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BOSS302
07-04-2013, 07:47 PM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

imported_KnuckleDragger
07-04-2013, 08:17 PM
Idiotic. Treat people like kids, and they will act like kids.

What happens to squadron leadership, when SrA Snuffy gets a DUI, and they just signed his "permission sheet"

"First-Term" could mean a TSgt with 6 yrs TIS(more with an extension). Or do they only mean airmen ranks?

SENDBILLMONEY
07-04-2013, 09:00 PM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

Interesting. Yes please, I'd like to see this one. Reserving comment for now.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
07-04-2013, 09:02 PM
Why anyone wastes their time enlisting in today's Air Force is beyond me, especially those who are a little older and have a little more life experience, degrees, work history, etc.

Mcjohn1118
07-04-2013, 10:20 PM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

Ahhh, this has been brought up before and so I had to find the AFI that covers this sort of thing. In 33-360, policy letters are not recognized. I wish advisors to wing commanders would get their act together. Here is the excerpt:

5.6.6. Air Force Policy Memorandum (AFPM) and Guidance Memorandum (GM) (Temporary & Attached).
5.6.6.1. AFPMs and GMs are used to issue or change policy or guidance when there is not enough time to process a new publication or take an action to permanently change an existing publication. The memorandum has a reduced coordination and approval process to expedite delivery, but this reduces opportunity for organizations to evaluate impact. For this reason, the use of AFPMs and GMs must be reduced to only those instances where immediate release is required due to immediate risk to life, safety, property, or mission. Note: “Policy letters,” guides, and bulletins are not recognized as part of the publishing program; any guidance or information issued in a policy letter, guide, or bulletin requiring implementation/compliance must be established in a publication type described in this publication and processed accordingly.

technomage1
07-04-2013, 10:26 PM
Disagree.

Edit: since its confusing to people despite the title of the post, I disagree with the policy.

Capt Alfredo
07-04-2013, 10:45 PM
Sounds like BS and I'd probably have to check with legal or someone like BRUWIN to find out if it were legal.

imported_DannyJ
07-04-2013, 10:46 PM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

LOLOLOLOLOL! Good luck enforcing that.

Silverback
07-04-2013, 11:55 PM
I was stationed at Lakenheath from2007-2010. I remember that the alcohol related incidences were so high with the brand new Airmen. Some Airmen would find out that the drinking age is 18 and would get wasted the very first weekend on station. My squadron made it a policy that when we went to pick them up at the airport, we had to read off this checklist of dos and don’ts for the new ones. I am not sure how effective it was. I think it was just a way to show that my squadron trying to correct the situation.

BRUWIN
07-05-2013, 12:02 AM
Sounds like BS and I'd probably have to check with legal or someone like BRUWIN to find out if it were legal.

It's perfectly legal. This kids should spend their weekend curling up with a good book while sipping hot cocoa with the little floaty marshmellows on top.

DocBones
07-05-2013, 12:29 AM
Bruwin,

Thank you. I was just about to say that exactly. They can stay in their jammyjams, also.

ConfusedAirman
07-05-2013, 12:43 AM
Ahhh, this has been brought up before and so I had to find the AFI that covers this sort of thing. In 33-360, policy letters are not recognized. I wish advisors to wing commanders would get their act together. Here is the excerpt:

5.6.6. Air Force Policy Memorandum (AFPM) and Guidance Memorandum (GM) (Temporary & Attached).
5.6.6.1. AFPMs and GMs are used to issue or change policy or guidance when there is not enough time to process a new publication or take an action to permanently change an existing publication. The memorandum has a reduced coordination and approval process to expedite delivery, but this reduces opportunity for organizations to evaluate impact. For this reason, the use of AFPMs and GMs must be reduced to only those instances where immediate release is required due to immediate risk to life, safety, property, or mission. Note: “Policy letters,” guides, and bulletins are not recognized as part of the publishing program; any guidance or information issued in a policy letter, guide, or bulletin requiring implementation/compliance must be established in a publication type described in this publication and processed accordingly. BUT - a commander can give an order, verbally or in writing. So if he gives a written order in a format that he also calls a "policy letter", that means his written order is rendered illegal and unenforceable? If he just calls what he wrote an "order" and not a "policy letter" without changing any other part of the written text, all is okay?

VCO
07-05-2013, 01:51 AM
That is a pretty broad knee-jerk reaction. Morale must be high there.

BURAWSKI
07-05-2013, 02:36 AM
BUT - a commander can give an order, verbally or in writing. So if he gives a written order in a format that he also calls a "policy letter", that means his written order is rendered illegal and unenforceable? If he just calls what he wrote an "order" and not a "policy letter" without changing any other part of the written text, all is okay?

This is an issue that the JAG would need to address. I doubt that the commander knows exactly what is legal and what isn't if he didn't vet his memo through his legal officer. I don't have a big fancy law degree but I don't think the order is legal or enforceable.

RobotChicken
07-05-2013, 02:50 AM
This is an issue that the JAG would need to address. I doubt that the commander knows exactly what is legal and what isn't if he didn't vet his memo through his legal officer. I don't have a big fancy law degree but I don't think the order is legal or enforceable.

" 'Chief Burawski'; POTUS runs everything now so if it makes him look good do you really think 'JAG' is going to call the officer out on it??? Get real! This is not our REAL Navy or military NO MORE or our country's!!"

CJSmith
07-05-2013, 05:48 AM
I've seen SQ CC's order their entire SQ not to drink over a stretch of time due to a knee jerk reaction.

CrustySMSgt
07-05-2013, 05:56 AM
Ahhh, this has been brought up before and so I had to find the AFI that covers this sort of thing. In 33-360, policy letters are not recognized. I wish advisors to wing commanders would get their act together. Here is the excerpt:

5.6.6. Air Force Policy Memorandum (AFPM) and Guidance Memorandum (GM) (Temporary & Attached).
5.6.6.1. AFPMs and GMs are used to issue or change policy or guidance when there is not enough time to process a new publication or take an action to permanently change an existing publication. The memorandum has a reduced coordination and approval process to expedite delivery, but this reduces opportunity for organizations to evaluate impact. For this reason, the use of AFPMs and GMs must be reduced to only those instances where immediate release is required due to immediate risk to life, safety, property, or mission. Note: “Policy letters,” guides, and bulletins are not recognized as part of the publishing program; any guidance or information issued in a policy letter, guide, or bulletin requiring implementation/compliance must be established in a publication type described in this publication and processed accordingly.

Commanders can issue written orders. The above reference deals with changes to pubs, because commanders/HQs were frustrated with the length of time it takes to do an IMC to get an AFI changed, so they were just issuing "policy letters", which ended up being enduring, with no effort to change the source reference.


This is an issue that the JAG would need to address. I doubt that the commander knows exactly what is legal and what isn't if he didn't vet his memo through his legal officer. I don't have a big fancy law degree but I don't think the order is legal or enforceable.

Having dealt with a lot of commanders, most are smart enough to consult the JAG before going off the deep end like this.

