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AlexCross
03-06-2014, 07:18 PM
I know there are a ton of people with a ton of experience on here writing bullets. There are also probably people who are currently struggling to write a good bullet or put together an EPR. So if you are having trouble post the bullet here and maybe someone can help you. Here is one that is currently giving me trouble.

- Big Brother mentor; briefed alcohol/drug abuse f/100+ yths w/dply'd parents--inspired confidence f/"at-risk"

I really don't like it. It is for a quarterly awards package.

Chief_KO
03-06-2014, 07:24 PM
I personally dislike over abbreviations, rounded off numbers (usually made up), & the f/ (security forces style).
Is this part of the "Big Brother/Big Sister" program? If not, I'd drop that phrase.

My recommendation:
Briefed dangers of drug/alcohol abuse to 113 children of deployed parents--instilled confidence in at-risk populace

I made up 113...I'd try to get the actual number if at all possible. 100+ could be 101 to 199

Airborne
03-06-2014, 08:30 PM
There are a couple of websites dedicated to this....

raider8169
03-06-2014, 08:59 PM
What the heck is "f/"? I've never seen that before.

Mr. Happy
03-06-2014, 09:46 PM
I made up 113...I'd try to get the actual number if at all possible. 100+ could be 101 to 199

If there is simply no practical way to quantify something, but I know for a fact it was at least a certain amount, I use a number slightly less than the rounded figure. For instance, if I know it was at least 100, I'll say maybe 95 or 96 instead of 100 or 100+ so it doesn't look like I pulled it out of my @$$. It's still being honest even though it wasn't the exact figure since it was at least 95 or 96. When I sit boards and see numbers rounded to the nearest 50 or 100, + signs, then the figure is suspect to me. Or if I know the savings were at least 30%, then I might say 29% instead. Personally, I hate the whole bullet thing on both EPRs and 1206s and the fixation on stats anyways.

BRUWIN
03-06-2014, 10:57 PM
I personally dislike over abbreviations

When I came back from 8 months of deployment and I got back in my unit I had a stack of EPRS sitting on my desk. After being away it became very apparent to me my squadron had adopted the overuse of abbreviations, most I had to ask what they hell they stood for. I was pissed...I felt like I was reading a foriegn language. When I protested I was told that it was the new way to write EPRs as the writer could fit more stuff in them and it made it appear to boards that the person did so much they couldn't possibly fit it all in without abbreviations. It was insane but my CC agreed with the style and I was stuck with it.

It cracks me up how the EPR has evolved. At first it started out normal paragraph or bullets. But then was made mandatory bullet format because it was harder hitting. For top performers then came the over inflation of words, then all the white space had to be filled, then only single line bullets, now all kinds of abbreviations are being thrown in, and it's all for appearances sake. It's the biggest load of crap ever. I actually used to like writing eprs but my last four years it became such a chore. I just felt like my life was being wasted on words that meant little.

Gonzo432
03-06-2014, 11:16 PM
What the heck is "f/"? I've never seen that before.

I think its new math.

imported_KnuckleDragger
03-06-2014, 11:53 PM
When I came back from 8 months of deployment and I got back in my unit I had a stack of EPRS sitting on my desk. After being away it became very apparent to me my squadron had adopted the overuse of abbreviations, most I had to ask what they hell they stood for. I was pissed...I felt like I was reading a foriegn language. When I protested I was told that it was the new way to write EPRs as the writer could fit more stuff in them and it made things appear it appear to boards that the person did so much they couldn't possibly fit it all in without abbreviations. It was insane but my CC agreed with the style and I was stuck with it.

It cracks me up how the EPR has evolved. At first it started out normal paragraph or bullets. But then was made mandatory bullet format because it was harder hitting. For top performers then came the over inflation of words, then all the white space had to be filled, then only single line bullets, now all kinds of abbreviations are being thrown in, and it's all for appearances sake. It's the biggest load of crap ever. I actually used to like writing eprs but my last four years it became such a chore. I just felt like my life was being wasted on words that meant little.

