that's what you're doing. But if your entire record screams, "I'm a clock puncher who does as little as possible to get by!" then your ratings should match.

Juggs
06-20-2013, 11:33 AM
Understand everyone can't lead everything. But over the course of time, those who are recognized as leaders end up in leadership positions, either through initiative or because someone puts them there.

It really is hard to put this all in perspective when you look at small pieces of the big picture. Until I sat on a promotion board and spent a couple weeks looking at almost 1200 records did I see just how wide a range of folks there really are, yet how small the "beaten zone" of ratings is.

If every year your involvment consists of flipping burgers, washing cars, or "inspiring patriotism" by filling bellies with nachos, you really aren't having a significant impact on the lives of your Airmen, base, or community. Nor are you growing as a person or leader. You can overcome this by kicking ass on the job and getting results there, IF that's what you're doing. But if your entire record screams, "I'm a clock puncher who does as little as possible to get by!" then your ratings should match.

Unless of course you're actually a POS SNCO that is unanimously hated by the career field and made chief by stepping on the necks of your troops. Get fired from one job get moved to a conus position as a chief and stay there. How these POS make that coveted 1% I don't know. He sucked as a MSgt, sucked as a SMSgt and sucked as a CMSgt. When I say the entire career field, I mean anybody that dealings with him, so maybe not the entire AFSC but those who knew him.

CrustySMSgt
06-20-2013, 12:12 PM
Unless of course you're actually a POS SNCO that is unanimously hated by the career field and made chief by stepping on the necks of your troops. Get fired from one job get moved to a conus position as a chief and stay there. How these POS make that coveted 1% I don't know. He sucked as a MSgt, sucked as a SMSgt and sucked as a CMSgt. When I say the entire career field, I mean anybody that dealings with him, so maybe not the entire AFSC but those who knew him.

Unfortunately some slip through the cracks and make us all look bad. Sad thing is the guy's probably been a douche his entire career but no one had the courage to squash him, chosing to give him a firewall 5 and move him along to be someone else's problem.

Juggs
06-20-2013, 12:15 PM
Unfortunately some slip through the cracks and make us all look bad. Sad thing is the guy's probably been a douche his entire career but no one had the courage to squash him, chosing to give him a firewall 5 and move him along to be someone else's problem.

He actually was pretty derogatory towards an A1C about his fellow Hawaiians once and that ended in a fist fight. Fast forward 6 yrs later, and he comes back and actually puts his hand on that now NCOs should and tried to apologize. That NCO let him know if he ever touches him again he will beat his ass until people pull him off and he doesn't see that happening. For some reason this asshole did get through, but he has no brothers to look at on and say anything about brotherhood.

UH1FE
06-20-2013, 01:40 PM
I can't quote it now...but when it first came out, there was some verbiage about it's intent and how it was NOT meant to be an expectation, or achievement for anyone not scheduled for a joint billet[/QUOTE]

Its now a discriminator. It shows up in your records along with ALS and NCOA. If you are E-6 or above you better get it done now. Its also the only PME that can go on your EPR as a bullet.

Juggs
06-20-2013, 03:48 PM
No he was stationed at wheeler AAF then Ft Riley.

Pullinteeth
06-20-2013, 03:56 PM
Unless of course you're actually a POS SNCO that is unanimously hated by the career field and made chief by stepping on the necks of your troops. Get fired from one job get moved to a conus position as a chief and stay there. How these POS make that coveted 1% I don't know. He sucked as a MSgt, sucked as a SMSgt and sucked as a CMSgt. When I say the entire career field, I mean anybody that dealings with him, so maybe not the entire AFSC but those who knew him.


He actually was pretty derogatory towards an A1C about his fellow Hawaiians once and that ended in a fist fight. Fast forward 6 yrs later, and he comes back and actually puts his hand on that now NCOs should and tried to apologize. That NCO let him know if he ever touches him again he will beat his ass until people pull him off and he doesn't see that happening. For some reason this asshole did get through, but he has no brothers to look at on and say anything about brotherhood.

This Chief wouldn't happen to currently be stationed in the NE and have a thread that is over 100 pages dedicated to his idea that one should vector to fill their voids with space and how critical it is to memorize the AF Creed would he?

wildman
06-20-2013, 06:16 PM
Followership is absolutely necessary! I am 100% against inflaition! I agree, don't put lipstick on a pig and call it a leader. We need Average folks (followers), above average folks, and high-level leaders. Hmmm... sounds a lot like ratings on an EPR. Some AIrmen (people) are natural leaders and their leadership manifests early. They are the ones who are the informal leaders in their shop, taking care of their fellow Airmen. They are the ones figuring out how to do things better (and to get those changes accepted), leading the dorm council to make living conditions better, and they stand out. I can't argue some have lost focus on where leadership is most important (obviously it is on the job). Inflation is what has resulted in the dog & pony show types being in the mix with those who really are leading where it counts. If you can get a 5 by busting your ass on the job or get the same rating from being an expert bake sale organizer, what are those who can't cut it on the job going to do? Take the easy route. If we reward those who really are 5s where it counts, they'll get promoted over the posers.





Dear sir,

Thank you for your service. :usa2

But believe it or not, things have changed a little in the 25 years since you retired. While I appreciate your desire to stay in touch, the Air Force is 1/2 the size it was when you retired and has 10x the OPSTEMPO. While we're not perfect, there are also things we do much better than we did when I enlisted almost 28 years ago. And trust me, those who retired 25 years before you retired were saying the same thing about "your" Air Force.

I know change is going to take place and some times better things come about, but ya don't always have to reinvent the wheel. Some of what I read sounds like some bureaucrat trying to justify their position. Down sizing has taken place before and when the shit has hit the fan we have wished that we hadn't down sized.

Always,
Wildman

DWWSWWD
06-20-2013, 07:06 PM
Dear sir,

Thank you for your service. :usa2

But believe it or not, things have changed a little in the 25 years since you retired. While I appreciate your desire to stay in touch, the Air Force is 1/2 the size it was when you retired and has 10x the OPSTEMPO. While we're not perfect, there are also things we do much better than we did when I enlisted almost 28 years ago. And trust me, those who retired 25 years before you retired were saying the same thing about "your" Air Force. Well played, sir. I've given some thought about whether I'd hang out here after I quit. There's a right way and a wrong way to do it, I think. Hanging out for the camaraderie, the familiarity, providing thoughtful insight when asked, all good. The folks in my peer group are all in transition or close to it. Most of them are in influential positions, like our friend Crusty here. I am reminded often, because they come talk with me about it, how irrelevant you become, the day you punch out. In many ways, it's a one way mirror. You get out and you just can't see back in. Hang out and enjoy. Give us your perspective, we're all better for it. But don't tell us how to do the day to day stuff. You have no basis for credible discussion. This is a fast moving train and if you're not on it, you're not on it.

wildman
06-20-2013, 07:48 PM
You have no basis for credible discussion.

