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Giant Voice
12-19-2013, 02:42 PM
To the Airmen of the United States Air Force:



Last month, we launched the Airman to Airman video series as a way for me to communicate directly with you on the important issues I think you need to know about. Recently, I met with your wing commanders here in DC and talked to them about a number of issues affecting our Air Force. Most importantly, I spoke to them about my feelings on dignity and respect.



Treating EVERY Airman with dignity and respect must be at the heart of who we are and how we operate. It isn’t a “tag” line; it’s the core of everything we stand for as a service. Everyone in our Air Force should feel respected. Everyone should feel valued. Every single person around you brings something to the fight that you don't. Each of them is critically important to mission success, and they deserve to be treated that way.


The great majority of you already embrace this idea, but there are a few around you who don’t. We need to ensure they understand that this is where our Air Force is heading. I want dignity and respect to become part of an ongoing conversation, which is why this month's Airman to Airman video focuses on it. The link is below; please take two minutes to watch it.



Thanks for who you are and what you do. You continue to make me unbelievably proud to be an Airman. Betty and I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season. We’ll keep a special place in our hearts for those of you who are deployed and the remarkable families who wait for your return.




Description: AF_Chief_of_Staff_Logo

MARK A. WELSH III
General, USAF
Chief of Staff


How can they continue to send this stuff out while planning to cut our throats? Who is falling for this?

Monkey
12-19-2013, 02:53 PM
I'm pretty sure Gen Welsh never wanted to "cut our throats." I would be willing to bet that if it were possible, he would probably prefer to expand the force. Mabe you should redirect your bitterness to the people responsible for the sequestration cuts that have forced his hand.

SomeRandomGuy
12-19-2013, 03:00 PM
Honestly, His message was way too long. He could have sent the same message with this picture.

http://www.deanmorriscards.co.uk/images/medium/cards/DMX-18_MED.jpg

Giant Voice
12-19-2013, 03:42 PM
"We will have to draw down people -- both the tooth and the tail that comes with that force structure," he(Welsh) added.


I'm not bitter at all. The AF has been good to me, but I along with many others are getting tired of hearing how great we(AF) are and how much we are needed for the future and then kick out the hurt that is coming. I know a lot of good people that are getting their pink slips soon. If Gen Welsh really doesn't want to cut the troops(like I keep hearing, even though his quotes say otherwise) then maybe he needs to go the way of Moseley.

TWilliams
12-19-2013, 04:04 PM
I'm not bitter at all. The AF has been good to me, but I along with many others are getting tired of hearing how great we(AF) are and how much we are needed for the future and then kick out the hurt that is coming. I know a lot of good people that are getting their pink slips soon. If Gen Welsh really doesn't want to cut the troops(like I keep hearing, even though his quotes say otherwise) then maybe he needs to go the way of Moseley.

Gen Welsh visited our base recently and was very honest. He said that as much as we say people first, what really is first is winning wars. That means, when congress doesn't fund us for both people and programs, cutting people to pay for advanced weapon systems and programs so that we can continue to dominate our enemies into the future. It is unfortunate that personnel are often the low-hanging fruit when it comes to budget battles, but I understand where he is comming from on a strategic planning level.

Sergeant eNYgma
12-19-2013, 05:27 PM
Gen Welsh visited our base recently and was very honest. He said that as much as we say people first, what really is first is winning wars. That means, when congress doesn't fund us for both people and programs, cutting people to pay for advanced weapon systems and programs so that we can continue to dominate our enemies into the future. It is unfortunate that personnel are often the low-hanging fruit when it comes to budget battles, but I understand where he is comming from on a strategic planning level.

At least he is honest, we're grown men and women just tell us straight what has/will happen and we'll decide what's appropriate based on our situation (Getting out, staying in, etc). So the General gets props for that I guess. Honesty is the best policy as far as I'm concerned.

imported_WILDJOKER5
12-19-2013, 05:32 PM
I'm pretty sure Gen Welsh never wanted to "cut our throats." I would be willing to bet that if it were possible, he would probably prefer to expand the force. Mabe you should redirect your bitterness to the people responsible for the sequestration cuts that have forced his hand.

Who would that be? The sequester was not only disproportionately taken out on the military, but that money "saved" has just now been reenstated to be spent. Does anyone wonder why so many gernerals and commander were being fired?

imported_WILDJOKER5
12-19-2013, 05:37 PM
Gen Welsh visited our base recently and was very honest. He said that as much as we say people first, what really is first is winning wars. That means, when congress doesn't fund us for both people and programs, cutting people to pay for advanced weapon systems and programs so that we can continue to dominate our enemies into the future. It is unfortunate that personnel are often the low-hanging fruit when it comes to budget battles, but I understand where he is comming from on a strategic planning level.

Sadly, that was the problem. Do you really think it would have taken as long as it did to produce the F-22 and F-35 if not for the way government contracts work? "Oh, it failed again? Here is some more money and a longer time table to get it fixed". 25 years later, both planes are lacking and the Chinese and Russia are stealing the R&D. The people are useful, just not sitting in Germany or Italy or GB, Japan, Korea, Africa, etc. At least bringing the troops home will get their paychecks rolling into our economy instead of a foreign economy.

technomage1
12-19-2013, 07:51 PM
I'm not going to lie, I'm bitter. You work your butt off for years, then within sight of the finish line the rules are changed? Oh, yeah, sorry your field was undermanned for years so you had to deploy constantly. But it's magically better now - since we changed how its measured - so f$ck you, here's your cuts. Make one mistake? Bye.

I only hope I can apply for the early retirement since the AF doesn't care about its people anymore nor do they make the slightest attempt to concentrate on the basics, instead focusing on shiny pretty stupid things. Oh, by all means let's worry about PT or grass length and not the mission or the capabilities that get it done.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the constant cuts, worry, and BS. I just want to be done.

sandsjames
12-19-2013, 09:07 PM
I'm not going to lie, I'm bitter. You work your butt off for years, then within sight of the finish line the rules are changed? Oh, yeah, sorry your field was undermanned for years so you had to deploy constantly. But it's magically better now - since we changed how its measured - so f$ck you, here's your cuts. Make one mistake? Bye.

I only hope I can apply for the early retirement since the AF doesn't care about its people anymore nor do they make the slightest attempt to concentrate on the basics, instead focusing on shiny pretty stupid things. Oh, by all means let's worry about PT or grass length and not the mission or the capabilities that get it done.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the constant cuts, worry, and BS. I just want to be done.

I feel your pain and am glad everyday that I'm done. I'm not happy about the retirement benefit cuts, but it's not nearly as bad as the active duty getting screwed. I'm guessing the goal of all of this is to severely cut retention rates. Take enough benefits from retirees and people won't want to stay past 6-10 years. That's why they need 7 year TSgts.

BUDJR8
12-20-2013, 08:26 AM
If anyone doesn't already know how to treat peers with dignity and respect then we've all failed as Airmen. How about a video explaining how many folks' careers are about to be railroaded. How many folks that have enjoyed the service and had planned to stay as long as possible are being shown the door. Yes, some will fall into categories that call for trimming. However, the Chief review boards have started, next it will be SMSgt etc.

jshiver15
12-20-2013, 10:27 AM
Of the CSAFs that I've served under, I would say that Gen. Welsh is probably the most in touch with his people. He has inherited an exhausted Air Force and is doing the best he can with what he has.

MACHINE666
01-08-2014, 08:58 PM
I am very late to the party on this post, however I feel as if I've got to share this little situation, given the fact that 25,000 are about to get cut.

Ramstein Commissary, yesterday:

Me: "Hey Senior, I retired over 2 years ago...are they still making airmen say the Airman's Creed"

Senior: "Why yes they are."

Me: "What? That wasn't even around when I came in. I'm surprised they haven't done away with it already"

Senior: (In the most Blue Kool-Aid of answers) "It's an important part of our Air Force heritage"

Me: (thinking to myself) "Yep, another f#cking Kool-Aid Drinker. Nothing's changed."

Seriously, even in the face of impending doom, some people will spew the Blue, fully knowing that they too will be betrayed by this Judas Iscariot Air Force.

I just hope I'm around when she gets axed and has to go back to the real world!

:D :D :D :D :D

MACHINE666
01-08-2014, 09:07 PM
If anyone doesn't already know how to treat peers with dignity and respect then we've all failed as Airmen. How about a video explaining how many folks' careers are about to be railroaded. How many folks that have enjoyed the service and had planned to stay as long as possible are being shown the door. Yes, some will fall into categories that call for trimming. However, the Chief review boards have started, next it will be SMSgt etc.


