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Rusty Jones
04-22-2014, 07:46 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140422/NEWS01/304220043/Letter-Why-won-t-re-enlist


Six years ago, fresh out of high school, I joined the Air National Guard. I was working a dead-end job making $10 an hour, no insurance, and no way to go to college without loans. The decision was a no-brainer: Learn a skill, earn money for college, and have access to health care. I had every reason to join, and the recruiter knew that.

I met my future wife right before I left for basic training. We managed to stay together through the year and a half of basic and technical school, only for me to get home and be activated for a six-month deployment. I proposed before I left so that she would know I was serious about being together.

I returned and faced the same dilemma as before. Luckily, I scored a full-time active-duty position preserving my coveted benefits.

Six years, multiple deployments and several mental breakdowns later, I am ready to put the Air Force in my past forever.

I am not trying to paint a negative picture of the Air Force — I am simply telling it as it is. The Air Force has given me a lot, but what it took in return was more valuable. With so much in the news about the military, from the scandals to the budget, I think it is important to tell it from the perspective of the enlisted member. If the Air Force plans on maintaining an enlisted force, leaders would be wise to listen to the enlisted perspective. They successfully chased me away, and I know I am not the only one.

My plan was simple (or so I thought): Stay in 20 years and retire with a good pension and health care for life. I would be 38 with time to start a second career.

That unsinkable plan started taking on water pretty quickly. My wife and I had talked about kids, but we were going to wait until the deployments slowed down, if ever that would be. My good pension was becoming more of a dream every day as the financial situation in Washington got worse. The separation from my wife caused problems but was a reality that we accepted as necessary to live comfortably. We had food, shelter and health care. We bought a house, two cars, a flat-screen TV. At 25 and 23, we were living the American dream.

The doubt grew stronger during a recent six-month tour to Southwest Asia. The deployment was no different than any other one before it: My wife and I missed each other, but we were handling it well. The work was mind-numbing and joyless. The leadership was terrible and went out of its way to make everything difficult. The news constantly reported on budget cuts and shrinking military benefits, which really cheers you up while you’re deployed. Emails came in daily assuring us everything was OK and reminding us the mission always comes first. All of it very ordinary, casual and expected, and it was the life I accepted.

Then I had a moment of clarity I will never forget; I was sacrificing my life for money. I had been lured in with promises of money and support and was trapped. I had lost sight of what was truly important for the feeling of security. I had come to accept, without question, my reality because of fear. Fear that was constantly strengthened with every news report about the economy and entrenched with every thought of being poor. I had settled for unhappiness.

Even worse, I had made that decision for my wife. She was living a married life without a husband. Our life was more depressing than I had allowed myself to see.

The catalyst for this epiphany was one of the silliest things to happen to me. First sergeants are the military version of rabid human resources advisers in the corporate world. They walk around and make sure nobody is comfortable or breaking the dress code. My unit had a particularly square individual in this position.

One day at chow I felt obligated to sit with him and my supervisor (I didn’t want to seem rude), and I noticed he was staring at my mustache. Regulations force you to have a Hitler mustache. Most first shirts don’t have an issue as long as you’re not doing anything extravagant, but I knew my first shirt was going to say something. The lecture involved talk about core values and my military duty.

In that moment I realized that I was not going to subject myself to an environment where an old man can decide my fate and lecture me about mustaches and morals just so I can buy things I don’t need to make me feel better about a life I am not enjoying.

I was ready to stop being dependent on the military and discover who I really am. I had been held back, limited, and sucked dry of all happiness. That first sergeant may have been crazy, but he helped me realize that I was crazy, too.

So now I am waiting for my enlistment to be up in three months so I can take off the uniform and put back on the best-fitting clothes I own — myself. My wife is elated, and my future looks brighter every day, even without the so-called “security” I had been so dependent on.

So let me ask a question of those making this military what it is — whether Congressman or commander: What do you expect from one who leaves his family for months to work in an environment designed to stifle happiness, with no freedom, trapped in an overbearing, lawsuit-frightened workplace with power-hungry leaders, all while hearing about pay cuts, getting kicked out, loss of retirement, Tricare increases, and more threats of war?

I hate to be the one to tell you, but you really have this all wrong.

I do not plan to re-enlist in August because I know my life is short and my time too precious to waste, simply for money. I am going to be at home with my wife and able to grow a mustache without anyone trying to tell me how to groom it.

Alright... I was far from being joe, moto, ate-up, or whatever each individual service calls it. And I've never had a complaint about any of the Military Times articles until now... why in the HELL did they feel the need to publish THIS?

He's complaining about the Air Force not letting him wear a type of facial hair that's been out of style since the series finale of Magnum PI (he actually CAN wear a moustache like that in the Navy, but he'll still get fucked with by his peers), among other things... outside of that, I must admit... I had most of the same complaints that he did while I was in.

But it seems to me like he wants to give the Air Force some time to cave into his wants, in order to convince him to stay.

What seems unfortunate to me... is that, assuming his chain of command takes no action against him for this, he's going to end up reenlisting anyway, despite all of his shit-talking.

If any of you folks on active duty know this guy, I'm even willing to get a friendly bet going.

Stalwart
04-22-2014, 08:11 PM
The military isn't for everyone. A lot of people are also trying to stay, some out of a need/desire for the pay & benefits and some out of a genuine desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

I don't and won’t disparage anyone who does their time honorably and pursues other options in the civilian world. Some have it harder or do harder jobs than others, some have it easier. Thanks for his service and good luck.

SomeRandomGuy
04-22-2014, 08:14 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140422/NEWS01/304220043/Letter-Why-won-t-re-enlist



Alright... I was far from being joe, moto, ate-up, or whatever each individual service calls it. And I've never had a complaint about any of the Military Times articles until now... why in the HELL did they feel the need to publish THIS?

He's complaining about the Air Force not letting him wear a type of facial hair that's been out of style since the series finale of Magnum PI (he actually CAN wear a moustache like that in the Navy, but he'll still get fucked with by his peers), among other things... outside of that, I must admit... I had most of the same complaints that he did while I was in.

But it seems to me like he wants to give the Air Force some time to cave into his wants, in order to convince him to stay.

What seems unfortunate to me... is that, assuming his chain of command takes no action against him for this, he's going to end up reenlisting anyway, despite all of his shit-talking.

If any of you folks on active duty know this guy, I'm even willing to get a friendly bet going.

It sounds like he is an AGR (Active Guard). It's funny that he would write this letter. When you accept an AGR position it is a set tour length (usually 4 years) that you agree to serve on Active Duty. Contrary to popular belief you can actually resign an AGR anytime you want. It isn't a firm contract like normal active duty. The only catch is that if you resign an AGR tour you are ineligible for future AGR consideration. My only question is why he is waiting the 3 months for his tour to end? Why doesn't he just quit now?

With all that being said I think you are getting a little too hung up on the mustache thing. I think the author is using that small issue to make a point. He is saying that he joined the military because he is being paid more than he is worth. In return for this job he is being forced to obey a dress code and other rules that he finds ridiculous. His point is valid but he might be in for a rude awakening when he starts looking for jobs in corporate America. I have a well groomed goatee and my company has never complained. Our dress code is basically business casual. I suppose I'm free to shave my head into a mohawk or get a tattoo if I want, but my employer is also free to fire me if they would like. It's a tradeoff that I accept. I work a job that pays me generously and I exchange some small freedoms for it. If I want I can leave and find a $10 an hour job where my employer will care a lot less. That sound slike where this kid is headed.

Measure Man
04-22-2014, 08:31 PM
I think his point was that serving in the AF is not fun, but it could be.

It used to be.

SomeRandomGuy
04-22-2014, 08:40 PM
I think his point was that serving in the AF is not fun, but it could be.

It used to be.

When did it stop being fun? I don't need an exact date, but maybe a timeframe. Normally, when I hear people talk about "The Good old days" they are referring to times when they could get away with anything and there was a lot less accountability. The fun seems to have been sucked out of the Air Force when we started being politically correct. Instead of allowing commanders to give a verbal counseling for marijuana use we setup rules that created a zero tolerance policy. Decisions were taken out of commanders and supervisors hands because the disparity in punishment was rather large. It's sort of the same thing as the PT program. You didn't hear many people complaining about it when units had their own PTL and it was your buddy who hooked you up. Even though you had a 40 inch waist and couldn't walk a mile you always seemed to pass. Then all of the sudden BIG AIR FORCE came along and took that away. Now you actually have to prove you meet the standards. That's no fun at all.

P.S. not trying to turn this into a PT thread just making the point that the good old days often refer to times when you could do whatever you wanted.

fog
04-22-2014, 08:44 PM
My old first sergeant kicked in and I immediately wanted to kick this kids ass. Fricking staff sergeant acting like a spoiled d-bag. Sorry for the bad language folks.

raider8169
04-22-2014, 08:51 PM
I think his point was that serving in the AF is not fun, but it could be.

It used to be.

It still is, only people focus more on the negative things instead of opening their eyes and seeing hey, im overseas and getting paid for it.

People need to understand that the AF doesnt need them and that in a few years we will be forgotten as we PCS or retire. People need the AF a lot more than the otherway around and because we know that we can do these things and weed out the people we dont want. Its sucks but because the demand for people to stay in is higher than people let on, plus those wanting to join if someone can not follow the rules that have been set forth from before they joined we dont need them. Plus hopefully those people getting out are TSgt's and MSgt's so that leaves a better chance for me to get promoted.

