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Shaken1976
07-24-2013, 07:30 PM
Do you agree with the idea that if an Airman messes up once in their time on station they don't get an award/dec? Now I am not talking about DUI, drugs, or any of that... But one failed room inspection, one failed PT test, one financial irresponsibility issue.. Do you think this should preclude them from an award? Or if they have shown that the issue is never going to happen again and they have learned from their mistake and become stellar...should they still get an award?

VFFTSGT
07-24-2013, 07:59 PM
Do you agree with the idea that if an Airman messes up once in their time on station they don't get an award/dec? Now I am not talking about DUI, drugs, or any of that... But one failed room inspection, one failed PT test, one financial irresponsibility issue.. Do you think this should preclude them from an award? Or if they have shown that the issue is never going to happen again and they have learned from their mistake and become stellar...should they still get an award?

I disagree with the whole concept of getting a dec because you are PCS'ing in the first place.

At the same time, a mishap shouldn't necessarily prevent someone from getting a dec. A dec should be for a specific action...something stellar...not for just doing your job and staying out of trouble. Staying out of trouble is what the Good Conduct Medal is for.

Class5Kayaker
07-24-2013, 08:36 PM
On the awards.....I went to bat for one of my Airmen for a quarterly award. Her package shined FAR ABOVE the others being considered. She had been kicking some a$$ and without her we wouldn't have been able to pull off some of the miracles at the end of fiscal year that we pulled off. Well, the SQ Supt and CC both said, "You know about the off-base DUI she got a couple years ago, right?" My response was, "WTH does that have to do with her performance THIS QUARTER?!" It's not like it had just happened recently, it was two years before my submission.

Anyway, I fought it and after about 5 minutes they actually weren't able to argue with my logic and agreed. One of the points I made was that we all make mistakes in our life, and the AF at the time decided not to boot her out because of it (it was off base in her home town while on leave and handled by civilian authorities). So since the "powers that be" decided she could stay in and still be a productive member of the AF and our mission, how much longer were they going to hold it against her? I pointed out that we shouldn't keep kicking our troops while they're down. I've seen it happen way too many times in the past and that just leads to them under-performing or, even worse yet, going out and getting in more trouble because they figure, "WTF....not like it's going to make things much worse than they already are."

She got the award. And you know what? She started working even harder after that.

Chief_KO
07-24-2013, 10:02 PM
Always a case by case situation. Timing is key, if the one incident happened early in tour, member has had time to demonstrate that it was a one-off. Same incident happens two months prior to PCS...it's aw$hit time.
You will always face a battle, fighting for your Airmen. And as Class5Kayaker demonstrated, sometimes you win. When you do fight for your people, you do run the risk of them stepping on their wanger a second time, now your reputation is $hit. But, that is what being a good supervisor is all about, trying to do the best thing for your Airmen.

VFFTSGT
07-24-2013, 10:17 PM
You think that because you do not know or understand how Decs work, so allow me to educate you.

Dec's can be given for outstanding achievement or meritorious service. You're welcome.

No, I just don't buy into/believe in the everyone gets a trophy mindset.

For just doing your job and staying out of trouble you get a paycheck, education benefits, health care benefits, a 5 EPR (you don't even have to do your job to get that), and a good conduct medal.

It's all about feelings today...got to make everyone feel good.

technomage1
07-24-2013, 11:32 PM
I pointed out that we shouldn't keep kicking our troops while they're down. I've seen it happen way too many times in the past and that just leads to them under-performing or, even worse yet, going out and getting in more trouble because they figure, "WTF....not like it's going to make things much worse than they already are."

She got the award. And you know what? She started working even harder after that.

Yep. And yet it happens all the time.

CrustySMSgt
07-25-2013, 04:06 AM
You think that because you do not know or understand how Decs work, so allow me to educate you.

Dec's can be given for outstanding achievement or meritorious service. You're welcome.

No you're the one who doesn't understand how decs work. Look up outstanding & meritorious.


No, I just don't buy into/believe in the everyone gets a trophy mindset.

For just doing your job and staying out of trouble you get a paycheck, education benefits, health care benefits, a 5 EPR (you don't even have to do your job to get that), and a good conduct medal.