Hey, when in doubt, the average airman can add Food Stamps to his or her WIC check, once they join the Obama Nation work force! (Funny how that almost sounds like "Abomination", no?)

:D :D :D :D :D

DWWSWWD
01-08-2014, 10:14 PM
I am very late to the party on this post, however I feel as if I've got to share this little situation, given the fact that 25,000 are about to get cut.

Ramstein Commissary, yesterday:

Me: "Hey Senior, I retired over 2 years ago...are they still making airmen say the Airman's Creed"

Senior: "Why yes they are."

Me: "What? That wasn't even around when I came in. I'm surprised they haven't done away with it already"

Senior: (In the most Blue Kool-Aid of answers) "It's an important part of our Air Force heritage"

Me: (thinking to myself) "Yep, another f#cking Kool-Aid Drinker. Nothing's changed."

Seriously, even in the face of impending doom, some people will spew the Blue, fully knowing that they too will be betrayed by this Judas Iscariot Air Force.

I just hope I'm around when she gets axed and has to go back to the real world!

:D :D :D :D :D
Huh. What a dickhead move. If a retiree said that to me in the commissary I'd shove his ass right into the shelves. Prunes everywhere.

Drackore
01-08-2014, 11:32 PM
I know that we're all worried about these retention boards and cutting 25k. Longer term though - what about the poor souls that don't get cut. Everyone is hoping to survive and be able to stay, but what kind of force are we going to have now? We've been cutting and gutting since the two wars started, and missions/programs/requirements didn't shrink but deployments sure grew. How will it be with 25k less people?

They might want to add to mental health - because I got a feeling those left inside will be stressed beyond limits. We're already at a breaking point with the nonsense we do with so little people.

Big Blue
01-09-2014, 12:38 AM
I know that we're all worried about these retention boards and cutting 25k. Longer term though - what about the poor souls that don't get cut. Everyone is hoping to survive and be able to stay, but what kind of force are we going to have now? We've been cutting and gutting since the two wars started, and missions/programs/requirements didn't shrink but deployments sure grew. How will it be with 25k less people?

They might want to add to mental health - because I got a feeling those left inside will be stressed beyond limits. We're already at a breaking point with the nonsense we do with so little people.


True statement..found out a few folks in my unit hit the button today because they don't like what awaits the remaining folks inside the gate in the near future. If it has been drilled in our heads for years, "you have to do more with less"? then how the hell does the mission get done with EVEN less. The answer unfortunately will be on the backs of the Amn and those remaining..yes, definitely stressful times ahead! I am glad that I am on the backside of my career. This is one of the first times I can't really recommend a young troop to make a career of it. Very interested to see how this all plays out. It was more defined the last time this happened..now, all bets are off!

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-09-2014, 03:15 AM
True statement..found out a few folks in my unit hit the button today because they don't like what awaits the remaining folks inside the gate in the near future. If it has been drilled in our heads for years, "you have to do more with less"? then how the hell does the mission get done with EVEN less. The answer unfortunately will be on the backs of the Amn and those remaining..yes, definitely stressful times ahead! I am glad that I am on the backside of my career. This is one of the first times I can't really recommend a young troop to make a career of it. Very interested to see how this all plays out. It was more defined the last time this happened..now, all bets are off!

And Congress just reminded us that any and all promises about grandfathering retirement pay and bennies for current troops and retirees are flat out lies, and fully subject to the shifting political whims of any given day.

Big Blue
01-09-2014, 10:57 PM
And Congress just reminded us that any and all promises about grandfathering retirement pay and bennies for current troops and retirees are flat out lies, and fully subject to the shifting political whims of any given day.

It's getting harder and harder to keep the faith! If it's Blue Koolaid then somebody's pouring cyanide in the puch bowl lately! Everyone! Let's all recite the AF Creed in unison! That will hold us together in these tough times :-)

imported_AFKILO7
01-09-2014, 11:31 PM
It's getting harder and harder to keep the faith! If it's Blue Koolaid then somebody's pouring cyanide in the puch bowl lately! Everyone! Let's all recite the AF Creed in unison! That will hold us together in these tough times :-)

Within the next few weeks we are going to be in full on UCI inspection mode. Today a random CMSgt walked into our office, apparently he was on a "Tiger Team", anyways he asks me (the only AD person in the office) if I knew the Airmen's Creed. I replied that I did and he asked me what the was my favorite part. I told him the ending and he got all misty eyed and said, "I WILL NOT FAIL" I corrected him and said no Chief, THE END because it is silly. I make lots of friends.

Big Blue
01-10-2014, 02:16 AM
Within the next few weeks we are going to be in full on UCI inspection mode. Today a random CMSgt walked into our office, apparently he was on a "Tiger Team", anyways he asks me (the only AD person in the office) if I knew the Airmen's Creed. I replied that I did and he asked me what the was my favorite part. I told him the ending and he got all misty eyed and said, "I WILL NOT FAIL" I corrected him and said no Chief, THE END because it is silly. I make lots of friends.

Hopefully you were joking about that question. The only time I have ever been asked about the Airmen's creed was during NCOA and they would randomly ask folks. People got lit up for not knowing. I am all about having pride in my AF but that creed has not instilled one ounce extra. Seems people are always focusing on the wrong things. He should have at least asked you if there were things he could have helped you out to make the mission or your personal working environment better. People first, sheesh.

DWWSWWD
01-10-2014, 03:13 AM
Some of you will remember that I work at an NCOA. When I first got there, my teammates let me know that on day 3 we walk into a flight room and ask a random student to recite the creed. I said, "we don't do that anymore." In my view it undermines what we're trying to do. Previously, I guess a student, flight leader guy and instructor would have to report to the principal's office if they couldn't say it.

Big Blue
01-10-2014, 12:48 PM
Some of you will remember that I work at an NCOA. When I first got there, my teammates let me know that on day 3 we walk into a flight room and ask a random student to recite the creed. I said, "we don't do that anymore." In my view it undermines what we're trying to do. Previously, I guess a student, flight leader guy and instructor would have to report to the principal's office if they couldn't say it.

TGIF! Thanks very much for having the courage to inject common sense into the schoolhouse! I'm quite sure the students were refreshed to see that! Positive thread to start the day!

SomeRandomGuy
01-10-2014, 12:58 PM
Some of you will remember that I work at an NCOA. When I first got there, my teammates let me know that on day 3 we walk into a flight room and ask a random student to recite the creed. I said, "we don't do that anymore." In my view it undermines what we're trying to do. Previously, I guess a student, flight leader guy and instructor would have to report to the principal's office if they couldn't say it.

Around 2009 we had a TSgt who went to NCOA academy. He said they were required to know the Airman's Creed. Apparantly, someone in the class before him got kicked out for cheating. He stuck a copy of the creed on the back of the person in front of him so he could simply read it off if asked. Hopefully that story is just a rumor but the way it was told is that it is true. I sure hope we didn't spend a bunch of money to send someone TDY then kick them out of a class because they were too lazy to learn a stupid chant.

DWWSWWD
01-10-2014, 01:47 PM
Around 2009 we had a TSgt who went to NCOA academy. He said they were required to know the Airman's Creed. Apparantly, someone in the class before him got kicked out for cheating. He stuck a copy of the creed on the back of the person in front of him so he could simply read it off if asked. Hopefully that story is just a rumor but the way it was told is that it is true. I sure hope we didn't spend a bunch of money to send someone TDY then kick them out of a class because they were too lazy to learn a stupid chant.

Nothing surprises me anymore yet I would still hope there is more to the story. Sometimes we just get get buttholes here. I tell the folks sometimes, "you can't be a butthole in a vacuum." When you are a butthole, it affects people. In this setting, it affects other people's ability to learn and their experience here. Leaving your familiy for 6 weeks sucks. If someone doesn't want to be here and is making the suck worse for someone else, I am happy to help them roll back to the house.

A few classes ago, we had 3 Airmen here with more than 19yrs TIS. Who thought that was a good idea? They didn't want to be here, there is no return on investment and they were not value added to anyone else's experience. One of them walked the line the whole time with grey area comments and actions. He knew it, knew where the line was and didn't cross it. A carefully crafted mission profile to make everyone's life as miserable as possible, discredit the young instructor etc. If he would have taped a creed to someone's back, so to speak, I'd have gladly sent him home.

