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Sergeant eNYgma
01-16-2014, 05:25 PM
The room got asked that during an awards ceremony....what the hell do you think?

Of course got the stupid email today so I'll most likely meet the Retention Board.....w/e at this point....

BENDER56
01-16-2014, 07:19 PM
My morale is just fine, thank you for asking.

Sergeant eNYgma
01-16-2014, 07:30 PM
My morale is just fine, thank you for asking.

You must be close to retirement/seperation then lol....

BENDER56
01-16-2014, 08:53 PM
You must be close to retirement/seperation then lol....

Even better; been retired 3+ years.

efmbman
01-16-2014, 10:09 PM
Even better; been retired 3+ years.

Amen, brother!

Gonzo432
01-17-2014, 12:12 AM
Blue ID mafia always has the best morale.

Airborne
01-17-2014, 02:53 AM
Many have come to the mathematical conclusion that there will be enough volunteers and retirees that this will just be a chicken little situation sort of like when we all thought we werent going to get paid during the government shutdown. Much ado about nothing, so morale is the same as it has been. Shitty.

TSat75
01-17-2014, 03:53 AM
I posted this in another thread. But this thread seems more on point to what I was trying to get at. So I'll drop it in here. And for the above comment - in the enlisted ranks, we have generally always gotten our folks out with voluntary means (or CJR restrictions). I think this is more significant. Remember a few years ago with the officer RIFs. I seen two good captains who did nothing wrong and had clean noses get booted for no other reason than there were folks ahead of them with more outstanding records.

And these 25,000 are on top of those already projected to be losses (like retirees, HYT folks...etc...). So I don't think this is one of those much ado about nothing scenerios. I think this is going to cut deep. We all thought the sequestration was going to be much ado about nothing. I can tell you, as a program manager on a MAJCOM staff...it hit HARD. We lost people, we lost programs, we were told on some very important warfighting type of programs to go into a "keep the lights on" capability. We saw tangible money taken out of our budgets. We had contracts that we were working that we had to turn-off because our balance sheets suddenly dried up.

So I wrote all the below as my soapbox about the subject. But just to add one more thing - I think a lot of this needs to happen. As a government, we spend SO much and while I am not a whole-hearted supporter of the Tea Party, I think a lot of these massive cutbacks by government spending is good. I think sequestration was necessary. I think it sucks because we work for the government - but that is a bias view. If I wasn't in the military - I'd be all for cutting.

HOwever, we are biased - because we see the negative effects. My problem isn't so much with the federal government wanting to cut. My problem is with the DOD as a whole - as was pointed out in here, personnel costs are about the same relative % of overall spending as years past. We WASTE so much money as a DOD that is crazy. We get into these multi-million contracts that we can't get out of. We spend $10K on a modem because of the fair business regulations we have to live with - that we can't just go down to the local store and spend $200 on one. THe DOD is bloated - but we also have fought many wars/conflicts over same 20 years - with 2 full blown wars thrown in. But when you see a roof go on a building that is already planned on being torn down...and then you see someone getting cut to save money - it raises eyebrows.

With that:

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.

Bunch
01-17-2014, 04:44 AM
Im in recruiting and since we haven't been targeted by any of the force management programs everything is normal. We do hear the stories of many people that we know and are working on the operational side and are getting these emails. We have people that wanted to stay in recruiting but were called back by their functional because they "needed" them and now will be facing a force shaping program. That's your Air Force right there...

VCO
01-17-2014, 08:57 AM
Some of these folks getting booted out are raising my morale and reducing my workload.

BISSBOSS
01-17-2014, 12:46 PM
Blue ID mafia always has the best morale.

I concur...

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-17-2014, 12:51 PM
My morale as a retiree is through the roof. I work with AD guys who are slammed with all kinds of additional duties, overtime and mandatory PT sessions at O-dark 30. Some of them are waiting for next assignment, possibly advisor duty in Afgan. God, it's wonderful to be a civilian. Woo hoo!