I could not disagree more. The method may be new the technology advanced but I am smart enough to think perhaps I could learn a thing or two from those who were performing the same task before I was born and then utilize that knowledge. I would not let my ego stop me from taping a to often overlooked asset.

Always.
Wildman

CrustySMSgt
06-21-2013, 07:57 AM
I know change is going to take place and some times better things come about, but ya don't always have to reinvent the wheel. Some of what I read sounds like some bureaucrat trying to justify their position. Down sizing has taken place before and when the shit has hit the fan we have wished that we hadn't down sized.

Always,
Wildman



.

I could not disagree more. The method may be new the technology advanced but I am smart enough to think perhaps I could learn a thing or two from those who were performing the same task before I was born and then utilize that knowledge. I would not let my ego stop me from taping a to often overlooked asset.

Always.
Wildman



While we have incrementally downsized over the years since you retired, the end result is we have 200,000+ less Airman (plus 1/2 the fighters and 1/2 the bombers) than we did when you served. I can't find a statistic to back me up, but just using myself as an example, as a SP in my first 16 years before 9/11, I deployed three times, for a total of 190-something days. In the 12 years since 9/11 I have deployed 5 times for a total of around 900 days (plus a remote to Korea). While some things are the same, the enterprise Air Force is not the same one you retired from 25 years ago. So while your desire to offer opinions, perspective, and advice is appreciated, unless you've been directly involved with the Air Force over the course of that 25 years (sorry, I don't know what you've done since you retired; I looked through your 179 posts and don't see any reference to that), both time and relevance significantly impact your ability to offer advice on how we ought to be doing things. By no means am I saying we can't learn things from our "elders" but 25 years out of the game is a LONG time and for those who aren't still in the game, their recollection of events and how awesome "the glory days" were are usually pretty far from reality. Whole different ballgame for those who have stayed in touch over the years, say for example many of the retired CMSAFs who have been directly exposed to the change over the years... they can speak to how things have changed over the years because they've seen it. Maybe you have as well, but I doubt that, given what I've read from your posts. So to come in here and basically tell us we're all dumb asses based on your 25 year old memories of how "your" Air Force was so much better is disrespectful and impacts the credibility of anything you have to say. There are a few old timers on here that are happy to throw their 2¢ in, but manage to do so with respect.

If all you are here for is to relive the glory days and see how much we suck today, you'll probably find a much more receptive audience in the aisles in the commisary or waiting in line at the pharmacy.


Well played, sir. I've given some thought about whether I'd hang out here after I quit.

Screw it, let's retire and spend all our time riding my friend!! http://images.zaazu.com/img/motorcycle-smiley-motorcycle-smiley-male-smiley-emoticon-000133-large.gif

Juggs
06-21-2013, 12:46 PM
OK - I'm one of those old-timers - retired in 1998 with 28 years service. However, I have pretty much been around the Air Force since working as a defense contractor and now a GS. And yes - I'm one of those guys that "puts in my 2 cents" every now and then. While I totally agree I cannot wrap my arms around the constant deployments the active force as seen since bascially Desert Storm - I can see that the Air Force has changed for the worse. I believe it started while I was still active duty under the McPeak era. The Air Force has become so ate up with politically correct BS. While I've seen and work with some top-notch senior NCO's including Chiefs - I do believe they are hand-cuffed to a certain extent in making both supervisory and operational decisions. Additionally, I've also seen where the current force has come to rely on computer systems rather than functional expertise. When I call a supt at base level and ask basic functional questions that I knew as a SSgt and they don't have a clue about how to bypass a computer system and complete a functional process manually -we truly do have a problem.

Having said that - again dealing with the ops tempo these days, constant deployments, and the political BS that the current force has to deal with - I'm unsure if I could handle it and would probably not make the Air Force a career.

Ok - I'm done - you active guys can now take your shots at this "old timer".

What shots? I've recently separated and I think you're statements are fairly accurate. While tchnology is a great tool, our minds are also. Technology is simply an aid in our day to day operations and shouldn't be turned into a crutch.

Calmo70
06-21-2013, 12:54 PM
OK - I'm one of those old-timers - retired in 1998 with 28 years service. However, I have pretty much been around the Air Force since working as a defense contractor and now a GS. And yes - I'm one of those guys that "puts in my 2 cents" every now and then. While I totally agree I cannot wrap my arms around the constant deployments the active force as seen since bascially Desert Storm - I can see that the Air Force has changed for the worse. I believe it started while I was still active duty under the McPeak era. The Air Force has become so ate up with politically correct BS. While I've seen and work with some top-notch senior NCO's including Chiefs - I do believe they are hand-cuffed to a certain extent in making both supervisory and operational decisions. Additionally, I've also seen where the current force has come to rely on computer systems rather than functional expertise. When I call a supt at base level and ask basic functional questions that I knew as a SSgt and they don't have a clue about how to bypass a computer system and complete a functional process manually -we truly do have a problem.

Having said that - again dealing with the ops tempo these days, constant deployments, and the political BS that the current force has to deal with - I'm unsure if I could handle it and would probably not make the Air Force a career.

Ok - I'm done - you active guys can now take your shots at this "old timer".

Juggs
06-21-2013, 12:59 PM
OK - I'm one of those old-timers - retired in 1998 with 28 years service. However, I have pretty much been around the Air Force since working as a defense contractor and now a GS. And yes - I'm one of those guys that "puts in my 2 cents" every now and then. While I totally agree I cannot wrap my arms around the constant deployments the active force as seen since bascially Desert Storm - I can see that the Air Force has changed for the worse. I believe it started while I was still active duty under the McPeak era. The Air Force has become so ate up with politically correct BS. While I've seen and work with some top-notch senior NCO's including Chiefs - I do believe they are hand-cuffed to a certain extent in making both supervisory and operational decisions. Additionally, I've also seen where the current force has come to rely on computer systems rather than functional expertise. When I call a supt at base level and ask basic functional questions that I knew as a SSgt and they don't have a clue about how to bypass a computer system and complete a functional process manually -we truly do have a problem.

Having said that - again dealing with the ops tempo these days, constant deployments, and the political BS that the current force has to deal with - I'm unsure if I could handle it and would probably not make the Air Force a career.

Ok - I'm done - you active guys can now take your shots at this "old timer".

What shots? I've recently separated and I think you're statements are fairly accurate. While tchnology is a great tool, our minds are also. Technology is simply an aid in our day to day operations and shouldn't be turned into a crutch.

CrustySMSgt
06-21-2013, 01:23 PM
Ok - I'm done - you active guys can now take your shots at this "old timer".

I've got no beef with you, or "old timers" in general. What I have a problem with is someone who retired 25 years ago living in the glory days and telling us we're all idiots. I certainly don't think everything is perfect but I can think of lots of examples of how we do things much better than we did when I came in 28 years ago.