TJMAC77SP
01-10-2014, 02:01 PM
Well, knowing the creed or not, it seems that the specific issue cited was one of cheating.

raustin0017
01-10-2014, 02:16 PM
From CSAF comments to the AF Creed in record time! Here is my little rant.
Most Kool-Aid goes down smooth...if you keep focused on your primary job/responsibilities.
There will always be Kool-Aid.
If you don't like the way it taste...you might be part of the problem?
If you are part of the problem...do those around you a favor and make a course correction.

Force Shaping:
Always been a part of our military...nothing new.
Military numbers go up and down due to budget constraints and mission requirements...sort of simple.
You were never guaranteed a retirement.

If you are still serving...get as much education as you can, prepare for the civilian sector. You just might be one in a few months.

DocBones
01-10-2014, 02:45 PM
I agree, TJ.

fufu
01-10-2014, 03:30 PM
Nothing surprises me anymore yet I would still hope there is more to the story. Sometimes we just get get buttholes here. I tell the folks sometimes, "you can't be a butthole in a vacuum." When you are a butthole, it affects people. In this setting, it affects other people's ability to learn and their experience here. Leaving your familiy for 6 weeks sucks. If someone doesn't want to be here and is making the suck worse for someone else, I am happy to help them roll back to the house.

A few classes ago, we had 3 Airmen here with more than 19yrs TIS. Who thought that was a good idea? They didn't want to be here, there is no return on investment and they were not value added to anyone else's experience. One of them walked the line the whole time with grey area comments and actions. He knew it, knew where the line was and didn't cross it. A carefully crafted mission profile to make everyone's life as miserable as possible, discredit the young instructor etc. If he would have taped a creed to someone's back, so to speak, I'd have gladly sent him home.

Did they have line numbers? If not, it was prob a waste of AF money.

DWWSWWD
01-10-2014, 03:52 PM
Did they have line numbers? If not, it was prob a waste of AF money. They didn't. It was someone putting a square peg in a square hole. If this, then this. That shouldn't happen anymore. High time guys now have an option to do it by correspondence and we can apply a little common sense. I need to point out that these guys are active-duty. My Guard and Reserve guys typically have to compete to come in-residence and they are almost always a treat to have here. They are typically older, more mature, accomplished in the civilian sector and provide a lot of value. They want to be here and they know coming into it, that it will probably be harder for them. Good stuff. Typically an AD TSgt at 20 years is none of these things except older.

BENDER56
01-10-2014, 06:56 PM
From CSAF comments to the AF Creed in record time! Here is my little rant.
Most Kool-Aid goes down smooth...if you keep focused on your primary job/responsibilities.
There will always be Kool-Aid.
If you don't like the way it taste...you might be part of the problem?
If you are part of the problem...do those around you a favor and make a course correction.

There's a third option besides drinking the Kool-Aid or griping (or, worse yet, being subversive.)

I disagreed with more than a few things the AF did during my entire 26 years on active duty. Virtually all of them, like, say, foisting a meaningless creed on everyone, were not things I could influence. That is to say, I wasn't present to protest during the meetings with the CSAF when the creed was created. Now I suppose I could have undermined the creed at my level by disparaging it to those around me, but that would have violated my oath as an NCO. So I carried out the duty I had previously swore to do ("... obey the orders of the president of the United States and the officers appointed over me ...") and supported the creed. Some people think that's hypocritical but it isn't. It's merely a concession to the reality of service in the military.

Think about that line in our enlistment oath; "... obey the orders of the president of the United States ..." I served under the following Commanders in Chief: Reagan, G. H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush, and Obama. Does anyone actually believe I agreed with the policies of every one of those presidents? Of course not. But was it hypocritical of me to carry out my duties during the administrations of the CinCs I disagreed with? Should I have applied for conscientious objector status because I disagreed with my top boss's policies? Also of course not.

Similarly, at our level of authority we might have to enforce policies with which we disagree. Ideally, we get an opportunity to express our misgivings about those policies before they're put into effect, but whether or not that happens we still have to support them. We do this because of our oath of enlistment and because the system falls apart if lots of people in it are free-lancing.

I never drank the Kool-Aid but I still did my job as an NCO. I suspect many airmen improperly conflate their beliefs and principles with their duties as a service member. Understand this; what you think and believe doesn't matter. If, by using logic, reason and analysis you can influence a policy to make it better, great. But beyond that your opinion of a policy doesn't mean squat. We don't get to pick and choose the orders we follow nor do we get to pick and choose the orders we enforce.

So you can be a good airman without drinking the Kool-Aid.

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 07:20 PM
There's a third option besides drinking the Kool-Aid or griping (or, worse yet, being subversive.)

I disagreed with more than a few things the AF did during my entire 26 years on active duty. Virtually all of them, like, say, foisting a meaningless creed on everyone, were not things I could influence. That is to say, I wasn't present to protest during the meetings with the CSAF when the creed was created. Now I suppose I could have undermined the creed at my level by disparaging it to those around me, but that would have violated my oath as an NCO. So I carried out the duty I had previously swore to do ("... obey the orders of the president of the United States and the officers appointed over me ...") and supported the creed. Some people think that's hypocritical but it isn't. It's merely a concession to the reality of service in the military.

Think about that line in our enlistment oath; "... obey the orders of the president of the United States ..." I served under the following Commanders in Chief: Reagan, G. H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush, and Obama. Does anyone actually believe I agreed with the policies of every one of those presidents? Of course not. But was it hypocritical of me to carry out my duties during the administrations of the CinCs I disagreed with? Should I have applied for conscientious objector status because I disagreed with my top boss's policies? Also of course not.

Similarly, at our level of authority we might have to enforce policies with which we disagree. Ideally, we get an opportunity to express our misgivings about those policies before they're put into effect, but whether or not that happens we still have to support them. We do this because of our oath of enlistment and because the system falls apart if lots of people in it are free-lancing.

I never drank the Kool-Aid but I still did my job as an NCO. I suspect many airmen improperly conflate their beliefs and principles with their duties as a service member. Understand this; what you think and believe doesn't matter. If, by using logic, reason and analysis you can influence a policy to make it better, great. But beyond that your opinion of a policy doesn't mean squat. We don't get to pick and choose the orders we follow nor do we get to pick and choose the orders we enforce.

So you can be a good airman without drinking the Kool-Aid.

This is EXACTLY drinking the kool-aid.

There's a difference between enforcing regs and trying to make people think certain things are important when you very well know they aren't. Many regs/AFIs during my time I found to be bullshit. I told my guys "Listen, this is bullshit, but you're in the military so we're going to do it." That way, when you come to your troops with something you really feel is important, they know there is actually some credibility behind it.

Drinking the kool-aid is taking the bullshit and passing it off as important. Regs/AFIs are what they are, and will be followed, but don't piss on my foot then tell me it's raining and expect me to trust you with anything in the future.

DWWSWWD
01-10-2014, 07:24 PM
This is EXACTLY drinking the kool-aid.

There's a difference between enforcing regs and trying to make people think certain things are important when you very well know they aren't. Many regs/AFIs during my time I found to be bullshit. I told my guys "Listen, this is bullshit, but you're in the military so we're going to do it." That way, when you come to your troops with something you really feel is important, they know there is actually some credibility behind it.

Drinking the kool-aid is taking the bullshit and passing it off as important. Regs/AFIs are what they are, and will be followed, but don't piss on my foot then tell me it's raining and expect me to trust you with anything in the future. This is exactly why some people top out at E-6 and others make E-8 or 9.

BENDER56
01-10-2014, 07:47 PM
This is EXACTLY drinking the kool-aid.

There's a difference between enforcing regs and trying to make people think certain things are important when you very well know they aren't. Many regs/AFIs during my time I found to be bullshit. I told my guys "Listen, this is bullshit, but you're in the military so we're going to do it." That way, when you come to your troops with something you really feel is important, they know there is actually some credibility behind it.

Drinking the kool-aid is taking the bullshit and passing it off as important. Regs/AFIs are what they are, and will be followed, but don't piss on my foot then tell me it's raining and expect me to trust you with anything in the future.

But I never thought the policies I enforced -- whether I agreed with them or not -- were important and I never passed them off as such. I merely followed and enforced them the same way I did all the others.

The point of my whole post is that it doesn't matter if the policy's bullshit or not. What I think about it is irrelevant. What you think about it is irrelevant. The only time what we think means anything is if we can influence the policy before it goes into effect. Actually, that's not entirely true -- I've been involved with getting some bad policies revoked after they went into effect, but I still enforced them until they went away.

I get your point that saying, "Listen, this is bullshit, but you're in the military so we're going to do it," can give you some cred with your troops. But it also can undermine faith in leadership overall. There are many other ways to get your troops to believe in you, one of which is to consistently enforce policies.