Rusty Jones
04-22-2014, 08:56 PM
It sounds like he is an AGR (Active Guard). It's funny that he would write this letter. When you accept an AGR position it is a set tour length (usually 4 years) that you agree to serve on Active Duty. Contrary to popular belief you can actually resign an AGR anytime you want. It isn't a firm contract like normal active duty. The only catch is that if you resign an AGR tour you are ineligible for future AGR consideration. My only question is why he is waiting the 3 months for his tour to end? Why doesn't he just quit now?

That's probably a good reason to assume he went regular Air Force from the Guard.


With all that being said I think you are getting a little too hung up on the mustache thing. I think the author is using that small issue to make a point. He is saying that he joined the military because he is being paid more than he is worth. In return for this job he is being forced to obey a dress code and other rules that he finds ridiculous. His point is valid but he might be in for a rude awakening when he starts looking for jobs in corporate America. I have a well groomed goatee and my company has never complained. Our dress code is basically business casual. I suppose I'm free to shave my head into a mohawk or get a tattoo if I want, but my employer is also free to fire me if they would like. It's a tradeoff that I accept. I work a job that pays me generously and I exchange some small freedoms for it. If I want I can leave and find a $10 an hour job where my employer will care a lot less. That sound slike where this kid is headed.

Agreed, but the motive behind this letter comes into question. Like Stalwart said, the military isn't for everyone. In my case, it kind of was... but the reserves is more than a good balance for me. I'm going through the process right now to get in. Probably most people who get out before they're eligible to retire have the same exact complaints as this guy (except the moustache part. If you're gonna bitch about facial hair restrictions, then let it be because you want a beard or a goatee. Not because you want to look like an 80's pornstar).

I think that he's hoping he can change something with this letter, because it really sounds like he wants to stay. Or that he knows fully well that he may end up staying.

I was in his position before when I was married to my ex-wife. I reenlisted and resented HER for it the whole time... one of the reasons on my end why we're no longer married.

retiredAFcivvy
04-22-2014, 09:07 PM
When did it stop being fun? I don't need an exact date, but maybe a timeframe. Normally, when I hear people talk about "The Good old days" they are referring to times when they could get away with anything and there was a lot less accountability. The fun seems to have been sucked out of the Air Force when we started being politically correct. Instead of allowing commanders to give a verbal counseling for marijuana use we setup rules that created a zero tolerance policy. Decisions were taken out of commanders and supervisors hands because the disparity in punishment was rather large. It's sort of the same thing as the PT program. You didn't hear many people complaining about it when units had their own PTL and it was your buddy who hooked you up. Even though you had a 40 inch waist and couldn't walk a mile you always seemed to pass. Then all of the sudden BIG AIR FORCE came along and took that away. Now you actually have to prove you meet the standards. That's no fun at all.

P.S. not trying to turn this into a PT thread just making the point that the good old days often refer to times when you could do whatever you wanted.

Verbal counseling for marijuana??

360BHR
04-22-2014, 09:17 PM
When did it stop being fun? I don't need an exact date, but maybe a timeframe. Normally, when I hear people talk about "The Good old days" they are referring to times when they could get away with anything and there was a lot less accountability. The fun seems to have been sucked out of the Air Force when we started being politically correct. Instead of allowing commanders to give a verbal counseling for marijuana use we setup rules that created a zero tolerance policy. Decisions were taken out of commanders and supervisors hands because the disparity in punishment was rather large. It's sort of the same thing as the PT program. You didn't hear many people complaining about it when units had their own PTL and it was your buddy who hooked you up. Even though you had a 40 inch waist and couldn't walk a mile you always seemed to pass. Then all of the sudden BIG AIR FORCE came along and took that away. Now you actually have to prove you meet the standards. That's no fun at all.

P.S. not trying to turn this into a PT thread just making the point that the good old days often refer to times when you could do whatever you wanted.

I would say early 90's/McPeak era, when all the QAF stuff started and leadership wanted the AF to run like a corporation. I don't see it as being able to do what ever you wanted, but people were held accountable as individuals and there wasn't the "one guy craps his pants, put everyone in diapers" mentality that has existed since. You were evaluated based on your performance (hence the term "Performance Evaluation") and not all the box-checking that goes on now, i.e. DSD, CCAF, volunteering, etc..

As for PT, although while I believe the cycle ergo test was not the correct way evaluate fitness, I don't think how the program is currently run (as the be-all/end-all career buster) is right either. Back then, if you failed or performed poorly on the test, you were put in a very strictly monitored fitness program (remember the yellow 1975 forms?). As long as you followed the program and documented (with verification & proof) your workouts, you were good to go. It was a pain going to the fitness center 5x/week and having someone witness your workout, but the bottom line was the AF just wanted to ensure you were doing the work, even if the test didn't happen to reflect it. A much better way to motivate people into developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle plan.

Measure Man
04-22-2014, 10:05 PM
When did it stop being fun? I don't need an exact date, but maybe a timeframe.

Hard to say, exactly. I enjoyed the AF very much until around mid-2000s, but me not enjoying it had more to do with me than with the AF, I think. I do think there was more a slow erosion of fun than an all of a sudden it stopped being fun. So, where someone grew fed up along the line is difficult to say. This kid is in a different AF than I was in.


Normally, when I hear people talk about "The Good old days" they are referring to times when they could get away with anything and there was a lot less accountability.

Well, there might be some truth to that. Of course, you couldn't get away with anything....but if you did wake up drunk on the side of the road, there is a fair chance your supervisor would come and pick you up and get you straightened out at his leve...that is, if he wasn't lying drunk right next to you.

I think there is a downside to more and more accountability the way the AF interprets that term. So, I think we go back to Gen Jumper for the accountability push, IIRC correctly....or no, it was farther back, Fogleman, that's the guy!

I think the AF forgets that there are two sides of accountability...there is the side that you have to answer for what you screwed up, but there is also the side that when your thing comes out well, you are credited with it. Because of the complete demise of the EPR and overproliferatio of awards, there is not much ways to give REAL credit for performance.


The fun seems to have been sucked out of the Air Force when we started being politically correct. Instead of allowing commanders to give a verbal counseling for marijuana use we setup rules that created a zero tolerance policy. Decisions were taken out of commanders and supervisors hands because the disparity in punishment was rather large. It's sort of the same thing as the PT program. You didn't hear many people complaining about it when units had their own PTL and it was your buddy who hooked you up. Even though you had a 40 inch waist and couldn't walk a mile you always seemed to pass. Then all of the sudden BIG AIR FORCE came along and took that away. Now you actually have to prove you meet the standards. That's no fun at all.

P.S. not trying to turn this into a PT thread just making the point that the good old days often refer to times when you could do whatever you wanted.

Yeah, I don't think you used to be able to "do whatever you wanted", there were still limits, but your overall worth and value to the unit was more measured in how good of a mechanic/technician, etc. you were moreso than anything else. Yes a shit-hot mechanic could get away with more. Now, your overall worth is your ability to stay off the weekly slides.

ConfusedAirman
04-22-2014, 10:07 PM
The little whiner should just GTFO singing the Rolling Stones classic, "You Can't Always Get What You Want", as he rolls out the gate. I despise anyone who whine about deployments and time away from family.

Measure Man
04-22-2014, 10:08 PM
As for PT, although while I believe the cycle ergo test was not the correct way evaluate fitness, I don't think how the program is currently run (as the be-all/end-all career buster) is right either. Back then, if you failed or performed poorly on the test, you were put in a very strictly monitored fitness program (remember the yellow 1975 forms?). As long as you followed the program and documented (with verification & proof) your workouts, you were good to go. It was a pain going to the fitness center 5x/week and having someone witness your workout, but the bottom line was the AF just wanted to ensure you were doing the work, even if the test didn't happen to reflect it. A much better way to motivate people into developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle plan.

Ha ha...yeah, I remember my old flight chief being in the fitness program...every moring at 0700 he'd be shuffling around the track with a Diet Pepsi in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

That was even before the cycle though...back when the annual 1.5 mile run was our fitness program. I'll tell you what though, I bet if we went back to the Weight Management Program of the 80s, more than half the AF would fail.

TomTom093
04-22-2014, 10:08 PM
Does he think that he's the only person to go through that stress, the multiple deployments, the time away from family, etc? Maybe the outside world will treat him well.

retiredAFcivvy
04-22-2014, 10:09 PM
The military isn't for everyone. A lot of people are also trying to stay, some out of a need/desire for the pay & benefits and some out of a genuine desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

I don't and won’t disparage anyone who does their time honorably and pursues other options in the civilian world. Some have it harder or do harder jobs than others, some have it easier. Thanks for his service and good luck.
I agree with you 100%. I just hope that later on he will look back and see the things that he gained because of his time in the military.

VCO
04-22-2014, 10:16 PM
I agree that the AF has changed greatly over the last 15 years. A lot of the old fashioned fun is gone, but the demographic of the service has also changed. Airmen are expected to be more mature as soon as they get to their first base. I see people getting hammered for stuff that we used to just get a stern talking to (from a crusty E5-E6) for back in the day. With that said, if this guy wants to get out, he should. The AF is cutting folks anyways. No reason to stay if he doesn't want to. I don't completely disagree with his article.

TomTom093
04-22-2014, 10:17 PM
I think his point was that serving in the AF is not fun, but it could be.

It used to be.

It still is, if you make it fun.

Measure Man
04-22-2014, 11:05 PM
I despise anyone who whine about deployments and time away from family.

I don't understand despising someone who wants to be with their family.