Given the huge range of personnel this order covers, which could include as mentioned, someone on a 23-month extention to a 6 year enlistment who joined when they were 27, wich would make them drinking as a 35 year old illegal, I can't see who in their right mind would think this makes any sense whatsoever.

OtisRNeedleman
07-05-2013, 06:15 AM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

Unless there is a form of some sort signed by the squadron "leadership" for the individual, this part won't work. This has to be in an objective form. The term "backing of the squadron leadership" is highly subjective and likely wouldn't pass muster with the JAG.

Is this the idiot who put out such a stupid letter?

http://uk.stripes.com/base-info/48th-fighter-wing-commander

MajesticThunder
07-05-2013, 08:33 AM
Lakenheath's innovative new Airmen Development Center (ADC) encourages military discipline

by Airman 1st Class Nanny State
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

7/4/2013 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- A big concern on most supervisor’s minds is their new airman’s development. They worry about whether their airman is eating right, who is watching them during non-duty hours, and most importantly, how well they are keeping metrics “green” across the big boards.

RAF Lakenheath's new Airman Development Center (ADC) provides quality care to help quell supervisor’s concerns.

Supervisors can use full-time care for their newly assigned airman while they work throughout the week or hourly care spaces when short-term care is needed. Registration forms (AF Form 2606) may be obtained at either of our two new ADCs or on-line. ADC's are not yet accredited or recognized for providing high quality early Airmanship programs.

"One of the top priorities in the Air Force is completing the mission, but when you're worried about your new first term Airman, it becomes difficult to focus on the mission," said Mary Poppins, 48th Services Squadron micromanagement programs chief. "It’s our job to provide a safe and efficient environment for new airman so that our leaders don't need to worry about their subordinates."

There are two new ADCs on RAF Lakenheath are conveniently collocated with our existing Child Development Centers (CDCs). Together, ADC East and West provide closely controlled adult airman care for over 494 first term airmen ages 18 to 26 years old.

"Our activity plans differ from classroom to classroom," said Mother Hen, 48th SVS ADC East director. "Our dedicated mentors observe their classes and create lesson plans based on the needs of the class using stringent local command guidance."

Mrs. Hen added that “One of the main focuses of ADC lesson plans is to deemphasize personal integrity and individual responsibly of new airman. Mass punishment is such a proven tool to encourage organizational discipline it’s obviously the crux of why ADCs were established at Lakenheath. We are on to something here and must be breaking new ground on how to keep our new airman out of trouble.”

Air Force readiness is vital, so achieving more tobacco free, non-alcohol drinking Airman as soon as they arrive to their first duty station is paramount. The new ADC coddling philosophy will no doubt yield lower alcohol related incident rates proving innovative military leaders across the Air Force can always look to RAF Lakenheath for the best morale boosting policies or command statistics.

Inspiring ADC lessons include bootlace tying for younger airman or proper PT posture for older airman. Other mandated classroom activities can include military customs and courtesies, safe dorm cooking, correct safety belt positioning, and much more.

"I like that the ADC has smaller class sizes," said Staff Sergeant Daisy Doolittle, 48th Security Forces Squadron, who has two new airman in ADCs. "It allows for better interaction between dedicated mentors and my airman thus freeing me up to do less challenging tasks than just supervise my troops all day."

"Supervisors are always welcome to come to the ADC and take part in our wing commander imposed lessons. We are so proud of our innovative prowess." said Ms. Poppins.

Ms. Poppins highlighted that “The ADC holds activities once a month for actual supervisor participation. These can include AFI book reading, work center show and tell, war story telling, and the very popular ribbon recognition Jeopardy game. The wing commander is confident that supervisor participation at such events is useful, but prefers to rely on new ADCs untapped potential to truly hone first term airman discipline.”

Military life can be stressful, but one thing supervisors should not stress over is how well ADCs are now rigorously developing Lakenheath’s new airman to succeed in their future military careers just like Lakenheath CDCs offer similar daycare to service member children.

El Kabong
07-05-2013, 10:47 AM
Lakenheath's innovative new Airmen Development Center (ADC) encourages military discipline

by Airman 1st Class Nanny State
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

7/4/2013 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- A big concern on most supervisor’s minds is their new airman’s development. They worry about whether their airman is eating right, who is watching them during non-duty hours, and most importantly, how well they are keeping metrics “green” across the big boards.

RAF Lakenheath's new Airman Development Center (ADC) provides quality care to help quell supervisor’s concerns.

Supervisors can use full-time care for their newly assigned airman while they work throughout the week or hourly care spaces when short-term care is needed. Registration forms (AF Form 2606) may be obtained at either of our two new ADCs or on-line. ADC's are not yet accredited or recognized for providing high quality early Airmanship programs.

"One of the top priorities in the Air Force is completing the mission, but when you're worried about your new first term Airman, it becomes difficult to focus on the mission," said Mary Poppins, 48th Services Squadron micromanagement programs chief. "It’s our job to provide a safe and efficient environment for new airman so that our leaders don't need to worry about their subordinates."

There are two new ADCs on RAF Lakenheath are conveniently collocated with our existing Child Development Centers (CDCs). Together, ADC East and West provide closely controlled adult airman care for over 494 first term airmen ages 18 to 26 years old.

"Our activity plans differ from classroom to classroom," said Mother Hen, 48th SVS ADC East director. "Our dedicated mentors observe their classes and create lesson plans based on the needs of the class using stringent local command guidance."

Mrs. Hen added that “One of the main focuses of ADC lesson plans is to deemphasize personal integrity and individual responsibly of new airman. Mass punishment is such a proven tool to encourage organizational discipline it’s obviously the crux of why ADCs were established at Lakenheath. We are on to something here and must be breaking new ground on how to keep our new airman out of trouble.”

Air Force readiness is vital, so achieving more tobacco free, non-alcohol drinking Airman as soon as they arrive to their first duty station is paramount. The new ADC coddling philosophy will no doubt yield lower alcohol related incident rates proving innovative military leaders across the Air Force can always look to RAF Lakenheath for the best morale boosting policies or command statistics.

Inspiring ADC lessons include bootlace tying for younger airman or proper PT posture for older airman. Other mandated classroom activities can include military customs and courtesies, safe dorm cooking, correct safety belt positioning, and much more.

"I like that the ADC has smaller class sizes," said Staff Sergeant Daisy Doolittle, 48th Security Forces Squadron, who has two new airman in ADCs. "It allows for better interaction between dedicated mentors and my airman thus freeing me up to do less challenging tasks than just supervise my troops all day."

"Supervisors are always welcome to come to the ADC and take part in our wing commander imposed lessons. We are so proud of our innovative prowess." said Ms. Poppins.

Ms. Poppins highlighted that “The ADC holds activities once a month for actual supervisor participation. These can include AFI book reading, work center show and tell, war story telling, and the very popular ribbon recognition Jeopardy game. The wing commander is confident that supervisor participation at such events is useful, but prefers to rely on new ADCs untapped potential to truly hone first term airman discipline.”