DWWSWWD
06-21-2013, 01:54 PM
I've got no beef with you, or "old timers" in general. What I have a problem with is someone who retired 25 years ago living in the glory days and telling us we're all idiots. I certainly don't think everything is perfect but I can think of lots of examples of how we do things much better than we did when I came in 28 years ago.

Same for me. It's an "I can talk bad about my sister but you'd better not", sort of thing. I've been doing this for 25 years now and am very proud of our Air Force, with all of our faults. Take a look at posts from ChiefB, Sly and even our recently retired Bruwin. Wise words but none are suggesting how to rearrange the counter at finance for better customer service. We really will appreciate your experience, but "You clowns are running my Air Force into the ground", isn't going to get you anywhere.

20+Years
06-21-2013, 02:19 PM
"You clowns are running my Air Force into the ground"


Hmmmmmmmm. We do twice as much with half the force. :pound

That said... the baby may be ugly, but its MY baby! :squintfinger:

Calmo70
06-21-2013, 03:45 PM
Same for me. It's an "I can talk bad about my sister but you'd better not", sort of thing. I've been doing this for 25 years now and am very proud of our Air Force, with all of our faults. Take a look at posts from ChiefB, Sly and even our recently retired Bruwin. Wise words but none are suggesting how to rearrange the counter at finance for better customer service. We really will appreciate your experience, but "You clowns are running my Air Force into the ground", isn't going to get you anywhere.

Don't think I said that. And I certainly don't think anything I see "wrong" is to blame at the NCO/SNCO level - witth the exception of a lot (maybe not the majority - but a lot) of Command Chiefs. The crap I see wrong is the political correctness BS that comes from the top. What I see is more of trying to turn the Air Force into a "corporate" entity versus a military compliance-base organization. We can't apply corporate management practices to a stateside peacetime organization and then throw those out in a real-world contingency operation without resentment, confusion, and loss of productivity. Get rid of "management" and start applying real leadership. Again, I'm not talking at base-level functions - I'm talking to MAJCOMS and Pentagon staff.

And I'm still not saying how great it was 25 years ago. Trust me - I went through the Carter years after our withdraw from Vietnam - it wasn't good.

DWWSWWD
06-21-2013, 04:42 PM
Don't think I said that. And I certainly don't think anything I see "wrong" is to blame at the NCO/SNCO level - witth the exception of a lot (maybe not the majority - but a lot) of Command Chiefs. The crap I see wrong is the political correctness BS that comes from the top. What I see is more of trying to turn the Air Force into a "corporate" entity versus a military compliance-base organization. We can't apply corporate management practices to a stateside peacetime organization and then throw those out in a real-world contingency operation without resentment, confusion, and loss of productivity. Get rid of "management" and start applying real leadership. Again, I'm not talking at base-level functions - I'm talking to MAJCOMS and Pentagon staff.

And I'm still not saying how great it was 25 years ago. Trust me - I went through the Carter years after our withdraw from Vietnam - it wasn't good.

Your post and the following dialogue sort of broke the camel and forced him to drink or whatever. Some of my response was generalization and not specific to you. Seriously, I'm glad you're here. We're working hard and looking for some smart changes. We find time to goof off on AFT but it's the new smoke break. Noone smokes anymore.

Calmo70
06-21-2013, 04:49 PM
Your post and the following dialogue sort of broke the camel and forced him to drink or whatever. Some of my response was generalization and not specific to you. Seriously, I'm glad you're here. We're working hard and looking for some smart changes. We find time to goof off on AFT but it's the new smoke break. Noone smokes anymore.

And that's another thing that bugs me - I still smoke. Of course - I shouldn't - but still that damn Air Force political correctness forces me to walk a quarter mile to partake. OK - that's just me bitchin.

But, trust me I can tell by your, Crusty's, and others that post on here that are still active - you do care about the Air Force. All I'm doing is voicing an opinion - but still respects your guys too.

RetC141BFCC
06-21-2013, 05:15 PM
And that's another thing that bugs me - I still smoke. Of course - I shouldn't - but still that damn Air Force political correctness forces me to walk a quarter mile to partake. OK - that's just me bitchin.

But, trust me I can tell by your, Crusty's, and others that post on here that are still active - you do care about the Air Force. All I'm doing is voicing an opinion - but still respects your guys too.

It was the Air Force who started me smoking. I went to basic in 1978. If you smoked you got to stand by the butt can and bullshit and smoke. If you did not smoke you stood in formation at parade rest. How long do you think it took for most of my flight to start smoking? Unlike our past commender and chief if I pay for a product to smoke I am going to inhale.

Calmo70
06-21-2013, 05:37 PM
It was the Air Force who started me smoking. I went to basic in 1978. If you smoked you got to stand by the butt can and bullshit and smoke. If you did not smoke you stood in formation at parade rest. How long do you think it took for most of my flight to start smoking? Unlike our past commender and chief if I pay for a product to smoke I am going to inhale.

Same thing here - but back in 1970 - "Smoke'm if you got'em"

wildman
06-22-2013, 12:23 AM
If I have come across as dishing the current day Air Force I humbly apologize as that is not my intent. Yes there are a few individuals who post on this form that I don't much care for but that is a one on one thing. Now back to the topic throughout our military history examples from the past have been utilized Patton did it in WWII and Colin Powell did it in the first gulf war. What I am saying is the newer is not always better and those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

Always,
Wildman

Pullinteeth
06-22-2013, 01:28 AM
If I have come across as dishing the current day Air Force I humbly apologize as that is not my intent. Yes there are a few individuals who post on this form that I don't much care for but that is a one on one thing. Now back to the topic throughout our military history examples from the past have been utilized Patton did it in WWII and Colin Powell did it in the first gulf war. What I am saying is the newer is not always better and those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

Always,
Wildman

You and I don't always see eye to eye but this post is spot on. I came in 18 years ago and my wife about 10. Her BMT was different than mine. Not better, not worse, just different. The difference today? Very different. Not better, not worse, just different. 9/11 changed a LOT. GWOT changed a LOT. The current BMT issues have changed a LOT. Are all the changes good? I would say no. Are all the changes bad? I would also say no... I don't get to make the calls. Does the AF overreact to outside influence? I would say yes but what the hell do I know?

Pullinteeth
06-22-2013, 01:34 AM
Just a reminder:
Let's make sure continued discourse revolves around the topic:

Thank you for your concerted efforts thus far. I am only hoping to deter any potential future distractions.

I get what you are saying and where you are coming from but is there REALLY anything wrong with a discussion that organically morphes into another topic?