BOSS302
01-17-2014, 02:32 PM
Four months ago I was ready to branch out; I was contemplating MTI duty and even said as much on this forum.

It's now mid-January 2014 and I am contacting several universities about graduate programs as I seriously begin to lean towards VSP...

OtisRNeedleman
01-17-2014, 05:16 PM
If you're in a unit "leadership" position and you have to publicly ask how morale is, then YOU are the unit's morale problem.

imported_KnuckleDragger
01-17-2014, 07:03 PM
Will AFPC tell us how many volunteers they get for VSP/TERA/ETC? When the number is in the tens of thousands, with a weak economy...that will tell you where morale is.

BENDER56
01-17-2014, 07:17 PM
I posted this in another thread. But this thread seems more on point to what I was trying to get at. So I'll drop it in here. And for the above comment - in the enlisted ranks, we have generally always gotten our folks out with voluntary means (or CJR restrictions). I think this is more significant. Remember a few years ago with the officer RIFs. I seen two good captains who did nothing wrong and had clean noses get booted for no other reason than there were folks ahead of them with more outstanding records.

And these 25,000 are on top of those already projected to be losses (like retirees, HYT folks...etc...). So I don't think this is one of those much ado about nothing scenerios. I think this is going to cut deep. We all thought the sequestration was going to be much ado about nothing. I can tell you, as a program manager on a MAJCOM staff...it hit HARD. We lost people, we lost programs, we were told on some very important warfighting type of programs to go into a "keep the lights on" capability. We saw tangible money taken out of our budgets. We had contracts that we were working that we had to turn-off because our balance sheets suddenly dried up.

So I wrote all the below as my soapbox about the subject. But just to add one more thing - I think a lot of this needs to happen. As a government, we spend SO much and while I am not a whole-hearted supporter of the Tea Party, I think a lot of these massive cutbacks by government spending is good. I think sequestration was necessary. I think it sucks because we work for the government - but that is a bias view. If I wasn't in the military - I'd be all for cutting.

HOwever, we are biased - because we see the negative effects. My problem isn't so much with the federal government wanting to cut. My problem is with the DOD as a whole - as was pointed out in here, personnel costs are about the same relative % of overall spending as years past. We WASTE so much money as a DOD that is crazy. We get into these multi-million contracts that we can't get out of. We spend $10K on a modem because of the fair business regulations we have to live with - that we can't just go down to the local store and spend $200 on one. THe DOD is bloated - but we also have fought many wars/conflicts over same 20 years - with 2 full blown wars thrown in. But when you see a roof go on a building that is already planned on being torn down...and then you see someone getting cut to save money - it raises eyebrows.

With that:

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.

Awesome comment!

Of course, I didn't read any of it because ... you know, epic-novel-length and all that.

But I know it was awesome because it got four likes!

So, TSat75, welcome to the MT Forums and I look forward to scrolling past many more of your comments in the future.






:D Okay, okay ... I'm just kidding ...





... kind of.

TSat75
01-17-2014, 07:38 PM
Bender - actually I've been around here for years, but due to some pretty good reasons, I had to start anew (with moderator approval of course).

:)

I've always been long winded - but only issues that I feel passionately about.