Military life can be stressful, but one thing supervisors should not stress over is how well ADCs are now rigorously developing Lakenheath’s new airman to succeed in their future military careers just like Lakenheath CDCs offer similar daycare to service member children.

written in the Combat Desert Penguin style combining humor, sarcasm and reality. good stuff!

Vrake
07-05-2013, 11:53 AM
Disagree

Just like in the olden times let the clowns weed themselves out. Talk to your Jr people about the dangers etc etc but let them go do what they want.

It's like a self licking ice cream cone the problem kids will self identify.

UH1FE
07-05-2013, 01:05 PM
Another leader trying to lead from behind his desk instead of from the front. Colonel close the email and shut down the computer. If you would get off your ass and lead from the FRONT you wouldn't have this problem.

raustin0017
07-05-2013, 01:11 PM
Why anyone wastes their time enlisting in today's Air Force is beyond me, especially those who are a little older and have a little more life experience, degrees, work history, etc.

Just 18 months ago...at Altus FTAC. New A1C, 26 yrs old, married, two kids, B.S. degree and M.S. degree...could not find a job after 8 yrs of college. Not a waist of time for that guy.

imported_Renazance
07-05-2013, 01:37 PM
Why anyone wastes their time enlisting in today's Air Force is beyond me, especially those who are a little older and have a little more life experience, degrees, work history, etc.

Don't know where you been at the last couple of years but the US job market sucks. Americans, even those with degrees, cannot find jobs so they are left with no other option but to join the military. I'd much rather join the AF and be guaranteed a paycheck than be jobless and wonder how I'm going to support my family.


Just 18 months ago...at Altus FTAC. New A1C, 26 yrs old, married, two kids, B.S. degree and M.S. degree...could not find a job after 8 yrs of college. Not a waist of time for that guy.

Those are the new Airmen I'd prefer to have instead of the 18-yr old kids who've never left home and think the military is an extension of the college campus experience. I've had a few older Airmen like the one raustin described and never had a discipline problem with any.

imported_KnuckleDragger
07-05-2013, 01:49 PM
Just 18 months ago...at Altus FTAC. New A1C, 26 yrs old, married, two kids, B.S. degree and M.S. degree...could not find a job after 8 yrs of college. Not a waist of time for that guy.

Yet, he can't be trusted to drink alcohol.

raustin0017
07-05-2013, 02:04 PM
If those are the standards....why is this such a big deal? Obviously the entire Wg had a huge problem. Do you understand how much time it takes away from supervisors, Shirts, and CCs from the primary mission every time someone get in trouble? I bet the results were immediate and helped slow down the ass pain you get when dealing wiht alcohol problems.

SomeRandomGuy
07-05-2013, 02:13 PM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

That is not really fair to people in an AFSC where they have like 8 volumes of CDCs. Im curious what exactly the wing CC thinks an Amn will learn in FTAC or CDCs that would stop them from acting a fool while drinking.

DWWSWWD
07-05-2013, 02:36 PM
If those are the standards....why is this such a big deal? Obviously the entire Wg had a huge problem. Entire Wings do not have problems. People do. Briefings at FTAC do not solve people's problems. Stupid.

tiredretiredE7
07-05-2013, 02:48 PM
Entire Wings do not have problems. People do. Briefings at FTAC do not solve people's problems. Stupid.

Unless the Wing/CC is the stupid individual.

DWWSWWD
07-05-2013, 02:59 PM
Unless the Wing/CC is the stupid individual. I believe he is. His E-10 too. I would have been standing on his desk explaining how I think this undermines our confidence in our Airmen to make good choices in every area. This is a huge fail. I got stopped on the way out the gate one time at an overseas location by the wing commander. He was handing out little cards with the fancy saying and a phone number. He asked me what my plan was for getting home. Ummmm. Driving? I'm driving my wife to dinner and then I'm driving her and myself back home. Thanks, General. Love ya, mean it. Same guy that had the whole sq locked up in formation for an ass chewing after a DUI.

raustin0017
07-05-2013, 04:48 PM
Sometimes commanders have to take action to get peoples attention. About 7 yrs ago my Sq/CC at Charleston implemented Gen Order #1. All personnel were ordered not to drink alcohol until further notice. It was cleared by the Wg/CC and JAG. Why? One of our C-17 Crews was on a mission. After dinner they all went out to a bar. They all returned to the hotel as a group. So far...so good. They had a plan and was sticking to it. It was 0200 hrs and three of them went to the elevator and three decided to go across the street to another bar. First guy ran across the road. Second guy was hit and killed by a speeding car without headlights. This tragedy triggered a reaction from the CC to give folks a time to think about life. Gen Order #1 was lifted after the funeral. No matter how solid your plan is...when you drink for 5-hrs straight you tend to make stupid decisions.

I always believed it took more courage from the Sq/CC to take this action than to hold another CC Call to explain the responsibilities of drinking.

imported_KnuckleDragger
07-05-2013, 05:29 PM
Sometimes commanders have to take action to get peoples attention. About 7 yrs ago my Sq/CC at Charleston implemented Gen Order #1. All personnel were ordered not to drink alcohol until further notice. It was cleared by the Wg/CC and JAG. Why? One of our C-17 Crews was on a mission. After dinner they all went out to a bar. They all returned to the hotel as a group. So far...so good. They had a plan and was sticking to it. It was 0200 hrs and three of them went to the elevator and three decided to go across the street to another bar. First guy ran across the road. Second guy was hit and killed by a speeding car without headlights. This tragedy triggered a reaction from the CC to give folks a time to think about life. Gen Order #1 was lifted after the funeral. No matter how solid your plan is...when you drink for 5-hrs straight you tend to make stupid decisions.

I always believed it took more courage from the Sq/CC to take this action than to hold another CC Call to explain the responsibilities of drinking.

I think what makes people mad about this policy is, it singles out a particular group, for a problem that has no boundaries.

Additionally, this is aimed at an ever-changing population. Folks are constantly coming/going/reenlisting/etc. If it is termporary, how does it help anyone but the current group of first-termers. If it is permanent, I agree with others...this may be a legal problem.

Although I would not be happy, this would be a non-issue if it was similar to the example you cited, for the WHOLE squadron.

wildman
07-05-2013, 07:35 PM
Apparently things have not much changed over the years. Teaching responsibility and holding individuals accountable for their actions was what I tried to implement as a supervisor I was lucky that I had a LTC squadron commander who fully supported me in this. I agree treating individuals as children or with a dictatorial attitude can be very counter productive.

Always,
Wildman

Measure Man
07-05-2013, 07:37 PM
Entire Wings do not have problems. People do.

...but, a wing can have a trend of people with problems.


Briefings at FTAC do not solve people's problems. Stupid.

the idea is prevention, I'm sure.

wildman
07-05-2013, 07:44 PM
Measure Man;638062]...but, a wing can have a trend of people with problems.

If this be true and I have no reason to believe that it is not I would seriously say there is a big lack of leadership within that wing and it goes to the top ranks and works down.