The EPR has indeed evolved the way you described. Unfortunately, you missed the point. The EPR is constantly showcasing a better Airman every year. 20 years ago troops didn't do anything worth noting, on an annual basis. Now, we do so much we had to invent a new language to fit it all on a single piece of paper. Was everyone a Firewall 5/10 back in the day? Hell no! Of course old timers had leftover white space. LOL

imported_KnuckleDragger
03-06-2014, 11:55 PM
I know there are a ton of people with a ton of experience on here writing bullets. There are also probably people who are currently struggling to write a good bullet or put together an EPR. So if you are having trouble post the bullet here and maybe someone can help you. Here is one that is currently giving me trouble.

- Big Brother mentor; briefed alcohol/drug abuse f/100+ yths w/dply'd parents--inspired confidence f/"at-risk"

I really don't like it. It is for a quarterly awards package.

Are you really looking for help? Or are you trying to create an ongoing thread, where people contribute to bullets?

BRUWIN
03-07-2014, 12:51 AM
The EPR has indeed evolved the way you described. Unfortunately, you missed the point. The EPR is constantly showcasing a better Airman every year. 20 years ago troops didn't do anything worth noting, on an annual basis. Now, we do so much we had to invent a new language to fit it all on a single piece of paper. Was everyone a Firewall 5/10 back in the day? Hell no! Of course old timers had leftover white space. LOL

Yeah...you should have seen some of my early ones. I swear someone spray painted page 2 with white spray paint just to hose me.

BRUWIN
03-07-2014, 01:04 AM
Maintenance guys write the worst EPRs. I swear some of them couldn't have gotten past 3rd grade....there is just no freakin way. I knew one guy that could not make the letter "Q." He always put the little curl on the wrong side of the O. Didn't matter how many times you told him he just couldn't get it right. He would try to practice them in the breakroom sometimes and he would be sitting there with his lips biting his tongue the whole time but he just could not comprehend it. He got better when computers came out but then all he wanted to do was watch porn like all his other maintenance buddies.

Absinthe Anecdote
03-07-2014, 11:34 AM
I was always pretty good at writing bullets, I used to pretend I was writing newspaper headlines for the New York Post and just had fun with it.

I avoided abbreviations and rarely had a need for two line bullets, that f/100+ crap in the OP is completely alien to me. I would think those are notes from a photographer's journal about f/stop settings.

Are there really career fields that let a horrible bullet like that go into an EPR?

Chief_KO
03-07-2014, 12:00 PM
I've see the f/ bullets in Security Forces EPRs/1206s. It is "SP shorthand" they commonly use when writing their logs, etc. f/ means "for".

I'd critique and point out that the word "for" is unnecessary when writing bullets

And for all those that lament over the AF's "love of numbers" it is just as important in the civilian sector...it's called productivity

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 12:04 PM
I've see the f/ bullets in Security Forces EPRs/1206s. It is "SP shorthand" they commonly use when writing their logs, etc. f/ means "for".

I'd critique and point out that the word "for" is unnecessary when writing bullets

And for all those that lament over the AF's "love of numbers" it is just as important in the civilian sector...it's called productivity

As long as numbers are relevant. Seen too many with the cost of equipment maintained or the cost of the facility maintained when that makes no difference to the job being done.

Or how 'bout they get written like we are taught at our all important PME? 2 parts, not 3. Action/impact. Or have PME teach the 3 part.

imported_UncommonSense
03-07-2014, 12:04 PM
I personally dislike over abbreviations, rounded off numbers (usually made up), & the f/ (security forces style).
Is this part of the "Big Brother/Big Sister" program? If not, I'd drop that phrase.

