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AF Comm Guy
02-05-2014, 08:19 PM
I saw a flyer on base today for General McPeak's new book. He'll be here for a book signing next week. I'm not sure how I really feel about the guy since I came in just after him during the Fogelman days. Most everyone I spoke with hated the guy because of all the nonsensical changes he made. However, there was one guy who had a different perspective and liked what McPeak did. He said that with the end of the cold war, the AF needed a major shake up in how we were structured and also how we think. Sticking with old school thinking in a post cold war environment would have been destructive in the long term. I don't know that I agree but I do see his point.

Thoughts?

Rusty Jones
02-05-2014, 08:39 PM
So General McPeak... he must've done for the Air Force after the Cold War what Admiral Zumwalt did for the Navy after Vietnam... and was totally hated for it, I take it.

imnohero
02-05-2014, 10:38 PM
I take issue with McPeak primarily for 3 reasons:
1) The move from SAC/TAC/MAC to ACC/AMC was arguably necessary, but the reassignment of assets to the new majcoms was a disaster in the long term and cost a shit-pile of money to undo.
2) The implementation of "corporate practices"...Quality Mangement (AFSO21, today), Commercial Off the Shelf, movement toward contracted services. He embraced these ideas wholesale, but their implementation has been a huge fail in the long term for the service.
3) The 90's drawdown to a force structure that was "end heavy" (lots of E4 and below/E7 and up) and gutted the E5-E6 part of the force. We are still feeling the repercusions of that drawdown today.

imnohero
02-05-2014, 10:44 PM
The only book listed for McPeak on Amazon is from 2012 called "Hanger Flying". In short, McPeak reminiscing about his "good ol' days" flying fighters.

He has something newer out??

Gonzo432
02-06-2014, 01:01 AM
Maybe a Blue-ID Mafia type will run him down with his Lincoln Town Car in the parking lot. I'd pitch in for his new bumper and grill.

Chief_KO
02-06-2014, 02:28 AM
He's written a Trilogy!!!
from his website (generalmcpeak.com):

General Merrill A. “Tony” McPeak was the 14th chief of staff of the US Air Force. Below the Zone is the second installment of a projected three-volume memoir. The first book, Hangar Flying, covers the 1960s, years McPeak spent in fighter squadrons, doing air shows as a pilot with the elite Thunderbirds aerobatic team and flying combat missions in Vietnam. Below the Zone picks up at the Armed Forces Staff College after the war and proceeds through the 1970s and 1980s as McPeak climbed the ladder from major to four-star general. It describes the challenges of leadership and management in an organization that had to meet high performance standards, as the US continued its long confrontation with the Soviet Union.
McPeak writes, “In formations of squadron size or smaller, everybody knows everybody else, and the leadership qualities that count are, first, you must be competent and second, you must be trusted by teammates. Now, I entered the world of medium- and large-sized organizations, a much more cluttered landscape, a zone of increasing ambiguity—the world of politics, broadly defined.”
Below the Zone takes readers from Virginia and Florida to Mildenhall and Upper Heyford (UK), from Zaragoza (Spain) to Börfink and Ramstein (Germany), from Texas to the blue Pacific and finally the Pentagon. In the background all the while, we read about the Arab-Israeli conflict, Watergate, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and America’s involvement in Central America.
“It was during this 20-year period that we won the Cold War,” McPeak reminds us, “though we should be precise about what actually happened: the Soviets lost it.”

Chief_KO
02-06-2014, 02:29 AM
He has exactly 666 likes on Facebook!!!!!!!!

This cannot be a coincidence...

BRUWIN
02-06-2014, 02:44 AM
I wouldn't waste any money on this book. The guy was a nut job.

Chief_KO
02-06-2014, 03:00 AM
I wouldn't waste any money on this book. The guy was a nut job.

No problem, I just ordered you the entire trilogy, leather bound, gold leaf cover, personally autographed.

sandsjames
02-06-2014, 03:35 AM
Now that I'm a civilian I'd like to come to that book signing and tell him what an outstanding job he did in the position. Fond memories, as he was the MAN when I first joined.

Gonzo432
02-06-2014, 10:55 AM
No problem, I just ordered you the entire trilogy, leather bound, gold leaf cover, personally autographed.

Are you going to go on a long, treacherous journey to throw them in a volcano? Because that's the only way to destroy the horror associated with McPeak and end the decades of despair from which the USAF has suffered? Oh wait, that's the Lord of the Rings.

generalmcpeak.com?? WTF??-OVER??!! How much ego does this SOB have? This is grounds to get that sword back if you ask me.