OtisRNeedleman
06-22-2013, 03:50 AM
It was the Air Force who started me smoking. I went to basic in 1978. If you smoked you got to stand by the butt can and bullshit and smoke. If you did not smoke you stood in formation at parade rest. How long do you think it took for most of my flight to start smoking? Unlike our past commender and chief if I pay for a product to smoke I am going to inhale.

Went through basic in 1974. Don't remember anything to encourage smoking. Having grown up with a mother who was a heavy smoker there's no way I would have taken up the habit. Still have never smoked.

CrustySMSgt
06-22-2013, 05:49 AM
I get what you are saying and where you are coming from but is there REALLY anything wrong with a discussion that organically morphes into another topic?


Only if that other topic is a negative detraction from the original thread. Clearly, arguments about personal views and shouting matches are "negative detractions."

I'm not accusing anyone of being off-topic already. I am only hoping to avoid the sh*tstorms some conversations can devolve into.

I know it is a fine line between topics branching out and devolving in to a shit storm. Most get the difference and threads like this take on a pattern of natural conversaion, which is good. But when those with "unique personalities" can't have adult conversations and have to go off the deep end. I think most have gotten the message not that there's a new sheriff in town and hopefully we can get back to having professional discussions. Again, your efforts are much appreciated!

Airborne
06-22-2013, 10:06 AM
I know it is a fine line between topics branching out and devolving in to a shit storm. Most get the difference and threads like this take on a pattern of natural conversaion, which is good. But when those with "unique personalities" can't have adult conversations and have to go off the deep end. I think most have gotten the message not that there's a new sheriff in town and hopefully we can get back to having professional discussions. Again, your efforts are much appreciated!

see also: the commissary thread

sandsjames
06-22-2013, 01:00 PM
Now this thread is morphing into a thread about threads morphing. Let's keep it on topic, folks!!

Pullinteeth
06-24-2013, 03:11 PM
Filing squares is easily accomplished by those skilled in the fine art of brown nosing.

I would contend it is easier to fill squares if you aren't a brown noser. Brown nosers spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get in the good graces of those they think can help their careers. Time that those not so concerned can spend actually bettering their chances for advancement by filling those squares...:whip

DWWSWWD
06-24-2013, 03:49 PM
Filing squares is easily accomplished by those skilled in the fine art of brown nosing.

Brown nosers exist because leaders tolerate them. I don't have them in my organization. I've never spoken about it but I think folks just get a sense that they should use a different approach with me.

retiredAFcivvy
06-24-2013, 04:07 PM
Does anyone remember ISO 9000?

DWWSWWD
06-24-2013, 04:07 PM
There is the one guy that brushes my teeth after lunch, but that's more of a health thing.

retiredAFcivvy
06-24-2013, 04:15 PM
Don't think I said that. And I certainly don't think anything I see "wrong" is to blame at the NCO/SNCO level - witth the exception of a lot (maybe not the majority - but a lot) of Command Chiefs. The crap I see wrong is the political correctness BS that comes from the top. What I see is more of trying to turn the Air Force into a "corporate" entity versus a military compliance-base organization. We can't apply corporate management practices to a stateside peacetime organization and then throw those out in a real-world contingency operation without resentment, confusion, and loss of productivity. Get rid of "management" and start applying real leadership. Again, I'm not talking at base-level functions - I'm talking to MAJCOMS and Pentagon staff.

And I'm still not saying how great it was 25 years ago. Trust me - I went through the Carter years after our withdraw from Vietnam - it wasn't good.

Anyone remember ISO 9000?

Calmo70
06-24-2013, 04:44 PM
Anyone remember ISO 9000?

Yes, also Management by Objective (MBO), Zero Defects, TQM, AFSO21, Lean Six Sigma, etc, etc.

All - BS Management Systems that have been tried (or the're still trying) but are/have been/will be thrown out when the real world gets in the way.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-24-2013, 06:41 PM
Yes, also Management by Objective (MBO), Zero Defects, TQM, AFSO21, Lean Six Sigma, etc, etc.

All - BS Management Systems that have been tried (or the're still trying) but are/have been/will be thrown out when the real world gets in the way.

Lean is nothing more than a way to get rid of wasteful processes. Not sure why you don't think it can work. It's already been proven in just about every industry.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-24-2013, 06:42 PM
Anyone remember ISO 9000?

Still being used

Calmo70
06-24-2013, 07:18 PM
Lean is nothing more than a way to get rid of wasteful processes. Not sure why you don't think it can work. It's already been proven in just about every industry.

Oh, I've seen it work - with fudged metrics to show how great a new process will produce savings, cost avoidances, etc. While a program like that probably works in the corporate world - when it hits the military - all kinds of Lean projects are created (whether needed or not) - and virtually all of them produces some kind of magical savings. If the DOD truly saved all the money that has been claimed to have been saved (not just with Lean, but include AFSO 21, TQM, etc, etc) - they could probably cut about 100 billion off the DOD budget right now. Funny - you never see that happening - do you?

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-24-2013, 09:54 PM
Oh, I've seen it work - with fudged metrics to show how great a new process will produce savings, cost avoidances, etc. While a program like that probably works in the corporate world - when it hits the military - all kinds of Lean projects are created (whether needed or not) - and virtually all of them produces some kind of magical savings. If the DOD truly saved all the money that has been claimed to have been saved (not just with Lean, but include AFSO 21, TQM, etc, etc) - they could probably cut about 100 billion off the DOD budget right now. Funny - you never see that happening - do you?

The concept is sound and it actually works, but you are right about fudged metrics and doing lean events when not needed. Like most new techniques/tools, the AF fucks it up for the sake of meeting quotas and leadership expectations. Lean should only be used when needed, like any other tool.

Chief_KO
06-25-2013, 12:26 PM
Agreed...USAFE had mandated a wing do so many AFSO events per year...our new wing king said no, we would only do AFSO events when needed. Great Commander, wish there were more like him!
Real problem with AFSO (and other programs) are the "Senior Leader" training forums. USAFE's AFSO was in Stuttgart, GE and included touring (and driving) Porches at the factory. Senior "leaders" (quotes intentional) should go through the same training as the rank and file, with perhaps an extra half day on the executive reporting process, etc.

BigBaze
06-29-2013, 08:07 AM
Oh boy is this a good read, in response to the original article from the first post.

http://www.jqpublic-blog.com/?p=431&fb_action_ids=590992120941659&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A15231 9661623316%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A%22og.l ikes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

DWWSWWD
07-02-2013, 03:00 PM
Oh boy is this a good read, in response to the original article from the first post.

http://www.jqpublic-blog.com/?p=431&fb_action_ids=590992120941659&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A15231 9661623316%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A%22og.l ikes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

This is a great read and so are the comments. It is so well written that I am sure it will bolster somes' resolve to not check boxes. It can allow the non-conformists to see themselves as martyrs. I was in a unit for a long time where we had a ridiculous ops tempo. I never once had anyone encourage me to get to school or read to kids. We didn't have bake sales. All we heard was, take care of your family, you'll be gone again before you know it. It's just not that way for most of us and certainly isn't for me now. I'm bored to tell the truth. In my first year in the job I started and finished a Masters' degree. In the time we spend on AFT and Facebook, we could take 1 college course. I am 100% OK with an Airman doing the minimum. Not everyone is a rock star. That's OK. Don't expect the highest ratings and the best opportunities.