It's all about feelings today...got to make everyone feel good.

Amen! Just like firewall 5s, everyone expects them for showing up and punching the clock.

CrustySMSgt
07-25-2013, 04:08 AM
Do you agree with the idea that if an Airman messes up once in their time on station they don't get an award/dec? Now I am not talking about DUI, drugs, or any of that... But one failed room inspection, one failed PT test, one financial irresponsibility issue.. Do you think this should preclude them from an award? Or if they have shown that the issue is never going to happen again and they have learned from their mistake and become stellar...should they still get an award?

No one is perfect and each package should be considered on its individual merits. Obviously receny matters; hard to sell a person when they're recently had issues, but if they made a mistake and overcame it and have performed at the level worth of a decoration after that, then their hard work should be recognized.

SgtS
07-25-2013, 06:47 AM
This is a problem that runs parallel with the EPR issue. Until the command structure is willing to address the unwritten policies and arbitrary rules that accompany the Awards and Decorations program alongside the EPR issue, neither program will ever get fixed. EPRs will stay inflated so the great and above average performers don’t “get screwed” out of decorations or points that the slack asses will be getting.

Everyone talks about EPRs, but no one talks about how Awards and Decs need to be addressed concurrently with them.

SENDBILLMONEY
07-25-2013, 12:38 PM
Do you agree with the idea that if an Airman messes up once in their time on station they don't get an award/dec? Now I am not talking about DUI, drugs, or any of that... But one failed room inspection, one failed PT test, one financial irresponsibility issue.. Do you think this should preclude them from an award? Or if they have shown that the issue is never going to happen again and they have learned from their mistake and become stellar...should they still get an award?

My opinion: If the achievements as written on the citation are worthy of a particular decoration, the member should receive that decoration. It's ridiculous to have situations where two airmen might achieve the same things (outstanding achievement, act of heroism, etc), but only Airman A gets a medal because his past is blemish-free and Airman B's isn't.

Ever hear of Staff Sergeant Maynard H. "Snuffy" Smith? He was called from KP duty in order to receive his Medal of Honor. He had been assigned to KP because he arrived late to a briefing that week. To me, THAT is how the "whole person concept" should work. Smith's success and his failure were each given appropriate attention and recognition by leadership. I don't think that happens today. Big Blue will instead recognize a lapse over and over, using it to justify withholding recognition of successes.

Mr. Happy
07-25-2013, 01:53 PM
We should quit giving out decorations for simply doing our jobs during a tour...period. If a medal citation sounds like a job description with canned stats straight from an EPR, it probably wasn't warranted; and being honest, some of mine meet that description too. Every once in a while at a commander's call your ears will perk up and you'll pop out of that medal ceremony daze to listen in intently to what the recipient did while deployed somewhere or for some huge undertaking at a previous assignment; those are the deserved ones.

20+Years
07-25-2013, 04:22 PM
Hey! Maybe I deserve a medal for showing up to work everyday. I don't think its as easy for me as some people. Most days heading in I look at the interstate and think, "left turn, another day at work.... right turn...Mexico baby!"

MACHINE666
07-25-2013, 04:44 PM
If Aeromedical Squadron Superintendents can get MSMs for walking on the backs of their airmen to the top, then I say that Airman Snot deserves a medal if he's a good kid, but fucks up on the occasion. So long as there are no bleeding, broken bones, or loss of life, the Air Farts will continue to survive.

LogDog
07-25-2013, 06:30 PM
Do you agree with the idea that if an Airman messes up once in their time on station they don't get an award/dec? Now I am not talking about DUI, drugs, or any of that... But one failed room inspection, one failed PT test, one financial irresponsibility issue.. Do you think this should preclude them from an award? Or if they have shown that the issue is never going to happen again and they have learned from their mistake and become stellar...should they still get an award?
This depends upon what the offense was. If it was a major offense, like DUI, then I'd say no to a medal. If it was minor and the action(s) taken to correct the problem worked and the airman's performance justify the medal, then I'd say put them in for it.

TWilliams
07-26-2013, 02:23 AM
My opinion: If the achievements as written on the citation are worthy of a particular decoration, the member should receive that decoration. It's ridiculous to have situations where two airmen might achieve the same things (outstanding achievement, act of heroism, etc), but only Airman A gets a medal because his past is blemish-free and Airman B's isn't.