My recommendation:
Briefed dangers of drug/alcohol abuse to 113 children of deployed parents--instilled confidence in at-risk populace

I made up 113...I'd try to get the actual number if at all possible. 100+ could be 101 to 199

How dare you try to slip an action/impact bullet through here. This isn't ALS/NCOA. In the "real" AF it's action/result/impact.

socal1200r
03-07-2014, 01:21 PM
I always tried to use the "core values" as guides for developing bullets...the OP's example should fall squarely under "service before self"...so "f/" means "for"? so you're only saving 1 letter by using that acronym, yet adding all kinds of confusion as to what "f/" actually stands for? Brilliant...I'm sure that went into someone's EPR/OPR..."use of new term reduced previous wording by thirty-three percent, resulting in more detailed statements and less white space", lol...

Absinthe Anecdote
03-07-2014, 03:18 PM
I've see the f/ bullets in Security Forces EPRs/1206s. It is "SP shorthand" they commonly use when writing their logs, etc. f/ means "for".

I'd critique and point out that the word "for" is unnecessary when writing bullets

And for all those that lament over the AF's "love of numbers" it is just as important in the civilian sector...it's called productivity

That sounds like those unbelievably cunning SPs that I know and love. They invented an abbreviation that is one whole character shorter than the original word, and a three letter word at that.

LOL!

I have often wondered what my life would be like had I not cross-trained out of that career field after 36 months. :)

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 03:25 PM
I have often wondered what my life would be like had I not cross-trained out of that career field after 36 months. :)

You probably would have been on the other side of the "F the Police" thread. You probably would have voted for Perot, Bush, and Romney.

Absinthe Anecdote
03-07-2014, 03:51 PM
You probably would have been on the other side of the "F the Police" thread. You probably would have voted for Perot, Bush, and Romney.

I am actually sympathetic to police on many issues and understanding when they fuck up, they have tough jobs, but I do demand excellence and accountability from them.

I usually vote Republican too.

I just don't swallow everything I hear on talk radio, so maybe that is why you think I am a liberal?

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 03:56 PM
I am actually sympathetic to police on many issues and understanding when they fuck up, they have tough job, but I do demand excellence and accountability from them.

I usually vote Republican too.

I just don't swallow everything I hear on talk radio, so maybe that is why you think I am a liberal?

Well, since you don't swallow, I'm guessing you aren't liberal.

DWWSWWD
03-07-2014, 04:03 PM
Or how 'bout they get written like we are taught at our all important PME? 2 parts, not 3. Action/impact. Or have PME teach the 3 part. This was something that I jumped up and down about when i got in the job. I said that by knowingly teaching something that would never fly, we are demonstrating to students that everything else we teach is purely academic. Ridiculous. Now what? Well, we don't teach bullet writing at all. Nada.

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 04:12 PM
This was something that I jumped up and down about when i got in the job. I said that by knowingly teaching something that would never fly, we are demonstrating to students that everything else we teach is purely academic. Ridiculous. Now what? Well, we don't teach bullet writing at all. Nada.

What frustrated me most was that my NCOA instructor had never been in an operation squadron. He went from an airman to a TI to an NCOA instructor. Kept telling us that two-part was the right way and we needed to push it when we got back to our base. And it did exactly what you said. Purely academic, not functional. It took a lot of credibility away from the course.

Absinthe Anecdote
03-07-2014, 04:19 PM
What frustrated me most was that my NCOA instructor had never been in an operation squadron. He went from an airman to a TI to an NCOA instructor. Kept telling us that two-part was the right way and we needed to push it when we got back to our base. And it did exactly what you said. Purely academic, not functional. It took a lot of credibility away from the course.

We wrote action/impact bullets in intelligence squadrons whenever possible. If you didn't have one, it was a weak bullet.

Who the hell was stopping you guys from doing so?

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 04:21 PM
We wrote action/impact bullets in intelligence squadrons whenever possible. If you didn't have one it is a weak bullet.

Who the hell was stopping you guys from doing so?

What we're saying is that NCOA teaches 2 part...action/impact...while at squadron, as you well know, they are 3 part. You've got the semicolon, then you've got the dash-dash. NCOA says (or did a few years ago) that there should be no dash-dash (or maybe no semicolon, can't really remember).