Measure Man
07-02-2013, 03:43 PM
Oh boy is this a good read, in response to the original article from the first post.

http://www.jqpublic-blog.com/?p=431&fb_action_ids=590992120941659&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A15231 9661623316%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A%22og.l ikes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

That was brilliant.

Pullinteeth
07-02-2013, 04:22 PM
That was brilliant.

It may very well be but it isn't what he actually did when he was in;

"I’ll save any curious readers the trouble of asking. Yes, Tony has a masters degree. Two, in fact. But here’s a funny thing: the Air Force sent me to residence education to get both of them. As a young captain, I was half-heartedly working on a square-checking masters when 9/11 happened, and immediately ceased working on it … I was gone constantly and didn’t want to give away precious family time for something that wasn’t making me any better at my current or future jobs. PME … yeah, I did it all. Because I was coerced. I speed-tested through SOS, ACSC, and AWC. I’d love to tell you a different story that makes me look more honorable, but the truth is there was no time in my life for correspondence courses that (a) held very little learning value and (b) were redundant since I’d already been selected to attend residence PME. I took the tests without studying and it worked. This is a damning statement about the rigor (or lack thereof) in these programs … I’m not that smart."

It is easy to say in hindsight that filling squares is bad when you have already filled your squares and your career is over. It is a lot harder to tell one of your minions not to bother filling the squares if they don't want to, knowing full well it will screw them later down the line. It is even harder to not fill those squares yourself knowing that if you don't HYT is likely to force you out sooner rather than later.

Measure Man
07-02-2013, 04:36 PM
What interests me is why they don't get into the real problem or real fix.

Yes, I know.



For example why is there EPR inflation. Why is it condoned by commanders.

Well, because people are missing the whole problem. AF leadership thinks the problem is that the SSgts and TSgts out there are afraid to hurt someone's feelings, so won't "give them what they deserve." But, that isn't the problem at all. Most people out there think their subordinates are pretty good folks that deserve the promotion and the decorations. They know that their people won't get what they deserve unless they get a firewall 5 EPR. No one knows all the eligible people in the AF...they only know their folks, and they think they deserve that promotion.

It's not a matter of being unwilling to rate a scumbag a 2 or 3...those are easy. It's the guys that might be 4s, but are really good dudes, and you know if you give them a 4, that lesser men will get recognized and advanced ahead of them.


Can EPR system ever be fixed.

Yes, it can be fixed. I do think it needs some type of control mechanism built in though...I've personally advocated for quotas for years...even submitted such a plan to my CCM and my MAJCOM CCM. There are other ways to do it though, as well. I do worry about back-stabbing and brown-nosing getting worse with a quota system. Although mere utterance of the Q-word is taboo among AF leadership...you get a very quick "we tried that, it didn't work"...of course, the truth is we NEVER had a quota system (we had an expectations system)...and when that was going, the EPR was a helluva lot more effective than it is right now. I'm thinking some influential Chief or Chiefs somewhere were told they got a 4 because "the squadron used up all their 5s already"...and they've had that fester in them ever since...or something, I dunno. But quota is a bad word around the AF.


Should volunteering be removed from enlisted EPR and 1206.

I understand why the AF encourages volunteering...but, it is certainly time to de-emphasize it in favor of job performance. Maybe make it a go/no-go std or something...like okay, you have to do something...do something and you're done. Doesn't matter how much you do, etc. Or just take it out entirely.


Why are firewall 5 EPRs tied to decorations.

It didn't use to be that way, you know. You used to fill out a form for decoration recommendations...it was something like 5 bullets for a AFAM, 7 bullets for a AFCM, one-page memo for an MSM, iirc. Then someone said, this is stupid, all we are doing is reiterating the EPR...why not just use the EPR. That was a simple thought and a good one.

However, the AF was trying to fight decoration inflation, so decided they needed to "make some tough calls" on saying no to a few decs. Of course, it's much easier to simply look at numerical markings than it is to decipher the quality and level of contribution from written descriptions. So, they started with the 4 EPRs being disapproved...so supervisors caught on, still thinking THEIR people deserved decs...so they started giving everyone 5s. The the powers started disapproving folks for EPRs with "markdowns" reasoning they were not among the best, and only the best should get decorations. Well, the rank and file caught on...and thus was born the firewall 5. I recall this happening around between 1998-2001 or so. I recall this so vividly because I was at a GSU and "away from the real AF" during that time...when I left a regular base in 1998, it wasn't that way...and when I arrived at Osan in 2001, I could believe they required a firewall 5 to give a SrA a AFAM. My cohorts assured me it was was all due to the Sq Lt. section commander we had...and I basically ranted at her for an hour or so, only to find out that this was pretty much wing policy. I still figured, 'okay, maybe it's an Osan thing' because, let's face it you're only there a year and you get a dec, so that makes some sense.

Then I PCS'd back to the states...only to find that the CONUS base had the same policy...and it's been an understood policy whereven I've been ever since.

So, while the intent was to control decoration inflation...the result was to supercharge EPR inflation.


Why did they change EPR few years back
and was desired change achieved.

To curb inflation of the EPR...well, no. Maybe for a little while...but yes, tying them to decs is what the inflation go through the roof.


Why is stating the obvious so bad, when it's been
going on for MANY years. Can WAPS be fixed to promote the BEST.

It's a tough one, for sure. Overally WAPS isn't horrible, I don't think..but the EPR is broken, and since it affects so many things, it's probably the largest personnel issue the AF needs to take on.

Measure Man
07-02-2013, 04:54 PM
It is easy to say in hindsight that filling squares is bad when you have already filled your squares and your career is over. It is a lot harder to tell one of your minions not to bother filling the squares if they don't want to, knowing full well it will screw them later down the line. It is even harder to not fill those squares yourself knowing that if you don't HYT is likely to force you out sooner rather than later.

True...I don't think he was encouraging any individual NOT to fill squares...more of highlight a problem the AF has, that needs to be addressed institututionally.

Measure Man
07-02-2013, 05:08 PM
Lastly, you say WAPS isn't horrible, yet it doesn't promote the
best, simply those with the most points who were a triple threat.

I always say, the AF promotes those who want it the most.

Not entirely a bad thing to promote those who show their willingness to do what it is the institution is asking them to do...but, we could do better.

I think one thing the AF needs to recognize is that it is OK to promote someone based on superior ability. Seems like we grade for effort moreso than results.

