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View Full Version : Ever get tired of caring about Airmen?



Measure Man
07-17-2013, 10:12 PM
So, you bust your hump trying to take care of the Airmen...through a multitude of ways, ensuring the get proper recognition, ensuring the have adequate opportunities to take of their families and careers, looking out for assignments, special duties, making sure they got a turkey for Thanksgiving, checked in with the family while member is deployed, etc...only to see them go out and do something stupid, dui, suicide or whatever.

Any ever get tired of putting all their energy into taking care of their airmen and just want to take care of yourself and your family for a while?

I think I did there at the end...and that had a lot to do with why I retired at 26.5 instead of going for the full 30.

technomage1
07-17-2013, 11:19 PM
Yes. And then another one of them restores my faith.

VFFTSGT
07-18-2013, 12:13 AM
I'm tired of it all, which is why I won't be around much longer. It's time to move on to something else rather than live out my days unhappy like so many I see hoping a small check is there at the end of it all.

LogDog
07-18-2013, 12:26 AM
You can't take care of everyone by yourself. The best you can do is to try to help them by giving them the tools to help themselves or referring them to agencies that can do it better than you. At some point, you have to let/make them stand on their own or fall. It's like teaching a kid to ride a bike; you can run beside them with your hand on the back seat until you think it's time to let go or you'll always be running behind them providing them the support they won't take on their own.

KellyinAvon
07-18-2013, 12:34 AM
Is it the never-ending cycle of nothing ever going away? The work is still there, what's expected keeps increasing (it doesn't seem people have been treated as adults in a long time, that's a lot more BS than I had to deal with in my day). Additional duties? Studying for promotion/taking classes, training (both needed and BS)? Review your troop's plan for traveling on leave? That's a big ol' crock of sh!t, but troops aren't adults anymore. How many deployed locations (taking the trained/skilled troops) are we still supporting and have been since 1990? It gets tiring and I didn't even mention YOUR OWN FAMILY! Remember them?

UH1FE
07-18-2013, 12:39 AM
Don't have to worry about it. Never supervised someone! YEAAAAAAA

TSgt"M"
07-18-2013, 01:35 AM
When they were trying to take care of them selves but had problems, hell yea, but dirt bags that brought it upon them selves no way. Lead them to the kool aid, if they don't drink they have to learn the hard way.

TWilliams
07-18-2013, 01:55 AM
My cc used to tell me to lead them to it and force them to drink.

How would you have time to babysit in today's AF? Commanders have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the service by helping those folks out who are not capable of taking care of themselves after given clear expectations of performance and the means to comply. It sounds like yours just liked wasting your time.

CrustySMSgt
07-18-2013, 07:22 AM
I don't mind helping out someone who's willing to put in the work themselves... I DETEST those who expect you to carry them.

Like you MM, I think my dedication is waning; hopefully I'll get back home and the change will get me all the way back in the game. If not, then I might fall a year or two short of 30 lol

Drackore
07-18-2013, 09:19 AM
That is why we now have Key Spouses and if you are a married SNCO - your spouse damn well better be a part of it!!! See, Dependants joined too!


You can't take care of everyone by yourself.

Chief_KO
07-18-2013, 12:29 PM
Short answer: Yes, I got burned out at times.
Long answer: Last 2 years were rough...had medical issues, retirement looming, shifting the focus from them to me (us). Starting to slip into "how many more times are we gonna try "X" till THEY finally figure out it will never work. Now this will sound corny but here it is: Chiefs panels at ALS, FTAC, NCOPE, SNCOPE helped snap me out of it. Seeing the enthusiasm, the desire to make a difference (in themselves and in others) in the majority of those Airmen put the juice back in the batteries. And as retirement drew closer, getting emails from around the world from Airmen (AD, retired, separated) that I helped years ago thanking me for what I did made it all worth it.

You might think you're just spinning your wheels, you may never get a thank you, or it might come years later. Guess that is the true meaning of Service Before Self.

