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View Full Version : Are many people in your unit talking about taking TERA/VSP?



BadBender
01-15-2014, 01:49 AM
Back in my SQ we have about 11 SNCOs. Three were already going to retire this year and now at least three more have said they plan to take the TERA retirement. I haven't talked to the others yet. I've also heard from a few of the folks with less than 15 years that they plan on taking the VSP option. I know there's a vast difference between applying for it and getting approved, how ever if by chance they all get approved it's going to decimate the NCO/SNCO ranks in my unit. What are you hearing where you work?

J.D.C.
01-15-2014, 02:15 AM
My unit most of the SNCOs aren't eligible for the Retention Board (under 20) and we had 3 that already pushed the button and had approved retirements before this all started. The 4 we have that are getting hit by the board are planning on waiting it out. None of those that aren't getting hit but are TERA eligible have said they are even thinking about it.

BUDJR8
01-15-2014, 02:25 AM
I think it would be funny if all of you got approved at all left at once. Besides, big AF won't care, they'll just expect the ones left behind to "do more with less"; right?

Drackore
01-15-2014, 09:04 AM
Almost everyone on my BASE are talking about this - most are stressed. It's a huge distraction and it has definitely hit morale and productivity.

Once results come out and people find out they are getting an axe, I just see that sliding further and futher into the abyss.

AF does it again.

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 10:49 AM
What I find interesting is the number of people who are jumping at the opportunity to punch out early. Even many of those who have clean records are willing to give up a percentage of their retirement in order to get away from a failing institution.

Chief_KO
01-15-2014, 12:05 PM
As you're probably aware their is a commission that is studying and preparing a report/recommendation on the military compensation program, to include retirement. Those on the panel with military experience are all former officers (one member had a couple years of E-stink prior to crossing over). They're "pre-determined" outcome (IMO) is to eliminate the 20 year retirement and replace it with a more "standard" 401K type approach that would not pay till age 62...as an obvious cost saver to the gov't NOT in the best interest of the service member (IMO).
I'm pretty sure they are awaiting the outcome of the TERA and will use those numbers (wow 27% of those eligible selected TERA!) to support their recommendation that a 20-year retirement system is dated and does not meet today's military, society, & culture.

imnohero
01-15-2014, 12:06 PM
What I find interesting is the number of people who are jumping at the opportunity to punch out early. Even many of those who have clean records are willing to give up a percentage of their retirement in order to get away from a failing institution.

The AF is going to find that, like in the 90s, they have many more volunteering to separate than they need. Anyone wanting the vol. sep. options should apply sooner rather than later...that's my advice anyway.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-15-2014, 12:24 PM
As you're probably aware their is a commission that is studying and preparing a report/recommendation on the military compensation program, to include retirement. Those on the panel with military experience are all former officers (one member had a couple years of E-stink prior to crossing over). They're "pre-determined" outcome (IMO) is to eliminate the 20 year retirement and replace it with a more "standard" 401K type approach that would not pay till age 62...as an obvious cost saver to the gov't NOT in the best interest of the service member (IMO).
I'm pretty sure they are awaiting the outcome of the TERA and will use those numbers (wow 27% of those eligible selected TERA!) to support their recommendation that a 20-year retirement system is dated and does not meet today's military, society, & culture.

The question is, will they grandfather current retirees and active duty or not? I have no reason to believe any previous promises about grandfathering. It's all up to congress....

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 12:28 PM
The question is, will they grandfather current retirees and active duty or not? I have no reason to believe any previous promises about grandfathering. It's all up to congress....

If they don't, they will have some serious issues to deal with. I can already picture 100,000 retirees outside the Capitol building.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-15-2014, 12:36 PM
If they don't, they will have some serious issues to deal with. I can already picture 100,000 retirees outside the Capitol building.

Ok, great. Won't matter much in the elections. As the military shrinks and vets die off, we are becoming less and less relevant. Also doesn't help when retired general officers ENCOURAGE the attack on our bennies. The message they have sent to the masses is, "hey we served, but we agree with cutting the bennies."

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 02:51 PM
Ok, great. Won't matter much in the elections. As the military shrinks and vets die off, we are becoming less and less relevant. Also doesn't help when retired general officers ENCOURAGE the attack on our bennies. The message they have sent to the masses is, "hey we served, but we agree with cutting the bennies."

Yeah, I hear ya...so do you see the draft in our future???

Capt Alfredo
01-15-2014, 04:41 PM
As you're probably aware their is a commission that is studying and preparing a report/recommendation on the military compensation program, to include retirement. Those on the panel with military experience are all former officers (one member had a couple years of E-stink prior to crossing over). They're "pre-determined" outcome (IMO) is to eliminate the 20 year retirement and replace it with a more "standard" 401K type approach that would not pay till age 62...as an obvious cost saver to the gov't NOT in the best interest of the service member (IMO).
I'm pretty sure they are awaiting the outcome of the TERA and will use those numbers (wow 27% of those eligible selected TERA!) to support their recommendation that a 20-year retirement system is dated and does not meet today's military, society, & culture.

I actually agree that our retirement system needs changing. I can see something along the lines of deferred compensation until age 62 except for disabled vets who are unable to work. Not talking some dude with asthma who gets medically retired and then picks up a second job as a personal trainer/marathon runner/UFC fighter. All that said, they HAVE to grandfather those who have at least <arbitrary thought> served ten years. Otherwise, pitchforks and torches. Pitchforks and torches!

SomeRandomGuy
01-15-2014, 04:51 PM
I actually agree that our retirement system needs changing. I can see something along the lines of deferred compensation until age 62 except for disabled vets who are unable to work. Not talking some dude with asthma who gets medically retired and then picks up a second job as a personal trainer/marathon runner/UFC fighter. All that said, they HAVE to grandfather those who have at least <arbitrary thought> served ten years. Otherwise, pitchforks and torches. Pitchforks and torches!

I'm with you on this. I think a guaranteed pension after 20 years of service but giving nothing for less than 20 years is the wrong way to recruit. Whether people want to admit it or not military compensation is very generous. If you don't believe me look at the cars in the dorm parking lot compared to any other place that employs a bunch of 18-21 year olds. Even without a retirement after 20 years people would still join the military just for the pay and out of patriotism. If we swapped to a 401K type system we might actually get more people to sign up. Plenty of people will sign up for 4 years in the military just for the experience. At the end of those 4 years they may have enjoyed theirself but if they aren't planning on staying 20 what is the point of staying 8, 10, or 12?

I actually think we could retain more quality people if they were being offered some sort of retirment compensation (specifically a TSP match or even a non-contributory TSP plan). Think about all of the sharp Airmen you have seen get out after 4 years so they could go to college full time. Their logic at the time is that they want to continue their education but they don't want to sign up for another enlistment. Imagine if these people were offered 4 more years of TSP match plus the added benefit of keeping their job while in college. The thing that gets tricky is keeping mid-career people. Say you are an average troop and make TSgt at about 12 years. You are an effective TSgt but that is pretty much your ceiling. You have no desire to make MSgt. In the current system you would aim for 20 and get out (looking at you sandsjames). In the new system you are getting TSp match but not offered a pension at 20. If HYT remains in effect you are actually forced out at 20 (I think). So in that situation the mid career TSgt knows he needs to start looking for employment elsewhere. He only has 8 years left in the Air Force and if something more lucrative comes up he needs to move on.

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 05:15 PM
I'm with you on this. I think a guaranteed pension after 20 years of service but giving nothing for less than 20 years is the wrong way to recruit. Whether people want to admit it or not military compensation is very generous. If you don't believe me look at the cars in the dorm parking lot compared to any other place that employs a bunch of 18-21 year olds. Even without a retirement after 20 years people would still join the military just for the pay and out of patriotism. If we swapped to a 401K type system we might actually get more people to sign up. Plenty of people will sign up for 4 years in the military just for the experience. At the end of those 4 years they may have enjoyed theirself but if they aren't planning on staying 20 what is the point of staying 8, 10, or 12?

I actually think we could retain more quality people if they were being offered some sort of retirment compensation (specifically a TSP match or even a non-contributory TSP plan). Think about all of the sharp Airmen you have seen get out after 4 years so they could go to college full time. Their logic at the time is that they want to continue their education but they don't want to sign up for another enlistment. Imagine if these people were offered 4 more years of TSP match plus the added benefit of keeping their job while in college. The thing that gets tricky is keeping mid-career people. Say you are an average troop and make TSgt at about 12 years. You are an effective TSgt but that is pretty much your ceiling. You have no desire to make MSgt. In the current system you would aim for 20 and get out (looking at you sandsjames). In the new system you are getting TSp match but not offered a pension at 20. If HYT remains in effect you are actually forced out at 20 (I think). So in that situation the mid career TSgt knows he needs to start looking for employment elsewhere. He only has 8 years left in the Air Force and if something more lucrative comes up he needs to move on.

Not bad for those who are willing to trust that the TSP (or whatever other gambling options) is going to be successful and will still be around in 35 years from the time these people get out.

Either way, it's ok AS LONG AS the people joining are aware that it's going to be this way when they join. Hell, they can get rid of it altogether as long as those joining know that it's going to be that way.

The problem comes when they try to screw those who joined under one system and then have the rug pulled out from under their feet.

HeyEng
01-15-2014, 05:24 PM
If they don't, they will have some serious issues to deal with. I can already picture 100,000 retirees outside the Capitol building.

Yeah, whatever. Those that hang around to retire is about 3/10ths of 1% of the ENTIRE population of the USA. You can see what a HUGE stink there was over the COLA reduction? What, oh there wasn't?

American people that don't have a dog in the fight could care less about the troops. Until THEY are affected by war, terrorists or the like, they will be content to watch the Kardashians and Dancing With The Stars.

As far as people looking to punch, we have a very small organization. We have 3 pilots and 5 flight engineers (2 crew chiefs for advisor duties). 1 pilot is retiring early to avoid involuntary separation and one is taking the voluntary separation. One FE is retiring on 1 Jan next year (HYT), both crew chief have applied for TERA and one of our TSgt FEs are applying for TERA. I am the other MSgt FE (over 20 year TIS) that will wait and see. If I am selected to retire, our unit will have 1 pilot and 2 FE's...and guess what? The mission comes to a screeching halt. I imagine this is happening across the AF right now.

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 05:39 PM
Yeah, whatever. Those that hang around to retire is about 3/10ths of 1% of the ENTIRE population of the USA. You can see what a HUGE stink there was over the COLA reduction? What, oh there wasn't?

American people that don't have a dog in the fight could care less about the troops. Until THEY are affected by war, terrorists or the like, they will be content to watch the Kardashians and Dancing With The Stars. Are you saying that if current retirees weren't grandfathered (meaning we would lose our current retirement and not get it back until our 60s) don't have a dog in the fight? That's what the discussion was about.

imported_UncommonSense
01-15-2014, 05:51 PM
Ok, great. Won't matter much in the elections. As the military shrinks and vets die off, we are becoming less and less relevant. Also doesn't help when retired general officers ENCOURAGE the attack on our bennies. The message they have sent to the masses is, "hey we served, but we agree with cutting the bennies."

Retired general officers that all happen to be over the magical age of 62

Chief_KO
01-15-2014, 06:07 PM
I'm sure it's just coincidental they are all over age 62...
Funny in all the proposed cuts there was no talk (that I remember) of cutting the Selective Service??? With an annual budget of $15M it seems like a no brainer to either eliminate or seriously cut the budget. How much does it take to maintain a database of Names, SSN, addresses??? And since only Males are required to sign up (or be inelligible for ALL federal financial student aid) sure does seem in violation of sexual discrimination laws...

Since only around 20% of AD vote (compared to around 50% of the whole populace) and membership percentage in lobbying organizations within The Military Coaltion is in the single digits, the vast overwhelming majority of us couldn't care less about any/all military pay, allowances, & earned benefits. So why should we be surprised that the rest of America feels the same.

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 06:22 PM
I'm sure it's just coincidental they are all over age 62...
Funny in all the proposed cuts there was no talk (that I remember) of cutting the Selective Service??? With an annual budget of $15M it seems like a no brainer to either eliminate or seriously cut the budget. How much does it take to maintain a database of Names, SSN, addresses??? And since only Males are required to sign up (or be inelligible for ALL federal financial student aid) sure does seem in violation of sexual discrimination laws...

Since only around 20% of AD vote (compared to around 50% of the whole populace) and membership percentage in lobbying organizations within The Military Coaltion is in the single digits, the vast overwhelming majority of us couldn't care less about any/all military pay, allowances, & earned benefits. So why should we be surprised that the rest of America feels the same.

I don't understand a word of this (except the selective service statement).

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-15-2014, 06:28 PM
Not a single person is going to do VSP as far as I know. Its rediculous to volunteer at a 1.25 multiplier when you can work 5 months more and collect more in the long run. Unless they have a job lined up or college ready to start, why would anyone volunteer?

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-15-2014, 06:43 PM
I was being told that the numbers for negative indicators, volunteers, and DOS rollbacks are quite overwhelming and the retention boards may not even happen this year...at least for my career field. Also that the AF is looking to have bigger numbers get out this year and next and slow it down the last 3 years. So look for 6-9k this year while drawing it down afterwards.

Chief_KO
01-15-2014, 07:09 PM
I don't understand a word of this (except the selective service statement).