71Fish
07-02-2013, 05:12 PM
So the institution is asking them to do volunteer stuff for 20 years and get higher education...also, not be awarded, but actively seek and acquire awards.

Depending on what you do and like, volunteering can be its own reward.

Measure Man
07-02-2013, 05:15 PM
So the institution is asking them to volunteer for 20 years and get higher education...also, not be awarded, but actively seek and acquire awards.

Perhaps, yes...what?

71Fish
07-02-2013, 05:27 PM
So the institution is asking them to do volunteer stuff for 20 years and get higher education...also, not be awarded, but actively seek and acquire awards.

Depending on what you do and like, volunteering can be its own reward.

71Fish
07-02-2013, 05:30 PM
Mandatory volunteering, about as off as speed mentoring.
If you don't volunteer you get marked down on EPR.
Volunteer gets people btz, step and smsgt/cmsgt.
Way too important...

Volunteering used to consist of being a member of the nco club.

My last year in, we got volunteer emails DAILY.

I agree that manditory volunteering sucks. I volunteered some for things I believed in and wanted to make a difference in. 90% of the volunteer work I did I never told anyone, much less a supervisor. The only stuff I ever told them was the "AF" volunteer stuff. Add that to the long list of reasons why I wasn't E8/E9 material.
Unfortunetely, this is the current culture of the AF. Since it has gotten much worse over the years, I don't see it getting any better. I'm a contractor now and still get volunteer emails. Only difference now is I can say no without being voluntold.

imported_DannyJ
07-02-2013, 05:40 PM
Perhaps, yes...what?

Case in point MM, I have a BBA, CCAF, just hit 6 and have TSgt on. I focus on the job and volunteer only when I feel its a worthwhile endevour. I've been told a few times that my lack of leadership in volunteerism (leading bakesales) has limited my ability to win awards. I also don't do voluneerism for shit that just doesn't matter, like booster club fund raisers for a Holiday party that less than 50% of the unit goes to. Problem is because I didn't strech out the accomplishments, it's likely that I will have a hard time competeing for SMSgt and CMSgt when the time comes, which is complete nonsense.

Measure Man
07-02-2013, 06:03 PM
Case in point MM, I have a BBA, CCAF, just hit 6 and have TSgt on. I focus on the job and volunteer only when I feel its a worthwhile endevour. I've been told a few times that my lack of leadership in volunteerism (leading bakesales) has limited my ability to win awards. I also don't do voluneerism for shit that just doesn't matter, like booster club fund raisers for a Holiday party that less than 50% of the unit goes to.

Okay, so the "game" has been explained to you and you don't want to play...what is it you are expecting?

Yes, the awards system could be better...but it isn't right now. You have to manage yourself within the system...improve it within your span of control when you can.


Problem is because I didn't strech out the accomplishments, it's likely that I will have a hard time competeing for SMSgt and CMSgt when the time comes, which is complete nonsense.

Well, I think it is complete nonsense that you believe that. I don't think that's true at all...you have TSgt on at 6 years? So, you are easily looking at MSgt under 10...if you truly focus on the job and do it well...you will easily make SMSgt and CMSgt. The #1 hindrance to people making SMSgt and CMSgt is that it took them too long to make MSgt. The only thing that will stop you from making SMSgt and CMSgt is you believing it will be hard.

DWWSWWD
07-02-2013, 06:39 PM
Awards system is now a promotion system. Not true though. There are no speedbumps through E-7. Most people retire at that rank. It is honorable and most E-7s haven't lost sight of the mission. I mean they are working supervisors or could be if they chose to. E-8/9 can only make up 3% of the force. The potential Airmen to fill those ranks have been out front for years. The wrench guy that doesn't want to do anything else is fine by me, as long as he recognizes the potential Chiefs in his ranks and can set them up for success. This is where we usually run into issues.

RetC141BFCC
07-06-2013, 11:46 AM
Not true though. There are no speedbumps through E-7. Most people retire at that rank. It is honorable and most E-7s haven't lost sight of the mission. I mean they are working supervisors or could be if they chose to. E-8/9 can only make up 3% of the force. The potential Airmen to fill those ranks have been out front for years. The wrench guy that doesn't want to do anything else is fine by me, as long as he recognizes the potential Chiefs in his ranks and can set them up for success. This is where we usually run into issues.

I love this post. I was the wrench guy retired as a MSgt very happy with my time in the AF got one troop stepped got another one into OTS. He was a 15 year TSgt. That’s why I hope they never go to a board for MSgt. We need the MSgts who can be the technical leaders. The one that the troops go to when they can't fix the jet. I don’t think I would have been a good SMSgt not political enough but I was a good MSgt. When I pissed off that E-9 and got a 4 EPR my promotion chances were gone. I still did 4 more years and 2 years latter one a base wide award for maintenance. I say a E-9 and he was. A Chief who will not go to bat for his troops is a E-9. I thank god I only worked for one in my whole time in the Air Force. I have been retired 10 years and still today have nothing but respect for Chiefs. When I see them on base I always address them as Chiefs.

imported_DannyJ
07-07-2013, 03:12 AM
https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/7607769600/h3AF3BDAD/now long enough.

VFFTSGT
07-07-2013, 06:35 AM
Oh boy is this a good read, in response to the original article from the first post.

http://www.jqpublic-blog.com/?p=431&fb_action_ids=590992120941659&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A15231 9661623316%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22590992120941659%22%3A%22og.l ikes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

This response is very well written and a excellent critique of the original article. The original article epitomizes so much that I won't miss.

All the other SNCO's that posted their name and came running to the defense of author in the af.mil comments are simply pathetic. They lack simple critical thinking skills and are so out of touch with reality.

They just simply prove this statement:

...notwithstanding the Air Force’s allergy to any hint of internal disagreement --John Q

There is also a youtube video that has been around for a while that fits this subject very well:


http://youtu.be/I8KxC4Wo5hI

I was wondering where I would see this propaganda:

As a SNCO in the ADAF, the seemingly prevalent theme of the thread is that we believe that people cannot excel at their primary specialty AND do more to further themselves. How sad. It’s not one or the other, and that’s a fact. It’s ludicrous to think that the AF believes there is more emphasis placed on the non-duty related accomplishments than actual specialty performance. It’s just that those additional items/accomplishments are what set people apart. --posted by Carl | June 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm - on John Q's page

This guy does not live in reality. The people that are out getting educations and volunteering are doing so mostly DURING DUTY HOURS. That means someone else is picking up the slack. "Work bullets" from packages are often stolen from people who actually did the work; had work "stolen" from me many of times. Education and volunteerism does not set people apart; it is a sole determining factor.

What's funny is, at one base I spent endless hours volunteering on my time as a volunteer firefighter. All the work put into that was never good enough for an award package. It only merited one bullet. The same one bullet someone got for working 1 hour wrapping presents but claimed they raised so much money (counting the entire fundraiser) and claimed to raise morale. Do 3 of these events during duty hours and you have 3 bullets.