AJBIGJ
07-18-2013, 01:29 PM
I hesitate to speak as if especially knowledgeable about the USAF side because cultural differences may be in play here. But I have to imagine a lot of this collective heartache from the PC crowd is reflected in your senior officer leadership as well, at least I have been around those types of individual enough to have an idea of how they operate. My meaning being I doubt most of them enjoy it any more than you do, possibly less, but frankly they have to go through the motions themselves because God forbid in this day and age of social media they make that one exception, who is the one person who goes into social media, youtube, the press, their senator, or what-have-you, and suddenly they've got the IG enema so far up in their sphincters My impression is that they would try to play it off as if they're drunk on the kool aid themselves because I would bet it's what they've been trained to do. Fact is every military branch I know of habitually overreacts because they know if they don't it will make their respective service branch's times front page article, as well as maybe some sort of other investigation. Nobody likes to air their dirty laundry in public when it could be avoided after all.

A great example being SAPR, National Studies would have us believe that the problem of Rape and Sexual Assault has gotten substantially worse among the various service branches over the last couple of decades. I would contend the problem is mostly the same if not slightly improved upon from earlier years, but our collective awareness of the problem is better by at least a thousandfold if not more. I think if we apply similar logic to all of your sources of leadership heartaches, the sources of it will at least make some more sense even if it alleviates nothing. Might help you develop some insight into the possible fuel of the fires of apathy at least.

raustin0017
07-18-2013, 01:47 PM
Helping those who have displayed the desire to improve is one of the things I miss most about the AF. For me...it was the #1 reason I did the full 30. At the 26 yr mark was contacted by a retired Chief and offered an outstanding civilian job opportunity well into six figures...turn it down because I was still having a positive impact on the Team. The opportunity to help someone overcome obstacles was my motivation.

Lessons learned: Not all can be saved. One example. Was a new Sq Supt, about three weeks into the job. Found that a SrA had been in trouble and was in the middle of Art 15 process. CC intent was to separate SrA. I approached the CC and asked if he would reconsider and let me attempt to 'fix' the SrA. CC took a stripe and retained. Cool...I had a project. Brought supervisor and the now A1C into office. Laid out map for recovery along with my expectations. Supervisor was all in...A1C was all in. Fast fwd 4-months. Got a call from New Orleans PD detective. "Do you own a A1C XXXX?" Yes sir I do. "Not anymore...he is in my jail." WTF. A1C was busted for DUI, found large amount of controlled substance, etc.... He was released to us...and then Court Martial...then 1 yr in jail...then civilian.

Learned a ton from that experience. One of the toughest calls for a supervisor to make is deciding how much effort your going to give when your Airmen is off the path? Most of them deserve the extra effort...but some of them don't.

TWilliams
07-18-2013, 01:47 PM
Someone can give you a big check, then take it back and tear
It up to motivate you.

DWWSWWD how can you dislike this? I thought it was hilarious.

TWilliams
07-18-2013, 03:26 PM
No, every airmen counts and are vital to mission, dispite any issues they may have, except pt.

It is hard for an airman to be vital to the mission when their behavior gets their security clearance or PRP status suspended. Of course, these things can be overlooked with a passing PT score.

Mr. Happy
07-19-2013, 12:06 AM
I get tired of caring more about peoples' careers than they care about it.

Chief_KO
07-19-2013, 02:20 AM
I get tired of caring more about peoples' careers than they care about it.

Sometimes you just gotta pull chocks on some Airmen

fufu
07-19-2013, 02:42 AM
I'm tired of it all, which is why I won't be around much longer. It's time to move on to something else rather than live out my days unhappy like so many I see hoping a small check is there at the end of it all.

Sigh.... Looks like I'm this guy, can't punch at 14+. I'm hoping a PCS will change my view the AF in general, but I don't think it is much different across the entire AF. Hand-holding, babysitting, BS.

We can't let people fail anymore. My boss just chewed my ass b/c on of my peeps had trouble giving a briefing. I reviewed the material with him before and talked him thru it. I did everything a MSgt is supposed to do: I gave him the tools and support he needed to succeed.

People in the AF are so scared about their "image" to leadership. I don't care if the Wg King thinks less of me b/c SSgt XX has trouble with briefings. He has to learn somewhere dammit, I'm not passing the buck to next supervisor. He will learn thru trial and error, with my support and direction.

Why is that so wrong?

As to the OP question, the "leadership" in the AF is far more exhausting than the Airmen. The never ending ever changing expectations from leadership drives me bat shit crazy.

VFFTSGT
07-19-2013, 03:11 AM
Sigh.... Looks like I'm this guy, can't punch at 14+. I'm hoping a PCS will change my view the AF in general, but I don't think it is much different across the entire AF. Hand-holding, babysitting, BS.