Always,
Wildman

Measure Man
07-05-2013, 08:19 PM
If this be true and I have no reason to believe that it is not I would seriously say there is a big lack of leadership within that wing and it goes to the top ranks and works down.

Always,
Wildman

Not necessarily.

You know, sometimes a wing can have an unhealthy culture in it...maybe a result of local influences or just the way a certain unit has been for a period of years...it can be very difficult to change that.

The "top ranks" change so often, they only have so much influence on long-term culture...not saying it can't be fixed, but it's not always attributable to just a lack of leadership.

fufu
07-05-2013, 10:35 PM
Sometimes commanders have to take action to get peoples attention. About 7 yrs ago my Sq/CC at Charleston implemented Gen Order #1. All personnel were ordered not to drink alcohol until further notice. It was cleared by the Wg/CC and JAG. Why? One of our C-17 Crews was on a mission. After dinner they all went out to a bar. They all returned to the hotel as a group. So far...so good. They had a plan and was sticking to it. It was 0200 hrs and three of them went to the elevator and three decided to go across the street to another bar. First guy ran across the road. Second guy was hit and killed by a speeding car without headlights. This tragedy triggered a reaction from the CC to give folks a time to think about life. Gen Order #1 was lifted after the funeral. No matter how solid your plan is...when you drink for 5-hrs straight you tend to make stupid decisions.

I always believed it took more courage from the Sq/CC to take this action than to hold another CC Call to explain the responsibilities of drinking.

Again, the failures of a few cause pain for many. Stupid IMO to punish the entire wing b/c a few folks got drunk. I would definitely continue to enjoy my nightly cocktail, Gen 1 or no Gen 1. When I'm in MY F'ing house, I'm the King.

BURAWSKI
07-05-2013, 10:54 PM
Again, the failures of a few cause pain for many. Stupid IMO to punish the entire wing b/c a few folks got drunk. I would definitely continue to enjoy my nightly cocktail, Gen 1 or no Gen 1. When I'm in MY F'ing house, I'm the King.

Other services are worse I believe. I'm Navy and I remember in the late 1990's when I was stationed aboard a sub-tender in Sardinia. Well, when we visited any ports within the European and Mid-Eastern AOR's it was required for EVERYONE to have a "liberty buddy" and this included the CO and XO and all Department Head's. I saw E-9's being required to put in Request Chits for overnight liberty in foreign ports. The reason I'm told for all this BS was because some Marines got drunk and caused an international incident somehow but I never got the full story. But the reasoning is the same: Punish everyone for the stupid actions of a few.

RobotChicken
07-05-2013, 11:10 PM
"Chief, our skipper had a policy that it u F'ed up on the Beach you lost your liberty card for 90 days, and only counted in port and conus, had one joker that hadn't been ashore for a year! We had one port visit for 5 days with 6,000 crew and airwing without 1 incident on the beach; but one aux in port had a drunk sailor run over and killed in a busy street and 2 others drunk and locked up for theft, the ship got kicked out of the port! LOL! The skipper asked where we wanted our next port call back to Conus....Palma De Mallorca it was! (again; we loved it, were welcomed by the locals, best behaved ship in the fleet!)"

wildman
07-06-2013, 12:54 AM
Not necessarily.

You know, sometimes a wing can have an unhealthy culture in it...maybe a result of local influences or just the way a certain unit has been for a period of years...it can be very difficult to change that.

The "top ranks" change so often, they only have so much influence on long-term culture...not saying it can't be fixed, but it's not always attributable to just a lack of leadership.

I understand what you are saying but we used to have a saying and it was this, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. The buck stops with the wing commander in this case it is he/she who needs to be held responsible excuses are just that and not reasons. Everyone in the wing needs to know what is expected of them and excuses will not be entertained. I am proud to say I was a member of wings and squadrons who won prestigious awards. I am authorized to permanently ware the outstanding unit award ribbon with a silver an bronze leaf. This could not have occurred had not what I have mentioned been in place. I am also proud to say the few individuals whom I supervised were well aware that I would not tolerate any BS from them and this was on and off base. This was not unique to me however almost all the NCO's I knew subscribed to this philosophy.

Always,
Wildman

RobotChicken
07-06-2013, 01:12 AM
"And the 'worker bees' see the 'shaft' coming like it or not!!" LOL!!

VCO
07-06-2013, 02:26 AM
Again, the failures of a few cause pain for many. Stupid IMO to punish the entire wing b/c a few folks got drunk. I would definitely continue to enjoy my nightly cocktail, Gen 1 or no Gen 1. When I'm in MY F'ing house, I'm the King.

That's a stupid way to lose a stripe.

RobotChicken
07-06-2013, 02:39 AM
"And I would ASSume the O'club served no beer or booze either??"

fufu
07-06-2013, 03:45 AM
That's a stupid way to lose a stripe.

How can they enforce a rule like that? Have OSI follow every person around? I live 20 miles from base. If I wanted to have a beer after/with my dinner, what are they going to draw blood the next morning? Please...

See my signature for further comments.

Steve-OK
07-06-2013, 04:09 AM
Im in the clear, just reenlisted last week, however my supervisor is a 6 year enlistee and only on his 5th year so he don't have the same privileges I do.

VCO
07-06-2013, 05:06 AM
How can they enforce a rule like that? Have OSI follow every person around? I live 20 miles from base. If I wanted to have a beer after/with my dinner, what are they going to draw blood the next morning? Please...

See my signature for further comments.

I'm not agreeing with the rule. However, I've seen people with your mentality lose stripes. All it takes is being called into work after having that drink, and someone smelling it on you. Worse yet, your Airman, noticing you don't think highly of the order, going out drinking and having an ARI, causing the whole SQ to be recalled. Wouldn't want to smell like booze at that point.

RS6405
07-06-2013, 08:42 AM
Not me. From my experience, older people joining are a different set of challenges. At least the 18 year olds know their place; or can easily be taught their place if the need arises. Those older guys... have a problem taking orders from younger NCOs, and doing the grunt work that is normally asked of those in their paygrade.

Rusty.....


Originally Posted by RobotChicken
Those are the new Airmen I'd prefer to have instead of the 18-yr old kids who've never left home and think the military is an extension of the college campus experience. I've had a few older Airmen like the one raustin described and never had a discipline problem with any.


That is not RC's quote if you follow the link. What's up with that?

CrustySMSgt
07-06-2013, 09:50 AM
I am proud to say I was a member of wings and squadrons who won prestigious awards. I am authorized to permanently ware the outstanding unit award ribbon with a silver an bronze leaf. This could not have occurred had not what I have mentioned been in place.

I'm sure you've been in some super awesome units, but the outstanding unit award is the firewall 5 of awards. In 28 years I've been in 10 "outstanding units", one with a V from ESKAN VILLAGE! a Joint Meritorious Unit Award and 3 Meritorious Unit Awards. So either I'm one bad ass mo-fo and bring excellence to every unit I serve with, or they're just giving these things away.

akruse
07-06-2013, 10:24 AM
I'm sure you've been in some super awesome units, but the outstanding unit award is the firewall 5 of awards. In 28 years I've been in 10 "outstanding units", one with a V from ESKAN VILLAGE! a Joint Meritorious Unit Award and 3 Meritorious Unit Awards. So either I'm one bad ass mo-fo and bring excellence to every unit I serve with, or they're just giving these things away.