We severely undercut our voice on capitol hill (the dirty lobbiest) when 90% of those eligible (AD, ANG, AFRC, retiree, dependents) are not members of a TMC organization like AFSA.
We continue our silence when 80% of the active duty fails to vote.
Sometimes we only need to look in the mirror to point the finger of blame.

sandsjames
01-15-2014, 07:13 PM
We severely undercut our voice on capitol hill (the dirty lobbiest) when 90% of those eligible (AD, ANG, AFRC, retiree, dependents) are not members of a TMC organization like AFSA.
We continue our silence when 80% of the active duty fails to vote.
Sometimes we only need to look in the mirror to point the finger of blame.

I agree we need to take a bigger role but I disagree in that, even if 100% voted, the overall numbers aren't really going to change. Your mention of AFSA is absolutely on the money. Much more can be accomplished there than it can be with the vote.

I just hope that when it does come down to the argument in the near future it's not about what we deserve (as military members) but more about what we've earned and what was offered to us.

Chief_KO
01-15-2014, 07:17 PM
I agree we need to take a bigger role but I disagree in that, even if 100% voted, the overall numbers aren't really going to change. Your mention of AFSA is absolutely on the money. Much more can be accomplished there than it can be with the vote.

I just hope that when it does come down to the argument in the near future it's not about what we deserve (as military members) but more about what we've earned and what was offered to us.

Exactly right...voting we are a minority (and always will be) so that just puts more importance on our advocates (lobbyist) in D.C. $25 a year for AFSA is money well spent!

mikezulu1
01-16-2014, 12:42 AM
Exactly right...voting we are a minority (and always will be) so that just puts more importance on our advocates (lobbyist) in D.C. $25 a year for AFSA is money well spent!


not trying to be a dick but how is it money well spent? I think the reason most people (well myself anyways) dont join these associations is because they dont work. What was the last proposed law that negatively affected service members that they were able to get reworked? How much did that voice help in getting COLA cut? The real issue is how broke the govt is. There are talks about reworking BAH, I would bet that if EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the armed forces was a member it still would go through. They will do what they want and please those that pay them, we mean shit to those in office period. They are more concerned with pumping money into lockheed martin, boeing, raytheon and all the others that line their pockets

Mcjohn1118
01-16-2014, 01:09 AM
I was being told that the numbers for negative indicators, volunteers, and DOS rollbacks are quite overwhelming and the retention boards may not even happen this year...at least for my career field. Also that the AF is looking to have bigger numbers get out this year and next and slow it down the last 3 years. So look for 6-9k this year while drawing it down afterwards.
WJ, funny you state this. Not funny ha, ha, but just today I was talking with my Chief and some others and this was the subject. All the AF has said is the possibility of cutting 25K in 5 years. Everyone presumed that would be 5K per year. However, the bean counters and new SECAF, who IMHO wants to run the AF like a business, might be thinking, "You know what, our budgets are getting smaller, so lets cut a larger number or people the first year so we can plan our future budgets better." Now, we were talking in the range of 10-15K people cut by 2015. It's definitely on the radar. Have any other Chiefs on this forum hear anything along these lines?

Chief_KO
01-16-2014, 04:46 PM
not trying to be a dick but how is it money well spent? I think the reason most people (well myself anyways) dont join these associations is because they dont work. What was the last proposed law that negatively affected service members that they were able to get reworked? How much did that voice help in getting COLA cut? The real issue is how broke the govt is. There are talks about reworking BAH, I would bet that if EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the armed forces was a member it still would go through. They will do what they want and please those that pay them, we mean shit to those in office period. They are more concerned with pumping money into lockheed martin, boeing, raytheon and all the others that line their pockets

I'm not sure it this will sway your mind, but I believe you have AFA and AFSA confused. AFSA does not involve itself with any weapons system procurement, it's sole purpose is to advocate for pay/allowances/benefits for the enlisted Airman/family/retiree/veteran:
Legislative Accomplishments for 2012
Active / Reserve Force Issues
Delayed implementation of sequestration-driven cuts to defense budget for two months
Secured a 1.7% military pay raise and extension special pays & bonuses
Blocked proposal to short-circuit legislative process to make military retirement cuts
Won limitations on force reductions to preserve dwell time between deployments
Defeated proposal for two additional rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
Won extension of voluntary separation/early retirement authorities to ease force cuts
Won enhancements of consumer credit protections for service and family members
Enhanced transition services for separating service members
Broadened reemployment rights protection for Guard – Reserve members
Health Care Issues
Won statutory acknowledgment that military healthcare is an earned benefit in recognition of retired members’ and families’ service and sacrifice
Blocked disproportionate TRICARE Prime fee increase
Blocked new enrollment fees for TRICARE For Life (TFL) and TRICARE Standard
Blocked proposal to means-test TRICARE Prime and TFL fees
Prevented proposed tripling of TRICARE pharmacy co-pays in return for requiring one-year trial of mail-order/MTF maintenance drug refills for TFL-eligibles
Capped future annual Rx copay hikes at the percentage increase in military retired pay
Won a one-year TRICARE pilot program authorizing applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy services for all active and retired family members diagnosed with autism
Prevented 27% cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments to doctors (“Doc Fix”)
Blocked implementation of strict cap on Medicare payments for physical/speech therapy
Enhanced suicide prevention programs for service members
Upgraded mental health access for Guard/Reserve members, families, and caregivers
Retiree / Survivor Issues
Combat Related Special Compensation calculation correction
Obtained DoD discretionary authority to expand Space-A travel to gray-area Reserve retirees and other groups (e.g., survivors)
Military Family / Veterans / Other Issues
Added four states (MA, GA, PA & WY) to the list of those participating in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
Won provision authorizing states to issue commercial driver’s licenses for military drivers
Won counseling, reporting and oversight improvements to GI Bill programs
Won tax credits for employers who hire recent vets, unemployed vets and disabled vets
Secured legislation that directs the American Battle Monuments Commission to restore and maintain the Veterans Cemetery at the former Clark Air Base in the Philippines
Legislative Accomplishments for 2013 (Early Victories)
Active / Reserve Force Issues
Restored the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program (Mar.)
Restored active duty pay during the government shutdown (Sept.)
Restored the payment of death gratuities to the families of fallen service members (Oct.)
Health Care Issues
Retiree / Survivor Issues
Military Family / Veterans / Other Issues
Added the States of Arkansas, Idaho, Montana as well as the District of Columbia to the list of those participating in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

The fight must continue on a daily basis. As we've seen with the recent bypasses of the law mandated AD pay raise = ECI (1.8%) and retiree COLA = CPI (1.5%) a law passed one day can be overturned the next by a new law (or in the case of AD pay raise the executive branch decision).

SomeRandomGuy
01-16-2014, 05:21 PM
I'm not sure it this will sway your mind, but I believe you have AFA and AFSA confused. AFSA does not involve itself with any weapons system procurement, it's sole purpose is to advocate for pay/allowances/benefits for the enlisted Airman/family/retiree/veteran:
Legislative Accomplishments for 2012
Active / Reserve Force Issues
Delayed implementation of sequestration-driven cuts to defense budget for two months
Secured a 1.7% military pay raise and extension special pays & bonuses
Blocked proposal to short-circuit legislative process to make military retirement cuts
Won limitations on force reductions to preserve dwell time between deployments
Defeated proposal for two additional rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
Won extension of voluntary separation/early retirement authorities to ease force cuts
Won enhancements of consumer credit protections for service and family members
Enhanced transition services for separating service members
Broadened reemployment rights protection for Guard – Reserve members
Health Care Issues
Won statutory acknowledgment that military healthcare is an earned benefit in recognition of retired members’ and families’ service and sacrifice
Blocked disproportionate TRICARE Prime fee increase
Blocked new enrollment fees for TRICARE For Life (TFL) and TRICARE Standard
Blocked proposal to means-test TRICARE Prime and TFL fees
Prevented proposed tripling of TRICARE pharmacy co-pays in return for requiring one-year trial of mail-order/MTF maintenance drug refills for TFL-eligibles
Capped future annual Rx copay hikes at the percentage increase in military retired pay
Won a one-year TRICARE pilot program authorizing applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy services for all active and retired family members diagnosed with autism
Prevented 27% cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments to doctors (“Doc Fix”)
Blocked implementation of strict cap on Medicare payments for physical/speech therapy
Enhanced suicide prevention programs for service members
Upgraded mental health access for Guard/Reserve members, families, and caregivers
Retiree / Survivor Issues
Combat Related Special Compensation calculation correction
Obtained DoD discretionary authority to expand Space-A travel to gray-area Reserve retirees and other groups (e.g., survivors)
Military Family / Veterans / Other Issues
Added four states (MA, GA, PA & WY) to the list of those participating in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
Won provision authorizing states to issue commercial driver’s licenses for military drivers
Won counseling, reporting and oversight improvements to GI Bill programs
Won tax credits for employers who hire recent vets, unemployed vets and disabled vets
Secured legislation that directs the American Battle Monuments Commission to restore and maintain the Veterans Cemetery at the former Clark Air Base in the Philippines
Legislative Accomplishments for 2013 (Early Victories)
Active / Reserve Force Issues
Restored the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program (Mar.)
Restored active duty pay during the government shutdown (Sept.)
Restored the payment of death gratuities to the families of fallen service members (Oct.)
Health Care Issues
Retiree / Survivor Issues
Military Family / Veterans / Other Issues
Added the States of Arkansas, Idaho, Montana as well as the District of Columbia to the list of those participating in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

The fight must continue on a daily basis. As we've seen with the recent bypasses of the law mandated AD pay raise = ECI (1.8%) and retiree COLA = CPI (1.5%) a law passed one day can be overturned the next by a new law (or in the case of AD pay raise the executive branch decision).

Here is the reason I won't join AFSA or any other lobby group. It appears to me that AFSA indiscrimantly fights any cut to military benefits or anything military related. Just to cherry pick off your list, I see that they "Defeated proposal for two additional rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)". I look at something like that and I wonder why AFSA would be against BRAC. That was listed as something they won for Guard/Reserves. Everytime BRAC gets brought up people seem to be against it. Why can't we take a logical look at what bases/missions we have and determine if they are needed. Money keeps getting in the way of BRAC and I really think it needs to happen.

I would absolutely join a lobby group if they were involved in negotiations about things we would be willing to give up. If there was a lobby group that said 1% COLA decrese is BS but we would be willing to give up MWR facilities on bases that do not need them. It is very obvious that the US has financial issues right now. If you bring nothing to the table to negotiate with your voice won't be heard. You can't fight tooth and nail over every cut. At some point your voice is lost if it becomes obvious you are against anything and everything.

I think that the vast majority of realistic people could look at the list of accomplishments and say those things are great but wish that more emphasis was put on the things that matter. It's great that services were enhanced for separating members and taht suicide prevention was increased but if it's between those items and COLA cuts lets avoid the COLA cut.

HeyEng
01-16-2014, 05:45 PM
Are you saying that if current retirees weren't grandfathered (meaning we would lose our current retirement and not get it back until our 60s) don't have a dog in the fight? That's what the discussion was about.

Uh...what? No...I was saying that this pipe dream of veterans going to capital hill to stop anything is just that...a pipe dream. The numbers of vets are SO LOW that the odds of congress doing anything to help us is quite low.

Chief_KO
01-16-2014, 06:15 PM
Here is the reason I won't join AFSA or any other lobby group. It appears to me that AFSA indiscrimantly fights any cut to military benefits or anything military related. Just to cherry pick off your list, I see that they "Defeated proposal for two additional rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)". I look at something like that and I wonder why AFSA would be against BRAC. That was listed as something they won for Guard/Reserves. Everytime BRAC gets brought up people seem to be against it. Why can't we take a logical look at what bases/missions we have and determine if they are needed. Money keeps getting in the way of BRAC and I really think it needs to happen.

I would absolutely join a lobby group if they were involved in negotiations about things we would be willing to give up. If there was a lobby group that said 1% COLA decrese is BS but we would be willing to give up MWR facilities on bases that do not need them. It is very obvious that the US has financial issues right now. If you bring nothing to the table to negotiate with your voice won't be heard. You can't fight tooth and nail over every cut. At some point your voice is lost if it becomes obvious you are against anything and everything.

I think that the vast majority of realistic people could look at the list of accomplishments and say those things are great but wish that more emphasis was put on the things that matter. It's great that services were enhanced for separating members and taht suicide prevention was increased but if it's between those items and COLA cuts lets avoid the COLA cut.

I respect your opinion and we agree to disagree. I too can nit-pick any organization's opinion or position, but I tend to look at the big picture or overall goal of an organization.
Realistically there are issues that are fought harder for than others and the list of items to lobby for (platform) comes from the membership via direct input or from the district/international conventions.
I would always be suspicious of any group or individual that you agree with 100% or agrees 100% with you.

Chief_KO
01-16-2014, 06:16 PM
Uh...what? No...I was saying that this pipe dream of veterans going to capital hill to stop anything is just that...a pipe dream. The numbers of vets are SO LOW that the odds of congress doing anything to help us is quite low.

The last time that happened it was not pretty. Google the Bonus Army to learn more.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-16-2014, 07:03 PM
WJ, funny you state this. Not funny ha, ha, but just today I was talking with my Chief and some others and this was the subject. All the AF has said is the possibility of cutting 25K in 5 years. Everyone presumed that would be 5K per year. However, the bean counters and new SECAF, who IMHO wants to run the AF like a business, might be thinking, "You know what, our budgets are getting smaller, so lets cut a larger number or people the first year so we can plan our future budgets better." Now, we were talking in the range of 10-15K people cut by 2015. It's definitely on the radar. Have any other Chiefs on this forum hear anything along these lines?