socal1200r
01-17-2014, 08:57 PM
I've been in the ANG and AFR since 1989, and this certainly isn't the AF I joined way back when, but that's for another thread. So if I'm following the puzzle palace logic, they're cutting personnel in order to help meet those budget goals, yes? Well, here's an idea. Do away with the next-gen bomber, 2nd engine on the F-35, next-gen Presidential helicopter, etc. From what I've read, just one of those next-gen bombers is going to cost upwards of $500M, that's right, $500M for just 1 bomber. If I was a known or potential bad guy out there, what would I fear more? 1 next-gen bomber, or 450 cruise missiles placed all over the world? If you want to cut big, you have to look at the big-money programs, like those that I mentioned. And also, stop giving us aircraft that we don't really need, like more C-130Js, C-17s, etc., and keep the ones that have proven their worth, like the A-10. As for the F-22, so far I can't even say that it's been successful as a deterrent. It certainly hasn't flown any combat missions, because last I checked, the Taliban and al Qaeda don't have an Air Force, and it's much too delicate for those hostile environments. I see the demo F-22s fly quite frequently here at Langley, and they can sure do some pretty neat things. But again, any "value added" they bring to the table is minimal at best.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-18-2014, 03:05 AM
I've been in the ANG and AFR since 1989, and this certainly isn't the AF I joined way back when, but that's for another thread. So if I'm following the puzzle palace logic, they're cutting personnel in order to help meet those budget goals, yes? Well, here's an idea. Do away with the next-gen bomber, 2nd engine on the F-35, next-gen Presidential helicopter, etc. From what I've read, just one of those next-gen bombers is going to cost upwards of $500M, that's right, $500M for just 1 bomber. If I was a known or potential bad guy out there, what would I fear more? 1 next-gen bomber, or 450 cruise missiles placed all over the world? If you want to cut big, you have to look at the big-money programs, like those that I mentioned. And also, stop giving us aircraft that we don't really need, like more C-130Js, C-17s, etc., and keep the ones that have proven their worth, like the A-10. As for the F-22, so far I can't even say that it's been successful as a deterrent. It certainly hasn't flown any combat missions, because last I checked, the Taliban and al Qaeda don't have an Air Force, and it's much too delicate for those hostile environments. I see the demo F-22s fly quite frequently here at Langley, and they can sure do some pretty neat things. But again, any "value added" they bring to the table is minimal at best.

China?

Port Dawg
01-18-2014, 06:33 AM
Airborne,

I would agree good sir, when the stock market dips, people get scared and pull their money out....those who dont, make huge gains if they are still investing in a mutual fund when it goes back up b/c they're buying it on the CHEAP.

Same principle here, I believe the USAF is about to climb back up to greatness....trimming the fat and elminating those who are disgruntled. I'm going to weather this storm. I think by Mid-July possibly earlier, we will reach the numbers they want. The numbers are actually a WAG anyways....not actual hard fact. It's all up to the budget, so if they pass a budget, then we may hear more about what is going to happen.....and it may not be as bad as everyone thinks it's going to be.

VCO
01-18-2014, 10:24 AM
Airborne,

I would agree good sir, when the stock market dips, people get scared and pull their money out....those who dont, make huge gains if they are still investing in a mutual fund when it goes back up b/c they're buying it on the CHEAP.

Same principle here, I believe the USAF is about to climb back up to greatness....trimming the fat and elminating those who are disgruntled. I'm going to weather this storm. I think by Mid-July possibly earlier, we will reach the numbers they want. The numbers are actually a WAG anyways....not actual hard fact. It's all up to the budget, so if they pass a budget, then we may hear more about what is going to happen.....and it may not be as bad as everyone thinks it's going to be.

Get out of here with that common sense BS.

technomage1
01-18-2014, 10:58 AM
Airborne,

I would agree good sir, when the stock market dips, people get scared and pull their money out....those who dont, make huge gains if they are still investing in a mutual fund when it goes back up b/c they're buying it on the CHEAP.

Same principle here, I believe the USAF is about to climb back up to greatness....trimming the fat and elminating those who are disgruntled. I'm going to weather this storm. I think by Mid-July possibly earlier, we will reach the numbers they want. The numbers are actually a WAG anyways....not actual hard fact. It's all up to the budget, so if they pass a budget, then we may hear more about what is going to happen.....and it may not be as bad as everyone thinks it's going to be.

I'm slightly more pessimistic.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkWIn3GE9Ec

BENDER56
01-18-2014, 03:52 PM
Bender - actually I've been around here for years, but due to some pretty good reasons, I had to start anew (with moderator approval of course).

:)

I've always been long winded - but only issues that I feel passionately about.

Oh. Well, welcome back.

You haven't missed much -- things have been pretty dull around here.