BENDER56
01-10-2014, 07:48 PM
This is exactly why some people top out at E-6 and others make E-8 or 9.

Wait ... I topped out at E-7. Am I in some kind of limbo?

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 08:21 PM
This is exactly why some people top out at E-6 and others make E-8 or 9.

Exactly, and it's also why some people don't aspire to be E8 E9. I also bet all of your TSgts would be excited to hear you don't see their rank as respectable.

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 08:24 PM
But I never thought the policies I enforced -- whether I agreed with them or not -- were important and I never passed them off as such. I merely followed and enforced them the same way I did all the others.

The point of my whole post is that it doesn't matter if the policy's bullshit or not. What I think about it is irrelevant. What you think about it is irrelevant. The only time what we think means anything is if we can influence the policy before it goes into effect. Actually, that's not entirely true -- I've been involved with getting some bad policies revoked after they went into effect, but I still enforced them until they went away.

I get your point that saying, "Listen, this is bullshit, but you're in the military so we're going to do it," can give you some cred with your troops. But it also can undermine faith in leadership overall. There are many other ways to get your troops to believe in you, one of which is to consistently enforce policies.

How "leaders" don't see that the troops see right through this stuff and don't end up actual respecting them is beyond me. But, I suppose, most "leaders" don't actually give a shit if their troops respect them.

This is, again, EXACTLY what drinking the kool-aid means. You're a drinker. That's ok. The Air Force needs guys like that. They also need guys who are transparent. It's what makes the service so diverse and makes it possible for different aspects of the mission to get done.

DWWSWWD
01-10-2014, 08:35 PM
A good portion of my teammates are TSgts and I try every day to make them proud to call me their Chief. I respect almost every one of them. I'm just saying that in my experience, Airman that take your approach, fail to get promoted again. What you're taking about...... I did that once. I was the sq sup at the time and what I did VERY quickly split the unit among party lines. It was absolute poison. Fortunately I got some beautiful words from a guy I trusted and he helped me understand, in a way that I can't articulate here, that I was dead wrong. Fortunately, I was able to reverse course before I did any major damage and it served as a lesson to me in leadership positions in half a dozen units since then. Please don't take that to mean I won't close the door and tell the boss he's smoking crack. Be that guy that, in a way the boss can hear you, tells him when he needs to adjust fire. Do it in the best way you know how, know when to be done and then go tell the sled dogs which way to move out.

Big Blue
01-10-2014, 08:52 PM
A good portion of my teammates are TSgts and I try every day to make them proud to call me their Chief. I respect almost every one of them. I'm just saying that in my experience, Airman that take your approach, fail to get promoted again. What you're taking about...... I did that once. I was the sq sup at the time and what I did VERY quickly split the unit among party lines. It was absolute poison. Fortunately I got some beautiful words from a guy I trusted and he helped me understand, in a way that I can't articulate here, that I was dead wrong. Fortunately, I was able to reverse course before I did any major damage and it served as a lesson to me in leadership positions in half a dozen units since then. Please don't take that to mean I won't close the door and tell the boss he's smoking crack. Be that guy that, in a way the boss can hear you, tells him when he needs to adjust fire. Do it in the best way you know how, know when to be done and then go tell the sled dogs which way to move out.

Great Post! I swear I get more nuggets/different perspectives from these forums then anything PME or other PDS could ever offer. It seems like this is one of the only places where people can voice their opinion(hence Forum) and really be heard. It is interesting to see the various thought processes here and how its shaped some people's leadership style. I think you articulated your point perfectly whether you think so or not.

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 09:36 PM
A good portion of my teammates are TSgts and I try every day to make them proud to call me their Chief. I respect almost every one of them. I'm just saying that in my experience, Airman that take your approach, fail to get promoted again. What you're taking about...... I did that once. I was the sq sup at the time and what I did VERY quickly split the unit among party lines. It was absolute poison. Fortunately I got some beautiful words from a guy I trusted and he helped me understand, in a way that I can't articulate here, that I was dead wrong. Fortunately, I was able to reverse course before I did any major damage and it served as a lesson to me in leadership positions in half a dozen units since then. Please don't take that to mean I won't close the door and tell the boss he's smoking crack. Be that guy that, in a way the boss can hear you, tells him when he needs to adjust fire. Do it in the best way you know how, know when to be done and then go tell the sled dogs which way to move out.

The best Chief/person I ever worked for, who was one of the most highly respected Chief by enlisted members I've ever met did the following:

There was some VIP coming to base so, of course, it's time for everyone to go make everything pretty. So we're out cleaning up leaves around base with some MSgt in charge. People were bitching and complaining and all the MSgt could say was something to the effect of "These VIPs are the ones who give us the money when we need it, the Col wants it done, it's important that we make the Col look as good as possible with this guy". So people bitched and complained and worked, very slowly with little enthusiasm. Day two the Chief came out. His words were something like "Listen, this is some stupid shit we're doing. We're all in the military and are used to doing stupid shit. Just get it done so we can get out of here". The job was completed much more quickly and everyone was on their way.

That's the difference between a kool-aid drinker and someone telling you straight, then telling you to do it. Makes zero difference that one an E7 and one was a Chief. It was the way it was done. People WANT to work for those who are straight with them. We want to be told the truth and we don't want to be bullshitted.

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 09:39 PM
Great Post! I swear I get more nuggets/different perspectives from these forums then anything PME or other PDS could ever offer. It seems like this is one of the only places where people can voice their opinion(hence Forum) and really be heard. It is interesting to see the various thought processes here and how its shaped some people's leadership style. I think you articulated your point perfectly whether you think so or not.

I'd also like to thank you for pointing this out. As anyone who ever attended any sort of PME knows, there are several different leadership styles in the military and, at least at the NCOA I attended, none of those talked about at the PME are wrong. However, you get many people who want it done their way an only their way (which is, by the way, one of the leadership styles). It's not a style I like. It is a kool aid drinking style, but it's a valid style.

My issue is more with those who won't admit that they drink the kool aid. You'd think they'd be proud of it.

Capt Alfredo
01-10-2014, 09:49 PM
The best Chief/person I ever worked for, who was one of the most highly respected Chief by enlisted members I've ever met did the following:

There was some VIP coming to base so, of course, it's time for everyone to go make everything pretty. So we're out cleaning up leaves around base with some MSgt in charge. People were bitching and complaining and all the MSgt could say was something to the effect of "These VIPs are the ones who give us the money when we need it, the Col wants it done, it's important that we make the Col look as good as possible with this guy". So people bitched and complained and worked, very slowly with little enthusiasm. Day two the Chief came out. His words were something like "Listen, this is some stupid shit we're doing. We're all in the military and are used to doing stupid shit. Just get it done so we can get out of here". The job was completed much more quickly and everyone was on their way.

That's the difference between a kool-aid drinker and someone telling you straight, then telling you to do it. Makes zero difference that one an E7 and one was a Chief. It was the way it was done. People WANT to work for those who are straight with them. We want to be told the truth and we don't want to be bullshitted.

I have to say that my first instinct is to do what you're describing. I never knew there was anything wrong with it until I went to SOS and my flight commander/instructor told me how much I was undermining the chain-of-command by doing so. I am anything but a kool-aide drinker and nothing drives me nuts more than dealing with those O-6s, but I was forced to admit the guy at SOS had a point. I'd like to say I don't reach for that tool in my bag (haha) as often, but boy is it tempting. I think it's fairly short-sighted and might get your some quick loyalty and mission effectiveness, but I have to question the tactic in the long run. Now the creed, on the other hand, that's complete BS :whistle

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 10:00 PM
I have to say that my first instinct is to do what you're describing. I never knew there was anything wrong with it until I went to SOS and my flight commander/instructor told me how much I was undermining the chain-of-command by doing so. I am anything but a kool-aide drinker and nothing drives me nuts more than dealing with those O-6s, but I was forced to admit the guy at SOS had a point. I'd like to say I don't reach for that tool in my bag (haha) as often, but boy is it tempting. I think it's fairly short-sighted and might get your some quick loyalty and mission effectiveness, but I have to question the tactic in the long run. Now the creed, on the other hand, that's complete BS :whistle

I'm not saying what's right or wrong. I'm saying what gets people to get the job done for you in the most effective manner. In my mind that is far more important than an NCO oath or anything else. Since we always hear that people and mission are the top priority, then I think it's far more important to have people do stuff for you because they want to, not because they are afraid of what's going to happen if they don't.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "the long run". Never spent more than 4 years at a base and probably not more than 2 of those with any single person.