Our command chief confirmed this today at the town hall. They want to do as much now as they can to get to the 25k number. After this year, the numbers for negative indicators should drop and possibly the DOS rollbacks as well and more than likely the volunteers too. I think it will be a diminnished return on the amount of people volunteering from year to year, thats if the moral of not getting shafted with more work and less people doesnt negatively effect everyone. They told us if it wont matter if everyone on the base in the career field volunteered to get out in one year, they would let it happen and just move people to fill the slots later. Cant see that as becoming a problem can you?

sandsjames
01-16-2014, 07:14 PM
Uh...what? No...I was saying that this pipe dream of veterans going to capital hill to stop anything is just that...a pipe dream. The numbers of vets are SO LOW that the odds of congress doing anything to help us is quite low.

There are currently close to 2 million military retirees in the United States. You think that no major response if paychecks were taken away from 2 million people all at once?

Chief_KO
01-16-2014, 07:18 PM
There are currently close to 2 million military retirees in the United States. You think that no major response if paychecks were taken away from 2 million people all at once?

Exactly right! Add to that the millions who would support those...same principle applies to AD issues. Yes, you are a minority..but if your story gets told and gets support from the other voting blocks...

SomeRandomGuy
01-16-2014, 07:23 PM
Our command chief confirmed this today at the town hall. They want to do as much now as they can to get to the 25k number. After this year, the numbers for negative indicators should drop and possibly the DOS rollbacks as well and more than likely the volunteers too. I think it will be a diminnished return on the amount of people volunteering from year to year, thats if the moral of not getting shafted with more work and less people doesnt negatively effect everyone. They told us if it wont matter if everyone on the base in the career field volunteered to get out in one year, they would let it happen and just move people to fill the slots later. Cant see that as becoming a problem can you?

In terms of compassion it is probably the right thing to do to go ahead and get it over with. If you know 25K over 5 years is what you need getting rid of 15K the first year makes sense in a weird sort of way. If the AF is going to have review boards the 1st one should clear as many people as possible. What kind of message would it send to someone if they had to meet the board every year for the next 5 years and they finally get booted the 5th year. That isn't right to take advantage of someone like that. I say get rid of something like 15K now and then get rid of the other 10K using quality indicators. Discipline shouldn't be an issue at all from now on. Get an Article 15 and you are gone. If commanders know they can get rid of dirtbags with just one 15 they can easily get rid of $10K over the next 5 years. I would also say it's time to get rid of suicide prevention and sexual assualt briefings. I think everyone knows if they rape someone they are gone. On the suicide prevention part I won't point out the obvious.

DWWSWWD
01-16-2014, 07:52 PM
What kind of message would it send to someone if they had to meet the board every year for the next 5 years and they finally get booted the 5th year.

This is important. When I tell people that they are good to go based on current drawdown efforts, they ask, "What about next year or the year after that?" Great question. Should I take the money now or the early retirement now or just wait to get thrown out later and maybe get nothing? The thing I can never tell anyone today, is that the Air Force will do the right thing for its people. I've never said that, or typed that until just now and it made me a little sad, to be honest.

SomeRandomGuy
01-16-2014, 07:59 PM
This is important. When I tell people that they are good to go based on current drawdown efforts, they ask, "What about next year or the year after that?" Great question. Should I take the money now or the early retirement now or just wait to get thrown out later and maybe get nothing? The thing I can never tell anyone today, is that the Air Force will do the right thing for its people. I've never said that, or typed that until just now and it made me a little sad, to be honest.

The best analogy of the AF is a disfunctional relationship. Imagine you are a good looking dude who finds a rich sugar momma. You wife her because things were fun in the beginning and you enjoyed the excitement. Over the years though you have both really been taking advantage of each other. You stay in the relationship because the sex is great and she has money. You know at some point you are getting a divorce but for your own personal gain you are riding things out. At some point things are going to get bad and you will break up. Just know that with this relationship the AF will not take you back after you leave (and you probably don't want her back either). As long as you are having fun and reaping the benefits stick around. Just amke sure to go out on your own terms because you know at some point the AF is going to trade you in for a better looking younger version. Make sure you go out on your own terms. Right now teh AF is saying, "I might be divorcing you in the next 5 years" That seems like a good time to go ahead and accept to the inevietable, take whatever money you can get, and leave.

fufu
01-17-2014, 01:09 AM
We had a commander call today. The commander said, "For those of you facing separation, look at the AF as a chapter of your life. It isn't the end of the world. If you feel overwhelmed, please talk to someone".

IDK what to think about this. I seriously can't see morale improving during or after this.

I'm torn. I want to retire...bad. But, I hate the 15 year percentage and my degree isn't finished yet... But I sat at my desk today doing more f'ing MICT thinking about how I've had enough of this MICT, PT, good ole boy club BS. I have a family and can't just walk away. No kids? No wife? I'd be gone.

AlexCross
01-17-2014, 02:49 AM
I am pulling the plug. Going to spend time with my kids. They aren't getting younger. We discussed this at length. Our income will take a slight hit but basically it will mean no new car this year and a few other cuts. But I can basically stay home for the summer then go to school full time while the kids do. Then teach..

TSat75
01-17-2014, 03:33 AM
I never ever thought I'd be so happy to be leaving the Air Force. For 19 1/2 years now, I have seen the AF change - somethings for the better, but most things for the worst. But, the other side of the coin is I think there is a lot of things that have changed in America over the same 19 1/2 years - culture and economically. I think the military has, for the most part, been immune to that - until now. The military is now serving as a great red herring in a time where we still have troops deployed all over the world.

It is no wonder that morale is down - across my last 3 bases. Sure, we are more professional than perhaps at any other time. Sure, our Airman are forced to grow up faster...no more 19-20 year old college age mistakes...can't afford them. When I just came out of Tech School to my first base as a 19 year old kid, I couldn't see or plan anything past the weekend...forget 5-10-20 years down the road. But isn't that how are kids are raised today? Pushing 10-13 year olds about doing things NOW to make your college applications stand out? So kids have to grow up faster now, and when they become Amn, they are already supposed to be thinking long term about their lives and career.

So right away we are starting under pressure. Then we talk about cuts cuts cuts...while ops tempo goes up up up. Do more with less. We were saying that back in 2000. Guess what? Every year, there is more cuts...personnel or money (or both). Do more with less...do more, do more. We can do it. We WILL get the mission done without fail.

There is a breaking point.

Look at the trickle down effect of these cuts. We have had to manager our AFSCs in a way to accomodate the losses - which means mergers upon mergers. How many (especially in the 2E - now 3D world) have taken tests where the SKT was exempt because of yet another merger and CDC rewrite? I know in my AFSC, it seems we take more PFE only tests than SKT and PFE tests. Why? Because the cuts have forced career mergers, changes, consolidations - and it is having an effect. In the 3D world, we have seen a severe dropoff in technical skills. Expertise is losing out to Jack of All Trades. When I was a tech school instructor, the movement was just starting. The instructors we replaced taught us in detail every wire that made up our system. And you only needed to know your system. That was your job - your task...keep YOUR system up and running at all cost. THe mission depends on it. Let the other Amn worry about his system. And if we all do that - than the officers can worry about the big picture - as long as you do YOUR job.

Now, we don't have enough people to do that. So we merge and merge. Then we have Amn who get the big picture. Have some familiarity with all the systems in our AFSC (at least on paper). But is not a true expert at any of them. They might be able to swap out an amplifier, or configure a router, or manage a server. But when things don't go the way the book says they should (because that NEVER happens), they get lost because the expert knowledge is lacking. The critical thinking skills are getting lost. THe troubleshooting mastery is getting lost.

So how do we compensate - we turn to contractors. Somehow, they can still charge crazy fees ($250K for 1 IT contractor - of which he only gets about $90K). And that is for ONE - and we have tons crawling all over the MAJCOM HQs, all the way down to the squadron level.

So things get done - missions are successful. So we can cut some more. Then we find a stress point, so we hire more contractors to band aid it. But now the contracts are so expensive, we can't afford those because in these times of budget cuts, that $250K looks like a great bullseye. You have 2 support contractors - can you do it with just 1. You still have 3 or 4 Amn. So we ask - can i send my Amn to get an COmputer Science degree or an EE degree right quick? Because that is what they will need to replace that contractor. Or, you give me 4 more Amn, and I can split them up and let become EXPERTS in some area that I need. Nope, can't do that - just not enough. So now you go down to the 1 contractor and your 4 Amn...so you work overtime.

Oh, but the fun doesn't stop there. Those 4 Amn (of any ranks...) need to be groomed for promotion. They need PME, CCAF, Volunteer, PT - they MUST diet and exercise...they must find a way to eat healthy even though we are working them to pieces. And, oh by the way, we are going to now stress them out with these cutbacks...so even if they do most of what we ask, they can be laid off (just like any other company out there that we thought we were had some security from - we'll come back to this one). So now they are stressed from work, from volunteer, from the PT test, from the cutbacks, maybe even throw in family and school in there....but dont snack on comfort food becasue you'll gain 10lbs and fail your PT test. Ulcers and other physical or mental problems are okay - but don't bust your tape.

So pressure from everywhere - something has to give. So now, you have to be the best of the best of the best. Used to be, you just had to be pretty darn good. THen the best. Then the best of the best. Now, it is the best of the best of the best. No weak areas. ANd of course, noone is weak at work. How many people get crappy work bullets? If all you read were the work bullets, you'd swear every Amn single-handedly won the war. We all work - so just consider (for the most part) work bullets to be a wash when it comes to separation. Now, if we were actually HONEST with the work bullets, maybe that could be the DEFINING separator. But we aren't...we all save the world. So now we use these other criteria to define the best of the best of the best. PT, HOliday party, Top 3, Top 4, Bottom 4, the CFC rep, the athlete who can run in 9 minutes flat, education - and whatever else your current CC or Command Chief values over others.

Great, so we end up with the best of the best of the best. Sounds great - except that we cut so many and the ops tempo remains high - that the best of the best of best has to wear like 5 hats...jack of all trades, expert at none. I have the answer - contractors.

So what do we have? An overworked force, an over pressured force, and a disgruntled force. Sure, if you are the best of the best of the best, you are loving life. You are in the top echelon and don't see what the big deal is. Sounds like the top 1% in the economic analogy - if you are making $100,000 a day, you don't see what the big deal is about gas prices going up a little or COLA going down. Well, the top folks in the AF, the ones above that 80% line...the best of the best of the best don't see a problem. SUck it up. I did...I may be on my 4th marriage and paying child support to 3 women, but look - I'm fit as a fiddle, have a Masters degree, and I do more before lunch than you do in a week...why aren't you like me? Well, for starters, I lvoe my family more than I love the Air Force...plain and simple.

Look, the AF has given me a lot to be proud of. I believe I have given the AF back as much as it has given me and I do not feel ashamed one iota of having a long AF career. And while I love serving my country - I also know that I only get to live my life one time. That's it...no retakes. So I have to spend the best years of my life making a family for myself and putting myself into position to find some kind of happiness later in life. THe AF has helped me do that. I am going to ride off in the sunset with my retirement pension and college degree in hand. The AF paid for my 3 kids to be born and I couldn't be happier about that. And in return, I gave the AF 20 years of productivity - some years were great, some were not so great. But I did enough to hang onto my job and make it a career.

But I gotta tell you...if I was at my 10 year point...and all i knew was the past 10 years, I'd be out with no hesitation at all. If I have am going to live with all the stress we have....and STILL have to worry about getting laid off (not fired for stealing office supplies, but just laid off for money savings)...then I might as well get paid for it. I might as well give that time to a company that I can walk away from anytime I want to...where 90% of my stress will come from my job (not if I volunteered enough, or lost the 0.5" I needed to by next week, or if I helped lead the Top 3). The best deal about the AF, aside from the pride of serving the AF (which is a real motivator...but, at least for me...was just a part of the reason I stayed in after my first hitch)....but the best thing was the job security - and for all the crap we had to endure outside of our actual AFSC duties, was the retirement prospects for long term piece of mind.

If you take that away (job security and a pretty good shot at making retirement if you do your job and keep your nose clean - not being the best of the best...but just pretty darn good)...than, for me, the payoff of the immediate AF doesn't outweigh the prospect of working for a civilian company.

But politicians don't get all that. Cut cut cut. THat is the mantra of today. They can cut us...they can treat us like a regular company. But if you are going to do that...than do it. Pay me to do THIS job...and that's it. Take away all the military stuff, and just let me work like my civilian counterparts (who do the SAME job in the next cubicle over). Let me focus on my job duties. If you want us to be warriors, and civic leaders, and mentors, and guidance counselors, and financial/travel experts, and athletes, and deploy anywhere at a moments notice (over and over)...then you need to come at me with more than "we are treating YOU - personnel - like we are a civilian company". We either are or we are not. If we are not - than don't paint us with that brush when it suits you (saving money) and then use a different brush when you need something from us (deployments, and all that other non-AFSC type of stuff).

And once you realize that, you'll see that we need more people, not 25,000 less. You want us to operate with 25,000 less and fine improvements and cuts like a civilian company - lets cut out a lot of the stuff that eats into our overall day to day productivity...let me focus on training and the day to day responsibilites.

Right now, we are wanting the cake and eating it too...with icing and cherries on top. We want warriors, who can operate under pressure, who are experts at their job, who are athletes, who are fit as a fiddle and only eat healthy things, who goes to school, volunteers, leads in teh community and on base, can drop everything to go to PME, and deploy to not so great and dangerous places...and who can NOW live and operate in a very unsecure, roller coaster type of environment.