Mcjohn1118
02-06-2014, 11:37 AM
Today is a day I wish RFD was still on the forums. I would love his insight about the McPeak years. I came in when he was CSAF and as a two-striper didn't really care too much who was CSAF. I do remember the Quality Air Force and Total Quality Management chapters in the PFE. I would like to thank the dude who had them removed a few years later.

Absinthe Anecdote
02-06-2014, 12:17 PM
Today is a day I wish RFD was still on the forums. I would love his insight about the McPeak years. I came in when he was CSAF and as a two-striper didn't really care too much who was CSAF. I do remember the Quality Air Force and Total Quality Management chapters in the PFE. I would like to thank the dude who had them removed a few years later.

I understand why some people didn't think TQM was a good match for a military service; however, there were some sound management practices and philosophies in TQM. Also, the Air Force wasn't the only element of DOD experimenting with TQM, NSA also taught TQM during that time frame.

I think that most of the pushback against it was that same old "knee jerk" resistance to any kind of change.

Chief_KO
02-06-2014, 01:17 PM
I remember my QAF training (5 days), Osan circa 1994. Civilian clothing, first names.
We had to list our "customers" (a term I loathe in the military...a customer has a choice, sorry but I cannot choose another MPF, Finance, Comm, CE, other)
At the time I worked tactical air control, so I listed on my chart "North Korea" as my "external customer."
The teacher, "Larry" (really a Lt Col) did not appreciate my inputs.

Concept of TQM is valuable, if in a true supplier - customer relationship. But to force fit it into a military structure is so wrong. AFSO21 just TQM on steroids (when you mandate X number of events MUST occur, is it really a program there to help or a beast that has taken over).
We had the AF form 1000 (suggestion program) in 1982, there was already a mindset and process in place to improve things. The idea of an independent Air Force was established on the principle of "doing things smarter/better" (See Gen Billy Mitchell / Sgt Sam Nero).

I always wondered if we would have ended up in a different state if Gen Dugan was not fired...

Absinthe Anecdote
02-06-2014, 01:53 PM
I remember my QAF training (5 days), Osan circa 1994. Civilian clothing, first names.
We had to list our "customers" (a term I loathe in the military...a customer has a choice, sorry but I cannot choose another MPF, Finance, Comm, CE, other)
At the time I worked tactical air control, so I listed on my chart "North Korea" as my "external customer."
The teacher, "Larry" (really a Lt Col) did not appreciate my inputs.

Concept of TQM is valuable, if in a true supplier - customer relationship. But to force fit it into a military structure is so wrong. AFSO21 just TQM on steroids (when you mandate X number of events MUST occur, is it really a program there to help or a beast that has taken over).
We had the AF form 1000 (suggestion program) in 1982, there was already a mindset and process in place to improve things. The idea of an independent Air Force was established on the principle of "doing things smarter/better" (See Gen Billy Mitchell / Sgt Sam Nero).

I always wondered if we would have ended up in a different state if Gen Dugan was not fired...

Suspending military bearing during those seminars was a bit cheesy and did not go over well. I'll also admit that some of the labels did not make sense.

However, realizing that your organization only exists because of your customer (mission) is a solid concept to embrace.

Along with fully understanding who your customers are and what it takes to serve them. There were some great ideas in those seminars, but, I agree, it was packaged wrong for the military, and that is what gave people the ammo to take endless pot shots at the program.

TJMAC77SP
02-06-2014, 02:46 PM
Suspending military bearing during those seminars was a bit cheesy and did not go over well. I'll also admit that some of the labels did not make sense.

However, realizing that your organization only exists because of your customer (mission) is a solid concept to embrace.

Along with fully understanding who your customers are and what it takes to serve them. There were some great ideas in those seminars, but, I agree, it was packaged wrong for the military, and that is what gave people the ammo to take endless pot shots at the program.

I was one of those that McPeak liked to say were going to be left at the station because the TQM train was departing.

It wasn't because I was an old crusty SNCO (I was a newly minted SNCO). I simply saw the process for what it was. Hammering a square peg into a round hole. I was forced to go to the 4 day class. My commander asked me what I learned from the class. I told him I learned the biggest concept was that the way you accomplished your mission could always be improved (and then added that I had always believed that). I told him I also learned how to manipulate the weighted variables being measured in order to come to a pre-ordained decision (in the case of my class the decision was on ordering a copier for the section). My group picked which one we wanted at the beginning and then appropriately manipulated the weighted factors to make that the choice.
My biggest pet peeve with the system was the surety (which later came to fruition) that TQM would become the ‘must have’ bullet on performance reports and at that time credibility and integrity would be suspended to accomplish that.