We can't let people fail anymore. My boss just chewed my ass b/c on of my peeps had trouble giving a briefing. I reviewed the material with him before and talked him thru it. I did everything a MSgt is supposed to do: I gave him the tools and support he needed to succeed.

People in the AF are so scared about their "image" to leadership. I don't care if the Wg King thinks less of me b/c SSgt XX has trouble with briefings. He has to learn somewhere dammit, I'm not passing the buck to next supervisor. He will learn thru trial and error, with my support and direction.

Why is that so wrong?

As to the OP question, the "leadership" in the AF is far more exhausting than the Airmen. The never ending ever changing expectations of the leadership drives me bat shit crazy.

I have had 2 PCS's since my first duty station, couple deployments, and several TDY's....I kept hoping for something to change my mind, but I finally decided it's time to move on. Struggled with the [serious] thought for over a year...

VFFTSGT
07-19-2013, 05:40 AM
Only thing mind changing is retirement.
Fake it until you make it, then take it.

Nope, not worth it to me. Decision's made. Plan already in motion.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
07-19-2013, 11:47 AM
Nope, not worth it to me. Decision's made. Plan already in motion.

You can always wait until your 19th year, when they tell you that your retirement can be drawn when you're 62. Then you can say, "but Secretary Panetta promised I'd be Grandfathered!!!" The Detroit public employee retirees are going to have their pensions ripped away from them. So much for "promises," right?

VCO
07-19-2013, 01:37 PM
No. The Airmen suck because the NCOs suck. The NCOs suck because the SNCOs suck. Simple logic. A caring NCO can affect hundreds of Airmen. A caring SNCO can affect thousands.

raustin0017
07-19-2013, 01:43 PM
No. The Airmen suck because the NCOs suck. The NCOs suck because the SNCOs suck. Simple logic. A caring NCO can affect hundreds of Airmen. A caring SNCO can affect thousands.

You have a great point! Just the opposite is also true. A dynamic NCO/SNCO can have a very positive effect on the entire Team.

DWWSWWD
07-19-2013, 02:06 PM
DWWSWWD how can you dislike this? I thought it was hilarious.

You're right. That's good stuff right there. I disliked it right as I was trying to make my point that nothing is off the table when you're trying to make someone change their life.

TWilliams
07-19-2013, 02:38 PM
No. The Airmen suck because the NCOs suck. The NCOs suck because the SNCOs suck. Simple logic. A caring NCO can affect hundreds of Airmen. A caring SNCO can affect thousands.

Some people inherantly suck regardless of their NCOs and SNCOs. The Air Force provides so many resources and opportunities to correct substandard behavior/performance but some folks are bound and determined to fail despite our best efforts. Thankfully it is only a very small portion of our population that falls into this category. What is really bad is when it is an NCO, SNO, or Officer that sucks. Their influence has a larger impact that I think is felt more so when they suck.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
07-20-2013, 12:34 AM
Sncos suck cuz officers suck.

Officers suck because the SNCOs aren't training and mentoring the CGOs.

Steve-OK
07-20-2013, 02:16 AM
Some people inherantly suck regardless of their NCOs and SNCOs. The Air Force provides so many resources and opportunities to correct substandard behavior/performance but some folks are bound and determined to fail despite our best efforts. Thankfully it is only a very small portion of our population that falls into this category. What is really bad is when it is an NCO, SNO, or Officer that sucks. Their influence has a larger impact that I think is felt more so when they suck.

Exactly: Nature v/ Nurture, If your an adult, f'in act like it. It's not the fault of someone a few years older than you that you can't keep your room clean or take a shower. Man UP, and act like an adult, it's not that hard. If you need someone with 6 stripes to wipe your ass, you should have never left Basic or Mommy's Teet.

Eastwood
07-20-2013, 01:15 PM
There was a time when exceptions were meant for exceptional people. Now everyone needs to be saved. Every time someone was in front of me or the CC all I ever heard was "He is my best Airman" Doesn’t matter the charge. Capital Crimes, Major Domestics or simple Alcohol infractions, he is my best guy and please go easy on him.

I’ve had a number of saves and successes in my career. One guy we saved from a petty, yet potentially career ending altercation, went on to become a transport Pilot. Had a few "Misses" over the years, saves that seemed right at the time only to have a disastrous ending.

No I dont get tired of Caring, All a good NCO can do is what feels right at the time. But attempting to save every person ruins your credibility and will carry little weight when the real save is needed.