The AF has changed. No doubt about it. ANd I for one am so thrilled that I start my terminal leave in May.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-17-2014, 04:38 PM
We had a commander call today. The commander said, "For those of you facing separation, look at the AF as a chapter of your life. It isn't the end of the world. If you feel overwhelmed, please talk to someone".

IDK what to think about this. I seriously can't see morale improving during or after this.

I'm torn. I want to retire...bad. But, I hate the 15 year percentage and my degree isn't finished yet... But I sat at my desk today doing more f'ing MICT thinking about how I've had enough of this MICT, PT, good ole boy club BS. I have a family and can't just walk away. No kids? No wife? I'd be gone.

I have 2 kids, 3 and 7. I have made it a point to live below my means. I will survive getting out and cant ask for the year to just fly by so I can start doing the school full time. I dont plan on getting a job right away, but if I have to, it will be part time. I dont know your situation, but mine is that my ex left me with two kids and $30k of debt last year. I will have the debt paid off and so will my car. My moral is high, just because I want the AF to kick me out. Honestly, its a win, win, WIN. If I dont meet the board this year, by next year the sep pay will go up $10k and my debt will be that much more paid off and school that much further along before is start using GI bill. If next year I dont get the boot, I will retire at 15 which is 6 months after when they would boot me. I see nothing but blue skies and rainbows coming in the future. Of course, it can all change. But I know my kids will be taken care of.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-17-2014, 04:42 PM
I am wondering if the board is going to set people's DOS based on something for those invols? I would love to write that response letter to the board in a nice justification for why I want to get out format. I wont write something to explain away the last 10 years of my career in hopes they retain me, but I will write something that I hope the "leadership" would read.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-17-2014, 04:43 PM
I never ever thought I'd be so happy to be leaving the Air Force. For 19 1/2 years now, I have seen the AF change - somethings for the better, but most things for the worst. But, the other side of the coin is I think there is a lot of things that have changed in America over the same 19 1/2 years - culture and economically. I think the military has, for the most part, been immune to that - until now. The military is now serving as a great red herring in a time where we still have troops deployed all over the world.

It is no wonder that morale is down - across my last 3 bases. Sure, we are more professional than perhaps at any other time. Sure, our Airman are forced to grow up faster...no more 19-20 year old college age mistakes...can't afford them. When I just came out of Tech School to my first base as a 19 year old kid, I couldn't see or plan anything past the weekend...forget 5-10-20 years down the road. But isn't that how are kids are raised today? Pushing 10-13 year olds about doing things NOW to make your college applications stand out? So kids have to grow up faster now, and when they become Amn, they are already supposed to be thinking long term about their lives and career.

So right away we are starting under pressure. Then we talk about cuts cuts cuts...while ops tempo goes up up up. Do more with less. We were saying that back in 2000. Guess what? Every year, there is more cuts...personnel or money (or both). Do more with less...do more, do more. We can do it. We WILL get the mission done without fail.

There is a breaking point.

Look at the trickle down effect of these cuts. We have had to manager our AFSCs in a way to accomodate the losses - which means mergers upon mergers. How many (especially in the 2E - now 3D world) have taken tests where the SKT was exempt because of yet another merger and CDC rewrite? I know in my AFSC, it seems we take more PFE only tests than SKT and PFE tests. Why? Because the cuts have forced career mergers, changes, consolidations - and it is having an effect. In the 3D world, we have seen a severe dropoff in technical skills. Expertise is losing out to Jack of All Trades. When I was a tech school instructor, the movement was just starting. The instructors we replaced taught us in detail every wire that made up our system. And you only needed to know your system. That was your job - your task...keep YOUR system up and running at all cost. THe mission depends on it. Let the other Amn worry about his system. And if we all do that - than the officers can worry about the big picture - as long as you do YOUR job.

Now, we don't have enough people to do that. So we merge and merge. Then we have Amn who get the big picture. Have some familiarity with all the systems in our AFSC (at least on paper). But is not a true expert at any of them. They might be able to swap out an amplifier, or configure a router, or manage a server. But when things don't go the way the book says they should (because that NEVER happens), they get lost because the expert knowledge is lacking. The critical thinking skills are getting lost. THe troubleshooting mastery is getting lost.

So how do we compensate - we turn to contractors. Somehow, they can still charge crazy fees ($250K for 1 IT contractor - of which he only gets about $90K). And that is for ONE - and we have tons crawling all over the MAJCOM HQs, all the way down to the squadron level.

So things get done - missions are successful. So we can cut some more. Then we find a stress point, so we hire more contractors to band aid it. But now the contracts are so expensive, we can't afford those because in these times of budget cuts, that $250K looks like a great bullseye. You have 2 support contractors - can you do it with just 1. You still have 3 or 4 Amn. So we ask - can i send my Amn to get an COmputer Science degree or an EE degree right quick? Because that is what they will need to replace that contractor. Or, you give me 4 more Amn, and I can split them up and let become EXPERTS in some area that I need. Nope, can't do that - just not enough. So now you go down to the 1 contractor and your 4 Amn...so you work overtime.

Oh, but the fun doesn't stop there. Those 4 Amn (of any ranks...) need to be groomed for promotion. They need PME, CCAF, Volunteer, PT - they MUST diet and exercise...they must find a way to eat healthy even though we are working them to pieces. And, oh by the way, we are going to now stress them out with these cutbacks...so even if they do most of what we ask, they can be laid off (just like any other company out there that we thought we were had some security from - we'll come back to this one). So now they are stressed from work, from volunteer, from the PT test, from the cutbacks, maybe even throw in family and school in there....but dont snack on comfort food becasue you'll gain 10lbs and fail your PT test. Ulcers and other physical or mental problems are okay - but don't bust your tape.

So pressure from everywhere - something has to give. So now, you have to be the best of the best of the best. Used to be, you just had to be pretty darn good. THen the best. Then the best of the best. Now, it is the best of the best of the best. No weak areas. ANd of course, noone is weak at work. How many people get crappy work bullets? If all you read were the work bullets, you'd swear every Amn single-handedly won the war. We all work - so just consider (for the most part) work bullets to be a wash when it comes to separation. Now, if we were actually HONEST with the work bullets, maybe that could be the DEFINING separator. But we aren't...we all save the world. So now we use these other criteria to define the best of the best of the best. PT, HOliday party, Top 3, Top 4, Bottom 4, the CFC rep, the athlete who can run in 9 minutes flat, education - and whatever else your current CC or Command Chief values over others.

Great, so we end up with the best of the best of the best. Sounds great - except that we cut so many and the ops tempo remains high - that the best of the best of best has to wear like 5 hats...jack of all trades, expert at none. I have the answer - contractors.

So what do we have? An overworked force, an over pressured force, and a disgruntled force. Sure, if you are the best of the best of the best, you are loving life. You are in the top echelon and don't see what the big deal is. Sounds like the top 1% in the economic analogy - if you are making $100,000 a day, you don't see what the big deal is about gas prices going up a little or COLA going down. Well, the top folks in the AF, the ones above that 80% line...the best of the best of the best don't see a problem. SUck it up. I did...I may be on my 4th marriage and paying child support to 3 women, but look - I'm fit as a fiddle, have a Masters degree, and I do more before lunch than you do in a week...why aren't you like me? Well, for starters, I lvoe my family more than I love the Air Force...plain and simple.

Look, the AF has given me a lot to be proud of. I believe I have given the AF back as much as it has given me and I do not feel ashamed one iota of having a long AF career. And while I love serving my country - I also know that I only get to live my life one time. That's it...no retakes. So I have to spend the best years of my life making a family for myself and putting myself into position to find some kind of happiness later in life. THe AF has helped me do that. I am going to ride off in the sunset with my retirement pension and college degree in hand. The AF paid for my 3 kids to be born and I couldn't be happier about that. And in return, I gave the AF 20 years of productivity - some years were great, some were not so great. But I did enough to hang onto my job and make it a career.

But I gotta tell you...if I was at my 10 year point...and all i knew was the past 10 years, I'd be out with no hesitation at all. If I have am going to live with all the stress we have....and STILL have to worry about getting laid off (not fired for stealing office supplies, but just laid off for money savings)...then I might as well get paid for it. I might as well give that time to a company that I can walk away from anytime I want to...where 90% of my stress will come from my job (not if I volunteered enough, or lost the 0.5" I needed to by next week, or if I helped lead the Top 3). The best deal about the AF, aside from the pride of serving the AF (which is a real motivator...but, at least for me...was just a part of the reason I stayed in after my first hitch)....but the best thing was the job security - and for all the crap we had to endure outside of our actual AFSC duties, was the retirement prospects for long term piece of mind.

If you take that away (job security and a pretty good shot at making retirement if you do your job and keep your nose clean - not being the best of the best...but just pretty darn good)...than, for me, the payoff of the immediate AF doesn't outweigh the prospect of working for a civilian company.

But politicians don't get all that. Cut cut cut. THat is the mantra of today. They can cut us...they can treat us like a regular company. But if you are going to do that...than do it. Pay me to do THIS job...and that's it. Take away all the military stuff, and just let me work like my civilian counterparts (who do the SAME job in the next cubicle over). Let me focus on my job duties. If you want us to be warriors, and civic leaders, and mentors, and guidance counselors, and financial/travel experts, and athletes, and deploy anywhere at a moments notice (over and over)...then you need to come at me with more than "we are treating YOU - personnel - like we are a civilian company". We either are or we are not. If we are not - than don't paint us with that brush when it suits you (saving money) and then use a different brush when you need something from us (deployments, and all that other non-AFSC type of stuff).

And once you realize that, you'll see that we need more people, not 25,000 less. You want us to operate with 25,000 less and fine improvements and cuts like a civilian company - lets cut out a lot of the stuff that eats into our overall day to day productivity...let me focus on training and the day to day responsibilites.

Right now, we are wanting the cake and eating it too...with icing and cherries on top. We want warriors, who can operate under pressure, who are experts at their job, who are athletes, who are fit as a fiddle and only eat healthy things, who goes to school, volunteers, leads in teh community and on base, can drop everything to go to PME, and deploy to not so great and dangerous places...and who can NOW live and operate in a very unsecure, roller coaster type of environment.

The AF has changed. No doubt about it. ANd I for one am so thrilled that I start my terminal leave in May.

Wow. I've been doing this MTF thing since 2007 and this post is by far one of the best I've read. AF Times needs to put this in their next edition.



PS- I hit the dislike by accident.

WeaponsTSGT
01-17-2014, 05:25 PM
I have 2 kids, 3 and 7. I have made it a point to live below my means. I will survive getting out and cant ask for the year to just fly by so I can start doing the school full time. I dont plan on getting a job right away, but if I have to, it will be part time. I dont know your situation, but mine is that my ex left me with two kids and $30k of debt last year. I will have the debt paid off and so will my car. My moral is high, just because I want the AF to kick me out. Honestly, its a win, win, WIN. If I dont meet the board this year, by next year the sep pay will go up $10k and my debt will be that much more paid off and school that much further along before is start using GI bill. If next year I dont get the boot, I will retire at 15 which is 6 months after when they would boot me. I see nothing but blue skies and rainbows coming in the future. Of course, it can all change. But I know my kids will be taken care of.

This is assuming that TERA will still be an option at that time, there's so much uncertainty right now that I would not feel comfortable with counting on something happening in the future.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-17-2014, 05:32 PM
Wow. I've been doing this MTF thing since 2007 and this post is by far one of the best I've read. AF Times needs to put this in their next edition.

PS- I hit the dislike by accident.
I highly concure. I am the airmen that all I know is the last 13 years. If not for my ex being pregnant with my first kid, I would have been out. But I cant say I have ever been happier to end the enlistment. I dont know why these town hall meetings are geared more towards people stressed to whether or not they are getting out, I anxious.

Everything that was said in the post was spot on really. My fear was that I was becoming institutionalized and wouldnt know how to function if I got out, but I see it is going to be easier than I had hoped. I had been stressing about making rank and getting past 15 yrs to retirement, now I can relax and focus all year to school. No more taking a break to study. The retirement is crap in my mind, I had started putting money away as soon as I started getting paid, and I fully expect to live off that when I truly do retire.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-17-2014, 05:33 PM
This is assuming that TERA will still be an option at that time, there's so much uncertainty right now that I would not feel comfortable with counting on something happening in the future.

Thats true too. But I will hit HYT which is another boost to seperation pay.

TSat75
01-17-2014, 06:16 PM
One thing to keep in mind about retirement - it isn't just the monthly pension. To me, and my family, it is more about the health coverage (~500-600 a year is much better than ~500-600 a month). The retirement is still a great thing to achieve for with regard to long term piece of mind.

But there is a tradeoff (health, time away from family, stress, mental stability, etc, etc), and lately, that tradeoff isn't equalling out like it used to. So yeah, if I was at my 10 year point, I'd be hard pressed to keep chugging along. However, there is a difference between saying the pain isn't worth the carrot, and saying the carrot is crap. The retirement is still a great benefit - but the ride to it is getting harder and harder to stomach.

sandsjames
01-17-2014, 06:53 PM
Wow. I've been doing this MTF thing since 2007 and this post is by far one of the best I've read. AF Times needs to put this in their next edition.



PS- I hit the dislike by accident.

Agree...I'd love to see this cleaned up a little bit and posted in AF Times...NY Post...and every other publication that seen around the country. Then I'd like to see it sent to every Congressman. I'd like to hear it on CNN, Fox News, and nightly network national news.

Awesome post, with great thought put into it. Great points made without just bashing. Well done to the OP.