Got you beat. I'm super special apparently. 8 OUA w/V (super special and brave) along with 3 Meritorious with only 15 years in.

CrustySMSgt
07-06-2013, 10:30 AM
Got you beat. I'm super special apparently. 8 OUA w/V (super special and brave) along with 3 Meritorious with only 15 years in.

Wait until you get one more and have to put on another ribbon.

akruse
07-06-2013, 10:36 AM
Wait until you get one more and have to put on another ribbon.

I already do, i have 9 I guess :) I quit buying updates after 5.

Eastwood
07-06-2013, 12:38 PM
Absolutely ridiculous. They will find their way around this. I remember a time when the fear of consequences actually worked.

wildman
07-06-2013, 06:05 PM
I'm sure you've been in some super awesome units, but the outstanding unit award is the firewall 5 of awards. In 28 years I've been in 10 "outstanding units", one with a V from ESKAN VILLAGE! a Joint Meritorious Unit Award and 3 Meritorious Unit Awards. So either I'm one bad ass mo-fo and bring excellence to every unit I serve with, or they're just giving these things away.

I certainly hope they have not trivialized these awards as they were a sense of pride and motivation for us. Yes there was also the sense of competitiveness amongst like type organizations and to have won a award did indicate that members of that unit were the best of the best and we bragged about it.

Always,
Wildman

UH1FE
07-06-2013, 09:10 PM
Force shaping tools are now at the base level.

SENDBILLMONEY
07-06-2013, 09:54 PM
I understand what you are saying but we used to have a saying and it was this, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. The buck stops with the wing commander in this case it is he/she who needs to be held responsible excuses are just that and not reasons. Everyone in the wing needs to know what is expected of them and excuses will not be entertained. I am proud to say I was a member of wings and squadrons who won prestigious awards. I am authorized to permanently ware the outstanding unit award ribbon with a silver an bronze leaf. This could not have occurred had not what I have mentioned been in place. I am also proud to say the few individuals whom I supervised were well aware that I would not tolerate any BS from them and this was on and off base. This was not unique to me however almost all the NCO's I knew subscribed to this philosophy.

Always,
Wildman

I went places, they got outstanding unit awards. What's this about permanently wearing the ribbon, though? Of course it's permanent. Big Blue doesn't grant temporary wear of a unit award. The Army still does that temporary wear thing under some circumstances, as I recall.

RobotChicken
07-06-2013, 10:34 PM
What's that af quote crap from you in post 55???

"I Guess I confuse my Naval Service with my 'wanna-be-zoomie dreams!!"
LOL! (IN your deams)

wildman
07-07-2013, 02:48 AM
I went places, they got outstanding unit awards. What's this about permanently wearing the ribbon, though? Of course it's permanent. Big Blue doesn't grant temporary wear of a unit award. The Army still does that temporary wear thing under some circumstances, as I recall.

This must have changed since I retired. It used to be to permanently wear the outstanding unit award ribbon one had to be assigned to that unit at the time the award was given. We had a code to put into the personnel data base to indicate this. One could ware the ribbon if they were assigned to the unit but not permanently if not as I indicated. In other words if they went PCS to another unit and were not a member of the unit awarded the outstanding unit award at the time they had to adjust their ribbons accordingly.

Always,
Wildman

fufu
07-07-2013, 03:09 AM
I certainly hope they have not trivialized these awards as they were a sense of pride and motivation for us. Yes there was also the sense of competitiveness amongst like type organizations and to have won a award did indicate that members of that unit were the best of the best and we bragged about it.

Always,
Wildman

Sorry to tell you, but nobody gives two shits about these awards anymore. We are desensitized to the awards program in general. Most awards are passed around among a certain crowd of people, not fairly distributed among the "best". I've been a part of a few outstanding units and could really care less, I don't update my ribbon rack and doubt that many others really have much sense of pride from the award.

To be honest, IDK how/who decides the winner and / or what the criteria is for winning the award. Any quite frankly, I don't care.

CrustySMSgt
07-07-2013, 11:14 AM
I certainly hope they have not trivialized these awards as they were a sense of pride and motivation for us. Yes there was also the sense of competitiveness amongst like type organizations and to have won a award did indicate that members of that unit were the best of the best and we bragged about it.

Always,
Wildman


Sorry to tell you, but nobody gives two shits about these awards anymore. We are desensitized to the awards program in general. Most awards are passed around among a certain crowd of people, not fairly distributed among the "best". I've been a part of a few outstanding units and could really care less, I don't update my ribbon rack and doubt that many others really have much sense of pride from the award.

To be honest, IDK how/who decides the winner and / or what the criteria is for winning the award. Any quite frankly, I don't care.

Gotta agree with fufu on this one... only thing this does is boost the CC's chance of getting promoted. And Wildman, having been around for 28 years, I can't recall a single one of the 14 times I've been in a unit that got a unit award where anyone ran around high fiving or good gaming each other when the award was announced.

wildman
07-07-2013, 06:38 PM
Gotta agree with fufu on this one... only thing this does is boost the CC's chance of getting promoted. And Wildman, having been around for 28 years, I can't recall a single one of the 14 times I've been in a unit that got a unit award where anyone ran around high fiving or good gaming each other when the award was announced.

This is sad. I recall at Reese AFB when we were declared the best wing in ATC our wing commander granted three day passes to the entire wing and had one huge Texas style Bar-B-Q he also arranged for the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders to make an appearance, yes we bragged about this.

Always.
Wildman

fufu
07-07-2013, 10:45 PM
This is sad. I recall at Reese AFB when we were declared the best wing in ATC our wing commander granted three day passes to the entire wing and had one huge Texas style Bar-B-Q he also arranged for the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders to make an appearance, yes we bragged about this.

Always.
Wildman

It is sad actually...that we don't have things like this anymore. The days have passed for this type of thing. We don't have any money for events like this....hell Quarterly awards are a printed certificate now. I never thought I'd see that day.

RobotChicken
07-07-2013, 11:57 PM
"Bet the 'O'Clubs' are still doing a booming business with their change of commands,promotions, and wives club shenanigans never ending." LOL!

Rusty Jones
07-08-2013, 01:36 AM
Rusty.....


That is not RC's quote if you follow the link. What's up with that?

Looks like I was trying to do a multi-quote, and effed it up. It was Renazance that I was supposed to be quoting. RobotChicken could never say anything that coherent.

Chief_KO
07-08-2013, 01:46 AM
It is sad actually...that we don't have things like this anymore. The days have passed for this type of thing. We don't have any money for events like this....hell Quarterly awards are a printed certificate now. I never thought I'd see that day.