VCO
01-10-2014, 10:24 PM
The best Chief/person I ever worked for, who was one of the most highly respected Chief by enlisted members I've ever met did the following:

There was some VIP coming to base so, of course, it's time for everyone to go make everything pretty. So we're out cleaning up leaves around base with some MSgt in charge. People were bitching and complaining and all the MSgt could say was something to the effect of "These VIPs are the ones who give us the money when we need it, the Col wants it done, it's important that we make the Col look as good as possible with this guy". So people bitched and complained and worked, very slowly with little enthusiasm. Day two the Chief came out. His words were something like "Listen, this is some stupid shit we're doing. We're all in the military and are used to doing stupid shit. Just get it done so we can get out of here". The job was completed much more quickly and everyone was on their way.

That's the difference between a kool-aid drinker and someone telling you straight, then telling you to do it. Makes zero difference that one an E7 and one was a Chief. It was the way it was done. People WANT to work for those who are straight with them. We want to be told the truth and we don't want to be bullshitted.

The chief undermined fellow leaders with his approach. Instead of explaining the decision of leadership to accomplish this "stupid" task and building consensus (as he is required to do), he tossed non-present leadership under the bus to make himself look better. What you didn't see was the chief in the office with the CC discussing DV prep. They both probably agreed that the leaves needed to be cleaned up.

The MSgt was probably more honest by trying to explain why the task needed to be accomplished.

sandsjames
01-10-2014, 10:34 PM
The chief undermined fellow leaders with his approach. Instead of explaining the decision of leadership to accomplish this "stupid" task and building consensus (as he is required to do), he tossed non-present leadership under the bus to make himself look better. What you didn't see was the chief in the office with the CC discussing DV prep. They both probably agreed that the leaves needed to be cleaned up.

The MSgt was probably more honest by trying to explain why the task needed to be accomplished.

Probably more honest but much less effective. I don't care what the Chief does behind closed doors with the CC. The Chief (at least when I joined in the early 90's) position was supposed to be about taking care of the enlisted. Not only did this Chief do that, along with having everybody wanting to work for him and do a good job, he would also tell those same enlisted when they were screwing up. He wasn't kissing anybody's ass. He was speaking his mind. Too bad more can't do that.

Again, let me point out, whether right, wrong, or indifferent, this is the difference between a kool aid drinker and a non kool aid drinker. If you are one, embrace it. Don't shy away. Call a spade a spade. It's how you lead and it's how you enjoy leading. That's great. Good for you.

Do you really think that every single troop out there doing the task didn't know that it was a bullshit task? Do you think every time something comes up like this the people don't know what's going on? All people do by trying to tell us how important this stuff is is discredit themselves.

Capt Alfredo
01-11-2014, 12:04 AM
Probably more honest but much less effective. I don't care what the Chief does behind closed doors with the CC. The Chief (at least when I joined in the early 90's) position was supposed to be about taking care of the enlisted. Not only did this Chief do that, along with having everybody wanting to work for him and do a good job, he would also tell those same enlisted when they were screwing up. He wasn't kissing anybody's ass. He was speaking his mind. Too bad more can't do that.

Again, let me point out, whether right, wrong, or indifferent, this is the difference between a kool aid drinker and a non kool aid drinker. If you are one, embrace it. Don't shy away. Call a spade a spade. It's how you lead and it's how you enjoy leading. That's great. Good for you.

Do you really think that every single troop out there doing the task didn't know that it was a bullshit task? Do you think every time something comes up like this the people don't know what's going on? All people do by trying to tell us how important this stuff is is discredit themselves.

I don't think the world is as binary as you describe. A kool-aide drinker, in my opinion, is one who *mindlessly* parrots propaganda and is a "true believer" - he not only wants you to do things his way, he also wants you to *believe* it and suck on the party line. A good leader can implement policy, but show flexibility and understand that opinions may vary. A bad or toxic leader undermines his chain of command at every turn. The powers that be can help the good leader by not coming up with Stupid Shit like the airman's creed, stupid catch-phrases and/or transparent lines of manure that insult the intelligence of the common man.

DWWSWWD
01-11-2014, 12:49 AM
Demonstrate to me that you don't have 30 minutes to rake leaves, considering last week's Facebook, AFT posts and bake sales, and I promise you will not be raking leaves for a DV. If as a leader, I can't make a couple of hours for a BBQ or to knock of an hour early to go have a beer at the club, or square away the unit to host a visitor, I am failing in my job.

BENDER56
01-11-2014, 01:30 AM
A good portion of my teammates are TSgts and I try every day to make them proud to call me their Chief. I respect almost every one of them. I'm just saying that in my experience, Airman that take your approach, fail to get promoted again. What you're taking about...... I did that once. I was the sq sup at the time and what I did VERY quickly split the unit among party lines. It was absolute poison. Fortunately I got some beautiful words from a guy I trusted and he helped me understand, in a way that I can't articulate here, that I was dead wrong. Fortunately, I was able to reverse course before I did any major damage and it served as a lesson to me in leadership positions in half a dozen units since then. Please don't take that to mean I won't close the door and tell the boss he's smoking crack. Be that guy that, in a way the boss can hear you, tells him when he needs to adjust fire. Do it in the best way you know how, know when to be done and then go tell the sled dogs which way to move out.

Chief,

You didn't provide a quote, so I have no idea what you're referring to when you say, "Airman that take your approach ..." and I wasn't able to glean further meaning from the context of your comment. Whose "approach" were you referring to?

VCO
01-11-2014, 02:49 AM
Again, let me point out, whether right, wrong, or indifferent, this is the difference between a kool aid drinker and a non kool aid drinker. If you are one, embrace it. Don't shy away. Call a spade a spade. It's how you lead and it's how you enjoy leading. That's great. Good for you.

There is a difference. I agree. Your non-koolaid drinker will be moderately successful leading a handful of people to accomplish a rudimentary task. However, that is the end of the line for him/her, they have no future potential because they do not know how to lead/manage multiple teams to accomplish the mission at an operational level. They get their power from undermining those above them, and at some point, that doesn't fly because smart folks start seeing through the BS. Then what you are left with is a disgruntled, negative non-conformist--that is badass a getting guys to rake leaves, but never makes it to the next tier of leadership. They fight the machine until it steamrolls them and they retire as a TSgt.

sandsjames
01-11-2014, 11:36 AM
Demonstrate to me that you don't have 30 minutes to rake leaves, considering last week's Facebook, AFT posts and bake sales, and I promise you will not be raking leaves for a DV. If as a leader, I can't make a couple of hours for a BBQ or to knock of an hour early to go have a beer at the club, or square away the unit to host a visitor, I am failing in my job.

It's not about raking the leaves. Come on, you've got to be smarter than that. It's about the way it's presented to the worker.

sandsjames
01-11-2014, 11:40 AM
There is a difference. I agree. Your non-koolaid drinker will be moderately successful leading a handful of people to accomplish a rudimentary task. However, that is the end of the line for him/her, they have no future potential because they do not know how to lead/manage multiple teams to accomplish the mission at an operational level. They get their power from undermining those above them, and at some point, that doesn't fly because smart folks start seeing through the BS. Then what you are left with is a disgruntled, negative non-conformist--that is badass a getting guys to rake leaves, but never makes it to the next tier of leadership. They fight the machine until it steamrolls them and they retire as a TSgt.

Exactly. I'm glad someone has finally admitted that a non kool aid drinker will generally have a cap while the ceiling for the kool aid drinker is limitless. That's the only point I was making. I've stated several times that I would never have made a good leader. I hated being in the position. I would have hated it even more at the E7-E9 rank.

Chief_KO
01-11-2014, 01:19 PM
From the urban dictionary.com: "A reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones, the leader of the group, convinced his followers to move to Jonestown. Late in the year he then ordered his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavored Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. In what is now commonly called "the Jonestown Massacre", 913 of the 1100 Jonestown residents drank the Kool-Aid and died. One lasting legacy of the Jonestown tragedy is the saying, “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.” This has come to mean, "Don’t trust any group you find to be a little on the kooky side." or "Whatever they tell you, don't believe it too strongly". The phrase can also be used in the opposite sense to indicate that one has embraced a particular philosophy or perspective."

Personally, I like the tropical punch flavor the best.