TSat75
01-17-2014, 07:00 PM
Thanks - it does need cleaned up...I wasn't trying to write an article...just rambling out my thoughts that kind of built up. Wrote it out on the couch watching the local news...so yeah - lots of typos.

sandsjames
01-17-2014, 08:06 PM
Thanks - it does need cleaned up...I wasn't trying to write an article...just rambling out my thoughts that kind of built up. Wrote it out on the couch watching the local news...so yeah - lots of typos.

Definitely wasn't criticizing. I would love to see what you wrote sent to different publications.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-17-2014, 11:51 PM
Agree...I'd love to see this cleaned up a little bit and posted in AF Times...NY Post...and every other publication that seen around the country. Then I'd like to see it sent to every Congressman. I'd like to hear it on CNN, Fox News, and nightly network national news.

Awesome post, with great thought put into it. Great points made without just bashing. Well done to the OP.

I want to start it virally. Make a nice little link on Facebook. Maybe the author can take the time to edit it. But I am definitely spreading it to family right now. Great summary.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-18-2014, 02:01 AM
Thanks - it does need cleaned up...I wasn't trying to write an article...just rambling out my thoughts that kind of built up. Wrote it out on the couch watching the local news...so yeah - lots of typos.

I still think you should send this in to AF Times to have it printed. You make so many great points that really hit home. Great job!

Port Dawg
01-18-2014, 05:50 AM
Was wondering what you would do in this situation....here is what I am doing. I have served 7 years, SSgt now, fully qualified 7 level, CCAF done, Able to operate all vehicles in the place I work....etc (like it really matters) 90's on my last PT test, clean record until now.....received an Article 15 this year for some BS....not excusing my conduct, I shouldn't have gotten so angry but this whole "more with less" has really gotten to me. Commander increased mission tempo 45% with no additional manning, stress level was high.

Was not selected for any of the first boards....etc. Considered VSP, but feel that I should probably wait around and see what happens. I mean what have I got to lose? Either I voluntary out, and get nearly 20K, I get picked up by a board and honorable discharge, or I wait this out, and pray they get their numbers before the QFRB in mid-june 14 and I survive by the skin of my teeth. The latter being a huge win for me. Honestly though, this career field is not interesting for me anymore, and I am seeing through all the BS we incur on a daily basis. We worry about 90% other BS instead of job performance, and i'm sick and tired of not being appreciated. Nobody cares about the work, as long as we don't delay any aircraft, then the higher ups wont get any bad markdowns on their EPR/OPR, and then everything is good. But one mistake, one delayed aircraft, and we get thrown RIGHT UNDER the bus. I would like to get out of the USAF on my OWN terms, but am not feeling it anymore.....but that 20 yr retirement looks good, but at the same time, it could be all taken away!! They have proved this time and time again.

I'm thinking I should at least wait and see what happens, meanwhile, preparing a SOLID resume, applying for companies to get an idea/feet wet, and also attending school, and going to workshops to be more prepared. The VSP money won't mean anything if I could have possibly stayed at least another 7 years.....but with everything that is going on, i'm losing faith quickly. Probably best just to weather the storm, and batten down the hatches, and keep pressing on, because heck, at least I could say I didn't give up, and saw it through. What would you do? I'm now coded with a UIF, probably going to get a 3 or 4 on my EPR. Just stinks, I feel like I shot myself in the foot before the war began.....I earned 15 college credits this year too, kind of a shame. I hopefully PCS out of this stinkhole in 7 months and get over to Korea and get a good base after this. But we will see what happens.

Thoughts?

Port Dawg
01-18-2014, 06:07 AM
Incredibly thought out, amazing post, captures....everything I feel right now.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-18-2014, 03:37 PM
Was wondering what you would do in this situation....here is what I am doing. I have served 7 years, SSgt now, fully qualified 7 level, CCAF done, Able to operate all vehicles in the place I work....etc (like it really matters) 90's on my last PT test, clean record until now.....received an Article 15 this year for some BS....not excusing my conduct, I shouldn't have gotten so angry but this whole "more with less" has really gotten to me. Commander increased mission tempo 45% with no additional manning, stress level was high.

Was not selected for any of the first boards....etc. Considered VSP, but feel that I should probably wait around and see what happens. I mean what have I got to lose? Either I voluntary out, and get nearly 20K, I get picked up by a board and honorable discharge, or I wait this out, and pray they get their numbers before the QFRB in mid-june 14 and I survive by the skin of my teeth. The latter being a huge win for me. Honestly though, this career field is not interesting for me anymore, and I am seeing through all the BS we incur on a daily basis. We worry about 90% other BS instead of job performance, and i'm sick and tired of not being appreciated. Nobody cares about the work, as long as we don't delay any aircraft, then the higher ups wont get any bad markdowns on their EPR/OPR, and then everything is good. But one mistake, one delayed aircraft, and we get thrown RIGHT UNDER the bus. I would like to get out of the USAF on my OWN terms, but am not feeling it anymore.....but that 20 yr retirement looks good, but at the same time, it could be all taken away!! They have proved this time and time again.

I'm thinking I should at least wait and see what happens, meanwhile, preparing a SOLID resume, applying for companies to get an idea/feet wet, and also attending school, and going to workshops to be more prepared. The VSP money won't mean anything if I could have possibly stayed at least another 7 years.....but with everything that is going on, i'm losing faith quickly. Probably best just to weather the storm, and batten down the hatches, and keep pressing on, because heck, at least I could say I didn't give up, and saw it through. What would you do? I'm now coded with a UIF, probably going to get a 3 or 4 on my EPR. Just stinks, I feel like I shot myself in the foot before the war began.....I earned 15 college credits this year too, kind of a shame. I hopefully PCS out of this stinkhole in 7 months and get over to Korea and get a good base after this. But we will see what happens.

Thoughts?


If you are prepared to be forced out of the AF, then I'd suggest sticking it out. That said, don't bank on your next assignment being more satisfying than your current one. Geographically, you could be stationed at a highly desired location, only to absolutely hate your job. Same goes with crappy locations. You could dread getting sent somewhere, only to find out it's the best assignment you've ever had. Why is this? It's all about the people you work WITH and FOR, plus a good attitude. That's what makes or breaks an assignment....people and attitude.

If you hate the AF now, then chances are you might not enjoy your next base.

Port Dawg
01-18-2014, 04:22 PM
Awesome response, I agree wholeheartedly, I feel the same way. I love the USAF, and feel that if I can just get back stateside and cross-train, it may be worth it. It's all a gamble too like your saying, I could get stationed in FUBAR land and yet work for awesome people! That is one thing that is amazing about the USAF, people PCS. I've watched my unit go from crap to pretty dang good, it's been awesome to see the nice change, 3 1/2 years later i'm working in the same shop I did in October 2010....TOTALLY different atmosphere, and flavor of leadership. I work everyday with a SMILE on my face.....I have an awesome MSgt. I hate to see others suffer though, but i'm feeling lucky and fortunate. I feel like i've built alot of Karma in Germany that will be coming my way soon...good darhma, good karma....all good things. ;)

TSat75
01-18-2014, 04:28 PM
Was wondering what you would do in this situation....here is what I am doing. I have served 7 years, SSgt now, fully qualified 7 level, CCAF done, Able to operate all vehicles in the place I work....etc (like it really matters) 90's on my last PT test, clean record until now.....received an Article 15 this year for some BS....not excusing my conduct, I shouldn't have gotten so angry but this whole "more with less" has really gotten to me. Commander increased mission tempo 45% with no additional manning, stress level was high.

Was not selected for any of the first boards....etc. Considered VSP, but feel that I should probably wait around and see what happens. I mean what have I got to lose? Either I voluntary out, and get nearly 20K, I get picked up by a board and honorable discharge, or I wait this out, and pray they get their numbers before the QFRB in mid-june 14 and I survive by the skin of my teeth. The latter being a huge win for me. Honestly though, this career field is not interesting for me anymore, and I am seeing through all the BS we incur on a daily basis. We worry about 90% other BS instead of job performance, and i'm sick and tired of not being appreciated. Nobody cares about the work, as long as we don't delay any aircraft, then the higher ups wont get any bad markdowns on their EPR/OPR, and then everything is good. But one mistake, one delayed aircraft, and we get thrown RIGHT UNDER the bus. I would like to get out of the USAF on my OWN terms, but am not feeling it anymore.....but that 20 yr retirement looks good, but at the same time, it could be all taken away!! They have proved this time and time again.

I'm thinking I should at least wait and see what happens, meanwhile, preparing a SOLID resume, applying for companies to get an idea/feet wet, and also attending school, and going to workshops to be more prepared. The VSP money won't mean anything if I could have possibly stayed at least another 7 years.....but with everything that is going on, i'm losing faith quickly. Probably best just to weather the storm, and batten down the hatches, and keep pressing on, because heck, at least I could say I didn't give up, and saw it through. What would you do? I'm now coded with a UIF, probably going to get a 3 or 4 on my EPR. Just stinks, I feel like I shot myself in the foot before the war began.....I earned 15 college credits this year too, kind of a shame. I hopefully PCS out of this stinkhole in 7 months and get over to Korea and get a good base after this. But we will see what happens.

Thoughts?

I apologize for any brevity...I wrote out a long thought out post to your question, but when I hit post, it logged me out. So I will try to sum up my thoughts.
It is hard for anyone to give sage advice in this type of climate. When you are dealing with someone's life, it is a no win situation because we (or I) don't have a crystal ball.

What I will say is that an Article 15 looks like a great big bullseye. Under normal circumstances, Art 15s look bad, but you can recover. In the climate of cut backs, you soon find out that those with Art15s is a small minority in the AF and the target on your back starts blinking.

Things to consider (for anyone). Disability - do you project that you will be rated over 50% - now or in the future to a service connected disability? If yes, than you have to factor in Concurrent Receipt. If you are 50% or more disabled, and have served your reitrement in full (which, under the law and even quoted on DFAS website - TERA counts as served in full)...you will get both your DOD pension and your full VA disability compensation. So if you are close to 15, I'd stick it out.

Also, if you take separation pay, that has to be recouped before VA kicks in - you cannot receive both severance and disability compensation for same term of service.

Assuming you are healthy and you are certian the above will never apply to you, than other considerations for you (echoing Flap). Job industry for your skill set. Locations where that industry is booming. Future outlook of your industry.

For me, I'm IT. I have 20 years of hardware knowledge designing and installing networks from user to user. Over the past 5 years, I've been attending college for Information Systems and have developed skills in software/web/database development. My industry is booming on the outside and my home of Dallas is a leading area for new jobs in my field. So I'm excited. But if those didn't apply to me, I'd have to really research and prepare myself with knowledge on my industry and really dig into my resume to articulate my skills - GO TO TAP!!!! SEVERAL TIMES!!!

Unfortunately, I do not see this tide turning any time soon .Obviously my views are skewed toward my job (as are all of us). With improvements in technology, leaders assume those cuts translate into cost savings. That isn't always the case. As technology advances and becomes cheaper, we want more. Just like your TV - (I am getting to a point in a minute) - you can get a 32" high def now for like $300. But how many now have 55-70" for $1500+ - I say this while I watch my 55" - something we never had as a kid- and I want a 70". So cheaper technology - but same $$ because I want more.
Same with the AF. Whatever it is - not just IT...any area where technology and process improvement reigns supreme. If the ability to do your job faster and better is realized, the demand will increase. Demand will always rise to the level of capability.

Take commanders and video feeds. Bandwidth and IT is cheaper. Doing things over the internet and voice is cheap. So we find cost savings. But now everyone wants VTC and DCO on their desk. They want video feeds of what is going a half a world away. That's great...don't get me wrong. I love technology. But just because technology is cheaper doesn't mean we save money or manpower - it just means people want more. So I still need the same amount of $$ and manpower to fulfill the ever increasing requirements.

But instead, we see increased in technology and that means we can cut cut cut. As technology gets more complicated, so too does the skill set needed to maintain. Across the board. Even something as simple as specialized vechicles...everything is more comlicated now. And that's great...but not if you are going to cut resources to maintain it.

Okay - sorry...off soap box.

I'm all for cuts and ways to save money. But smartly. When we see roofs go up on buildings just to see the buliding torn down...when we see massive overruns on budgets when it comes to aircraft..when we see buildling built in the desert and then abandoned...when we see regulations pigeon hole us into expensive contracts when some common sense would save us thousands...it is hard to stomach these personnel cuts...especially when we KNOW that the expectations and requirements (ops tempo) will not reduce...but in fact probably increase.

So I'm behind sequestration and federal cuts But I'm not behind personnel cuts. You will find a breaking point faster with personnel cuts than with cutting an over inflated, useless, and poorly managed weapons program that is antiquated before it hits the ground.

Advice is hard to give...we all must make our own decisions. But it is important to do so with open eyes.

Port Dawg
01-20-2014, 04:40 AM
I apologize for any brevity...I wrote out a long thought out post to your question, but when I hit post, it logged me out. So I will try to sum up my thoughts.
It is hard for anyone to give sage advice in this type of climate. When you are dealing with someone's life, it is a no win situation because we (or I) don't have a crystal ball.

What I will say is that an Article 15 looks like a great big bullseye. Under normal circumstances, Art 15s look bad, but you can recover. In the climate of cut backs, you soon find out that those with Art15s is a small minority in the AF and the target on your back starts blinking.

Things to consider (for anyone). Disability - do you project that you will be rated over 50% - now or in the future to a service connected disability? If yes, than you have to factor in Concurrent Receipt. If you are 50% or more disabled, and have served your reitrement in full (which, under the law and even quoted on DFAS website - TERA counts as served in full)...you will get both your DOD pension and your full VA disability compensation. So if you are close to 15, I'd stick it out.