Quarterly awards should only be a certificate. I was the HG from NCOPC (before they named it the Levitow award), got an HG certificate and a very simple wooden plaque. Last ALS banquet I attended the Levitow winner got a big eagle statue...I swear the wingspan on the bird was 3 feet...should have come with a safety briefing and some yellow/black safety tape.

Too much money (meaning FUNDRAISING) by the various private orgs to one up each other every year. When I made MSgt, we receive a framed certificate...cost probably about $5...now days it's at least $75 a head...

RobotChicken
07-08-2013, 02:05 AM
Looks like I was trying to do a multi-quote, and effed it up. It was Renazance that I was supposed to be quoting. RobotChicken could never say anything that coherent.

"For a RETARDED (MAYBE??) VET THAT CAN'T READ WHAT HE POSTED A FEW DAYS AGO; HOW IN THE F**K CAN YOU BE A CAB DRIVER OR BE A GS SOMETHING AND INSULT ME A$$CLOWN?? :jester::fest30:SO IT BEGINS ON YOUR :fest30: SHOES!!":fest30::nono:nono:wizard: (Call 1-800-CRY-ToFA) Have a flat tire on Church street at 0234hrs day.

Rusty Jones
07-08-2013, 02:12 AM
RobotChicken could never say anything that coherent.

And... I give you Exhibit A below!


"For a RETARDED (MAYBE??) VET THAT CAN'T READ WHAT HE POSTED A FEW DAYS AGO; HOW IN THE F**K CAN YOU BE A CAB DRIVER OR BE A GS SOMETHING AND INSULT ME A$$CLOWN?? :jester::fest30:SO IT BEGINS ON YOUR :fest30: SHOES!!":fest30::nono:nono:wizard: (Call 1-800-CRY-ToFA) Have a flat tire on Church street at 0234hrs day.

RobotChicken
07-08-2013, 02:15 AM
"Exhibit B this...:fing26::madfawk::fuckyou::rocketwhore:"

Rusty Jones
07-08-2013, 02:20 AM
"Exhibit B this...:fing26::madfawk::fuckyou::rocketwhore:"

Yes, exactly! That IS Exhibit B!

Class5Kayaker
07-08-2013, 09:22 PM
Sometimes commanders have to take action to get peoples attention. About 7 yrs ago my Sq/CC at Charleston implemented Gen Order #1. All personnel were ordered not to drink alcohol until further notice. It was cleared by the Wg/CC and JAG. Why? One of our C-17 Crews was on a mission. After dinner they all went out to a bar. They all returned to the hotel as a group. So far...so good. They had a plan and was sticking to it. It was 0200 hrs and three of them went to the elevator and three decided to go across the street to another bar. First guy ran across the road. Second guy was hit and killed by a speeding car without headlights. This tragedy triggered a reaction from the CC to give folks a time to think about life. Gen Order #1 was lifted after the funeral. No matter how solid your plan is...when you drink for 5-hrs straight you tend to make stupid decisions.

I always believed it took more courage from the Sq/CC to take this action than to hold another CC Call to explain the responsibilities of drinking.

Ummm.....no one else caught this? He was killed by a speeding car driving at 0200 at night. Even if they were sober this probably would have happened because no one saw the speeding car in the dark that was driving without its headlights on! Another brilliant policy put in place that wouldn't have changed a thing. Sure they might have been drinking, but being drunk wasn't necessarily the reason the incident occured.

:wtf:

BURAWSKI
07-08-2013, 10:03 PM
Ummm.....no one else caught this? He was killed by a speeding car driving at 0200 at night. Even if they were sober this probably would have happened because no one saw the speeding car in the dark that was driving without its headlights on! Another brilliant policy put in place that wouldn't have changed a thing. Sure they might have been drinking, but being drunk wasn't necessarily the reason the incident occured.

:wtf:

I totally agree. It all about amounts to f****ed up leadership. It doesn't seem right to justify the actions of the commander by punishing everyone for the stupid actions of a few. Will it ever end? Probably not. Commanders have to answer to their boss and they believe they must be viewed as "doing something" really anything just to say that they took action to correct it. Problem is it always is the knee-jerk reaction that doesn't help solve the problem (because they always keep reoccurring). I was lucky to serve under only a couple of really good commanders during my time but that was a career that spanned 25 years. Most commanders I saw were either indifferent, vindictive, narcissistic, selfish and viewed their position as a stepping stone to the next higher rank, regardless of who got the shaft (well, with the possible exception of a few select of his/her officer subordinates). But I've seen it all and I wasn't a very popular person. I had one XO call me a misfit after I refused to compromise a program that I was responsible for. But hey, things happen! What can I say?

raustin0017
07-08-2013, 10:08 PM
[QUOTE=Class5Kayaker;638670]Ummm.....no one else caught this? He was killed by a speeding car driving at 0200 at night. Even if they were sober this probably would have happened because no one saw the speeding car in the dark that was driving without its headlights on! Another brilliant policy put in place that wouldn't have changed a thing. Sure they might have been drinking, but being drunk wasn't necessarily the reason the incident occured.

The whole point was three of the guys...who had already been drinking for several hours made a dumb decision to go and drink even more. That is what got him killed. Yes...the drunk driver was at fault for the accident...but they should have never been there to start with.

RobotChicken
07-08-2013, 11:04 PM
[QUOTE=Class5Kayaker;638670]Ummm.....no one else caught this? He was killed by a speeding car driving at 0200 at night. Even if they were sober this probably would have happened because no one saw the speeding car in the dark that was driving without its headlights on! Another brilliant policy put in place that wouldn't have changed a thing. Sure they might have been drinking, but being drunk wasn't necessarily the reason the incident occured.

The whole point was three of the guys...who had already been drinking for several hours made a dumb decision to go and drink even more. That is what got him killed. Yes...the drunk driver was at fault for the accident...but they should have never been there to start with.

"AH-HA!!! Raustin0017 shows his true colors at last!! Blame the 'Victim' for the crime!! I bet if the 'Victim' had told his 'Chief' he had a dream that he wasn't going to survive his flight mission he would have been 'CM' for missing movement!! You are a joke 'Chief'; an excuse for everything!" 'RC'. (and if you ever total your car you KNOW what I am going to tell you)

raustin0017
07-08-2013, 11:22 PM
I forgot there were a few idiots around this site. If you don't catch the meaning....who am I to even attempt to explain it to you? Going to type real slow so you can keep up. FACT: Nothing good happens after midnight. FACT: When drinking for 5 hours people tend to make stupid decisions. FACT: Those decisions can kill you.

CC made a tough decision to attempt to get peoples attention. Did it work? Who the @uck knows. It did get everyone a few days to take inventory of their actions and to reflect on a sudden and tragic loss of life.

BURAWSKI
07-09-2013, 12:18 AM
I forgot there were a few idiots around this site. If you don't catch the meaning....who am I to even attempt to explain it to you? Going to type real slow so you can keep up. FACT: Nothing good happens after midnight. FACT: When drinking for 5 hours people tend to make stupid decisions. FACT: Those decisions can kill you.