Absinthe Anecdote
03-07-2014, 04:49 PM
What we're saying is that NCOA teaches 2 part...action/impact...while at squadron, as you well know, they are 3 part. You've got the semicolon, then you've got the dash-dash. NCOA says (or did a few years ago) that there should be no dash-dash (or maybe no semicolon, can't really remember).

Leadership rarely fucked with my EPRs after I had been in a unit for a while. The only time I had trouble was when someone in the chain, who didn't know me, edited one of my EPRs.

I was pretty good at playing the role of golden boy, so writing good EPRs was easy when everyone thought that I was the CC's favorite.

Another trick, is to never complain about an edit, but to always thank the person with the red pen for giving excellent feedback. No matter how dumb their edit is, don't complain. The next time you send an EPR up the chain, it comes back with less edits, after a while, your EPRs are zooming through the edit chain.

I'm kind of glad they didn't teach stuff like that in NCOA, it helped me keep my golden boy status as I moved from one unit to another.

DWWSWWD
03-07-2014, 05:44 PM
What frustrated me most was that my NCOA instructor had never been in an operation squadron. He went from an airman to a TI to an NCOA instructor. Kept telling us that two-part was the right way and we needed to push it when we got back to our base. And it did exactly what you said. Purely academic, not functional. It took a lot of credibility away from the course. NCOA students are a skeptical bunch. I was talking with an instructor yesterday about the challenges of selling this stuff to fellow TSgts. Everything that comes out of my mouth is genius even if it's the same garbage a TSgt said to a TSgt. Anywho, the very best thing we can do is put operationally relevant Airmen in front of the flight room and help them get good with the verbal judo. Almost everything we are teaching can be acceptable if not meaningful, if presented in the right context by a credible instructor. Occasionally, we are handed crap by the eggheads and it takes a couple of years to get rid of it.

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 06:09 PM
NCOA students are a skeptical bunch. I was talking with an instructor yesterday about the challenges of selling this stuff to fellow TSgts. Everything that comes out of my mouth is genius even if it's the same garbage a TSgt said to a TSgt. Anywho, the very best thing we can do is put operationally relevant Airmen in front of the flight room and help them get good with the verbal judo. Almost everything we are teaching can be acceptable if not meaningful, if presented in the right context by a credible instructor. Occasionally, we are handed crap by the eggheads and it takes a couple of years to get rid of it.

I don't disagree at all. And, trust me, as an instructor I had to teach stuff several times that I knew weren't entirely accurate but they were in the lesson plan.

LogDog
03-07-2014, 06:57 PM
Leadership rarely fucked with my EPRs after I had been in a unit for a while. The only time I had trouble was when someone in the chain, who didn't know me, edited one of my EPRs.

I was pretty good at playing the role of golden boy, so writing good EPRs was easy when everyone thought that I was the CC's favorite.

Another trick, is to never complain about an edit, but to always thank the person with the red pen for giving excellent feedback. No matter how dumb their edit is, don't complain. The next time you send an EPR up the chain, it comes back with less edits, after a while, your EPRs are zooming through the edit chain.

I'm kind of glad they didn't teach stuff like that in NCOA, it helped me keep my golden boy status as I moved from one unit to another.
You've hit on part of the key of getting the EPR through the rating chain which is don't piss off the chain. It doesn't always mean bending to their "suggestions" but to respectively look/discuss their changes with them. In many cases it's a change in wording that doesn't distract from the meaning/impact of the bullet.

The only times I really had to fight the rating chain was over the word "Materiel" in our job description. Our AFSC is Medical Materiel and most in the rating chain thought it was Medical Material. I had to explain the "material" is an object or thing whereas "materiel" is the acquisition/movement of "material". I also showed them our official job description which helped settled the matter but I don't think they really understood the difference in meanings.

Absinthe Anecdote
03-07-2014, 07:13 PM
You've hit on part of the key of getting the EPR through the rating chain which is don't piss off the chain. It doesn't always mean bending to their "suggestions" but to respectively look/discuss their changes with them. In many cases it's a change in wording that doesn't distract from the meaning/impact of the bullet.