TJMAC77SP
04-23-2014, 12:07 AM
I don't understand despising someone who wants to be with their family.

I don't either. Family separation is a very large burden. I remember laughing at PYB who stated anyone who didn't join the military to defend their country was a disgrace. We all serve (or served) for a lot of reasons, most for several simultaneously. I think the young SSgt probably could have left out the First Shirt and mustache story but I do get the underlying premise. I certainly understand his desire to keep his family together..

ConfusedAirman
04-23-2014, 01:00 AM
Wanting to be with family is one thing (and very commendable). Whining about how deployments take you away from family is another.

Capt Alfredo
04-23-2014, 01:30 AM
He's complaining about the Air Force not letting him wear a type of facial hair that's been out of style since the series finale of Magnum PI (he actually CAN wear a moustache like that in the Navy, but he'll still get fucked with by his peers), among other things... outside of that, I must admit... I had most of the same complaints that he did while I was in.

Rusty, I think you're missing the whole point here. The moustache thing was just the straw that broke the camel's back. The point is that the Air Force has become so obsessed with style over substance that the fact we're deploying people for no reason other than to appear "all-in" doesn't seem to have occurred to Air Force leadership. We're not only wasting money, but we're burning up families and airmen for no good reason. The vast majority of "support" TDYs to SWA could be done from home station, but too many in charge don't embrace the "smarter, not harder" ethos we once proudly advertised as our way of life. The moustache is just a symptom.

Capt Alfredo
04-23-2014, 01:33 AM
The little whiner should just GTFO singing the Rolling Stones classic, "You Can't Always Get What You Want", as he rolls out the gate. I despise anyone who whine about deployments and time away from family.

Yes, Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid anyone point out the emperor has no clothes on.

Gonzo432
04-23-2014, 02:57 AM
Yes, Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid anyone point out the emperor has no clothes on.

Wasn't that the band that opened for the Stones at Altimont? Bernie Leden of The Eagles was with them. No, that was the Flying Burrito Brothers.

:focus When it's time to walk away, walk away. Make your decision and have a plan.

talon1load
04-23-2014, 02:59 AM
A lot of you guys are just assholes. No offense but if you can't see how messed up the Air Force is then you need to pull your head out of your ass. The guy is tired of constant deployments and tired of the focus being on stupid stuff. I completely understand. How about instead of getting pissed because someone has gotten fed up with the BS you just wish him well. The Air Force isn't a lot of fun anymore and leadership cares more about your PT test than they do on your actual ability to do your primary job. That's ridiculous. I definitely understand where this guy is coming from and I hope he finds what he's looking for on he outside.

VFFTSGT
04-23-2014, 03:00 AM
Rusty, I think you're missing the whole point here. The moustache thing was just the straw that broke the camel's back. The point is that the Air Force has become so obsessed with style over substance that the fact we're deploying people for no reason other than to appear "all-in" doesn't seem to have occurred to Air Force leadership. We're not only wasting money, but we're burning up families and airmen for no good reason. The vast majority of "support" TDYs to SWA could be done from home station, but too many in charge don't embrace the "smarter, not harder" ethos we once proudly advertised as our way of life. The moustache is just a symptom.

Thank you...someone else saw the "bigger picture" or point with this article. I read the article and can relate a lot to it. I cannot believe some of the comments on the article too...other Airmen (some purporting to be of higher rank) trying to act like they are better than this guy. It did always seem like the careerists seem threatened by people who question the careerist way of life.

So many commenters on the article say "rules are rules." What rule from what Guidance Memorandum to 36-2903 are you suppose to follow though? It is so easy to say rules are rules. However, the rules keep changing so much, no one can keep up with the latest Air Force fad that is called a rule. I've seen SNCO's try to enforce rules that were outdated because even those "professionals" couldn't keep up. The rules changed so much that they could not get 36-2903 (and other regulations) re-written in time. Guidance Memorandums use to only be good for 180 days and could not be renewed; that was to prevent exactly what has happened - constant and endless arbitrary changes that provide no benefit to the Air Force. So...they changed 33-360 and made Guidance Memorandums good for 1 year. Also, anyone could walk into any office in the Air Force and find and write up multiple rules from AFI's that are not being followed... No one person in the Air Force is following all of the rules. Of course, the mustache rule wasn't the point...people clearly missed the point.

The writer just finally saw through the brainwashing and realized he was throwing his life away for nothing.

I got out after well over 10 years; don't regret it either...been much happier. My decision was a few years in the making... I can relate to a lot of what he said. And I venture to say many, many more feel this way...especially considering the numbers that have put in for early separation and/or retirement.


Wanting to be with family is one thing (and very commendable). Whining about how deployments take you away from family is another.

He said he has been on multiple 6 month deployments in 6 years. I knew several people at 20 years that NEVER deployed. There is every reason to take issue with deployments.


A lot of you guys are just assholes. No offense but if you can't see how messed up the Air Force is then you need to pull your head out of your ass. The guy is tired of constant deployments and tired of the focus being on stupid stuff. I completely understand. How about instead of getting pissed because someone has gotten fed up with the BS you just wish him well. The Air Force isn't a lot of fun anymore and leadership cares more about your PT test than they do on your actual ability to do your primary job. That's ridiculous. I definitely understand where this guy is coming from and I hope he finds what he's looking for on he outside.

Some people simply don't have the complex thinking abilities to realize or see how messed up things are.

A prime example is how they focus on the mustache issue from the article...when that was not the issue...it was a symptom.

Another example would be how they think we are more free and secure since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. People don't realize how little freedom they actually have. Everything is excessively taxed and regulated.

They are probably the ones that excel at PT but could not perform their primary duties if their life depended on it.

Just remember one thing...Congress is putting billions more into a plane that is billions over budget and years behind schedule. (F-35) Life is short...decide what is important to you. For me...family was.

Chief_KO
04-23-2014, 03:34 AM
It is easy to read his letter and have a stereotypical STFU or GTFO response. But after reading it again and again and skipping over the mustache silliness he makes many valid points, especially when you're being told how appreciative the nation is, how much support you have, how you make a difference, etc.; only to have a seemingly non-stop barrage of cuts to nearly every personnel support program that affects you and your family. Remember "Mission First, People Always"?

I'd bet a dozen donuts (this retiree's standard bet) that all the mustache comments were a direct poke in the eye at the SecAF, CSAF, CMSAF; whose only response (publicly) to the non-stop barrage was an "all-in" challenge to grow a mustache. Is that the best our senior leadership can offer???

For the record, I've always doubted that anyone (at anytime) honestly signed up with the full intention of doing 20 years (or more). Sure there might be 1 out of 1,000; but the vast majority (IMO) that say they joined to make it a career are just saying something they think is the right thing to say.

Second retiree bet: Pretty sure everyone who has ever worn a uniform has expressed at least one (if not more) of these same thoughts & opinions. Thanks to today's endless media access & folks' desire for 15 minutes of fame (Andy Warhol), these thoughts are now expressed en masse', rather than at the club on a Friday over beers.

TJMAC77SP
04-23-2014, 04:06 AM
........................

Second retiree bet: Pretty sure everyone who has ever worn a uniform has expressed at least one (if not more) of these same thoughts & opinions. Thanks to today's endless media access & folks' desire for 15 minutes of fame (Andy Warhol), these thoughts are now expressed en masse', rather than at the club on a Friday over beers.

Both my hands up to be counted.

waveshaper2
04-23-2014, 04:29 AM
Both my hands up to be counted.

I'm in the same boat; NCO Club, over beers, while watching the local exotic dancers, and not just on Friday nights.

wxjumper
04-23-2014, 05:20 AM
It stopped being fun when the gate guard would no longer let you through after he asked how much you had to drink tonight and you said "only 4 beers".

crwchf16
04-23-2014, 05:59 AM
This article came out in last week's AF Times and since then I've been wondering who would be the first to post about it in here. There are a multitude of reasons that most of the fun has gone out of this job and to try to list them here would take the rest of the week. I think the fun has been slowly eroded by the nonstop ops tempo coupled with constant exercises which have little to do with the way we actually fight. An equally large multitude of policies which do not aid in the completion of the mission doesn’t help either (Read: the over-emphasis on PT). Compounding all this is the ever-shrinking manpower pool which forces those of us who opt to stay in to pick up the roles of those who are gone. You can do more with less only to a point, and that is a point which has long since been passed.
I think to beat on this kid as a whiner or wimp is to completely miss what he is trying to say. It takes more than simple monetary compensation to turn a job into a career, it takes a genuine interest in and enjoyment of what you are doing. Much of what made being in the Air Force enjoyable has been slowly taken away by clueless leaders (i.e. the tater-tots major) and replaced with an environment that becomes less and less what anyone wants to be a part of. This is a downward spiral that must be addressed by a clear, unflinching look at what we are doing and why, coupled with a willingness to admit to our mistakes where they are made. To not act on this will be to allow the sort of people we want to keep in, just keep walking out the door. I wish this airman the best of luck in his life and I hope he finds what he is looking for.

AF2017
04-23-2014, 09:32 AM
I agree with this article, and mustache point was just the point that pushed him over the edge.

When did the fun end, I would say around 2004. When the focus became completly on the mission. No more office functions/fun or focus on squadron members and family. No more non-mandatory squadron events. It became a culture of focus on the mission and nothing else. Let's hit the club after work, no can't do that. Let's have a weekend outing, nope not that either. How about we form an Intramurals team, nope don't think about it. Perception became the buzz word. The perception is this _______________.