Port Dawg
01-18-2014, 04:36 PM
LMAO!!!! That was actually straight from my commander on the 2nd part....first part was all my own evil genius....well, dad was a financial planner....so go figure ;)

Port Dawg
01-18-2014, 04:37 PM
LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! DOOOOOMEDDDD! That seems to be everyone's attitude these days, kind of depressing. Let the sheeple disperse.....

TSat75
01-18-2014, 04:43 PM
I think I'm just going to follow Matt Foley's road...

Just going to eat Government cheese living in a van down by the river.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LToBeNFkRKc

Juggs
01-20-2014, 01:08 AM
Get out of here with that common sense BS.

I see it as the AF will get worse before better. Some of the good ones will see an exit as to not deal with the stupidity anymore and jump ship, while the ones that know there is nothing waiting for them on the outside will continue to ride it out.

TSat75
01-21-2014, 04:10 AM
I don't disagree that we have some folks that could leave and wouldn't be missed (me included). However, I just have a feeling that we are cutting too many. In fact, I think we have already cut too many.

Will the people left be the best of the best of the best? Sure by some standard - and that standard won't depend on actual AFSC expertise as needed. But no matter how you define it - less does not equal better at this point in our draw down.

When we were a bigger force, we cut and cut...and we kept the wheels turning. But there is a breaking point. You can't just keep cutting and not expect a drop off...and how soon before that drop off is so severe as to cause lives and mission failure?

I love the AF and the US. So I hope we never hit that point...I don't want to know how many cuts is too many. But I know 25K from our already lean force is getting closer to that line.

And I have thought about that - maybe it won't be that bad. Maybe we'll get a budget and not have to cut 25K. But I knew they'd avoid a government shut down...and I knew they would repeal sequestration. Neither happened. So how confident am I? Not very. And now word on the street from Chief Cody is that we may lean forward and try to bite a big chunk out of this cut in 2014 in order to make future years more manageable.

I hope all works out. And I know that at the end of the day, it will. But - only by using a ton of bandaids. At some point, the bleeding has to stop.

And I get the comment about being disgruntled. Sounds like you may be in that top % that I described. The one that does everything great and has no weak points. And if you are - don't take that as a criticism. It is a compliment. I wish I was in that top - just like I wish I was in the top 1% of the economy. But it might be hard for folks in that top echelon to believe or understand that not everyone is like that.

I'm not - I'm average. I believe I am exceptionally smart...but I suck at weight and fitness. I am a good motivator and I earn respect of my airman...and I develop loyalty up and down the chain...and I excel at off-duty education...but I really suck with procrastination. Overall, as an Amn, I'm average. And I accept that. There are weaknesses that will always be weaker than some of my peers. But I also know that there is nothing wrong with average. There are folks I work with that are great at some of the other stuff, but they are weak when it comes to things that I am great at. So we make it work and take advantage of our strengths and carry each other with regard to our weaknesses. And that is how Average folks can make the AF run day to day.

Most people are average...thus the term. And we need average. If we have 300,000+ folks, at least 225,000 are average. I wish I wasn't. I wish I was great at everything. I'm just not. And I accept that and I'm okay with that. I have a family that loves me and I'm self-aware of who I am and what my capabilities are.

So again - if you are in the top %, it is a compliment full of envy. But that also means that those folks may not have a good understanding of those below them...or an appreciation of what average people can do. Take for instance the fact that although I'm average, I was singled out during a very large operation and awarded for my performance as a leader. But, I'm still just average because while I was great at operating in a deployed environment, I am not as great at the other stuff (namely my waist). So that's okay. But I have moments of greatness that is overshadowed by my weaknesses.

My point - if you are in the top %, you may feel like "great, get rid of the dirtbags". Well, the AF is targeting more than dirtbags right now. And when you start getting rid of folks for being average - then you are really cutting into the meat of AF...the backbone. And you can only do that so much before you, the ones that are left, will feel it. Ops tempo won't go down. In fact, with less and less worker bees, for those that left, they'll feel an increase in ops tempo.

I hope this tide gets turned. We are the AF and we will meet the mission. We will put bombs on target, support ground troops, provide transportation on a global scale. But at what cost?