The only times I really had to fight the rating chain was over the word "Materiel" in our job description. Our AFSC is Medical Materiel and most in the rating chain thought it was Medical Material. I had to explain the "material" is an object or thing whereas "materiel" is the acquisition/movement of "material". I also showed them our official job description which helped settled the matter but I don't think they really understood the difference in meanings.

That is a perfect example of when to dig in your heels! You are wise to be gracious and magnanimous about forcing them to submit to you. That is the kind of opportunity, that if exploited in the right way, will boost your reputation and gain you admirers in key leadership positions.

Chief_KO
03-07-2014, 08:45 PM
If you ever want to read EPRs/1206s that are written in pure gobbledy-gook, I recommend reading Medical Group's.
I swear after reading those it sounded like the base (and the surrounding community!) was totally germ free, cavity free, obese free, cancer free, and each & every patient was litterally dancing for joy in the parking lot after each and every visit.

LogDog
03-07-2014, 09:26 PM
If you ever want to read EPRs/1206s that are written in pure gobbledy-gook, I recommend reading Medical Group's.
I swear after reading those it sounded like the base (and the surrounding community!) was totally germ free, cavity free, obese free, cancer free, and each & every patient was litterally dancing for joy in the parking lot after each and every visit.
Having been in the medical group my whole life I can pretty much agree to this observation. Many of them tried to make the daily activities sound like they were doing something no one else had done and that was BS. But then, of course, the SPs EPRs make them sound like they eliminated crime on-base, have no speeders, etc.. or C.E. keeps all the buildings on base in perfect condition or the Comm ensures all computers and telephone systems operate without problems were filled with just as much BS as medical group EPRs were. I reviewed many EPRs from outside the medical group by sitting on base level quarterly/yearly/BTZ boards and most of them were filled with fluff.

As for the medical career field, it is diverse and sometimes hard to make job accomplishments sound important.

How many lab stool samples processed does it take to have an impact?
How many mental health patients seen does it take?
How many medical records properly kept/stored does it take?

I used to do the reviewing of EPRs and Decs for our group and though I had always been in the medical group even I didn't know a quarter of what they did in their jobs. Now if I didn't have enough information on what they did how would someone in Comm, C.E., SPs, etc. know? The best way for us was to use the standards in our job and how we measured up to the standards. For example, at one base I was responsible for 21 WRM projects from a field hospital, field clinics, Nerve Agent Antidote program, etc. and without being able to state how many items, their dollar value, ability/success to deploy the assets it would be very difficult try and explain what I did and how I did it. What I did when I wrote and reviewed EPRs was to try and make them understandable to someone outside the medical group with little to no fluff (that was sometimes hard to do).

Chief_KO
03-07-2014, 10:02 PM
I was at a remote location a few years ago. The MDG worked with the local government to field a hearing test facility (first on the island). I'm pretty sure it was more of a state department type program vice the MDG, but it was still a noble effort. My spidey sense tingled when I read their bullet...even if you counted every person on island, multiplied by two (2 ears), added every bovine, canine, feline, and other creature there was no way the number totalled what they were touting...

Reminded me of an LRS package...claimed they cut the cost of something by 160%...so now we are turning a profit?

In comm I killed a lot of bogus bullets when I first got into the CCM chair (two units). Kinda hard to impress a board with your 99.978 uptime rate when folks were unable to log on, use email, or other applications for 2 whole days during the time period. Yes, our network was up 99.978%, but when the user can't use it I consider it to be down.

sandsjames
03-07-2014, 10:20 PM
If you ever want to read EPRs/1206s that are written in pure gobbledy-gook, I recommend reading Medical Group's.
I swear after reading those it sounded like the base (and the surrounding community!) was totally germ free, cavity free, obese free, cancer free, and each & every patient was litterally dancing for joy in the parking lot after each and every visit.

And the problem is that most people don't want to write them like that but are unable to get them through if they don't.