Also, if you take separation pay, that has to be recouped before VA kicks in - you cannot receive both severance and disability compensation for same term of service.

Assuming you are healthy and you are certian the above will never apply to you, than other considerations for you (echoing Flap). Job industry for your skill set. Locations where that industry is booming. Future outlook of your industry.

For me, I'm IT. I have 20 years of hardware knowledge designing and installing networks from user to user. Over the past 5 years, I've been attending college for Information Systems and have developed skills in software/web/database development. My industry is booming on the outside and my home of Dallas is a leading area for new jobs in my field. So I'm excited. But if those didn't apply to me, I'd have to really research and prepare myself with knowledge on my industry and really dig into my resume to articulate my skills - GO TO TAP!!!! SEVERAL TIMES!!!

Unfortunately, I do not see this tide turning any time soon .Obviously my views are skewed toward my job (as are all of us). With improvements in technology, leaders assume those cuts translate into cost savings. That isn't always the case. As technology advances and becomes cheaper, we want more. Just like your TV - (I am getting to a point in a minute) - you can get a 32" high def now for like $300. But how many now have 55-70" for $1500+ - I say this while I watch my 55" - something we never had as a kid- and I want a 70". So cheaper technology - but same $$ because I want more.
Same with the AF. Whatever it is - not just IT...any area where technology and process improvement reigns supreme. If the ability to do your job faster and better is realized, the demand will increase. Demand will always rise to the level of capability.

Take commanders and video feeds. Bandwidth and IT is cheaper. Doing things over the internet and voice is cheap. So we find cost savings. But now everyone wants VTC and DCO on their desk. They want video feeds of what is going a half a world away. That's great...don't get me wrong. I love technology. But just because technology is cheaper doesn't mean we save money or manpower - it just means people want more. So I still need the same amount of $$ and manpower to fulfill the ever increasing requirements.

But instead, we see increased in technology and that means we can cut cut cut. As technology gets more complicated, so too does the skill set needed to maintain. Across the board. Even something as simple as specialized vechicles...everything is more comlicated now. And that's great...but not if you are going to cut resources to maintain it.

Okay - sorry...off soap box.

I'm all for cuts and ways to save money. But smartly. When we see roofs go up on buildings just to see the buliding torn down...when we see massive overruns on budgets when it comes to aircraft..when we see buildling built in the desert and then abandoned...when we see regulations pigeon hole us into expensive contracts when some common sense would save us thousands...it is hard to stomach these personnel cuts...especially when we KNOW that the expectations and requirements (ops tempo) will not reduce...but in fact probably increase.

So I'm behind sequestration and federal cuts But I'm not behind personnel cuts. You will find a breaking point faster with personnel cuts than with cutting an over inflated, useless, and poorly managed weapons program that is antiquated before it hits the ground.

Advice is hard to give...we all must make our own decisions. But it is important to do so with open eyes.



I agree...great response thank you.

VFFTSGT
01-20-2014, 05:25 AM
Was wondering what you would do in this situation....here is what I am doing. I have served 7 years, SSgt now, fully qualified 7 level, CCAF done, Able to operate all vehicles in the place I work....etc (like it really matters) 90's on my last PT test, clean record until now.....received an Article 15 this year for some BS....not excusing my conduct, I shouldn't have gotten so angry but this whole "more with less" has really gotten to me. Commander increased mission tempo 45% with no additional manning, stress level was high.

Was not selected for any of the first boards....etc. Considered VSP, but feel that I should probably wait around and see what happens. I mean what have I got to lose? Either I voluntary out, and get nearly 20K, I get picked up by a board and honorable discharge, or I wait this out, and pray they get their numbers before the QFRB in mid-june 14 and I survive by the skin of my teeth. The latter being a huge win for me. Honestly though, this career field is not interesting for me anymore, and I am seeing through all the BS we incur on a daily basis. We worry about 90% other BS instead of job performance, and i'm sick and tired of not being appreciated. Nobody cares about the work, as long as we don't delay any aircraft, then the higher ups wont get any bad markdowns on their EPR/OPR, and then everything is good. But one mistake, one delayed aircraft, and we get thrown RIGHT UNDER the bus. I would like to get out of the USAF on my OWN terms, but am not feeling it anymore.....but that 20 yr retirement looks good, but at the same time, it could be all taken away!! They have proved this time and time again.

I'm thinking I should at least wait and see what happens, meanwhile, preparing a SOLID resume, applying for companies to get an idea/feet wet, and also attending school, and going to workshops to be more prepared. The VSP money won't mean anything if I could have possibly stayed at least another 7 years.....but with everything that is going on, i'm losing faith quickly. Probably best just to weather the storm, and batten down the hatches, and keep pressing on, because heck, at least I could say I didn't give up, and saw it through. What would you do? I'm now coded with a UIF, probably going to get a 3 or 4 on my EPR. Just stinks, I feel like I shot myself in the foot before the war began.....I earned 15 college credits this year too, kind of a shame. I hopefully PCS out of this stinkhole in 7 months and get over to Korea and get a good base after this. But we will see what happens.

Thoughts?

After 3 bases, 2 deployments, and countless TDY's...I voluntarily separated (with a perfect/clean record and CCAF) under the voluntary program last year at over 10 years in but before 15 years. My career field was/is eligible for TERA but no guarantee it would be when I got there.

I got no severance but did expect and ended up receiving a decent rating from the VA, so I get a few bucks every month and healthcare from the VA.

I wasn't and hadn't been happy with the job for a long time. Felt like a 8-5 drone (in reality much more time) that I never wanted to be. I got tired of seeing everyone around me at 15-18 years unhappy as anything and just around waiting for the end of the rainbow to appear (retirement). That was not the life I wanted. I wanted to be happy now and now being out...I haven't been happier in my life.

The retirement that may or may not be there just wasn't worth it anymore. Master retirement at 20 is like around $2,000 give or take some. I forget the actual number; not important to me anymore. But the point is, I still would have to work then so why not just go ahead and get a head start on something that will make me happy? This was my thinking before I got out; and I (along with wife) thought intensely for a very long time. It was not an impulsive decision...

Currently, I am using my GI Bill and I couldn't be happier.

Chief_KO
01-20-2014, 12:51 PM
After 3 bases, 2 deployments, and countless TDY's...I voluntarily separated (with a perfect/clean record and CCAF) under the voluntary program last year at over 10 years in but before 15 years. My career field was/is eligible for TERA but no guarantee it would be when I got there.

I got no severance but did expect and ended up receiving a decent rating from the VA, so I get a few bucks every month and healthcare from the VA.

I wasn't and hadn't been happy with the job for a long time. Felt like a 8-5 drone (in reality much more time) that I never wanted to be. I got tired of seeing everyone around me at 15-18 years unhappy as anything and just around waiting for the end of the rainbow to appear (retirement). That was not the life I wanted. I wanted to be happy now and now being out...I haven't been happier in my life.

The retirement that may or may not be there just wasn't worth it anymore. Master retirement at 20 is like around $2,000 give or take some. I forget the actual number; not important to me anymore. But the point is, I still would have to work then so why not just go ahead and get a head start on something that will make me happy? This was my thinking before I got out; and I (along with wife) thought intensely for a very long time. It was not an impulsive decision...

Currently, I am using my GI Bill and I couldn't be happier.

Did you check into the VA Voc Rehab program? Since you have a rated disability you are eligible to apply. It is separate from the GI Bill so you can transfer any unused portion of your GIB to spouse/children. It's worth looking into.

DWWSWWD
01-20-2014, 02:53 PM
I hate my job and have lost faith with leadership but think I'll hang around for another 13 years? Doesn't make sense to me.

jshiver15
01-20-2014, 03:15 PM
It's strange how being at a GSU can really separate you from all of the biggest events in the Air Force. Of the ten of us in our shop, we have one who is applying for TERA (but was already in the process of being discharged prior to this) and another who wants to get VSP, but is not eligible. We do get a multitude of emails from Ramstein, but that's pretty much it.

jshiver15
01-20-2014, 03:20 PM
Ok, great. Won't matter much in the elections. As the military shrinks and vets die off, we are becoming less and less relevant. Also doesn't help when retired general officers ENCOURAGE the attack on our bennies. The message they have sent to the masses is, "hey we served, but we agree with cutting the bennies."

Yeah, because cutting their retirement means them going from $120k a year to $100k. Not quite the same when you have a retired NCO pulling in $45k a year in retirement.

jshiver15
01-20-2014, 03:40 PM
Not a single person is going to do VSP as far as I know. Its rediculous to volunteer at a 1.25 multiplier when you can work 5 months more and collect more in the long run. Unless they have a job lined up or college ready to start, why would anyone volunteer?

Instant gratification. I had a conversation with a guy on FB who posted what he'd get if he went the VSP route and someone almost immediately asked him what he'd do after he got out and he had no idea. But that instant gratification appears to be enough to persuade this guy to go for it.

VFFTSGT
01-20-2014, 04:40 PM
Did you check into the VA Voc Rehab program? Since you have a rated disability you are eligible to apply. It is separate from the GI Bill so you can transfer any unused portion of your GIB to spouse/children. It's worth looking into.

Yes, and so far that process has been a nightmare and I would not have been in school the last 2 semesters if I was waiting for VocRehab.

I am experiencing the epitome of inefficiencies of the VA with my VocRehab application at the moment... I expected the disability claim to give me the headaches considering the backlog, not VocRehab process.

BOSS302
01-20-2014, 06:46 PM
Not a single person is going to do VSP as far as I know. Its rediculous to volunteer at a 1.25 multiplier when you can work 5 months more and collect more in the long run. Unless they have a job lined up or college ready to start, why would anyone volunteer?


Instant gratification. I had a conversation with a guy on FB who posted what he'd get if he went the VSP route and someone almost immediately asked him what he'd do after he got out and he had no idea. But that instant gratification appears to be enough to persuade this guy to go for it.

.....there's a deadline for VSP. Some people know that they would be retained by the Air Force. If someone wants to get out, really wants to get out, why would they take a chance on the board keeping them after the deadline for VSP has passed?

No...they are going to jump at VSP while it's available. Common sense, really...

jshiver15
01-20-2014, 07:03 PM
.....there's a deadline for VSP. Some people know that they would be retained by the Air Force. If someone wants to get out, really wants to get out, why would they take a chance on the board keeping them after the deadline for VSP has passed?

No...they are going to jump at VSP while it's available. Common sense, really...

It's common sense if you have a plan when you're getting out. But if you haven't set yourself (and your family, in this case) for a post military life then you're a fool.

Airborne
01-20-2014, 11:13 PM
Instant gratification. I had a conversation with a guy on FB who posted what he'd get if he went the VSP route and someone almost immediately asked him what he'd do after he got out and he had no idea. But that instant gratification appears to be enough to persuade this guy to go for it.

There are some people who are just fine living by the seat of their pants and spending six weeks in New Zealand and coming back to the US to work at American Eagle while going to school until something else falls in their lap. Living the rigid military lifestyle conditions us to think that anyone who doesnt have a six year plan and a job that pays $60K is going to be living under a bridge when they get out. Living under a bridge is exactly what some people want and they shouldnt be disuaded from this.

Juggs
01-20-2014, 11:30 PM
There are some people who are just fine living by the seat of their pants and spending six weeks in New Zealand and coming back to the US to work at American Eagle while going to school until something else falls in their lap. Living the rigid military lifestyle conditions us to think that anyone who doesnt have a six year plan and a job that pays $60K is going to be living under a bridge when they get out. Living under a bridge is exactly what some people want and they shouldnt be disuaded from this.

Shit I got out after 10 yrs no degree, no ccaf and went to the fire academy got hired making 33k a yr before OT and EMT incentive. So I clear 38 a yr. work a second job and I'm happy here in NWF. Still going to school online enjoying life. Watching my kids grow up is awesome.

Don't do anything remotely close to what I did in AF

WeaponsTSGT
01-21-2014, 01:03 AM
Yes, and so far that process has been a nightmare and I would not have been in school the last 2 semesters if I was waiting for VocRehab.

I am experiencing the epitome of inefficiencies of the VA with my VocRehab application at the moment... I expected the disability claim to give me the headaches considering the backlog, not VocRehab process.

This is not the common experience going on with vocational rehab across different VA centers, you must of gotten a very high case load center. Voc rehab is being approved within 30 days, for those going through the MEB process you can apply prior to exit from active duty. If not approach your vocational rehab appointment with a plan in place, it can't be related to your military specialty or something you have been trained for prior, and it has to make you employable. You also must not be able to perform a job in your current training due to whatever disability you are rated for. If you are capable of performing a job that you already went to school for or that the military trained you in, you likely will not be approved. There is a vet run webiste out there that deals with nothing but MEB/PEB's, to include all the programs that you can utilize once you are rated for a disability from the VA. If anyones interested google PEB forum.

VFFTSGT
01-21-2014, 02:02 AM
This is not the common experience going on with vocational rehab across different VA centers, you must of gotten a very high case load center. Voc rehab is being approved within 30 days, for those going through the MEB process you can apply prior to exit from active duty. If not approach your vocational rehab appointment with a plan in place, it can't be related to your military specialty or something you have been trained for prior, and it has to make you employable. You also must not be able to perform a job in your current training due to whatever disability you are rated for. If you are capable of performing a job that you already went to school for or that the military trained you in, you likely will not be approved. There is a vet run webiste out there that deals with nothing but MEB/PEB's, to include all the programs that you can utilize once you are rated for a disability from the VA. If anyones interested google PEB forum.