Case in point. Somewhere around 1992-1993 the guards on the gates on the cantonment side of Tyndall AFB were removed. This was the brainchild (solely his baby…not a single other member of the squadron aside from the commander who Kroper railroaded into supporting him) of the 4th SPS ops officer (then Capt Bob K ). K’s next OPR reflected quite a writeup on how he led a tiger team which studied the situation and came to the conclusion the guards were not needed. There was no team. NO TQM procedures were used.

It lasted until the next wing commander arrived on base and drove up to the first gate he came to and there was no guard on duty. Guards were back on post within a week. Good thing to because not surprisingly the crime rate in housing had escalated after the guards were removed.

I have gone through Green Belt training and am a supporter of the successor to TQM – Lean Six Sigma but I do not believe it can be used in every single organization. In some it is a great tool, just as TQM is but you just can’t call it a blanket and drape it over everything.

TJMAC77SP
02-06-2014, 02:49 PM
To come back on target a little more clearly. Someone explain to me the tangible benefits of realigning the AFSC's into the category's they are now. Also, what tangible benefits were gained from eliminating AFR's and most AFMANs and creating hundreds of AFPDs and AFI's?

Those two efforts cost millions of dollars.

(notice I didn't even mention the uniform fiasco - although I do like the cut of the coat McPeak approved over the old one. It made us more modern looking bus drivers).

sandsjames
02-06-2014, 04:19 PM
To come back on target a little more clearly. Someone explain to me the tangible benefits of realigning the AFSC's into the category's they are now. Also, what tangible benefits were gained from eliminating AFR's and most AFMANs and creating hundreds of AFPDs and AFI's?

Those two efforts cost millions of dollars.

(notice I didn't even mention the uniform fiasco - although I do like the cut of the coat McPeak approved over the old one. It made us more modern looking bus drivers).

All that combining certain AFSCs did was create fewer experts. This isn't unique to McPeak, though. Recently the liquid fuels and plumbing AFSCs were combined in CE. Two completely different jobs, other than working with liquids and pipes. Back in the 90s, it was the interior and exterior electricians. Sure, there are still people who can master both, but I think the overall loss of expertise was not worth the effort and money.

TJMAC77SP
02-06-2014, 06:08 PM
All that combining certain AFSCs did was create fewer experts. This isn't unique to McPeak, though. Recently the liquid fuels and plumbing AFSCs were combined in CE. Two completely different jobs, other than working with liquids and pipes. Back in the 90s, it was the interior and exterior electricians. Sure, there are still people who can master both, but I think the overall loss of expertise was not worth the effort and money.

Yes to be fair a lot of the combining of AFSCs came post-McPeak (ask the 3A folks what they think of it all. I can remember our admin section NCOIC SSgt at the AWACS SPO giving a presentation to the SPD about how he and his former 702's were now Network Technicians.................worth a chuckle but unfortunately given the stupid guidance coming from the 3A folks at AF it kinda made sense if you looked at it while squinting). I suppose you could argue that he started the insanity by linking AFSCs in the groups (1...2....3...4...etc)

My basic point about it was................why? The AF gained nothing tangible from the results but it cost $$$$$$

sandsjames
02-06-2014, 06:16 PM
Yes to be fair a lot of the combining of AFSCs came post-McPeak (ask the 3A folks what they think of it all. I can remember our admin section NCOIC SSgt at the AWACS SPO giving a presentation to the SPD about how he and his former 702's were now Network Technicians.................worth a chuckle but unfortunately given the stupid guidance coming from the 3A folks at AF it kinda made sense if you looked at it while squinting). I suppose you could argue that he started the insanity by linking AFSCs in the groups (1...2....3...4...etc)

My basic point about it was................why? The AF gained nothing tangible from the results but it cost $$$$$$

Because, for some reason, the government thinks combining things will save money...and they are almost ALWAYS wrong. AFSC's, Joint Bases, etc. Consolidation seems to be the "go to", but never seems to work. You'd think sooner or later the people making these decisions would be able to see the trend. Unfortunately...

BRUWIN
02-06-2014, 07:13 PM
No problem, I just ordered you the entire trilogy, leather bound, gold leaf cover, personally autographed.