Obviously, the intent of the thread is that anytime anyone in the AF follows a policy, they have "Drank the Kool Aid." Do we do dumb things? YES...Do leaders make poor decisions? YES...But, we are far from blind obedience, ala Jonestown. Looking at the last sentence of the urban dictionary definition makes me think of "America's Team", "Roll Tide", "Hook Em Horns", "Boomer Sooner", "Red Sox Nation", "Commitment to Excellence, "Just Win Baby"...right along with "Integrity, Service, Excellence."

Regarding the Chiefs comments on doing $hit work to clean up for a DV...I've said that before. One of the luxuries of being a Chief is the ability to say that at appropriate times to break the tension and quash whining. Just like when a teenager wants to debate having to take out the trash. 15 minutes of debate vs 1 minute to take out the trash.

There is no perfect leadership model or guide. Each leader must also be a follower. Be careful when you openly voice your disdain, disapproval, or non-support of a directive...or don't be surprised when your SrA do likewise to you.

sandsjames
01-11-2014, 01:31 PM
From the urban dictionary.com: "A reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones, the leader of the group, convinced his followers to move to Jonestown. Late in the year he then ordered his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavored Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. In what is now commonly called "the Jonestown Massacre", 913 of the 1100 Jonestown residents drank the Kool-Aid and died. One lasting legacy of the Jonestown tragedy is the saying, “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.” This has come to mean, "Don’t trust any group you find to be a little on the kooky side." or "Whatever they tell you, don't believe it too strongly". The phrase can also be used in the opposite sense to indicate that one has embraced a particular philosophy or perspective."

Personally, I like the tropical punch flavor the best.

Obviously, the intent of the thread is that anytime anyone in the AF follows a policy, they have "Drank the Kool Aid." Do we do dumb things? YES...Do leaders make poor decisions? YES...But, we are far from blind obedience, ala Jonestown. Looking at the last sentence of the urban dictionary definition makes me think of "America's Team", "Roll Tide", "Hook Em Horns", "Boomer Sooner", "Red Sox Nation", "Commitment to Excellence, "Just Win Baby"...right along with "Integrity, Service, Excellence."

Regarding the Chiefs comments on doing $hit work to clean up for a DV...I've said that before. One of the luxuries of being a Chief is the ability to say that at appropriate times to break the tension and quash whining. Just like when a teenager wants to debate having to take out the trash. 15 minutes of debate vs 1 minute to take out the trash.

There is no perfect leadership model or guide. Each leader must also be a follower. Be careful when you openly voice your disdain, disapproval, or non-support of a directive...or don't be surprised when your SrA do likewise to you.

I always preferred my SrA, and every rank, to voice their disdain. That's the only way you can possibly have a real feel of how things are going and make changes that actually improve things. Obviously there is a time for the disdain, but I'd never want to suppress the true thoughts of my troops on how things are being ran/done.

Don't get me wrong...ultimately it's up to the boss to say "That's great, thanks for sharing, now STFU and do it this way." But it's very important for everyone, no matter the rank, to feel safe giving honest input and knowing that the input will be taken seriously. You can't get an honest answer/feel when all you're getting or giving is the "Kool aid" answer.

DWWSWWD
01-11-2014, 03:08 PM
Chief,

You didn't provide a quote, so I have no idea what you're referring to when you say, "Airman that take your approach ..." and I wasn't able to glean further meaning from the context of your comment. Whose "approach" were you referring to?

I'm referring to "this is stupid but we're going to do it, the boss is smoking crack but we're in the military, I personally think this is stupid but the Chief said get it done........" The guys will think you're cool for a minute, you're in touch, real, do not drink the cool aid, whatever. It just doesn't work long term. Bender, you were right on in your approach. I've seen it both ways and as I said, I personally jacked this up once and could see the effects.

sandsjames
01-11-2014, 03:48 PM
I'm referring to "this is stupid but we're going to do it, the boss is smoking crack but we're in the military, I personally think this is stupid but the Chief said get it done........" The guys will think you're cool for a minute, you're in touch, real, do not drink the cool aid, whatever. It just doesn't work long term. Bender, you were right on in your approach. I've seen it both ways and as I said, I personally jacked this up once and could see the effects.

You see it as undermining the Commander. I don't see it that way. Everybody knows that the Commander has to play the political game. Until 10 or 15 years ago, Chiefs did not. They were straight forward and involved with the troops in more than just "mentoring" sessions.

BENDER56
01-11-2014, 04:11 PM
I'm referring to "this is stupid but we're going to do it, the boss is smoking crack but we're in the military, I personally think this is stupid but the Chief said get it done........" The guys will think you're cool for a minute, you're in touch, real, do not drink the cool aid, whatever. It just doesn't work long term. Bender, you were right on in your approach. I've seen it both ways and as I said, I personally jacked this up once and could see the effects.

Copy. Thanks.

DWWSWWD
01-11-2014, 05:01 PM
Until 10 or 15 years ago, Chiefs did not. They were straight forward and involved with the troops in more than just "mentoring" sessions.
15 years ago, I didn't want to see a Chief. If I did I was probably going to have a very bad day. :-)

sandsjames
01-11-2014, 06:21 PM
15 years ago, I didn't want to see a Chief. If I did I was probably going to have a very bad day. :-)

Exactly...and that's how it should be. Other than taking care of stuff that needs to be taken care of, they can stick to themselves. For some reason now they think it makes some sort of difference to try and get more "facetime" with the troops. Don't need a Chiefs lunch...don't need you to come around to the shop because that just results in a day of needless cleaning. I'll see you at squadron functions and I'll contact you if I have some issues that the Shirt can't handle. Not sure when the Chiefs' began to get involved with the issues the Shirt used to take care of.

Anyway, that's enough Chief bashing and leadership philosophy for me. We'll continue to differ, and Chiefs will continue to lead in ways that the troops don't understand. I guess that's the way the Air Force wants it.

BRUWIN
01-11-2014, 11:37 PM
Chiefs will continue to lead in ways that the troops don't understand. I guess that's the way the Air Force wants it.

And in a way some Chief's don't understand either. I'll be the first to admit that Chief was not what I expected it to be. The role of a Chief is totally different from when I first came in. A lot of it has to do with there being to many FGOs. Either lose the Chief position or lose some FGOs. I know which is cheaper. Don't get me wrong...there are many good FGOs and they want to earn their pay like everybody else...but it seems CC's are throwing more of the technical issues their way in interest of career advancement and leaving Chief's to frost the cupcakes since they really can't go any farther. It's just a case of too many experienced people and not enough meaningful work.

sandsjames
01-12-2014, 10:35 AM
And in a way some Chief's don't understand either. I'll be the first to admit that Chief was not what I expected it to be. The role of a Chief is totally different from when I first came in. A lot of it has to do with there being to many FGOs. Either lose the Chief position or lose some FGOs. I know which is cheaper. Don't get me wrong...there are many good FGOs and they want to earn their pay like everybody else...but it seems CC's are throwing more of the technical issues their way in interest of career advancement and leaving Chief's to frost the cupcakes since they really can't go any farther. It's just a case of too many experienced people and not enough meaningful work.

When did it change? When did the Chief position come to resemble the Shirt position so much?

BUDJR8
01-12-2014, 10:51 AM
In recent years I've seen two distinctive patterns and they both usually depended on both the Chief and the Commander. I've seen Chiefs that are strictly personnel all day everyday, managing the personnel, mentoring the personnel, out and about talking about real issues. I've seen other Chiefs, just bogged down in ops because the CC is too busy doing other things. Essentially the Chief involved in ops ends up running the squadron and essentially is crossing over into flight chief and flight CC territory. Again in my experiences it all depends on how the CC wants to utilize that Chief and what the Chief is willing to do or not do.

sandsjames
01-12-2014, 12:24 PM
In recent years I've seen two distinctive patterns and they both usually depended on both the Chief and the Commander. I've seen Chiefs that are strictly personnel all day everyday, managing the personnel, mentoring the personnel, out and about talking about real issues. I've seen other Chiefs, just bogged down in ops because the CC is too busy doing other things. Essentially the Chief involved in ops ends up running the squadron and essentially is crossing over into flight chief and flight CC territory. Again in my experiences it all depends on how the CC wants to utilize that Chief and what the Chief is willing to do or not do.