I hear its not common but it doesn't change that I am in my second semester and I am basically starting from scratch with the application process. And getting someone on the phone is next to impossible. I live several hours away from the RO and there is no other office near me.

I won't go into all of the details...but it started off with my application packet ending up in a completely different state. I even got a call from a rep in that other state saying she didn't know why she had it. And that she would get it straighten out because she knew the RO supervisor for my state. Needless to say...it didn't get straightened out.

I also moved but still in the same state but my state's regional office is having me redo everything because apparently the application and all the other paperwork I did along with the aptitude tests are lost in the wind.

Chief_KO
01-21-2014, 02:13 AM
Sorry to hear about your VA run-around VFFTSGT.

For those about to leave here is some more VA advice (from my experience). If you plan on remaining in the same area/state when you get out start your process while you're still in. Contact your county VSO (Veteran Service Officer) to find out all points of contact, offices, etc. If you plan on moving, wait till you move but contact the VSO where you are moving to and start a dialogue.
For either situation, get a copy of your medical records and start your own review. And, when dealing with the VA always keep a copy of every sheet of paper "just in case".

The VA process can be very confusing, convoluted, and frustrating. Know this going in and always stay on top of your case at each step of the progress. I recommend using a service organization (DAV, AmVets, VFW, etc.) to be your physical rep at the VA boards (you don't have to be a member, but of course it would be nice if you joined after they helped you). And once you're in the system, be it voc rehab, medical, etc. make sure you keep current on things so you don't get kicked out (it happens a lot).

VFFTSGT
01-21-2014, 07:06 AM
Sorry to hear about your VA run-around VFFTSGT.

For those about to leave here is some more VA advice (from my experience). If you plan on remaining in the same area/state when you get out start your process while you're still in. Contact your county VSO (Veteran Service Officer) to find out all points of contact, offices, etc. If you plan on moving, wait till you move but contact the VSO where you are moving to and start a dialogue.
For either situation, get a copy of your medical records and start your own review. And, when dealing with the VA always keep a copy of every sheet of paper "just in case".

The VA process can be very confusing, convoluted, and frustrating. Know this going in and always stay on top of your case at each step of the progress. I recommend using a service organization (DAV, AmVets, VFW, etc.) to be your physical rep at the VA boards (you don't have to be a member, but of course it would be nice if you joined after they helped you). And once you're in the system, be it voc rehab, medical, etc. make sure you keep current on things so you don't get kicked out (it happens a lot).

It's okay...I guess. There are folks worst off than me fighting with the VA.

Hopefully I will get the VocRehab before the next semester tho.

Good advice...I did a write up in another thread as well about the claims process for those considering getting out or retiring...

http://forums.militarytimes.com/showthread.php?1597643-A-running-report-on-WxJumper%92s-experience-on-applying-for-Early-Retirement-(TERA)&p=666626#post666626

BOSS302
01-21-2014, 09:21 AM
There are some people who are just fine living by the seat of their pants and spending six weeks in New Zealand and coming back to the US to work at American Eagle while going to school until something else falls in their lap. Living the rigid military lifestyle conditions us to think that anyone who doesnt have a six year plan and a job that pays $60K is going to be living under a bridge when they get out. Living under a bridge is exactly what some people want and they shouldnt be disuaded from this.

Some people also refuse to adjust and thus find themselves "living under a bridge," thereby perpetuating that stereotype and making others think twice before leaving the Air Force.

If I get out, I know I won't be getting my cafe fix every other night while I do my studies. Quite frankly, even while I'm still in, I need to cut that shit out and stop spending $4 on a "cafe au lait." But I enjoy the cafe atmosphere while I do my studies and it's my decision to make; some people go to "da club" or buy cigs or buy liquor/beer...I buy coffee. But without that AF financial security, that will stop.

If I get out, I'm probably going to have to sell my car. She guzzles fuel and the insurance is not friendly to my wallet.

If I get out, I'll have to adjust to the fact that I'll be dropping down the social totem pole. Saying "I'm in the Air Force" does garner more respect than saying, "I'm a student." Even though I'll be working on my Master's and I'll be 30, it'll feel as though I'm regressing by seven years...

No more COLA.

No more BAS.

No more annual clothing allowance.

No more free health care.

No more free or heavily-discounted services offered at Education Centers, Auto Hobby Shops, Outdoor Recreation Centers, Arts & Crafts, Base Exchanges, Commissaries, Class Six, ITT, A&FRC, Base Tax Office, etc.

No more job security. Yes, it seems odd to say that in this climate but a friend of mine back in GA was recently fired for showing up to work fifteen minutes late. On his first offense. Fair play to the garage owner, but in the Air Force that might warrant you a, "Hey stupid be at work on time or else..." or maybe paperwork. Even if you are cut by the FY14 Retention Board, you are walking away with cash-money. If your state has weak employee rights or "right to fire" laws, you are walking away with a kick in the ass and unemployment...that's it.

No more comraderie. The great thing about the Air Force - it's still there - is the ability to be stationed anywhere and have a healthy and active social life. Whether it is Italy, Nebraska, Japan, or Alaska, you can almost always count on having a few friends in your shop or elsewhere on the base to do things with. Intramural sports, base organizations, base clubs, and/or meeting people through the daily grind of work. I am amazed and saddened by how many people in the civilian world do their job and then go to a lonely home...wash/rinse/repeat.

Yet I'll give all that up for my own peace of mind and happiness. This could be that one chance to get out while you're still young, be given a good chunk of pocket money, and proceed on achieving some dreams that have been on hiatus due to military service.

jshiver15
01-21-2014, 09:56 AM
There are some people who are just fine living by the seat of their pants and spending six weeks in New Zealand and coming back to the US to work at American Eagle while going to school until something else falls in their lap. Living the rigid military lifestyle conditions us to think that anyone who doesnt have a six year plan and a job that pays $60K is going to be living under a bridge when they get out. Living under a bridge is exactly what some people want and they shouldnt be disuaded from this.

That would be all fine and good if they don't have a family to support, which this guy does. Otherwise, if his only responsibilities extended to just him, then that would be alright.

TSat75
01-21-2014, 02:21 PM
It is really a mixed bag. But Bos - I get what you are saying about those that refuse to adjust fire. We ALL have to hang up the uniform at some point. Is there uncertainty once you step out of the gates? Sure. Is there going to be major life changes? Sure. Is there going to be stress? Sure.

But - don't we all have that now anyway? The one thing you can walk away is an education in hand. I remember back in HS, that was my main goal of joining. Give the AF 4 years and they pay for my Bachelors. That was a great motivator for someone who came from a family who couldn't afford to pay for college. The AF would train me, give me a GI Bill, and in return, I'd give them 4 years of service. So no matter how many enlistments you serve, at least you have that - and that is a leg up compared to those that never joined...along with the pride of serving, the training, the experiences...etc etc.

I for one welcome the new stress. Because with the new stress of being out of the AF and having to start a new career to provide for my family - also is a newfound freedom I've never known. I came in out of HS. Now I'll be able to live where I want, dress how I want, quit a job if I don't like it or it doesn't suit me...move on my own terms...take a better offer...keep my kids in one school if I wish and not move because I have to. Sure - there will be NEW job requirements - and they can ask me to relocated - but I have the freedom to say no and look for another job.

So while people will be stepping away from the military perhaps earlier than they had planned - don't focus on what you are losing - but rather what you are gaining...and take the AF benefits offered with pride because you paid for those benefits with your service. And don't look at the future as something to be afraid of - but another challege to embrace...and one with new rules that have a ring of freedom that service (by its nature) cannot offer.

Only a very small fraction of the population ever serve in the military. Yet how many folks out there make it day in and day out? Struggles - sure. But that is just life...

I for one am super excited about moving on. I'd pack up my belongings today if they'd let me. If I was at 15, I'd take the retirement and run. If I was younger, I'd have to weigh my particular situation - but separation pay would be tempting if I was ready to leave the service. But even if I was forced out - look at it as a positive move...not a negative. A chance to take what the AF gave you...use your education benefits...and make a new reality for yourself.

Some old hats that I have known are so scared of having to leave the service (even at retirement) that they try to scare others from getting out (you'll end up working at McD's flipping burgers). They are institutionalized into only knowing THIS life. And maybe we need those folks. But that isn't me. There is a whole big world out there that milliions of people navigate everyday. I can't wait to jump into a lane and make my own way.

ihatenonners
01-21-2014, 02:54 PM
Im perfectly content with getting out. Its been 10 years, but my career field has peaked and I really have no interest in this line of work anymore. I've done more in these 10 years than most people will ever do in their entire lives. I've seen the world, banged beautiful women, partied like a rockstar, and even got to fly in an F-15 once. My only regret is not going to school, but screw it I had fun. I'll be a 29 year old college freshman majoring in computer science with no debt, no kids, no crazy wife, and 10 years of real life experience and discipline to take care of business.

In the immortal words of Lil Wayne, I aint got no worries.

imported_WILDJOKER5
01-21-2014, 04:00 PM
Awesome response, I agree wholeheartedly, I feel the same way. I love the USAF, and feel that if I can just get back stateside and cross-train, it may be worth it. It's all a gamble too like your saying, I could get stationed in FUBAR land and yet work for awesome people! That is one thing that is amazing about the USAF, people PCS. I've watched my unit go from crap to pretty dang good, it's been awesome to see the nice change, 3 1/2 years later i'm working in the same shop I did in October 2010....TOTALLY different atmosphere, and flavor of leadership. I work everyday with a SMILE on my face.....I have an awesome MSgt. I hate to see others suffer though, but i'm feeling lucky and fortunate. I feel like i've built alot of Karma in Germany that will be coming my way soon...good darhma, good karma....all good things. ;)I loved spang...off base. I spent my time with the locals (Trier) more than my work mates. This was early 2000's. The best place I worked was Kunsan because we worked hard and were rewarded for our efforts. But I was away from my wife and kid. It was a trade off. I am more than expecting to be picked up by the EFB, and am actually looking forward to it. I am ready to punch out, but the VSP is not worth it compared to a steady paycheck. Either way it goes, my goals will be accomplished by the end of my enlistment at 15 years. 20 yrs sounds great, to have that status of "retired", but for me, a job on the outside is far more fiscally rewarding than half of what I am makin now.

VFFTSGT
01-21-2014, 07:45 PM
Some old hats that I have known are so scared of having to leave the service (even at retirement) that they try to scare others from getting out (you'll end up working at McD's flipping burgers). They are institutionalized into only knowing THIS life. And maybe we need those folks. But that isn't me. There is a whole big world out there that milliions of people navigate everyday. I can't wait to jump into a lane and make my own way.

This is SO TRUE!


Some people also refuse to adjust and thus find themselves "living under a bridge," thereby perpetuating that stereotype and making others think twice before leaving the Air Force.

An example of refusing to adjust...

AF [Retired] Colonel Goes From Pentagon to Homelessness [while receiving pension]

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/01/06/air-force-colonel-goes-from-pentagon-to-homelessness.html


One cool thing though, you will get one last clothing allowance in your last paycheck...the pro-rated amount for the past year. :)

Also, you might be eligible to free healthcare from the VA or even care with low co-pays. It's something.

DWWSWWD
01-21-2014, 10:51 PM
It is really a mixed bag. But Bos - I get what you are saying about those that refuse to adjust fire. We ALL have to hang up the uniform at some point. Is there uncertainty once you step out of the gates? Sure. Is there going to be major life changes? Sure. Is there going to be stress? Sure.

But - don't we all have that now anyway? The one thing you can walk away is an education in hand. I remember back in HS, that was my main goal of joining. Give the AF 4 years and they pay for my Bachelors. That was a great motivator for someone who came from a family who couldn't afford to pay for college. The AF would train me, give me a GI Bill, and in return, I'd give them 4 years of service. So no matter how many enlistments you serve, at least you have that - and that is a leg up compared to those that never joined...along with the pride of serving, the training, the experiences...etc etc.

I for one welcome the new stress. Because with the new stress of being out of the AF and having to start a new career to provide for my family - also is a newfound freedom I've never known. I came in out of HS. Now I'll be able to live where I want, dress how I want, quit a job if I don't like it or it doesn't suit me...move on my own terms...take a better offer...keep my kids in one school if I wish and not move because I have to. Sure - there will be NEW job requirements - and they can ask me to relocated - but I have the freedom to say no and look for another job.

So while people will be stepping away from the military perhaps earlier than they had planned - don't focus on what you are losing - but rather what you are gaining...and take the AF benefits offered with pride because you paid for those benefits with your service. And don't look at the future as something to be afraid of - but another challege to embrace...and one with new rules that have a ring of freedom that service (by its nature) cannot offer.

Only a very small fraction of the population ever serve in the military. Yet how many folks out there make it day in and day out? Struggles - sure. But that is just life...

I for one am super excited about moving on. I'd pack up my belongings today if they'd let me. If I was at 15, I'd take the retirement and run. If I was younger, I'd have to weigh my particular situation - but separation pay would be tempting if I was ready to leave the service. But even if I was forced out - look at it as a positive move...not a negative. A chance to take what the AF gave you...use your education benefits...and make a new reality for yourself.