Good for this kid to realize that the AF isn't for him. This lifestyle isn't fun for him. How many people have you met who have more than 12 years in and are miserable but only staying to 20 for the retirement. The reason most of these people are miserable because it took them a little longer to realize what this kid realized at an earlier point in his time in the AF. For those of you who say I'm staying to 20 and getting out, is it possible your in the same boat as this kid and afraid to admit it?

My big issue, is the picking and choosing which Rules we want to follow. The lack of consistent enforcement across the board. This goes for AFIs, EPRs, DECs, 1206s and squadron and office policies.

Chief_KO
04-23-2014, 01:22 PM
When did the fun end?....Sometime between 1947 & 2014
That is a very good question, and one that AF senior leadership should really listen to and try to unscrew things. There are plenty of anecdotal examples, systemic/organizational, & societal changes across the DoD that we can point to.

In no particular order: De-glamorization of alcohol, outsourcing/privatization; underfunding/defunding of personnel programs; increased DIY personnel programs (with poorly developed webtools); overemphasis on PT scores; forced development/vectoring; clear/continued double standards of UCMJ enforcement/court findings; mismanaged uniform changes; over-reliance on technology; unrealistic operational expectations; oversensitivity/overemphasis on diversity; continued officer-centric history & heritage; ever-increasing two-class system (officer vs. enlisted), (aircrew vs. all others), (mx vs. nonners); too many repetitive/overlapping programs; too many downward directed additional duties; selective enforcement of standards (all); underemphasis on OJT/job qualification; responding too quickly/too often to one Airman's complaint/opinion/hurt feelings; verbose/pedantic/vapid messages from leadership

socal1200r
04-23-2014, 01:42 PM
I'd agree with a previous poster's comment that the fun stopped during the McPeak era. TQM (To Quote McPeak), Quality Circles, aircrew-style name patches on BDUs, service coats that looked like bus driver jackets, etc. As a commander, I would always take someone who knew their AFSC inside out than someone who maxed their AFPT. Another newsflash - we're not all "combat" airmen. AF folks like CCTs, PJs, combat weather, TACPs, and a few others are true "combat" airmen, but the rest of us, we're just blue suiters doing a job, and don't need to be spoonfed all this "we're all warriors" crap. And if the OPSTEMPO wasn't bad enough, add on OREs/ORIs, SAVs, ESOCAMPs, etc., and it just creates a high-stress work environment. Let's change the grading criteria for all these inspections to "pass/fail", that way we won't lose our minds and spend all kinds of time and money trying to get that "outstanding" grade, when a "pass" is good enough. Either the unit can or can't do its mission, that's all that matters, everything else is just shades of gray.

My time has been spent in the Reserve Component, starting with the CA Army Guard back in 1986, then with the CA Air Guard, now with the AF Reserve. Have spent a few years doing active duty tours, been to numerous places in CENTCOM's and EUCOM's AORs, been there, done that, got the t-shirt and coin. But it stopped being fun years ago, and the only reason I'm still in is because of the medical and dental insurance I get thru TriCare Reserve Select. I have no aspirations to make O6, and the thought of having to go thru another PME like a war college just makes me ill. If I could find similar insurance on the outside for what I'm paying for TRS, I'd get the hell out and give them the middle finger salute with both hands. I take no pride in wearing the uniform anymore, even with that nice shiny JS badge, lol! So I can relate to the original article, and wish him well with his post-AF endeavors.

Rusty Jones
04-23-2014, 01:42 PM
Man, the comment on the kids moustache was only a small part of my original post; that wasn't my "focus." I'm just totally puzzled that he's not asking for a whole beard or at least a goatee.

I'm aware of the Army and Air Force standards on moustaches (i.e., can't be wider than the lips). Although more restrictive than the Navy's, I don't fault the Army and Air Force on having those standards at all. Hell, sometimes I wish the Navy had it... as it SHOULD discourage people from growing moustaches AT ALL. But, then again... people in these two services will still grow a moustache anyway, to the extent that the services will allow (ewww!). Guess the discouragement doesn't work.

Okay, rant about the facial hair over.

Unlike most, I'm not saying "STFU or GTFO." I'm saying "STFU and GTFU." The difference? How many people on MTF, or any other message board that you might be a poster on, have made threats of leaving or announced beforehand that they were going to? Why make an event of it, when all you have to do is simply stop posting?

What they're doing is hoping someone begs them to stay. Or accomodates them, so that they get their way.

I don't think that anyone has a problem "admitting" to feeling the same way as this kid, but if they're going to get out... then at least most do so without announcing it to the rest of the world. If he needed an outlet to vent, he could have joined us right here at MTF (or any other military related message board for that matter); and no one here would have thought any less of him for expressing those same thoughts.

technomage1
04-23-2014, 03:09 PM
He probably could've said it much more diplomatically and not invoked names that people can easily figure out, but ultimately he is right. If your chosen occupation becomes a chore and you're only in it for the money, then you should leave. Life is too short.

He's also right about the job security not being what it once was. The AF cannot expect to continue to receive unfailing loyalty when it as an organization treats its members as disposable.

imported_Sgt HULK
04-23-2014, 03:28 PM
A lot of you guys are just assholes. No offense but if you can't see how messed up the Air Force is then you need to pull your head out of your ass. The guy is tired of constant deployments and tired of the focus being on stupid stuff. I completely understand. How about instead of getting pissed because someone has gotten fed up with the BS you just wish him well. The Air Force isn't a lot of fun anymore and leadership cares more about your PT test than they do on your actual ability to do your primary job. That's ridiculous. I definitely understand where this guy is coming from and I hope he finds what he's looking for on he outside.

So what you are saying is you need the whambulance and would like to fill out a hurt feelings report, newsflash. the military deploys, and we are not walmart, you wanna have fun and not deploy best buy is hiring seasonal labor. What did he expect? join the military during a time of war and expect to sit at home greeting people at lowes?

does shit suck? yep it sure does, it also sucks in the real world, shit economy, shit congress, shit administration, shit USA. Its only going to get worse when we transition into peace time airforce.

writing a boohoo pitty party letter gets you just that, ridicule.

I've been home with my familiy now 7 months without a TDY or deployment. That is the longest stretch home for me since the end of 2010. Many have it much worse.

he wants to depart for his own reasons, thank you for your service and see ya later. Crying about al udeid and being in the military knowing full and well when you signed up doesnt get props from me. Sorry if I go against everyone's we should all get a trophy attitude

SomeRandomGuy
04-23-2014, 04:10 PM
I'm in the same boat; NCO Club, over beers, while watching the local exotic dancers, and not just on Friday nights.

During lunch hour too?

waveshaper2
04-23-2014, 04:56 PM
During lunch hour too?

Yes but this was in the 70's/ early 80's at Osan + AFSOC.

waveshaper2
04-23-2014, 05:14 PM
During lunch hour too?

Also, we had a unit bar with a dance stage (Location=ROK). One of my unique additional duties was to recruit local talent (dancers) for unit level festivities which were always attended (in a low key manor) by both host nation and US brass.

VFFTSGT
04-23-2014, 05:28 PM
He probably could've said it much more diplomatically and not invoked names that people can easily figure out, but ultimately he is right. If your chosen occupation becomes a chore and you're only in it for the money, then you should leave. Life is too short.

He's also right about the job security not being what it once was. The AF cannot expect to continue to receive unfailing loyalty when it as an organization treats its members as disposable.

My over the edge moment was the realization that EVERYONE I ever worked with or worked for (from multiple units at multiple bases) that was near, at, or over 20...was only kicking the can around until retirement. I cannot recall ONE person who I worked for who was near retirement and truly enjoyed what they were doing. They weren't there to serve. They weren't there defending freedom. They were chasing a check. Granted, they were probably burned out for many of the same reasons I was, but it was not what I wanted in life. I joined to do something with my life and I had become exactly what I didn't want to...a 9-5 drone.

Clearly more people feel the same and are starting to realize it's not what it's was all cut out to be considering the number of people who have submitted for early separation or retirement. I heard 70,000; that's almost 25% of the active force. They even temporarily halted the programs because of the overload. AFPC was screwing up because they were so overloaded.

Sergeant eNYgma
04-23-2014, 06:24 PM
Thank you...someone else saw the "bigger picture" or point with this article. I read the article and can relate a lot to it. I cannot believe some of the comments on the article too...other Airmen (some purporting to be of higher rank) trying to act like they are better than this guy. It did always seem like the careerists seem threatened by people who question the careerist way of life.

So many commenters on the article say "rules are rules." What rule from what Guidance Memorandum to 36-2903 are you suppose to follow though? It is so easy to say rules are rules. However, the rules keep changing so much, no one can keep up with the latest Air Force fad that is called a rule. I've seen SNCO's try to enforce rules that were outdated because even those "professionals" couldn't keep up. The rules changed so much that they could not get 36-2903 (and other regulations) re-written in time. Guidance Memorandums use to only be good for 180 days and could not be renewed; that was to prevent exactly what has happened - constant and endless arbitrary changes that provide no benefit to the Air Force. So...they changed 33-360 and made Guidance Memorandums good for 1 year. Also, anyone could walk into any office in the Air Force and find and write up multiple rules from AFI's that are not being followed... No one person in the Air Force is following all of the rules. Of course, the mustache rule wasn't the point...people clearly missed the point.

The writer just finally saw through the brainwashing and realized he was throwing his life away for nothing.