Guess it would depend on the size of the squadron and everything too.

snowman
01-12-2014, 12:29 PM
.................................................. ....tried to delete post, it wouldnt let me

Chief_KO
01-12-2014, 12:38 PM
I did six years as a Chief, three different units/bases of assignment, nine different supervisors/commanders (at the NSA I did not work for my squadron commander). Arriving at each new assignment as "the new guy" I was given a broad guidance on the bosses vision...what he/she wanted to accomplish, that was it. I chose how, when, where to engage. My experience is each Chief receives similar "feedback" and is left on their own to "Git-R-Done".
When my old bosses PCS'd I OJT'd each new commander on what was going on at the base/unit (this was my opportunity to mold that commander to my vision). Of course I reviewed every EPR, decoration, & 1206, and often the CC's asked for my advice on OPRs and PRFs. In that time I directly supervised two personnel (QA section chief), who was previously supervised by the CC, that was my call so I could directly impact ops (via QA) based upon my experience in the AFSC. I never recall ever asking the CC's permission with any idea or change I was implementing, but I did always inform them of what I was doing so they would not be surprised. And I was never over-ridden by the boss...although a couple of times behind closed doors they expressed concern that we couldn't pull it off...which we did.
It all depends on the unit, base, ops tempo, etc. Some times the Chief needs to be upfront in charge of Ops (although this runs the risk of undercutting flight leadership), or the Chief can advise flight leadership on the various options and help guide them to see the light (I liked that one). A big part of the Chiefs job (IMO & experience) is plugging the leaks or filling the weakness in squadron/flight leadership...be that in ops or personnel (or a little of both). Sorry, but I can't speak with experience on a Command Chiefs duties.

sandsjames
01-12-2014, 01:29 PM
I did six years as a Chief, three different units/bases of assignment, nine different supervisors/commanders (at the NSA I did not work for my squadron commander). Arriving at each new assignment as "the new guy" I was given a broad guidance on the bosses vision...what he/she wanted to accomplish, that was it. I chose how, when, where to engage. My experience is each Chief receives similar "feedback" and is left on their own to "Git-R-Done".
When my old bosses PCS'd I OJT'd each new commander on what was going on at the base/unit (this was my opportunity to mold that commander to my vision). Of course I reviewed every EPR, decoration, & 1206, and often the CC's asked for my advice on OPRs and PRFs. In that time I directly supervised two personnel (QA section chief), who was previously supervised by the CC, that was my call so I could directly impact ops (via QA) based upon my experience in the AFSC. I never recall ever asking the CC's permission with any idea or change I was implementing, but I did always inform them of what I was doing so they would not be surprised. And I was never over-ridden by the boss...although a couple of times behind closed doors they expressed concern that we couldn't pull it off...which we did.
It all depends on the unit, base, ops tempo, etc. Some times the Chief needs to be upfront in charge of Ops (although this runs the risk of undercutting flight leadership), or the Chief can advise flight leadership on the various options and help guide them to see the light (I liked that one). A big part of the Chiefs job (IMO & experience) is plugging the leaks or filling the weakness in squadron/flight leadership...be that in ops or personnel (or a little of both). Sorry, but I can't speak with experience on a Command Chiefs duties.

Kind of off topic, and maybe for another thread, but why does the Chief need to review each and every EPR? Why must it go past the additional rater? It is designed without a Chief signature block (unless the Chief is the additional rater). Why bog yourself down with such things? Can you not trust your NCO/Superintendents to do a proper review?

DWWSWWD
01-12-2014, 03:34 PM
Kind of off topic, and maybe for another thread, but why does the Chief need to review each and every EPR? Why must it go past the additional rater? It is designed without a Chief signature block (unless the Chief is the additional rater). Why bog yourself down with such things? Can you not trust your NCO/Superintendents to do a proper review? The Chief takes care of the boss' signature. If Johnny in section x and Jimmy in section y have wildly different philosophies about ratings, the Chief can help ensure some parity for the unit. Ultimately it's the Commander's report rated against his mission and his expectations.

sandsjames
01-12-2014, 03:54 PM
The Chief takes care of the boss' signature. If Johnny in section x and Jimmy in section y have wildly different philosophies about ratings, the Chief can help ensure some parity for the unit. Ultimately it's the Commander's report rated against his mission and his expectations.

Might as well just get rid of the Commander signature and go with the Chief. Would seem to be more accurate.

Also seems like just another step of micromanagement. If my rater is a SNCO and my additional rater is an 03, for it to then have to be reviewed by a Chief is just ludicrous.

That brings up another point. It seems these days that there is much more micromanagement, by Chiefs, of E7/E8 than ever before. If a Chief has to review an EPR already reviewed by a SMSgt than what the hell is the SMSgt doing in that position. I guess it's just a continuation of the trend of TSgts being treated like SrA so the SMSgt has to be treated like a TSgt.

imnohero
01-12-2014, 04:43 PM
The Chief takes care of the boss' signature.

From my point of view, this means chief is an extension of the commander, his needs, and policies. Funny thing though, I thought chiefs were supposed to be the enlisted voice, not the commanders. <shrug> This is one of the reasons I retired rather than stay. I saw too many enlisted leaders, whether squadron or wing, more concerned with "protecting the commander" than anything else. I found it to be distasteful. Just my opinion and observations, not a condemnation of everyone.

Chief_KO
01-12-2014, 07:26 PM
Kind of off topic, and maybe for another thread, but why does the Chief need to review each and every EPR? Why must it go past the additional rater? It is designed without a Chief signature block (unless the Chief is the additional rater). Why bog yourself down with such things? Can you not trust your NCO/Superintendents to do a proper review?

Simple answer...Name one other way for a Chief to "take care of" every single Airmen under his/her span of control.
Administrative answer...the CCM review is required on routing paperwork, SharePoint, EMS, etc.

As a squadron Chief I saw every EPR in my unit...so approximately 160 or so a year. The group Chief will only see those EPRs for group staff, and for those select SNCOs going for higher endorsement (Gp or Wg) maybe 30, and the wing CCC will only see those few (very few) EPRs of those SNCOs going for wing endorsement/stratification maybe 30. Now, lets say the sq Chief is taken out of the loop...now SSgt Snuffy's decoration is coming through along with those EPR without the Chief's review...talk about Snuffy getting screwed at the Gp or Wg!!
When I started each of my assignments as a Chief I gave my writing class and tools to all supervisors. The vast majority of what I sent back for a "do-over" consisted of:
1. Spelling/grammatical errors, 2. Bullet did not support the rating/marking, 3. Fluff (yes, fluff generation started at the shop/flights, not at the front office), 4. Acronym/abbreviation overload (can I buy a vowel?), 5. No white space (if you've filled up the entire block, how can it not be a firewall 5?), 6. Non-factual statements (numbers must be accurate). 7) Not written for an audience (if the Chief with 20+ years AFSC experience doesn't understand it or has to look it up imagine what a potential board member would think), 8) Illegal statements (implied stratification, PME comments).
Luckily after a quarter or so, the flights learned what was a "well-written EPR" and my amount of "do-overs" decreased dramatically.

Of course I could have pencil whipped the review and sent it forward...but that would not be doing the right thing for those that are actually doing the J.O.B.

Chief_KO
01-12-2014, 07:38 PM
You see it as undermining the Commander. I don't see it that way. Everybody knows that the Commander has to play the political game. Until 10 or 15 years ago, Chiefs did not. They were straight forward and involved with the troops in more than just "mentoring" sessions.

Well, since I served 30 years, and spent the last 6 as a Chief (2006-2012) I fall within that window. I'm honestly at a loss to ascertain if I played any political games.
In the interest of fair play and self assessment can you provide a list of 10 or so "political gamesmanship" examples so I can know my standing.

sandsjames
01-12-2014, 08:34 PM
Simple answer...Name one other way for a Chief to "take care of" every single Airmen under his/her span of control.
Administrative answer...the CCM review is required on routing paperwork, SharePoint, EMS, etc.

As a squadron Chief I saw every EPR in my unit...so approximately 160 or so a year. The group Chief will only see those EPRs for group staff, and for those select SNCOs going for higher endorsement (Gp or Wg) maybe 30, and the wing CCC will only see those few (very few) EPRs of those SNCOs going for wing endorsement/stratification maybe 30. Now, lets say the sq Chief is taken out of the loop...now SSgt Snuffy's decoration is coming through along with those EPR without the Chief's review...talk about Snuffy getting screwed at the Gp or Wg!!
When I started each of my assignments as a Chief I gave my writing class and tools to all supervisors. The vast majority of what I sent back for a "do-over" consisted of:
1. Spelling/grammatical errors, 2. Bullet did not support the rating/marking, 3. Fluff (yes, fluff generation started at the shop/flights, not at the front office), 4. Acronym/abbreviation overload (can I buy a vowel?), 5. No white space (if you've filled up the entire block, how can it not be a firewall 5?), 6. Non-factual statements (numbers must be accurate). 7) Not written for an audience (if the Chief with 20+ years AFSC experience doesn't understand it or has to look it up imagine what a potential board member would think), 8) Illegal statements (implied stratification, PME comments).
Luckily after a quarter or so, the flights learned what was a "well-written EPR" and my amount of "do-overs" decreased dramatically.