CC made a tough decision to attempt to get peoples attention. Did it work? Who the @uck knows. It did get everyone a few days to take inventory of their actions and to reflect on a sudden and tragic loss of life.

Ok I admit I'm a little slow; maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But what about treating enlisted (regardless of whether they are junior) like adults? The point was not punishing EVERYONE for the stupid actions of a FEW. Yeah, that's the ticket....what a revelation that is to some commanders. Treating adults like adults. Treating adults like kids (as if the commander were their parent) IS the problem. Pssst! It doesn't work! Mmmmm....ever hear of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? It really is quite enlightening. Anyway, as I've said previously, I definitely, without a doubt, disagree.

RobotChicken
07-09-2013, 03:38 AM
Ok I admit I'm a little slow; maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But what about treating enlisted (regardless of whether they are junior) like adults? The point was not punishing EVERYONE for the stupid actions of a FEW. Yeah, that's the ticket....what a revelation that is to some commanders. Treating adults like adults. Treating adults like kids (as if the commander were their parent) IS the problem. Pssst! It doesn't work! Mmmmm....ever hear of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? It really is quite enlightening. Anyway, as I've said previously, I definitely, without a doubt, disagree.

:spy "Thank you again 'Chief Burawski' for you imput; as always your wisdom flies way over a 'Zoomies Kool-aid' programmed 'PC Sense' In a Real World Darwin's Theory evolutionary plan! And I 'typed' it REEAAAALLL slowwwwwwww just 4 uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu raustin!" (an if we worried about every sailor that screwed up and micro-managed it like your Air Farce our ships would never sail......Hmmm; your planes don't fly much do they; especially when an enemy with a $60 weapon can take out a $200 million Ass-et and 5 Generals will get fired over it)

BRUWIN
07-09-2013, 09:42 AM
FACT: Nothing good happens after midnight. FACT: When drinking for 5 hours people tend to make stupid decisions. FACT: Those decisions can kill you.



Yep...99.9% of the worst decisions in my life were made after a late night of heavy drinking. Many of those bad decisions can follow you for the rest of your life but for some strange reason the good Lord spared me of any serious consequences for stupid decision-making. I don't think I've made many bad decisions sober after a good night's rest...so now I just stay that way. I'd be pushing my luck otherwise.

Class5Kayaker
07-09-2013, 02:17 PM
The whole point was three of the guys...who had already been drinking for several hours made a dumb decision to go and drink even more. That is what got him killed. Yes...the drunk driver was at fault for the accident...but they should have never been there to start with.


I forgot there were a few idiots around this site. If you don't catch the meaning....who am I to even attempt to explain it to you? Going to type real slow so you can keep up. FACT: Nothing good happens after midnight. FACT: When drinking for 5 hours people tend to make stupid decisions. FACT: Those decisions can kill you.

CC made a tough decision to attempt to get peoples attention. Did it work? Who the @uck knows. It did get everyone a few days to take inventory of their actions and to reflect on a sudden and tragic loss of life.

Irony = The guy who is defending a totally illogical knee-jerk response (banning drinking after this accident) telling others on the forum they are idiots.


What if they were totally sober and had just gotten off working a late swing shift and were crossing the road to go to McDonald's to get dinner? Would that have prevented a drunk driver speeding down a city street with his headlights off from hitting and killing one of them? NO

Careful about your "FACTS."

- Nothing good happens after midnight? Guess you worked an office job and never took care of a real mission (those that are needed 24/7). I've seen great things happen after midnight that made a difference in this world.

- When drinking for 5 hours people tend to make stupid decisions? What if they only had one or two beers an hour? Still making stupid decisions? We've all seen plenty of completely sober people make stupid decisions. The FACT here is if the guy had been completely sober he would have probably still been struck by the DUI driver.

- Those decisions can kill you? So can making all the right decisions. Trying to always find some fault in a death (or any accident) is flawed logic. Sometimes shit just happens, and that's life. This is something many of our leaders fail to realize.

Here are some facts though: With exception of highways where pedestrians are prohibited (e.g. interstates), drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. Even if a person is jaywalking, etc. a driver is REQUIRED to yield to them. If you hit them, you as the driver are at fault. It's no different than a kid running out in to the street to chase after a soccer ball. If this Airman had been completely sober and had crossed the road at that same moment he'd still probably be dead. It was an unfortunate accident and just because he was drinking doesn't mean the alcohol in the pedestrian's blood system played a role whatsoever in the accident (but the alcohol in the driver of the speeding car at night with no headlights likely DID play a role).

A few questions for you:

- Did the defense attorney of the DUI manslaughter driver present a defense that the victim of the accident was drunk and was in some way at fault? I doubt it, and if he did the judge probably ruled it wasn't a factor.
- Did the Wing Commander console the Airman's friends/family by saying something like, "It's tragic Johnny got hit by a speeding drunk driver.....if only Johnny hadn't been out drinking and having a good time with his buddies he'd still be with us today." I doubt it.
- Did the Wing Commander do a line of duty determination and determine that had the Airman not been drinking, this accident would never have happened and therefore no life insurance should have been paid to his beneficiaries? I doubt it.


Look man, I was in Law Enforcement for 12 years before switching career fields. I was a Certified Drug Recognition Expert, Improved Field Sobriey Test Instructor, Intoxilyzer Instructor, and Major Traffic Accident Investigator. I've probably seen way more accidents, major injuries, and even deaths from traffic accidents than you ever will. My training (most of which was by civilian Law Enforcement agencies through mutual agreements between the AF and local governments) actually was to the level that I was certified by NHTSA to train any Law Enforcement personnel and could also be called to court to testify as an expert witness with regards to traffic accidents, the effects of alcohol/drugs on people, and the negative effects it can have on them. And I'm telling you that knowing the "facts" as you've presented them, that this Airman's drinking did not cause his death. I could be wrong and maybe you're not giving us enough of the facts, but as you've presented them this Wing CC made the wrong call by enforcing a "No Drinking" policy based solely on this tragic accident.

Dickie
07-09-2013, 04:41 PM
RAF Lakenheath has a Wing/CC policy letter that, in summary, states that ALL First-Term airmen will NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL until they have completed FTAC, completed their CDCs, and have received "the backing of their squadron leadership."

I only read the letter and do not have a verbatim copy of it, but could possibly get one.

Welcome to RAFL, morale stops here.

raustin0017
07-09-2013, 10:14 PM
^^^ He got that from me....I'm much older and wiser.

DWWSWWD
07-09-2013, 10:24 PM
Raustin, since you're new.... When you say something really dumb, just leave it alone. It will go away eventually. Trust me, I know.

JBP
07-11-2013, 06:45 PM
I'm probably late to the game but I do not frequent this board and have never posted here. I received a phone call about this thread from a friend and thought I’d register and say something. I apologize in advance for the long winded tirade.

Chief Austin, I have always liked and respected you. I can’t think of more than just a couple of times I disagreed with you on anything that really mattered. That being said I’d have to admit that I’m pretty disappointed with your comments about the death of our fellow squadron member on 15 October 2006. I’ve got a much clearer version of what happened because, as you well know, I was there at the time.