Ever hear of Staff Sergeant Maynard H. "Snuffy" Smith? He was called from KP duty in order to receive his Medal of Honor. He had been assigned to KP because he arrived late to a briefing that week. To me, THAT is how the "whole person concept" should work. Smith's success and his failure were each given appropriate attention and recognition by leadership. I don't think that happens today. Big Blue will instead recognize a lapse over and over, using it to justify withholding recognition of successes.

I agree with you that equal achievements deserve equal decorations. Now that I've witnessed people get decorations that have helped them get promoted while being substandard performers who should never have been promoted, I have a different take on decs for meritorious service. It wouldn't change anything with the previously mentioned individual since his decs were aerial achievement medals but with those he was able to max out his points for decs his first time testing for SSgt with solid 3s on his EPRs. He really is a 3 troop, doesn't do anything spectacular, makes minor mistakes every once in a while but definitely not ready for any type of leadership/supervisory responsibility. In situations where SNCOs have to be the gatekeeper to maintain integrity in the commander's decoration approval, I can understand why they would look at Airman A getting the medal over Airman B even more so in an environment where everyone gets 5's on their EPRs so those dec points become more meaningful when trying to give people who deserve promotions that extra boost while stacking the deck against those who really don't deserve promotions. If the EPR system was not broken, I would probably have a different opinion.

Measure Man
07-26-2013, 02:27 AM
My opinion: If the achievements as written on the citation are worthy of a particular decoration, the member should receive that decoration. It's ridiculous to have situations where two airmen might achieve the same things (outstanding achievement, act of heroism, etc), but only Airman A gets a medal because his past is blemish-free and Airman B's isn't.

Ever hear of Staff Sergeant Maynard H. "Snuffy" Smith? He was called from KP duty in order to receive his Medal of Honor. He had been assigned to KP because he arrived late to a briefing that week. To me, THAT is how the "whole person concept" should work. Smith's success and his failure were each given appropriate attention and recognition by leadership. I don't think that happens today. Big Blue will instead recognize a lapse over and over, using it to justify withholding recognition of successes.

Again...it's the difference between a medal for Outstanding Achievement and medal for Meritorious Service.

A medal for Outstanding Achievement (incl heroism)...nothing else matters but what the guy did that day.

A medal for Meritorious Service...everything during the time period matters.

Measure Man
07-26-2013, 02:30 AM
My answer to the OP...it depends.

If the "blemish" was more than 3 years ago...pretty easy to justify a dec, because 3 years is a normal tour and the timeframe for an extended tour dec.

If it was within 3 years...depends on what it was. Failing a room inspection is unbelievably minor. Failing PT within 3 years, in the current culture, would probably be a no-go.

Personally, as a MX guy...would be interested to see the fallout if a QA bust was held to the same std as a PT fail

Measure Man
07-26-2013, 02:36 AM
Again...it's the difference between a medal for Outstanding Achievement and medal for Meritorious Service.

A medal for Outstanding Achievement (incl heroism)...nothing else matters but what the guy did that day.

A medal for Meritorious Service...everything during the time period matters.

For some reason this reminds me of a Stars and Stripes editorial a year or two ago. The S&S published some kind of insert magazine or something about heroes of the war. One of the photos was of Jared Monti (posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor). Some nitwit actually wrote in to complain that the photo of Monti showed him with chewing tobacco in his mouth.

CrustySMSgt
07-26-2013, 06:02 AM
For some reason this reminds me of a Stars and Stripes editorial a year or two ago. The S&S published some kind of insert magazine or something about heroes of the war. One of the photos was of Jared Monti (posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor). Some nitwit actually wrote in to complain that the photo of Monti showed him with chewing tobacco in his mouth.

My "small world" story of the day... I just bought a car online from Monti's cousin, from Kandahar, where there is a DFAC named after him! Can't remember if that DFAC has a flag pole, but if it does I'm going to go fly a flag over it, take a photo, and send it to the guy.