Some old hats that I have known are so scared of having to leave the service (even at retirement) that they try to scare others from getting out (you'll end up working at McD's flipping burgers). They are institutionalized into only knowing THIS life. And maybe we need those folks. But that isn't me. There is a whole big world out there that milliions of people navigate everyday. I can't wait to jump into a lane and make my own way. Just wanted you to know that I read this several times this morning and read parts of it to my wife....... and then I pushed the button. I think of you guys every day that are struggling and won't get a check like I will. I could stay another 4 years. I just attended a friends retirement on Friday. He's a 30 yr guy. He looked old. He gave a great speech about how long he took lacing up his boots that morning because he knew it would be the last time. I think he may have a hard time adjusting. I don't want to be the guy they show the door to at 30. So, there you go. Thanks for the words.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-22-2014, 01:37 AM
It is really a mixed bag. But Bos - I get what you are saying about those that refuse to adjust fire. We ALL have to hang up the uniform at some point. Is there uncertainty once you step out of the gates? Sure. Is there going to be major life changes? Sure. Is there going to be stress? Sure.

But - don't we all have that now anyway? The one thing you can walk away is an education in hand. I remember back in HS, that was my main goal of joining. Give the AF 4 years and they pay for my Bachelors. That was a great motivator for someone who came from a family who couldn't afford to pay for college. The AF would train me, give me a GI Bill, and in return, I'd give them 4 years of service. So no matter how many enlistments you serve, at least you have that - and that is a leg up compared to those that never joined...along with the pride of serving, the training, the experiences...etc etc.

I for one welcome the new stress. Because with the new stress of being out of the AF and having to start a new career to provide for my family - also is a newfound freedom I've never known. I came in out of HS. Now I'll be able to live where I want, dress how I want, quit a job if I don't like it or it doesn't suit me...move on my own terms...take a better offer...keep my kids in one school if I wish and not move because I have to. Sure - there will be NEW job requirements - and they can ask me to relocated - but I have the freedom to say no and look for another job.

So while people will be stepping away from the military perhaps earlier than they had planned - don't focus on what you are losing - but rather what you are gaining...and take the AF benefits offered with pride because you paid for those benefits with your service. And don't look at the future as something to be afraid of - but another challege to embrace...and one with new rules that have a ring of freedom that service (by its nature) cannot offer.

Only a very small fraction of the population ever serve in the military. Yet how many folks out there make it day in and day out? Struggles - sure. But that is just life...

I for one am super excited about moving on. I'd pack up my belongings today if they'd let me. If I was at 15, I'd take the retirement and run. If I was younger, I'd have to weigh my particular situation - but separation pay would be tempting if I was ready to leave the service. But even if I was forced out - look at it as a positive move...not a negative. A chance to take what the AF gave you...use your education benefits...and make a new reality for yourself.

Some old hats that I have known are so scared of having to leave the service (even at retirement) that they try to scare others from getting out (you'll end up working at McD's flipping burgers). They are institutionalized into only knowing THIS life. And maybe we need those folks. But that isn't me. There is a whole big world out there that milliions of people navigate everyday. I can't wait to jump into a lane and make my own way.

Another outstanding and motivating post. People who are contemplating separation or retirement need to ask themselves one important question, "tens of millions of civilians are doing just fine, so why not me?" Whether you are getting the VERY generous GI Bill, retirement, or both....you will be OK. Add that to just half the motivation most civilians have, and you'll be OK. Civilian life and the freedom that comes with it is GREAT!

HeyEng
01-22-2014, 03:19 AM
I second FLAPS comment on this being an excellent post. There are fabulous things about the Air Force, but people seem to forget that Big Blue will not be there for you when you leave, so keep that in mind.

I am anxious to leave, but still enjoy what I do. I am lucky in that I have over 20, so I will get the blue card no matter what. I figure I will let happen, happen. If I get boarded and have to retire, I am OK with that. I fully intended to retire last year, but I had the opportunity to take an assignment (back home at that) in a job that I still really enjoy. It's also an added bonus that since it's a GSU and outside the "normal" AF structure (it's a DoD assignment, not an AF) so I don't play many of the stupid AF games.

If I was at a regular AF unit and was retirement eligible (15 years or more), it would be a no-brainer. I would be GONE!

Anyway, thanks for your posts...you have really added to AFT and in recent months, it hasn't been the best place to be.

John Jameson
01-22-2014, 11:34 AM
[QUOTE=FLAPS, USAF (ret) Civilian life and the freedom that comes with it is GREAT![/QUOTE]

Truth. I haven't been this happy in a loooong time. My civvy job has it's difficulties, but sure is nice not having to deal with all of the bullshit momma AF piles on every day on top of the J O B.

You guys on the fence need to stop worrying about what life is like out here and pull the eject handle.

SomeRandomGuy
01-22-2014, 12:53 PM
I got some useful information yesterday in a Facebook Group I am part of. The group is for Finance people and I would say a good percentage of the career field is a member. Anyways the FM functional popped onto the page because he wanted to make himself avaliable to people to clear up rumors. Here are some basic facts about FM. These numbers are not representative of the entire AF but it would be a good idea for each career field functional to make similar information avaliable in their respective communities.

FM is 115% manned. They are getting rid of the following: 1 CMSgt, 2 SMsgts, 10 MSgts, 30 TSgts, 80 SSgts, 100 SrA. He said that if voluntary measures are successful in getting rid of the target number than ERB will not be held, but QFRB will be held no matter what and look at all ranks from E1-E9. He also said that if you meet the QFRB board and are retained you will not also meet the ERB because you have already been boarded and retained. He said it is possible for only specific ranks in an AFSC to meet the board. There are some AFSCs that will not have a board at all and others will only have a few select ranks. The most interesting thing he pointed out was that while the 6F career field needs to lose 10 MSgt and 30 TSgt there were more than 20 MSgts and 40 TSgts who got a 4 or less on their last EPR. So much for a 4 being a good EPR right?

BOSS302
01-22-2014, 02:23 PM
I got some useful information yesterday in a Facebook Group I am part of. The group is for Finance people and I would say a good percentage of the career field is a member. Anyways the FM functional popped onto the page because he wanted to make himself avaliable to people to clear up rumors.

No doubt you took part in this Facebook Group session during duty hours while hundreds of customers were waiting in the lounge for you and your cronies to tend to their financial troubles/questions.

SomeRandomGuy
01-22-2014, 02:46 PM
No doubt you took part in this Facebook Group session during duty hours while hundreds of customers were waiting in the lounge for you and your cronies to tend to their financial troubles/questions.

Nah, customer service hours are from 0900-0915. I waited until after that to join in.

jpeters
01-22-2014, 03:04 PM
I have a friend in my previous career field that is being looked at in one of the boards. He has an assignment and will PCS at the end of this week, but he will more than likely get the boot because he got a DUI and all that goes along with it a about three years ago. So the Air Force is going to pay to PCS him just to give him the boot. Than have to pay to move him again to where ever he is going when he gets out. Is this a common occurrence or an exception?

imported_DannyJ
01-22-2014, 03:30 PM
I have a friend in my previous career field that is being looked at in one of the boards. He has an assignment and will PCS at the end of this week, but he will more than likely get the boot because he got a DUI and all that goes along with it a about three years ago. So the Air Force is going to pay to PCS him just to give him the boot. Than have to pay to move him again to where ever he is going when he gets out. Is this a common occurrence or an exception?

They (AFPC) will not be putting assignments on hold for personnel meeting the Retention boards. Unfortunately, there are approximately 80,000 personnel who could meet the retention board. Could cause huge mission degradation to stop PCSs. AFPC understands, some folks may have just PCSd into a base and then separate or retire. This is a no win situation, so leaning on the side of the mission, better to let PCSs continue.

jpeters
01-22-2014, 03:51 PM
They (AFPC) will not be putting assignments on hold for personnel meeting the Retention boards. Unfortunately, there are approximately 80,000 personnel who could meet the retention board. Could cause huge mission degradation to stop PCSs. AFPC understands, some folks may have just PCSd into a base and then separate or retire. This is a no win situation, so leaning on the side of the mission, better to let PCSs continue.

It makes sense not to stop PCSs to keep the mission going, but there has to be plenty of other people in said career field that won’t be meeting a board or have a better chance of staying in then throwing away money like that. He even brought this up to try and stop the PCS but they told him more or less it wasn’t his problem and to keep out-processing.

Capt Alfredo
01-22-2014, 03:56 PM
They (AFPC) will not be putting assignments on hold for personnel meeting the Retention boards. Unfortunately, there are approximately 80,000 personnel who could meet the retention board. Could cause huge mission degradation to stop PCSs. AFPC understands, some folks may have just PCSd into a base and then separate or retire. This is a no win situation, so leaning on the side of the mission, better to let PCSs continue.

Has anyone released an official statement to that effect, or are you just guessing?

BOSS302
01-22-2014, 04:42 PM
Has anyone released an official statement to that effect, or are you just guessing?

This same question came up at our Wing FY14 Retention Board "town hall meeting." The answer was, "Yes you will still PCS."

imported_DannyJ
01-22-2014, 05:07 PM
Has anyone released an official statement to that effect, or are you just guessing?

Same as the rest of the information concerning all this: ill-communicated or not at all. So, basically, nothing in writing yet, but it's what I recieved via my chain (who btw are exceptionally good about cutting throught the crap). I wouldn't expect to see anything "in writing" on this from AFPC anytime soon.

WeaponsTSGT
01-22-2014, 05:25 PM
Sorry to hear about your VA run-around VFFTSGT.

For those about to leave here is some more VA advice (from my experience). If you plan on remaining in the same area/state when you get out start your process while you're still in. Contact your county VSO (Veteran Service Officer) to find out all points of contact, offices, etc. If you plan on moving, wait till you move but contact the VSO where you are moving to and start a dialogue.
For either situation, get a copy of your medical records and start your own review. And, when dealing with the VA always keep a copy of every sheet of paper "just in case".

The VA process can be very confusing, convoluted, and frustrating. Know this going in and always stay on top of your case at each step of the progress. I recommend using a service organization (DAV, AmVets, VFW, etc.) to be your physical rep at the VA boards (you don't have to be a member, but of course it would be nice if you joined after they helped you). And once you're in the system, be it voc rehab, medical, etc. make sure you keep current on things so you don't get kicked out (it happens a lot).

The only problem is that the VSO's as a rule of thumb won't deal with you unless you are within 6 months of retirement/ETS, also for the voc rehab program you can apply while on AD as long as you are currently going through an MEB and have an unfit finding from AFPC, if you have that then you can apply, however most PEBLO's won't generate a letter for you, even though it's common place in the Army to be given this letter once you are found unfit.

SomeRandomGuy
01-22-2014, 07:12 PM
Im perfectly content with getting out. Its been 10 years, but my career field has peaked and I really have no interest in this line of work anymore. I've done more in these 10 years than most people will ever do in their entire lives. I've seen the world, banged beautiful women, partied like a rockstar, and even got to fly in an F-15 once. My only regret is not going to school, but screw it I had fun. I'll be a 29 year old college freshman majoring in computer science with no debt, no kids, no crazy wife, and 10 years of real life experience and discipline to take care of business.

In the immortal words of Lil Wayne, I aint got no worries.

You still have to answer one big question. Who are you going to hate when you get out? On the outside we are all "nonners"

imported_KnuckleDragger
01-22-2014, 07:59 PM
We came up with a good one today.

How will PME scheduling be handled this summer? Will you be on the hook, until the board TERA/VSP/QFRB decision is made? Will you attend class WHILE the Decision is made? Cancellations?

Those that are on the "short" lists better be ready to go at the drop of a hat!

Capt Alfredo
01-22-2014, 09:18 PM
This same question came up at our Wing FY14 Retention Board "town hall meeting." The answer was, "Yes you will still PCS."

So in other words, someone other than the authoritative source is making a judgement call, not based on any officially-sanctioned guidance, that materially affects both the member, his family, and the service. Copy.

Capt Alfredo
01-22-2014, 09:19 PM
Same as the rest of the information concerning all this: ill-communicated or not at all. So, basically, nothing in writing yet, but it's what I recieved via my chain (who btw are exceptionally good about cutting throught the crap). I wouldn't expect to see anything "in writing" on this from AFPC anytime soon.

Which, as I mentioned in the previous post, makes it as worthless as the paper it's not written on. This is a not a slight aimed at you, but at AFPC's lack of having its shit together.

Chief_KO
01-22-2014, 09:30 PM
Which, as I mentioned in the previous post, makes it as worthless as the paper it's not written on. This is a not a slight aimed at you, but at AFPC's lack of having its shit together.

Or could it be the hidden agenda...look incompetent, uncaring, unorganized, inefficient to increase anxiety and loss of faith to push some on the bubble to just say WTF and punch out early, thus meeting your goal of force reductions

Capt Alfredo
01-22-2014, 09:31 PM
Or could it be the hidden agenda...look incompetent, uncaring, unorganized, inefficient to increase anxiety and loss of faith to push some on the bubble to just say WTF and punch out early, thus meeting your goal of force reductions

I thought of that, but that would ascribe far too much competence and forethought to what smells an awfully lot like a goatrope/shitshow/amateur hour.

Chief_KO
01-22-2014, 09:41 PM
I thought of that, but that would ascribe far too much competence and forethought to what smells an awfully lot like a goatrope/shitshow/amateur hour.

You forget that between the career civilians, senior officers and senior enlisted within AFPC there is probably an average of 25 years experience at bovidae rustling/fecal olympics/layperson internships per person...

Chief_KO
01-22-2014, 09:43 PM
Ready...Fire...Aim!

BOSS302
01-22-2014, 09:44 PM
So in other words, someone other than the authoritative source is making a judgement call, not based on any officially-sanctioned guidance, that materially affects both the member, his family, and the service. Copy.

Well, if that's what you get out of it....lol