Of course I could have pencil whipped the review and sent it forward...but that would not be doing the right thing for those that are actually doing the J.O.B.

Why would it be necessary for you to review for spelling/grammar/fluff, when you've already briefed your SNCOs who are reviewing them what is expected? I'm guessing if you had to make changes maybe more than once a year that those SNCOs received a mark down on their EPRs? Of course they did, because having to brief/counsel/"mentor" a MSgt/SMSgt more than once on the same issue would definitely warrant a mark down. Sounds to me like you didn't have any SNCOs who were 5s if you couldn't trust them to take care of grammar, spelling, and fluff. Sounds maybe like faulty leadership.

Chief_KO
01-12-2014, 09:53 PM
Why would it be necessary for you to review for spelling/grammar/fluff, when you've already briefed your SNCOs who are reviewing them what is expected? I'm guessing if you had to make changes maybe more than once a year that those SNCOs received a mark down on their EPRs? Of course they did, because having to brief/counsel/"mentor" a MSgt/SMSgt more than once on the same issue would definitely warrant a mark down. Sounds to me like you didn't have any SNCOs who were 5s if you couldn't trust them to take care of grammar, spelling, and fluff. Sounds maybe like faulty leadership.

Exactly...also made sure their supervisors marked them down for not scoring above a 90 on PT, not attending college full time, being late for work once, not having a Mess Dress, not attending every PME graduation or awards banquet, missing one squadron suspense, not receiving an Outstanding on every inspection, not being active in the Top III & AFSA, not wearing ribbons on blue shirt, not wearing specialty badge, ironing their ABUs, or not laughing at all of my jokes.
Not faulty leadership, just seriously flawed human beings...good think for them they were good at the AFSC technical skills.

DWWSWWD
01-13-2014, 01:16 AM
In the interest of fair play and self assessment can you provide a list of 10 or so "political gamesmanship" examples so I can know my standing.
I've got this. The other day I said, "yes sir". The SSgt in me was shitting on his desk. Politics. Ass kisser. Guilty.

Chief_KO
01-13-2014, 02:21 AM
The Deuce in the desk drawer is a classic!
Can't do it nowadays though...your DNA is on file.

Once upon a time at a base far far away (rhymes with Josan), the Wing SEA (it was a long time ago) was a real horses a$$. TSgt_KO forwarded the phone at the Rec Center's video check out (it was a long time ago) to the SEA's number...Wonder how long till he figured out that he didn't have any copies of Star Wars to loan out...

Measure Man
01-13-2014, 02:59 AM
The Chief takes care of the boss' signature. If Johnny in section x and Jimmy in section y have wildly different philosophies about ratings, the Chief can help ensure some parity for the unit. Ultimately it's the Commander's report rated against his mission and his expectations.


Might as well just get rid of the Commander signature and go with the Chief. Would seem to be more accurate.

Also seems like just another step of micromanagement. If my rater is a SNCO and my additional rater is an 03, for it to then have to be reviewed by a Chief is just ludicrous.

That brings up another point. It seems these days that there is much more micromanagement, by Chiefs, of E7/E8 than ever before. If a Chief has to review an EPR already reviewed by a SMSgt than what the hell is the SMSgt doing in that position. I guess it's just a continuation of the trend of TSgts being treated like SrA so the SMSgt has to be treated like a TSgt.


Simple answer...Name one other way for a Chief to "take care of" every single Airmen under his/her span of control.
Administrative answer...the CCM review is required on routing paperwork, SharePoint, EMS, etc.

As a squadron Chief I saw every EPR in my unit...so approximately 160 or so a year. The group Chief will only see those EPRs for group staff, and for those select SNCOs going for higher endorsement (Gp or Wg) maybe 30, and the wing CCC will only see those few (very few) EPRs of those SNCOs going for wing endorsement/stratification maybe 30. Now, lets say the sq Chief is taken out of the loop...now SSgt Snuffy's decoration is coming through along with those EPR without the Chief's review...talk about Snuffy getting screwed at the Gp or Wg!!
When I started each of my assignments as a Chief I gave my writing class and tools to all supervisors. The vast majority of what I sent back for a "do-over" consisted of:
1. Spelling/grammatical errors, 2. Bullet did not support the rating/marking, 3. Fluff (yes, fluff generation started at the shop/flights, not at the front office), 4. Acronym/abbreviation overload (can I buy a vowel?), 5. No white space (if you've filled up the entire block, how can it not be a firewall 5?), 6. Non-factual statements (numbers must be accurate). 7) Not written for an audience (if the Chief with 20+ years AFSC experience doesn't understand it or has to look it up imagine what a potential board member would think), 8) Illegal statements (implied stratification, PME comments).
Luckily after a quarter or so, the flights learned what was a "well-written EPR" and my amount of "do-overs" decreased dramatically.

Of course I could have pencil whipped the review and sent it forward...but that would not be doing the right thing for those that are actually doing the J.O.B.

Most Sq. Chiefs I've known reviewed all EPRs.

Personally, I find this to be an incredible waste of a Chief's time.

For the little while that I was a sq. chief...I told all the flight chiefs to send me the top 20% of E-5 and below EPRs. The top half of E-6 EPRs...and all the SNCO EPRs. Cut the workload by way more than half to allow me to do other things...and really, for your bottom half of E-6s and pretty much all E-5 and bellows...once that EPR hits the record it will never be read again.

The cc's secretary can review for grammar, etc. The MSgt endorser should be able to do most everything else.

sandsjames
01-13-2014, 11:53 AM
Most Sq. Chiefs I've known reviewed all EPRs.

Personally, I find this to be an incredible waste of a Chief's time.

For the little while that I was a sq. chief...I told all the flight chiefs to send me the top 20% of E-5 and below EPRs. The top half of E-6 EPRs...and all the SNCO EPRs. Cut the workload by way more than half to allow me to do other things...and really, for your bottom half of E-6s and pretty much all E-5 and bellows...once that EPR hits the record it will never be read again.

The cc's secretary can review for grammar, etc. The MSgt endorser should be able to do most everything else.

Now that makes sense. Review a small sample. If you find a multitude of issues, then you get with the additional rater and find out WTF their problem is with reviewing an EPR. If they miss one or two, no biggy. If they miss so much stuff that you HAVE to review them all, then you find someone else to sit in their chair. Simple. No need to micromanage for the sake of micromanaging.

BOSS302
01-13-2014, 12:09 PM
Now that makes sense. Review a small sample. If you find a multitude of issues, then you get with the additional rater and find out WTF their problem is with reviewing an EPR. If they miss one or two, no biggy. If they miss so much stuff that you HAVE to review them all, then you find someone else to sit in their chair. Simple. No need to micromanage for the sake of micromanaging.

I imagine that all PowerPro SNCOs end up getting kicked from that "chair." Their hands are used to only holding wrenches, pry bars, oil filters, and cable donuts. Never a pen or keyboard.

I once watched a PowerPro MSgt try to use a keyboard. He got very confused, grunted, and broke it into pieces against the wall before knuckle-walking on all fours out of the office.

sandsjames
01-13-2014, 12:44 PM
I imagine that all PowerPro SNCOs end up getting kicked from that "chair." Their hands are used to only holding wrenches, pry bars, oil filters, and cable donuts. Never a pen or keyboard.

I once watched a PowerPro MSgt try to use a keyboard. He got very confused, grunted, and broke it into pieces against the wall before knuckle-walking on all fours out of the office.

If they get that "chair". Usually, since it's a 3E0 position, the electrician gets it. The power pro guy gets to do Prime Beef or something.

BOSS302
01-13-2014, 01:07 PM
If they get that "chair". Usually, since it's a 3E0 position, the electrician gets it. The power pro guy gets to do Prime Beef or something.

Electricians are too busy making sure their hair is perfectly coifed and that all of their tools are shined and clean. Thus, they usually put a Structures or HVAC guy in that chair to "kick ass and take names."

I once witnessed an Electrician trying to do his SNCO job in that "chair." He kept glancing at his reflection on all reflective surfaces around him & would spazz-out if his ABU creases lost their sharpness. They ended up putting a Plumber in his place. That Plumber had to remove 43 tubs of AXE hair gel & 59 different bottles of cologne from the desk drawers. And a 6ft vanity mirror off the wall.