HAHA...they will look mighty handsome at the Goodwill shop.

Absinthe Anecdote
02-07-2014, 08:12 AM
Because, for some reason, the government thinks combining things will save money...and they are almost ALWAYS wrong. AFSC's, Joint Bases, etc. Consolidation seems to be the "go to", but never seems to work. You'd think sooner or later the people making these decisions would be able to see the trend. Unfortunately...

Oh, wowsie wowsie woo woo. Miserable day, isn't it?

Eliminating redundancy where it isn't needed, is a sound practice in reducing costs. I'll agree that it shouldn't be done haphazardly, but not that it is always wrong.

PS

I noticed that you used the qualifier, "almost" but then you upper-cased the word "always" in a WILLSPOWERS fashion.

I find this intriguing, and would like to know to what degree the upper-cased "ALWAYS" diminishes the qualifier, "almost."

Is there some type of WILLSPOWERS style guide that explains that sort of thing?

BOSS302
02-07-2014, 10:06 AM
Because, for some reason, the government thinks combining things will save money...and they are almost ALWAYS wrong. AFSC's, Joint Bases, etc. Consolidation seems to be the "go to", but never seems to work. You'd think sooner or later the people making these decisions would be able to see the trend. Unfortunately...

About 5 years ago there was considerable talk concerning combining Power Pro & AGE. To this day there is still some whispers of it. I believe the echo of "HELL NO!" from the chorus of 3E0X2 gorillas is still echoing across the galaxy...

BOSS302
02-07-2014, 10:15 AM
HAHA...they will look mighty handsome at the Goodwill shop.

As a GS-11 "Captain Equivalent," I would not expect you to understand the positive impact that McPeak has had on my Air Force. He is a legendary innovator; a true "mover and shaker" of his time. If it wasn't for McPeak, my Air Force would be full of jobskill-oriented NCOs who think a "customer" is someone in line at the food court.

giggawatt
02-07-2014, 11:07 AM
About 5 years ago there was considerable talk concerning combining Power Pro & AGE. To this day there is still some whispers of it. I believe the echo of "HELL NO!" from the chorus of 3E0X2 gorillas is still echoing across the galaxy...

That would be the biggest mistake ever. AGE NEEDS to stay on the flightline. It's bad enough they're combined with power pro in Air Control Squadrons. The horror stories I've heard. AGE guys can't think for themselves. They need a T.O. and whatever version of IWIMS they use to do their job. There would be a power struggle. Do we follow AGE guidelines or do we follow CE guidelines. ETLs or AFIs? IWIMS or CAMS? It would be a nightmare.

I once heard rumblings of combining power pro and electricians. It would make a lot more sense than combining with AGE but still not a good idea.

Gonzo432
02-07-2014, 11:24 AM
That would be the biggest mistake ever. AGE NEEDS to stay on the flightline. It's bad enough they're combined with power pro in Air Control Squadrons. The horror stories I've heard. AGE guys can't think for themselves. They need a T.O. and whatever version of IWIMS they use to do their job. There would be a power struggle. Do we follow AGE guidelines or do we follow CE guidelines. ETLs or AFIs? IWIMS or CAMS? It would be a nightmare.

I once heard rumblings of combining power pro and electricians. It would make a lot more sense than combining with AGE but still not a good idea.

Why not merge Power Pro, AGE and Vehicle maintenance? Call it "Non-Aircraft Powered Maintenance"? Other than, "it would be a complete and utter disaster of galactic proportion" I can't think of a reason not to do it.

Absinthe Anecdote
02-07-2014, 12:21 PM
That would be the biggest mistake ever. AGE NEEDS to stay on the flightline. It's bad enough they're combined with power pro in Air Control Squadrons. The horror stories I've heard. AGE guys can't think for themselves. They need a T.O. and whatever version of IWIMS they use to do their job. There would be a power struggle. Do we follow AGE guidelines or do we follow CE guidelines. ETLs or AFIs? IWIMS or CAMS? It would be a nightmare.

I once heard rumblings of combining power pro and electricians. It would make a lot more sense than combining with AGE but still not a good idea.

AGE mechanics rock! They might not be able to think for themselves, but they do think of the simplest things first.


http://youtu.be/G-tCIRJH9p0

Chief_KO
02-07-2014, 01:12 PM
Here's my list of positive changes that occurred during those CSAF years:

imported_chipotleboy
02-07-2014, 02:04 PM
I saw a flyer on base today for General McPeak's new book. He'll be here for a book signing next week.