I got out after well over 10 years; don't regret it either...been much happier. My decision was a few years in the making... I can relate to a lot of what he said. And I venture to say many, many more feel this way...especially considering the numbers that have put in for early separation and/or retirement.



He said he has been on multiple 6 month deployments in 6 years. I knew several people at 20 years that NEVER deployed. There is every reason to take issue with deployments.



Some people simply don't have the complex thinking abilities to realize or see how messed up things are.

A prime example is how they focus on the mustache issue from the article...when that was not the issue...it was a symptom.

Another example would be how they think we are more free and secure since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. People don't realize how little freedom they actually have. Everything is excessively taxed and regulated.

They are probably the ones that excel at PT but could not perform their primary duties if their life depended on it.

Just remember one thing...Congress is putting billions more into a plane that is billions over budget and years behind schedule. (F-35) Life is short...decide what is important to you. For me...family was.

I agree with everything you said 100% seriously. People are retarded and bypassed the points he was making. I agree with what he has said though I myself just reenlisted for another 6 (Gawd lol). I plan on finishing my Bachelors and seeing how things look after that...if I stay I stay if I go I go and will have a plan. I used to think the careerist way when younger but being older now and after 6 years i realized this crap burns you out over time...some just fight through it but nobody is lesser for wanting to move on. The author of this article did his time, let him move on...

OtisRNeedleman
04-23-2014, 07:21 PM
Reading the departing airman's letter and the responses made me think of my old - actually, not that old - Adult Air Force (AAF). The AAF wasn't always easy, wasn't always fun, but most things seemed to make sense, and when shit happened the AAF did take care of you. You could work generally feeling that the AAF had your back. The opposite has happened now. Today's AF is never easy, never fun, most things don't seem to make a whole lot of sense, and when shit happens you can no longer depend on the AF to take care of you. The AF most assuredly does NOT have your back.

I'd paraphrase something I read in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle... Every day for people in today's AF is one day closer to being shaken from the tree, one day closer to being discarded. "Mustache March"'s, the great BBQ baloney - band-aids over cancer.

And know what REALLY sucks about today's AF? The sheer amount of time, effort, and resources devoted to screwing with people. Takes FAR less effort to treat people like adults and deal with problem people by exception. Think of what such savings could yield in terms of mission accomplishment and organizational health.

It's an AF that runs scared. It's a military that runs scared. It's an America that runs scared. And we've done it to ourselves.

Luckily, our most likely world-class opponents - Russia and China - are at least as screwed up in their own ways, perhaps even more than we are.

Otis

Rusty Jones
04-23-2014, 09:30 PM
I really don't think that those who agree with the author of this letter are really doing themselves any favors by engaging in character assault on those who are opposed.

EVERYTHING that he complained about are things that come with being in the MILITARY. I'm sure that he, like every other American, has watched enough military movies - Platoon, Stripes, Full Metal Jacket, Hunt For Red October, Top Gun, Jarheads, Cadence (you name it) - to get a general idea of what military life is like.

Granted... seeing it and experiencing it are two different things. I get that. I get that most people, even though they see it on TV or were around military their whole lives, aren't going to decide that they hate it until they experience it.

But what does he hope to gain from writing this letter? Does he want the military to stop being the military?

I don't think the complaint is so much about poor leadership, or whatever. It's about grooming regulations, time away from family, and having less personal freedoms than civilians.

Again, I had the same complaints while I was in. So I got out. Do I want the military to change any of that? Of course not; I wouldn't have it any other way. Just because it wasn't for me, that doesn't mean that it's not for someone else.

If the author had it his way, many of the same people defending him would be the same people complaining about how the military is "going soft" BECAUSE the changes happened according to his requests.

TomTom093
04-23-2014, 10:51 PM
We've had troops separated from their families since 1775. We've had deployments since 1785. We've had BS standards since 1775 as well. None of this is new, and none of it is going away from one person complaining on AF Times.

Similar story with a friend of mine. He joined the Army Infantry straight out of high school in 2011, and has spent every minute since then bitching about the training, being away from home, the deployments, the PT, Army bullshit, you name it, he bitches about it. And if anyone points out the fact that he joined infantry during a time of war, no one made him join, and he shouldn't have expected any different, he bitches even more.

This kid is the same way. We're at war. We're going to deploy people. Like it or not, the AF needs to get rid of people. If they can get someone to separate because the person doesn't want to shave, that's fine and dandy. One less person to give a bonus to for involuntary separation.

B1k3rBoi
04-24-2014, 01:43 AM
I think the kid is a just a victim of his generation. If he came in 20 years ago, I think his outlook on the AF would be a little bit different. Ever since 9/11 we have been deploying and spending more time away from our families, yes, it sucks but someone has to do it. I don't blame the guy for ranting and saying he's done with the AF, fine, get out then. I know the AF has gone the way of the corporate world and the budget is shrinking, etc.. but what it comes down to is the AF is still the MILITARY and we all knew that when we signed up. The MILITARY is in the business of killing people when called upon. It's not for everyone. Some people can take orders with a grain of salt and not complain, others, not so much. Hopefully he finds what he's looking for when he gets out, but I guarantee wherever he ends up, he'll be bragging to his new coworkers about his time he spent in the AIR FORCE.

VFFTSGT
04-24-2014, 02:35 AM
I think the kid is a just a victim of his generation. If he came in 20 years ago, I think his outlook on the AF would be a little bit different. Ever since 9/11 we have been deploying and spending more time away from our families, yes, it sucks but someone has to do it. I don't blame the guy for ranting and saying he's done with the AF, fine, get out then. I know the AF has gone the way of the corporate world and the budget is shrinking, etc.. but what it comes down to is the AF is still the MILITARY and we all knew that when we signed up. The MILITARY is in the business of killing people when called upon. It's not for everyone. Some people can take orders with a grain of salt and not complain, others, not so much. Hopefully he finds what he's looking for when he gets out, but I guarantee wherever he ends up, he'll be bragging to his new coworkers about his time he spent in the AIR FORCE.

No they don't...these decade plus wars have done nothing for the US...that is part of the problem. Many people see through the propaganda that has been sold to America.

B1k3rBoi
04-24-2014, 03:28 AM
No they don't...these decade plus wars have done nothing for the US...that is part of the problem. Many people see through the propaganda that has been sold to America.

Exactly!!! They don't! If they don't like it, they can get out. If we never went to SWA we would be in a worse position than we are now. Propaganda my ass. You're funny!

Chief_KO
04-24-2014, 04:39 AM
Twenty-three years ago we had an event known as Operation DESERT STORM...unfortunately that set the standard against which all future military engagements will be measured: a quick/decisive war, a formal/televised surrender followed by a massive victory parade. Heck, remember when AEFs were 90 days? That's obviously going to be long enough deployment!

It is far different to battle a uniformed enemy (of a nation state) fighting in mostly traditional and following acceptable rules of engagement vice an enemy (of an ideology) that can look like anyone from age 8 to 80 and uses methods that are mostly against the laws of armed conflict.
If you've entered military service in the last 23 years, you willingly joined (for whatever reason) an Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marine Corps far different than its predecessors 24 years ago. And I say thank you for your service, be it for 4 years or 20+ years.

From Sept 12 2001 till about Sept 2003 we (the U.S.) were truly the United States. Then, we started to slowly (then quickly) spiral back down the sewer into infighting: us v. them, democrat v. republican, liberal v. conservative, etc., etc., etc. We tired of the war(s), the daily updates of body counts, Code Pink, "Bush Lied", "No war for Oil", etc. And this is exactly what the enemy(s) knew would happen, just a strategy to wait us out; then kill those that helped us.

Would the world be different if we did nothing but lob a few Tomahawk cruise missiles into (fill in blank)stan? Saddam & his boys still alive? Osama? Hard to answer that one honestly, cause we really don't know, do we?
Could the war(s) been better executed? Of course...can't everything be done better? Hindsight is always 20/20. Intel reports are never "100%", there is always a dissenting opinion: "Is the glass half empty or half full?"
What if we had never pulled out Beirut after the Marine barracks bombing? Kept Wheelus AB in Libya, Clark AB/Subic Bay in the PI, & WWII airbases in Pakistan/Afghanistan/China? What's more expensive, maintaining overseas bases, trying to "buy allies" via foreign aid (which typically does not reach the populace) or American blood?
What if we pulled out of Japan & Germany in 1947? Pretty sure the zealots would have resumed control.
What if we pulled out of Korea in 1955? Bet every home on the peninsula would be sporting a Kim Il Sun family portrait.

My personal view: I have no desire to ever visit that part of the world ever again.

The Jeannie known as "Back in the Day" will never return, for a variety of reasons.

VFFTSGT
04-24-2014, 05:36 AM
Exactly!!! They don't! If they don't like it, they can get out. If we never went to SWA we would be in a worse position than we are now. Propaganda my ass. You're funny!

Tell me how Americans have more freedom today than before Afghanistan and Iraq.

wxjumper
04-24-2014, 06:25 AM
Tell me how Americans have more freedom today than before Afghanistan and Iraq.

America may not be more "free" but it is safer. Doing nothing would have gave those who want to do harm to our way of life more freedom to conduct spectacular attacks inside the U.S.

Clinton did nothing for 8 years but shoot some tomahawks into a few empty tents, and it resulted in 9/11. :bolt

VFFTSGT
04-24-2014, 10:08 AM
America may not be more "free" but it is safer. Doing nothing would have gave those who want to do harm to our way of life more freedom to conduct spectacular attacks inside the U.S.