And then there was the time I took classes (on my time) to get my CCAF (well I picked up the CCAF on the way to what I was working on), but all the course work I did never met the "3 bullet" requirement for an award package. You got to take a CLEP, read a CSAF reading list book, and get an award at PME to get the 3 bullets.

BOTTOM LINE: There is more emphasis placed on the non-duty related accomplishments than actual specialty performance. I have proven this many times with upgrade evaluations of Airmen who told me flat out their training records were pencil-whipped, they wished they had more/better training, and their evaluations showed they lacked the basic training to fulfill core competencies. They cannot perform basic job tasks but since they have >90 on their PT test, volunteered for honor guard, and are checking the appropriate "self-improvement" squares...they are set. When addressed to SNCO's of the unit, they could have cared less. They wanted to fill the air with smoke to get by an inspection and then go back to chasing their own personal agendas.

imnohero
07-07-2013, 01:56 PM
If your primary goal in the service is awards and promotions, by all means, be a square filler. In fact, I recommend pencil whipping them as much as possible, because no one actually looks beyond the check mark in the box. However, you will never be looked at as a leader with integrity, compassion, or any real ability.

On the other hand, if you pursue technical excellence, broad career experience, and real self-improvement (whether or not it gets you "credit" with Big Blue), people will follow you because you will develop the traits of leadership. Trust me, I know from experience. A couple of short personal stories to high-light my point:

Back in 97 I quit drinking...having quite the addiction to it, it took a couple years to get my ass straighten out. I didn't get EPR bullets, award recognition, or promoted. What I did get was actual self-improvement and recognition from everyone around me that it was a change for the better. People trusted me to be discrete if they had a problem, came to me for advice on troops with problems...leadership, peers, and younger airman.

I came in in 88. In my first unit, technical competence and mission focus was the only thing that mattered. I did volunteer here and there and took a class toward my CCAF when I could but mostly I focused on mission. In 2000, I PCS'd into a new unit. My new supervisor quoted that line from "Heartbreak Ridge" about how I should be put under glass that says "break in case of war"...gave me whole speech about how the AF had changed, blah blah blah. Then 9/11 happened and everyone wanted me around.

Whether or not you choose to "fill squares" is up to you, don't do it just because some SNCO publishes an article. Filling squares doesn't make you a "whole person" and not having all your squares filled won't stop you from getting promoted. Mostly, filling squares does not make you a leader...leaders are much sterner stuff than a check-mark in a box on some form.

sandsjames
07-07-2013, 03:59 PM
Retirement rocks...who gives a shit about EPRs and awards!? They mean absolutely nothing. Other than my shadow box, all military items have been boxed up or trashed, and shadowbox is with my dad.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
07-07-2013, 05:01 PM
Retirement rocks...who gives a shit about EPRs and awards!? They mean absolutely nothing. Other than my shadow box, all military items have been boxed up or trashed, and shadowbox is with my dad.

I'm still debating on what to do with the three huge boxes of crap (awards, gifts) I have. No room to display them either. Right now I have an old sq photo with the entire sq of F-117s behind us, a maintenance man, and my shadow box. Seems to be enough to display, looks nice and doesn't clutter the house.

DWWSWWD
07-07-2013, 05:11 PM
I'm still debating on what to do with the three huge boxes of crap (awards, gifts) I have.

At my place we use a particular type of trophy thing for NCOQ/SNCOQ. One of my teammates just retired and had earned three of them in his time with us. Last quarter, he pulled off his brass plaques, had new ones made for our selects that quarter and we regifted them. Perfect, since we had no money to buy them anyway.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
07-07-2013, 05:29 PM
My boss took that photo.

It's an awesome one too! After years of displaying it in a cheap wooden frame I finally splurged for a beautiful frame, which now makes the photo that much more incredible to look at.

KellyinAvon
07-07-2013, 06:24 PM
I'm still debating on what to do with the three huge boxes of crap (awards, gifts) I have. No room to display them either. Right now I have an old sq photo with the entire sq of F-117s behind us, a maintenance man, and my shadow box. Seems to be enough to display, looks nice and doesn't clutter the house.

I just looked around my house, you'd never know I was in the AF unless you go in the spare bedroom I claimed as "my room" 5 years ago when we moved in. Shadow box and 4 items on 1 wall, license plates and a POW/MIA flag on another. A giant map of Korea and my AF Times editorial from 2006 made the cut along with a bell from Korea and a lithograph print of F-86s by Harley Copic (I have no idea where I got this). Everything else is in the garage in Rubbermaid containers.

I guess I'm sayin, "Get a "my room" for your cool stuff FLAPS!!" Put the rest in the garage.

sandsjames
07-07-2013, 06:47 PM
I'm still debating on what to do with the three huge boxes of crap (awards, gifts) I have. No room to display them either. Right now I have an old sq photo with the entire sq of F-117s behind us, a maintenance man, and my shadow box. Seems to be enough to display, looks nice and doesn't clutter the house.

Well, the movers boxed everything up so whatever I do have left will probably stay in those boxes for the next 30 years. Then I'll finally decide to go through them and might enjoying seeing them again.

Quixotic
07-07-2013, 08:03 PM
I wish everybody would stop calling it 'voluntary' service because it's not.

It's a requirement and it would more acurately be called mandatory community service. Furthermore, the only people who mandate it, besides AF senior leadership, are judges when they pass down sentences. Kind of makes you feel like we're being punished for being in the Air Force doesn't it?

wildman
07-07-2013, 08:33 PM
I wish everybody would stop calling it 'voluntary' service because it's not.

It's a requirement and it would more acurately be called mandatory community service. Furthermore, the only people who mandate it, besides AF senior leadership, are judges when they pass down sentences. Kind of makes you feel like we're being punished for being in the Air Force doesn't it?

Never heard of a judge saying the Air Force and Navy or jail. Have heard Army and Marines however.

Always,
Wildman

CrustySMSgt
07-08-2013, 05:05 AM
I'm still debating on what to do with the three huge boxes of crap (awards, gifts) I have.