Check the back of the flyer. There's a sale on eggs at the Commissary. Just sayin'!

sandsjames
02-07-2014, 02:20 PM
About 5 years ago there was considerable talk concerning combining Power Pro & AGE. To this day there is still some whispers of it. I believe the echo of "HELL NO!" from the chorus of 3E0X2 gorillas is still echoing across the galaxy...

It seems like I heard that rumor every year I was in. It would be a huge mistake and I don't believe it will ever happen.

BOSS302
02-07-2014, 03:10 PM
I once heard rumblings of combining power pro and electricians. It would make a lot more sense than combining with AGE but still not a good idea.

That would be horrible.

Power Pro guys would constantly be beating their chests and trying to establish themselves as the "Alpha" while marking their territory on every GOV and arc flash kit.

Electricians would be too scared and would hide at Starbucks or in the airfield lighting vault behind hoarded copies of GQ magazine.

It would take an "old school" real-man crusty SNCO from Dirt Boys or Structures to get them to do any work.

giggawatt
02-09-2014, 04:49 AM
AGE mechanics rock! They might not be able to think for themselves, but they do think of the simplest things first.


http://youtu.be/G-tCIRJH9p0

Can't see the youtube clip yet but I once heard a story about an AGE guy that tried to put out a gasoline fire by stomping on it.

Absinthe Anecdote
02-09-2014, 05:59 PM
Can't see the youtube clip yet but I once heard a story about an AGE guy that tried to put out a gasoline fire by stomping on it.

Carl was just saying that the gas tank on the light-all cart was empty.

He is a regular wiz with small engines.

fog
02-10-2014, 02:05 AM
This is my opinion, and it is just that. I feel the service started going in an ill advised direction when he was CSAF. We really haven't gotten back since.

Many things contributed to this. They are:

Restructuring the Major Commands.
Doing away with regulations and creating instructions.
Making really stupid changes to the uniform.
Creating an egotistical pilot slogan "Fly, Fight, and Win or Support Those That Do".
Downsizing.
and the number one reason: Total Quality Management.

This, in my opinion, was the nail in the coffin.
We decided to say all of a sudden "Everyone's opinion counts!". The truth of the matter was leadership didn't care what you thought, but had to go through to motions to appease McPeak. We created a society in the Air Force where Airmen started questioning authority. Once we realized this TQM was absolutely bs, we couldn't put the genie back in the bottle.
Icing on the cake...I think he was the only retired 4 star Air Force General to endorse Bill Clinton. Let's not even talk about his pony tail.

OtisRNeedleman
02-11-2014, 07:16 PM
I saw a flyer on base today for General McPeak's new book. He'll be here for a book signing next week. I'm not sure how I really feel about the guy since I came in just after him during the Fogelman days. Most everyone I spoke with hated the guy because of all the nonsensical changes he made. However, there was one guy who had a different perspective and liked what McPeak did. He said that with the end of the cold war, the AF needed a major shake up in how we were structured and also how we think. Sticking with old school thinking in a post cold war environment would have been destructive in the long term. I don't know that I agree but I do see his point.

Thoughts?
I didn't realize the authors of coloring books had book signings.

Chief_KO
02-12-2014, 07:38 PM
More than TQM, AFRs to AFIs, "Delta Airlines" service dress, renumbering units, eliminating/merging MAJCOMs, the one thing he started that has caused a great deal of harm was the creation of the Wing King. By eliminating comm/medical as tennant units, and placing nearly everything on a base under the wing commander's authority he created an atmosphere of Wing King superiority/infallability. No longer did a situation of checks and balances...AFCC saying "no", AFMS saying "no", now the MSG/CC (CS/CC) and MDG/CC were always saying "yes" to whatever wild ass whim the WK wanted.
I present Doc as the prime example.

DWWSWWD
02-20-2014, 11:42 PM
I swear if this ends up on the CSAF's reading list, I will have to bid General Welsh a good day. I said good day, sir!

Absinthe Anecdote
02-21-2014, 03:47 AM
RFD's new book is on the CSAF reading list:

Eagles and Tamales

"The exploits of the F-15 Strike Eagle over El Salvador"
BOSS302

That was too good, I just had to use it.

DWWSWWD
02-27-2014, 08:05 PM
Come on, Bob! You know that's some funny shit right there. I know you're reading this and you miss us. Eagles and Tamales..... Whew!