Clinton did nothing for 8 years but shoot some tomahawks into a few empty tents, and it resulted in 9/11. :bolt

Being safer is only a perception and contrary to popular belief...perception is not reality. Reality is reality. Perception is only reality for the person lacking critical thinking skills.

And are we really safer? I flew through Miami a couple years ago and was told by a TSA agent that my military ID was not an acceptable form of ID. His supervisor apologized and told me he doesn't normally work the gates; that's safer, uh?

We were "safe" until 9/11. And we will be "safe" until the next big attack happens again.

Something America doesn't like to do...is look at itself and consider why we have these enemies in the first place. It likely goes back to the US orchestrated overthrow of a democratically elected president of Iran back in 1953 because that president did not suit US oil interest. And there is that whole thing with that group of people we armed in Afghanistan many many years ago to fight Russia. But no, America is better than everyone else and we are always right...

You know by many counts (and they vary based on what numbers you look at)...we have killed far more innocent civilians in "collateral damage" than were killed on 9/11?

Think about every US military operation since WWII. How many defended the US Constitution or the freedoms of America? And how many were successful in their purported mission? HINT: Look somewhere besides the PDG. ;)

Well, it's been nice re-visiting the forums. I'm probably going to go crawl back to my little peaceful world now. I might lurk back later on sometime. Enjoy the food for thought. :)

BOSS302
04-24-2014, 11:27 AM
Being safer is only a perception and contrary to popular belief...perception is not reality. Reality is reality. Perception is only reality for the person lacking critical thinking skills.

And are we really safer? I flew through Miami a couple years ago and was told by a TSA agent that my military ID was not an acceptable form of ID. His supervisor apologized and told me he doesn't normally work the gates; that's safer, uh?

We were "safe" until 9/11. And we will be "safe" until the next big attack happens again.

Something America doesn't like to do...is look at itself and consider why we have these enemies in the first place. It likely goes back to the US orchestrated overthrow of a democratically elected president of Iran back in 1953 because that president did not suit US oil interest. And there is that whole thing with that group of people we armed in Afghanistan many many years ago to fight Russia. But no, America is better than everyone else and we are always right...

You know by many counts (and they vary based on what numbers you look at)...we have killed far more innocent civilians in "collateral damage" than were killed on 9/11?

Think about every US military operation since WWII. How many defended the US Constitution or the freedoms of America? And how many were successful in their purported mission? HINT: Look somewhere besides the PDG. ;)

Well, it's been nice re-visiting the forums. I'm probably going to go crawl back to my little peaceful world now. I might lurk back later on sometime. Enjoy the food for thought. :)

Aww. Someone has been watching Ron Paul videos and reading Wikipedia. Cute.

BOSS302
04-24-2014, 11:37 AM
There's much to be said about exiting gracefully. My issue with this "letter" is that there was even a "letter" at all AND it was published.

"Woe is me. Wahhhh."

He is undoubtedly a product of this recent age in which people are rewarded for their self-centered, attention-seeking behavior. I am surprised the "letter" was not littered with hastags, at least one YOLO, and a selfie.

"I am fed up with the Air Force #hardknocklife #Doingtime. I am tired of deployments #ServingMyCountry #AmericasHeroes. Here is my swan song for all the Internets to see #YOLO #IAmDoingMe."

It would have been nice if he had just shut up, finished his enlistment, and left in a professional and dignified manner. Thank you for your service, now go enjoy almost the same bullcrap in the civilian world. Instead, we get to witness effeminate whinings taken straight from the FaceTwitterGramBook Guide to Etiquette.

Ass.

wxjumper
04-24-2014, 11:49 AM
Being safer is only a perception and contrary to popular belief...perception is not reality. Reality is reality. Perception is only reality for the person lacking critical thinking skills.

And are we really safer? I flew through Miami a couple years ago and was told by a TSA agent that my military ID was not an acceptable form of ID. His supervisor apologized and told me he doesn't normally work the gates; that's safer, uh?

We were "safe" until 9/11. And we will be "safe" until the next big attack happens again.

Something America doesn't like to do...is look at itself and consider why we have these enemies in the first place. It likely goes back to the US orchestrated overthrow of a democratically elected president of Iran back in 1953 because that president did not suit US oil interest. And there is that whole thing with that group of people we armed in Afghanistan many many years ago to fight Russia. But no, America is better than everyone else and we are always right...

You know by many counts (and they vary based on what numbers you look at)...we have killed far more innocent civilians in "collateral damage" than were killed on 9/11?

Think about every US military operation since WWII. How many defended the US Constitution or the freedoms of America? And how many were successful in their purported mission? HINT: Look somewhere besides the PDG. ;)

Well, it's been nice re-visiting the forums. I'm probably going to go crawl back to my little peaceful world now. I might lurk back later on sometime. Enjoy the food for thought. :)

It's almost like you read off verbatim the 10 year old Daily KOS talking points.

wxjumper
04-24-2014, 11:53 AM
"I am fed up with the Air Force #hardknocklife #Doingtime. I am tired of deployments #ServingMyCountry #AmericasHeroes. Here is my swan song for all the Internets to see #YOLO #IAmDoingMe."


I just literally spit Rip It though my nose after reading that. I learned my lesson, I can't be in mid-drink with a carbonated beverage while reading your posts.

fog
04-24-2014, 03:33 PM
Tyndall NCO Club casual bar had a girl in a bikini on a small stage in the corner dancing. This was 1982.

TJMAC77SP
04-24-2014, 03:38 PM
Tyndall NCO Club casual bar had a girl in a bikini on a small stage in the corner dancing. This was 1982.

Long gone by January 1986...............................

fog
04-24-2014, 03:40 PM
Can you say what VFFTSGT means? Just curious.

TJMAC77SP
04-24-2014, 03:42 PM
Can you say what VFFTSGT means? Just curious.

No and would rather think about the girl in the bikini.

SomeRandomGuy
04-24-2014, 05:27 PM
Tyndall NCO Club casual bar had a girl in a bikini on a small stage in the corner dancing. This was 1982.


Long gone by January 1986...............................

Someone must have wifed her. Now she works at the BX...

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
04-25-2014, 01:46 PM
Someone must have wifed her. Now she works at the BX...

He said she was at Tyndall, not Korea or the Phillipines.

waveshaper2
04-25-2014, 02:56 PM
He said she was at Tyndall, not Korea or the Phillipines.

Good point; Former US exotic dancers career = Welfare queens and/or meth head.
Former Korean/Philippines/Thai exotic dancers career (if someone wived them) = BX/commissary/barber.

ChiefAD
04-25-2014, 03:41 PM
The military isn't for everyone. A lot of people are also trying to stay, some out of a need/desire for the pay & benefits and some out of a genuine desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

I don't and won’t disparage anyone who does their time honorably and pursues other options in the civilian world. Some have it harder or do harder jobs than others, some have it easier. Thanks for his service and good luck.

+1 but I am curious as to the deployment ratio for Airmen in the Guard or AGR program. Army NG an RA is 1 year deploy - 3 to 5 years dwell.

Rainmaker
04-25-2014, 06:34 PM
Rainmaker stopped reading at: "I proposed before I left so that she would know I was serious about being together"
No good whatsoever can come out of this. You should have made her wait till you got back so that YOU would know SHE was serious. Who cares if he reenlists. Obviously this guy is an idiot.

BOSS302
04-25-2014, 06:39 PM
Former Korean/Philippines/Thai exotic dancers career (if someone wived them) = BX/commissary/barber.

They also open shitty restaurants near the main gate of their new base. Everyone says, "Oh yeah brah did you hear about the new restaurant that MSgt Buck's wife Jazelle opened? It's called 'Lumpia Dreams.' Let's go try it for lunch!". Two months later, everyone is bored of it, has reverted to AAFES dog food, and the place shutters.

fufu
04-29-2014, 03:32 PM
I agree with this article, and mustache point was just the point that pushed him over the edge.

When did the fun end, I would say around 2004. When the focus became completly on the mission. No more office functions/fun or focus on squadron members and family. No more non-mandatory squadron events. It became a culture of focus on the mission and nothing else. Let's hit the club after work, no can't do that. Let's have a weekend outing, nope not that either. How about we form an Intramurals team, nope don't think about it. Perception became the buzz word. The perception is this _______________.

Good for this kid to realize that the AF isn't for him. This lifestyle isn't fun for him. How many people have you met who have more than 12 years in and are miserable but only staying to 20 for the retirement. The reason most of these people are miserable because it took them a little longer to realize what this kid realized at an earlier point in his time in the AF. For those of you who say I'm staying to 20 and getting out, is it possible your in the same boat as this kid and afraid to admit it?

My big issue, is the picking and choosing which Rules we want to follow. The lack of consistent enforcement across the board. This goes for AFIs, EPRs, DECs, 1206s and squadron and office policies.


:raiseshand: :ballchain

I feel that way everyday. I chose security over happiness as well. While I don't understand why it was published, I do agree with 70% of the comments. I'm over 15 and likely won't be promoted again. I'm just chilling until retirement.

fufu
04-29-2014, 03:34 PM
When did the fun end?....Sometime between 1947 & 2014
That is a very good question, and one that AF senior leadership should really listen to and try to unscrew things. There are plenty of anecdotal examples, systemic/organizational, & societal changes across the DoD that we can point to.