Eastwood
07-27-2013, 01:12 PM
Do you agree with the idea that if an Airman messes up once in their time on station they don't get an award/dec? Now I am not talking about DUI, drugs, or any of that... But one failed room inspection, one failed PT test, one financial irresponsibility issue.. Do you think this should preclude them from an award? Or if they have shown that the issue is never going to happen again and they have learned from their mistake and become stellar...should they still get an award?

Yes, and I disagree with TOS Decs and PCS Decs. Its nothing more than an entitlement! Sustained Superior Performance is the basis for a Dec. Spending 3 years at a Plush stateside base is hardly Sustained Superior Performance. Decs submitted in our Wing need to have documented proof of Sustained Superior Performance. Same with EPR's. If the supervisor has to justify the rating of a 5, the inflation goes away and they rate appropriately. Admin workload had dropped 70% and people actually have some confidence in the system. No longer do you have to stand in a Hot Ass Hangar and listen to endless Decs about nothing.

euripedes
07-27-2013, 04:17 PM
If the airmen makes a mistake, atones for it and goes on to shine within the unit for the remainder of their tour, I don't have an issue with it. But in my experience, depending on what the offense is, your shine is going to have to be extremely bright to convince the Chief or SMSgt leading your unit that this person is deserving of a medal. I get more upset when people with rank do mediocre work and leadership throws them a bone, i.e. a lesser medal than is normally given for their rank because they don't want them to leave with nothing. Then you get stuck writing achievement medals for TSgt's who did absolutely nothing.

LogDog
07-27-2013, 08:58 PM
Yes, and I disagree with TOS Decs and PCS Decs. Its nothing more than an entitlement! Sustained Superior Performance is the basis for a Dec. Spending 3 years at a Plush stateside base is hardly Sustained Superior Performance. Decs submitted in our Wing need to have documented proof of Sustained Superior Performance. Same with EPR's. If the supervisor has to justify the rating of a 5, the inflation goes away and they rate appropriately. Admin workload had dropped 70% and people actually have some confidence in the system. No longer do you have to stand in a Hot Ass Hangar and listen to endless Decs about nothing.
I agree that an end of tour decoration shouldn't be an entitlement but something that was earned.

As for spending 3 years at a Plush stateside base, this is condescending. What about those who work center was at 60% manning and everyone was working overtime, including weekends? Ever been to Cannon AFB, Nellis AFB, or Luke AFB working outside during the summer? I doubt anyone there would call them "Plush." I've been stationed at Hahn AB, Bitburg AB, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Alconbury, and Osan AB and compared most of my stateside bases those were "Plush" bases.

If you are putting anyone in for a decoration then you should have the documentation to back-up your submission and be willing to fight for it. If you can't or won't then don't make the submission.

Chief_KO
07-28-2013, 12:08 AM
True story: I wrote a whole package of AFAMs for my team (I think around 10 or so SrA - TSgt) for a special project, had already got the okay from flight leadership who in-turn got the thumbs up from the squadron leadership. Decs were sitting on Gp/CC's desk ready to sign. We were having a squadron picnic that day and I thought it would be great to get my team recognized and decs pinned at the picnic. Word from Gp/CCE was "good to go"...we would pin the medals and read one citation (all were the same verbiage as a team award). We did just that. Got back to work the next week...Gp/CC had changed his mind and would not sign (he and the Sq/CC did not exactly get along and this was his way to flex his Eagle). Well, when the Gp/CCE told my Sq/CC the bad news...my CC said, well that's too bad cause we pinned all the Airmen last week. That was one good Sq/CC!

KellyinAvon
07-28-2013, 02:59 AM
I had a sq sup sh!t can AFAMs (outstanding achievement) on 3 troops because they already had end of tour decs submitted. It's a remote tour (I was there for 2 years, these guys were all on 1-year tours) and what we did wasn't even thought of when the end of tour decs were written. I could not for the life of me get this sack of dog sh!t with eyeballs to grasp that it had nothing to do with anything in an EPR or a dec package and an AFAM for outstanding achievement was appropriate. Damn, that was 16 years ago and it still pisses me off.

The rest of the story is: I submitted the packages again after this idiot left and they were approved. Hey, no budget, MacGyvered solution, saved Big Blue $10 grand? All I asked was to give these guys a little blue and silver piece of cloth. You'd think I asked for a kidney or something.