Six of us went to dinner and had wine. We all walked back to the hotel, two went to bed and the remaining four of us took a cab downtown. This was about 0130. We hit a few clubs, drank some, danced some and had a great time. About 0445 we arrived at the hotel and had a discussion about going to the club across the street which, by the way, wasn’t even a bar. It was a strip joint with no drinking. We talked to a few people on the porch and one of the girls at the front desk and I decided to go to bed so I told them to have a good time. This was at 0500. I went to the elevator and they headed outside. By the time I got to my floor, he was dead. The first two guys made it across the street and the third didn’t make it.

The car that struck my copilot had his headlights off and was travelling in excess of 200kph. The driver was drunk as a skunk and he only stopped because the vehicle he was driving wasn't capable of going any further and he was too wasted to get out of the car. This was told to me by the equivalent of the police chief in Athens during their investigation. The speed was verified the next day by the Greek equivalent of a medical examiner. When the accident investigators arrived from the AF, a couple of days later, the Greeks wouldn't verify anything or make any statements other than a pedestrian/vehicle accident happened, the date and time and that was it. Greek privacy laws kept them from saying more and they held to that line.

The blood alcohol wasn’t checked on the other two individuals until they arrived back in Charleston, four days later. Mine wasn’t checked until I arrived in Germany with the body, about six days later. The investigation found that based on statements, all taken about four days after the incident, that the copilot had consumed roughly ten drinks during an eight hour period, starting from a beer in the lobby before we went to supper and later at the clubs. The investigators did not believe we were stumbling drunk, but we were under the effects of fatigue and alcohol. By the time of the accident some of us had been awake for nearly thirty hours but that isn’t uncommon at all in our line of work.

I was standing with the embalmer guy in Germany, five or six days later, looking at the body, when he told me that there was no way that blood alcohol content or reliable tissue samples could be taken to determine if he was intoxicated or not, due to the way the Greeks had handled the situation. Two or so days later his remains arrived in Dover. No samples of any kind were taken in Greece or Germany. I know, I was there for every step of the process.

Had we been drinking? Yes we had. Depending on how you looked at the statements it might have been a lot but that didn’t account for the fact that there were four of us doing the drinking and quite a bit of it was shared with some of the locals. There were members of an airline crew we talked to after returning to the hotel, the cab driver, a couple of hotel security guys and a girl at the front counter that all said that none of us acted intoxicated or seemed intoxicated prior to the accident. Of course none of that mattered to the Air Force.

Chief, you said earlier in this thread “The whole point was three of the guys...who had already been drinking for several hours made a dumb decision to go and drink even more. That is what got him killed. Yes...the drunk driver was at fault for the accident...but they should have never been there to start with.”

The simple fact is that my copilot would have been killed if he’d been crossing the street to go to a church meeting. They could have been walking across the street to eat breakfast before flying and it still would have happened. They looked both ways and still didn’t see the speeding car with no headlights, in the dark and the driver made no attempt to swerve, honk his horn or even think about stepping on the brakes. Even the completely sober airline crew on the balcony above the street stated that they didn’t see the car until it was too late. Of course the AF didn’t take any of that into consideration. I’m certainly not so arrogant as to say that alcohol had absolutely nothing to do with it. But that wasn’t the cause and even the investigation said it wasn’t the cause. The only “dumb” decision any of us made that night, even according to the investigation, was to cross the street instead of using the underground crosswalk.

What killed my copilot is the simple fact that at the time, Athens lead the European Union in vehicular/pedestrian accidents. On average, eight people a day were killed in Greece while crossing the street. None of the Greek investigators could believe that anybody actually went across the street there instead of using the underground crosswalk. We just didn’t know it was that dangerous and we sure never thought that a drunk in car would be doing 200kph with no headlights.

Incidentally, there was very little traffic on the road at that hour so it isn’t like they were playing Frogger and running between cars. It’s not fair for you to act like us being out after dark, when no good could come of it, was to blame for this when you know as a career aviator that day or night doesn’t matter to aircrew. You know as well as I do that a lot of us, you included, have acted far worse and done dumber things in broad daylight. We were just lucky we lived to tell about it. We had the time off and we had the following day to adjust our sleeping schedules for the next mission. Don’t set there and act like you would have done anything different or have done anything different because you certainly smell what I’m stepping in here.

If I hadn’t decided to go to bed I would have crossed the street exactly the same as they did. If I had decided to go with them, or if somebody had even decided to stop and tie their shoe or something like that the timing of everything would have been different and maybe it wouldn’t have happened at all. You make it sound like it was a bunch of drunks stumbling across the road in search of one more round before the party ends. This not even close to being the truth.

Yes general order number one was implemented back in Charleston but it was only from Sunday to Thursday according to the email copy I have. It was over by the time I got back to the squadron but as I remember it, all it did was piss people in the squadron off and force them to toast their fellow crewmember while having to hide like high school kids at a Friday night keg party. That being said, I never questioned the commander or his motives for doing it as I’m sure he did what he believed was right. I also believe that if he hadn’t done it, somebody above him would have. The commander that followed him is the one that did his best to make this accident purely the fault of alcohol and stupidity of crewmembers. That son of a bitch made us put a really nice painting of this copilot in the auditorium where it couldn’t be seen instead of in the hallway with a memorial. His reason was “We aren’t going to memorialize a drunk.” I asked him what he meant by that and he proceeded to tell me the wildest tale of what had happened that night, not realizing that I was there. We never did get along after that.

I spent last night looking through the “I love me” box and dug all the emails and paperwork up from this accident and used it to verify what I have written, where I could. I haven’t thought about this in a long time but it was definitely the worst time in my career. With having to deal with inventorying my copilots personal effects, escorting his remains home (over the objections of a Wing Commander who’s exact words were “No TSgt is going to escort one of my officers home.”) dealing with the mortuary people in three countries, an aircraft commander who flat refused to do his job and single handedly taking care of the two very emotional witnesses to this event until I could get the squadron to finally understand that they needed to go home, I was pretty well worn out. But in all that time, from the accident until I got home to Charleston about a week later (I’d have to check my logbook to be exactly sure) with the single exception of a SSgt loadmaster that is a dear friend of mine, not one single enlisted person from my own squadron ever called Greece or Germany to see if I was ok or needed anything. Yall in the enlisted leadership positions did later apologize for that and said that yall weren’t worried because it was me and yall knew I could handle things and the Commander had assured yall I was okay. I was really never mad about that, more surprised I guess, but it did more than nearly anything else in my career to show me how enlisted leaders shouldn’t act.

I was a great NCO and a hell of a loadmaster. My abilities as a SNCO from a managerial standpoint were 50/50, depending on who you asked but you and I both know I never really wanted to be one anyhow and I refused to play the political games that it required. I learned a lot from you and apply much of it in the civilian world today and still have great respect for you. But one thing I would never do and am disappointed in you for doing is to denigrate the dead when you didn’t really know what happened.

Brad