In no particular order: De-glamorization of alcohol, outsourcing/privatization; underfunding/defunding of personnel programs; increased DIY personnel programs (with poorly developed webtools); overemphasis on PT scores; forced development/vectoring; clear/continued double standards of UCMJ enforcement/court findings; mismanaged uniform changes; over-reliance on technology; unrealistic operational expectations; oversensitivity/overemphasis on diversity; continued officer-centric history & heritage; ever-increasing two-class system (officer vs. enlisted), (aircrew vs. all others), (mx vs. nonners); too many repetitive/overlapping programs; too many downward directed additional duties; selective enforcement of standards (all); underemphasis on OJT/job qualification; responding too quickly/too often to one Airman's complaint/opinion/hurt feelings; verbose/pedantic/vapid messages from leadership

^This! Its the little things that make our lives better. Pointless CBTs, oversensitivity on diversity... those drive me crazy!

VFFTSGT
04-30-2014, 09:16 AM
... How many people have you met who have more than 12 years in and are miserable but only staying to 20 for the retirement. The reason most of these people are miserable because it took them a little longer to realize what this kid realized at an earlier point in his time in the AF. For those of you who say I'm staying to 20 and getting out, is it possible your in the same boat as this kid and afraid to admit it?

...

My big issue, is the picking and choosing which Rules we want to follow. The lack of consistent enforcement across the board. This goes for AFIs, EPRs, DECs, 1206s and squadron and office policies.

Hit the nail on the head on both points.

There is no consistent enforcement because there are simply too many rules for one person to follow so they have to pick and choose. And then the ones you try to play by because they seem important are constantly changed for no reason other than a new guy is in charge of them.

I got out around the 10-12 mark for so many reasons but the bottom line was everyone I ever worked with or for at 12-14+ yrs was never truly happy. They were chasing a retirement check. If you are not happy now, a small check is not going to make you happy. Might as well get a head start on something that will make you happy.

This is why so many are lashing out at this guy with the typical company lines... This guy is a threat to those kicking the can down the road because they live in denial. People don't want to feel like they wasted their life on something and that is what this NCO is pointing out. Some want to say the military isn't for everyone...when in reality it is civilian life that isn't for everyone.*** It's easy (and brain numbing) to show up to work in a uniform, do PT, and play dumb at staff meetings...for those that want to be a part of something bigger and contribute to society...this is not it.

***remember this story...perfect example of what I said...

Retired colonel [receiving pension] homeless after 30 years in military
http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140126/BENEFITS/301260004/Retired-colonel-homeless-after-30-years-military

MACHINE666
04-30-2014, 10:42 AM
Perhaps instead of crucifying this kid, ask yourselves if he has a valid claim?

I say "yes".

Many times I felt the way this guy did when I was active duty.

Working with NATO forces at Geilenkirchen, the Bundeswehr (Germany military), Dutch and other services allow their members to have beards, civilian hairstyles, and wear fashionable sunglasses when in uniform. Women can have civilian hairstyles and wear attachments of any color. Are they any less professional? Are they any less capable of service? As much as the military pushes OPSEC, I can spot an American military member a mile away, any time I go to K-Town, Trier, Heidelberg, Munich or anywhere here in Europe. They always have some ridiculous high and tight haircut, some kind of Army or Air Force shirt on, and they're always "talking shop"....Senior NCOs are the worst. One time I heard them talk about leadership changes at A1 when I was waiting to catch a Ryan Air Flight to London.

For all you kool-aid drinkers out there, enough already. We're an all-volunteer force that is rapidly shrinking, due to an out of control Congress that can't stop spending money like it's a cocaine habit. If we want to attract the best and brightest people to serve, allow for relaxed grooming standards. That's one solution to the mountain of problems that plagues our ineffectual leadership.

BOSS302
04-30-2014, 11:19 AM
I got out around the 10-12 mark for so many reasons but the bottom line was everyone I ever worked with or for at 12-14+ yrs was never truly happy. They were chasing a retirement check. If you are not happy now, a small check is not going to make you happy. Might as well get a head start on something that will make you happy.



That is a very blanket and inaccurate statement. I'll take your one unhappy ROAD sergeant and raise you three or four career airmen who are content and proud of their job.



This is why so many are lashing out at this guy with the typical company lines... This guy is a threat to those kicking the can down the road because they live in denial. People don't want to feel like they wasted their life on something and that is what this NCO is pointing out. Some want to say the military isn't for everyone...when in reality it is civilian life that isn't for everyone.*** It's easy (and brain numbing) to show up to work in a uniform, do PT, and play dumb at staff meetings...for those that want to be a part of something bigger and contribute to society...this is not it.




Again, another blanket statement. I remember you writing a letter to a Congressman concerning Air Force benefits & you let us read the letter; you were lit up on this board for using such broad statements and speaking on behalf of the entire Air Force. It is bad that your career consisted of Power Points, numb meetings, and sub-par athletic workouts.

Not everyone's career is like that and not everyone is miserable.

The Air Force is by no means perfect; no service branch is, and absolutely no civilian corporation is perfect. I have been in over ten years and I have posted my dissatisfaction with several Air Force "Stupid" moments. I've even considered VSP.

I sat on my VSP decision for weeks. Eventually, I put that option in my mental trash bucket and decided to continue on in the Air Force. Not because of a retirement check, benefits, or a fear of the "outside." For all of the stupidity that I encounter in my Avatar ABUs, I encounter twice as many moments that make me happy to be in.

For some, there are probably better opportunities for them on the outside & it is their right to chase their own happiness. But you need to understand that there are people who will make a career out of the Air Force, will be proud and happy to do so, and will cherish their 20+ years of service and memories.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
04-30-2014, 01:51 PM
I think the key here is that if you're unhappy with how your life is going, then do something about it. However, I understand that there are plenty of unhappy people who've limited their options by choosing AFSCs that don't translate that well past Wallmart, have civ spouses with no marketable skills, popped out kids that would be unaffordable on the "outside," saved little for rainy days, or have racked up debt that will never be paid off.

Rusty Jones
04-30-2014, 02:00 PM
Some want to say the military isn't for everyone...when in reality it is civilian life that isn't for everyone.***

This is a horrible point. Unless you know something I don't, no one was born wearing a military uniform. We were all civilians at one point in our lives and, as long as we don't die premature deaths, we're all going to be civilians again.

Zxc
04-30-2014, 03:51 PM
Everyone has their own reasons to stay or go, and are free to hold and state those beliefs. Staying in isn't for everyone, and neither is getting out.

That being said, I'll be wrapping up 8.5 years in about 4 months. I need to re-enlist, if I'm going to do so. I'm torn. The only thing really keeping me in is job security and knowing that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I can't say that I'm happy. I'm not depressed. I wouldn't say I like my job, but I can't say that I hate it. I'm tired. I'm burnt out. I'm bored. I'm not interested. I'm not passionate. I don't feel like I'm learning. I don't feel like I'm good at my job. I do think that a PCS, PCA, or cross-training could re-energize me, but its a tough call. So far I've had a "stellar" career with awards, making rank the first time every time, and awesome EPRs, but at the end of the day I don't enjoy coming to work anymore or get fulfillment from the job. I feel like its time to move on, but the unknown of what's next is all that's keeping me.

Rusty Jones
04-30-2014, 04:03 PM
Everyone has their own reasons to stay or go, and are free to hold and state those beliefs. Staying in isn't for everyone, and neither is getting out.

Oh, but getting out IS for everyone. Because whether you do one term or retire, you WILL be getting out of the military at some point in your life.

The other thing... you have the RIGHT to be a civilian once your contract is up. You do NOT, however, have the right to be in the military. When you reenlist, you're only delaying the inevitable.

BURAWSKI
04-30-2014, 04:39 PM
You're right about that of course. But some people's mindset changes after they've been in for awhile, and start to think (& act) differently, which is usually for the worse. This in turn creates problems for everyone all around.

Zxc
04-30-2014, 05:44 PM
Oh, but getting out IS for everyone. Because whether you do one term or retire, you WILL be getting out of the military at some point in your life.

The other thing... you have the RIGHT to be a civilian once your contract is up. You do NOT, however, have the right to be in the military. When you reenlist, you're only delaying the inevitable.


I certainly didn't meant to imply forever or that there was an inherent right. For some, the military is right for them for that time in their life. For some, that time is much longer than others--some might want it for just a few years to transition out of high school to the workforce, while others desire that structure and lifestyle until they're ready to leave the workforce entirely.

TomTom093
05-03-2014, 05:22 PM
The plot thickens (as does the mustache) http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140503/NEWS01/305030030/Letter-Why-he-can-t-re-enlist

TJMAC77SP
05-03-2014, 06:16 PM
The plot thickens (as does the mustache) http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140503/NEWS01/305030030/Letter-Why-he-can-t-re-enlist

I may be dense but is the chief writing a response hypothetically or is he actually the first sgt referenced in the original letter?

technomage1
05-03-2014, 06:21 PM
I may be dense but is the chief writing a response hypothetically or is he actually the first sgt referenced in the original letter?

I took it as hypothetical. First, because hes a chief and there aren't many chief shirts. Second, he's retired. Third, I'd hope the real shirt would be professional enough not to respond.

But, yeah, I thought about it too as it's not explicitly spelled out.

TJMAC77SP
05-03-2014, 06:29 PM
I took it as hypothetical. First, because hes a chief and there aren't many chief shirts. Second, he's retired. Third, I'd hope the real shirt would be professional enough not to respond.

But, yeah, I thought about it too as it's not explicitly spelled out.