It is no wonder more and more folks are disgruntled.And as this goes forward, you'll see more.

My beef isn't with the folks in the AF that are in that top echelon. God Love 'em. We need them. Just as we need the folks in the middle. I would like to be in that top echelon. I just wish the folks in the middle were more appreciated, since that is the bulk of the AF.

VCO
01-21-2014, 08:15 PM
I see it as the AF will get worse before better. Some of the good ones will see an exit as to not deal with the stupidity anymore and jump ship, while the ones that know there is nothing waiting for them on the outside will continue to ride it out.
Honestly, I agree the AF will become more stressful for many, as people are held more accountable for their actions and job performance. It will also increase the overall effort folks are putting into their daily tasks, especially if they want to be retained. Undoubtedly we we lose some good airmen in this process, but I'm optimistic we will lose even more mediocre airmen.

socal1200r
01-22-2014, 07:04 PM
And therein lies a BIG problem right now...we're "right-sizing" the Force in order to meet a budget goal, not developing a budget to meet the AF's mission, we're doing this backasswards...so the AF is getting rid of the A-10, our premier CAS platform, because it doesn't perform a "multi-mission" role...ask any troops in contact what they would want overhead, an A-10 or some repurposed "multi-role" platform like an F-16, F-15, F/A 18, etc., and you know what the answer will be. If the AF has made their mind up to retire the A-10 platform, they should give them to the Army and/or Marine Corps, I'm sure they'd love to have them! No matter what, there will always be a need for a CAS platform, and if the AF has decided they're not in the business of direct support to troops in contact, then let the other services use them.

TSat75
01-22-2014, 07:32 PM
Honestly, I agree the AF will become more stressful for many, as people are held more accountable for their actions and job performance. It will also increase the overall effort folks are putting into their daily tasks, especially if they want to be retained. Undoubtedly we we lose some good airmen in this process, but I'm optimistic we will lose even more mediocre airmen.

I have no problem losing folks who are mediocre. But we've already trimmed the fat, and trimmed again, and trimmed again. That bar keeps moving up and up and up. That'd be fine if the mission ops tempo went down and down and down to keep pace. But it doesn't. So we trimmed most of the fat - we'll catch more fat now, as well as good workers. And for every good worker we lose, that workload will be put on someone else.

Yes, more accountability for job performance. I don't discount that as a positive. But how much stress can we take? Don't get me wrong, resiliency is a great character trait - but more resiliency training will not make everyone more resilient to all this stress. At some point, adding more stress onto your worker bees will end up with less productivity (either efficiency or quality). And then that good Amn looks like a mediocre Amn.

Everytime that bar moves up, more and more Amn fall below it and are now "mediocre". It's like in West Wing - there was episode talking about the calculations to determine what income levels fall below the bar (ie: Poor). They redisigned the formula, and overnight, like 500,000 more people were no longer middle class, but were now "poor" - even though nothing they did had changed.

We keep moving this bar of excellence up, and the perspective from the top changes and the criteria for what makes a great amn and an average amn change.

Anyway - I don't doubt that those that make it through all this mess will be quality Amn. I really believe that (as a rule). But I also believe we are going to be cutting A LOT of quality Amn that help make the AF operate day to day. And those that are left, that make it through...well those that barely make it through are now considered pretty darn good. But after they cut all those below you, you'll now be on the bottom and the perspective changes. Add to that the additional workload...and I see a lot of resiliency training coming to a unit near you.

Golther
01-23-2014, 03:29 AM
At this point for my at 7 1/2 years I cam come to the conclusion of saying fuck it. Should I give another 12 1/2 years of my life for a bunch of bullshit and the hope for a mediocre at best pension? Or should I start again now in the private sector or public sector and have a bunch of seniority and better pay later on and a better retirement then the possible pension I could make as a Tech or if I am lucky a master. In essence my morale is at an all time low not because of my squadron or my co-workers it is because of big air force and the stupid shit they do.