I find it rediculous the amount of CRAP people spend money on as gifts for CCs. Something meaningful to a member of your unit is great, but do you really think the wing commander (or even the group) is going to pick out a special spot on his wall for the framed litho and coins from your random squadron... but going aways always become a contest to see who can give the biggest gift; do they really think it's gonna ger them face time/recognition/promotion? The biggest DBs of this type are the ones that pass the hat to their AIrmen to help fund it. If they were a really awesome CC who took care of your people, get them a gift certificate from a local resturaunt where they're PCSing/retiring to... don't give them something else to schlep around in a box for the rest of their career only to get sold for $5 at their house cleaning garage sale.

imported_Renazance
07-08-2013, 05:17 AM
I find it rediculous the amount of CRAP people spend money on as gifts for CCs. Something meaningful to a member of your unit is great, but do you really think the wing commander (or even the group) is going to pick out a special spot on his wall for the framed litho and coins from your random squadron... but going aways always become a contest to see who can give the biggest gift; do they really think it's gonna ger them face time/recognition/promotion? The biggest DBs of this type are the ones that pass the hat to their AIrmen to help fund it. If they were a really awesome CC who took care of your people, get them a gift certificate from a local resturaunt where they're PCSing/retiring to... don't give them something else to schlep around in a box for the rest of their career only to get sold for $5 at their house cleaning garage sale.

If you think that's ridiculous, how about at the Deid we had going aways for 6-month deployers. WTF. And what sucked most was that supervisors and supts that were on a 365 always funded the gifts. You can imagine how many damn gifts and going aways they had to fund with all those people rotating in and out over the course of a year.

CrustySMSgt
07-08-2013, 05:34 AM
If you think that's ridiculous, how about at the Deid we had going aways for 6-month deployers. WTF. And what sucked most was that supervisors and supts that were on a 365 always funded the gifts. You can imagine how many damn gifts and going aways they had to fund with all those people rotating in and out over the course of a year.

I've been buying $15 plaques for the people who directly work for me here... will be a total of 8 when I roll out in 3 weeks, but it's worth a month's perdiem out of a year... but if I had a big shop I could see how it would suck lol

RobotChicken
07-08-2013, 05:36 AM
"It's all a 'Crock pot full of $h*t.'"

imported_Renazance
07-08-2013, 05:45 AM
I've been buying $15 plaques for the people who directly work for me here... will be a total of 8 when I roll out in 3 weeks, but it's worth a month's perdiem out of a year... but if I had a big shop I could see how it would suck lol

I wouldn't mind if it was that few. I'm talking high teens to 20s. Worked in the CAOC.

RobotChicken
07-08-2013, 06:15 AM
"Can't believe you don't make them yourself! We made the molds for the ceramics, cut and stained the fine woodwork, and did the engraving on the plate! We put effort into it and All Hands new it and cherished the plaque! We even did special orders;LOL, depending on 'who' it was (HINT-HINT) especially around EVAL time! The wives into ceramic's did the kiln routine and painting and it was an 'All Hands Evolution' of care and fun for our cause for fellow shipmates! We also made Command plaques for all hands also given 'free' when reporting on board! What? You order that crap from China now and expect someone to appreciate it; like the 'made in China flags' for our Vets on the 4th of July? Get REAL!!!" 'RobotChicken!"

Drackore
07-08-2013, 07:10 AM
Time to change the squares that needs to be filled.

Problem is: Until I become CMSAF, who will have the balls to do it?

RetC141BFCC
07-11-2013, 05:31 PM
I always say the difference between brown nosing and Ass Kissing is depth perception. So how is everybody eyesight?

imported_chipotleboy
07-15-2013, 03:18 PM
My senior year of AFROTC, one of my prior-enlisted buddies actually got into trouble with the cadre because he decided to graduate early with his BS and start working on his MS. The Commandant-of-Cadets told him that he was "filling the square" (a bad thing according to her), and he should focus on "developing as a leader" by holding off graduating, taking "puff" classes, and spending more time on teaching younger cadets how to march and make hospital corners.

Now as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story: The Commandant-of-Cadets who made the "fill-the-square" remarks had a M.A. in Educational Psychology. She chose that degree because she wanted to go back to her alma mater (USAFA) to teach, and it was the fastest master's she could complete to make her eligible. When USAFA rejected her, she bailed out of the ROTC job early to take a higher profile job, and never taught again.

In comparison, my classmate got an MS in Math. It was directly related to the career field he entered as an officer. He quickly got a PhD, and published a book in a new line of research he helped create that has wide applications in both military and commercial applications. Now that he's retired from the AF, he's a well known leader in his field.

Now who filled the square, and who invested in themselves?

imported_chipotleboy
07-16-2013, 01:18 PM
The whole "filling squares" thing reminds me that whenever anybody tells me to do something for my own good, I always check my pockets to see if my wallet is still there. I don't believe anybody is purely altruistic. If someone wants you to volunteer to save the dolphins, sure, they may like dolphins, but I'm also sure that person is going to get a good bullet on their EPR for "leading" you to volunteer.

The same goes for the CCAF vs 'real' college degree issue. A SNCO is going to look bad if his folks aren't working their CCAF, despite the fact they may be working on bachelor's (or higher) degrees. CCAF is easy to track, and most 'leaders' default to lazy behavior. There's no incentive to buck the system. So he or she is going to care about CCAF, not long term (especially post-AF) development of the individual.

Shortly before I came on active duty, CSAF Gabriel got all preachy about 'careerism' and how it was ruining the Air Force officer corps. We were told not to work our own assignments because Big Blue knew what was best for us. I think most of the people who followed that advice were either RIF'd in 1992 or passed over for major and forced out. The folks who didn't follow that advice made rank. Look at the bios of general officers and you will see many of them violated late 80s/early 90s senior leader guidance to avoid spending too much time as execs, aides, and in school. Makes me wonder if the chosen children were pulled aside at some point and told "the rules don't apply to you...you're special."

fufu
07-16-2013, 04:48 PM
BLUF: First 4 has council seats open. If you want to make Chief, now is the time to start. I would love to see every E1-E4 at the meeting on 23 July to vote.

Says it all.

20+Years
07-16-2013, 05:30 PM
Airmans Council - First 4 - Rising 6 - 5/6 - TOP 3 - Chiefs Council

It doesn't stop.

fufu
07-16-2013, 05:37 PM
Airmans Council - First 4 - Rising 6 - 5/6 - TOP 3 - Chiefs Council

It doesn't stop.

I think you are missing Sq booster club, First Sgts Council, Sq Top 3 or Top 4 (been in Sq that have those), Dorm Councils, ...............................

VFFTSGT
07-16-2013, 05:42 PM
Says it all.

This argument is a fallacy. People that make these arguments have no real/logical argument to support why one should join whatever 'social clubs' the base has.

These clubs do not do anything in real life.

The next justification is networking to help get things done.

Well, everyone on a base is on the 'same team' and everyone should be helping the people, which they provide a service to, to the best of their abilities. But no, we actually spend most of our time trying to figure out how to avoid work, how to avoid helping people, and coming up with excuses why we cannot do something. No one should be getting special treatement because you are part of a small clique.

I have pressed every enlisted person of a variety of ranks that wanted me to join 'X' club. Not one logical argument to support the cause has ever been provided.

Deploy Me Please
07-16-2013, 09:43 PM
Cliques are bad.

Except the smoke pit mafia. That clique gets shit done. Well, back in the day anyways...