That is how I saw it as well. While I appreciate the chief's attempt to tell the hypothetical other side of the story I think unprofessional is the key word here. The SSgt in the original letter spells out some real issues he has faced and it seems a bit unfair to assign negative characteristics to him if no first hand knowledge is present. I met many people in my career that, while professional in their duty, just didn't think the military was the right career choice for them and left the service. I wouldn't automatically label them a dufflebag for that choice.

cloudFFVII
05-03-2014, 10:42 PM
That might have been the craziest response to another editorial that I have seen in my entire life, and that's saying something.

So essentially (and again, maybe I'm losing my mind a bit), he's saying the SSgt in his view was unprofessional based upon the "picture" of said SSgt (which doesn't elaborate if that was taken while he was on AD or not) and his mustache? Because the retired CMSgt thinks that NCO had a "poor" attitude?

I hate to say this, but the majority of member's I meet at the SMSgt and CMSgt rank (to say nothing of Lt. Col's and above) are that they are hot **** and everyone should kneel down and bow at the glorious achievements they have made in their career. In the case of those at SMSgt and Lt. Col, most will not hesitate to squash other people like a bug to make it to the next (or final) rank, and could honestly not give a flying rip about developing anyone, unless doing so would be beneficial to said cause.

Our Internet age has brought some major advantages into the Air Force but really has cut off individual mentoring and development at the knees. Now there's emails, Facebook and text messages replacing simply sitting down with a member and asking not only "how are you?" (and being sincere about it), but following up asking about their family and having a general working knowledge of what motivates and affects them. Need someone to do something? I can send an email vs. getting up from behind my desk and walk the 10 ft to their desk to ask about it.

Who am I or anyone else (unless they have CLEARLY violated standards and our core values, and should NOT be allowed to reenlist, which should have already been handled by that point in time) to tell someone they are making a mistake by leaving or that "you don't deserve to stay in"? I don't know all of their experiences, what they have been through, etc. I've known people in the Navy who deployed over half their career. I can't think of too many career fields in the Air Force which do this, it's definitely the minority. So if they want to separate, go on and find something that provides them stability to be home every night and experience life with their family, I ask what exactly is so wrong with that???

Final thought when I finished reading that rebuttal: Don't throw stones in glass houses. I severely doubt in over a 25+ year career, you weren't out of standards on some level. Repeatedly. And no one was saying "Sorry, you can't reenlist".

UH1FE
05-03-2014, 11:59 PM
The chiefs response only proved that the rank of Chief Master Sergeant has fallen very far from what it once was. It was a childish A1C response and should not have come from a Chief.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-04-2014, 12:04 AM
In the case of those at SMSgt and Lt. Col, most will not hesitate to squash other people like a bug to make it to the next (or final) rank, and could honestly not give a flying rip about developing anyone, unless doing so would be beneficial to said cause.

That's a pretty harsh generalization. Most people I've met at ALL ranks are pretty decent people who want to make a positive contribution, then get home at a decent hour to spend time with those they care about. Try getting to know some of them before you pass judgement.

technomage1
05-04-2014, 01:52 AM
That is how I saw it as well. While I appreciate the chief's attempt to tell the hypothetical other side of the story I think unprofessional is the key word here. The SSgt in the original letter spells out some real issues he has faced and it seems a bit unfair to assign negative characteristics to him if no first hand knowledge is present. I met many people in my career that, while professional in their duty, just didn't think the military was the right career choice for them and left the service. I wouldn't automatically label them a dufflebag for that choice.

As I've noted before the original writer had some good points but could've stated them better and without naming names, as it were. Unprofessional, yes, but the work of a frustrated young man and leeway can and should be given.

The response, on the other hand, was from a grade/age who should've known better.

TJMAC77SP
05-04-2014, 02:25 AM
As I've noted before the original writer had some good points but could've stated them better and without naming names, as it were. Unprofessional, yes, but the work of a frustrated young man and leeway can and should be given.

The response, on the other hand, was from a grade/age who should've known better.

Spot on. I truly found nothing offensive in the SSgt's letter. As you said he stated some of it inelegantly (the mustache bit) but overall he was being candid. The chief on the other hand....................

ChiefB
05-04-2014, 04:21 AM
I took it as hypothetical. First, because hes a chief and there aren't many chief shirts. Second, he's retired. Third, I'd hope the real shirt would be professional enough not to respond.

But, yeah, I thought about it too as it's not explicitly spelled out.

I was a "Chief Shirt" and am also "retired" and my "response" is that the subject SSgt has every right to make a mid life/career change because of what he perceives as no longer his cup of tea. He served, by all indications, honorably and faithfully throughout his enlistments(s) and now has chosen to move on. What more can we ask?

Thousands of servicemen/women make exactly the same decision for a myriad of reasons and move on with their lives. Many graduates of our military academies, once their obligation is satisfied, are some very expensive examples.

The subject Chief chose to focus on a "mustache" controversy that totally missed the reality of the situation... The fun, challenges and camaraderie that were once a great motivator in the continuing retention of our youngest and brightest has succumbed, once again to post-wartime nit-picking and cutbacks, reemphasis of the minutia of dress and appearance and bickering about retention and separation. Just look at the mess military personnel management has demonstrated in recent weeks concerning RIF challenges.

This junior NCO has had enough, he's punching out. He, as well as many others of all ranks, can see the writing on the wall. It's called organizational dysfunction, loss of direction, leadership and pride. Current newspaper headlines and the myriad of leadership faux pas so depicted not only embarrass the follower-ship but diminish the desire to remain a part of such an organization.

I hope leadership will get a grip soon and intercept this precipitous decline and restore a little more esprit de corps in all the ranks of my Air Force.

OlSarg
05-04-2014, 05:17 AM
Had a Lt Col yell at me for not having my PT shirt tucked in as I was leaving the toilet trailer. Our little piece of heaven on this huge Army camp was surrounded by 12ft T-walls.
I (40something E7) told him that while I understand the necessity of standards, people need some freedom to actually live within their space. Out in public I get it. In my house? Really?
I get where this kid is coming from, there are definitely people in leadership positions today do not belong there. Perception or performance, which is more important?

technomage1
05-04-2014, 06:03 AM
I hope leadership will get a grip soon and intercept this precipitous decline and restore a little more esprit de corps in all the ranks of my Air Force.
Sadly enough, I'm not even sure there is enough leadership in the organization to make this happen. Our system of promoting based on everything but actual job performance has left us with a lot of upper rank managers. I've stopped referring to my chain as leadership and given them their proper title of management when it's warranted.

ChiefB
05-04-2014, 06:51 PM
Had a Lt Col yell at me for not having my PT shirt tucked in as I was leaving the toilet trailer. Our little piece of heaven on this huge Army camp was surrounded by 12ft T-walls.
I (40something E7) told him that while I understand the necessity of standards, people need some freedom to actually live within their space. Out in public I get it. In my house? Really?
I get where this kid is coming from, there are definitely people in leadership positions today do not belong there. Perception or performance, which is more important?

We used to fly in an EC130 Airborne Command Post over Laos at about "Angels 33+" to avoid (hopefully) 37MM AA guns but it took us about an hour to get to that altitude because we were seriously overweight with 12hrs fuel and a heavy capsule that accommodated all our comm and 16+ SOB... Because of the high runway temps of our takeoff field and some 30-45 minutes of pre-takeoff delays on average the interior temp of the aircraft and capsule hovered at about 115-125+ deg. F and all available AC and other cooling air was redirected to the sensitive comm and other equipment aboard the aircraft.

Additionally we were required to wear chutes during takeoff and landing. I would guess that once all geared up with nomex flt suits, jump boots, survival vest, flight jacket and parachute we all frequently chalked up temps approaching hyperthermia.

Sometimes, because of last minute delays we would take our gear off and peel our flight suits down to our ankles to get some respite from the terrible heat and have to jump thru our arses to get "geared up" for takeoff and as soon as the pilot cleared us to move around after takeoff we would strip to our ankles again and splash ice water over each other. This would go on until we reached altitude sufficient to enable us to redirect AC from equipment to crewmembers.

This is all to say that we were WAY out of regs and sitting around in our underwear for 15-30 minutes after takeoff, frequently. Unfortunately no ladies were crewmembers in those days.:gossip

Funny thing, in addition to there not being a big deal made of our "out of regs" moustaches, there was never anything made of our all being just short of naked and definitely out of uniform after most takeoffs. The Colonel, Majors and Captains on board gladly jumped out of regs and their gear right along with the enlisted pukes. :surprise:

Ah yes, those were the days.

Rainmaker
05-04-2014, 07:04 PM
That might have been the craziest response to another editorial that I have seen in my entire life, and that's saying something.

So essentially (and again, maybe I'm losing my mind a bit), he's saying the SSgt in his view was unprofessional based upon the "picture" of said SSgt (which doesn't elaborate if that was taken while he was on AD or not) and his mustache? Because the retired CMSgt thinks that NCO had a "poor" attitude?

I hate to say this, but the majority of member's I meet at the SMSgt and CMSgt rank (to say nothing of Lt. Col's and above) are that they are hot **** and everyone should kneel down and bow at the glorious achievements they have made in their career. In the case of those at SMSgt and Lt. Col, most will not hesitate to squash other people like a bug to make it to the next (or final) rank, and could honestly not give a flying rip about developing anyone, unless doing so would be beneficial to said cause.

Our Internet age has brought some major advantages into the Air Force but really has cut off individual mentoring and development at the knees. Now there's emails, Facebook and text messages replacing simply sitting down with a member and asking not only "how are you?" (and being sincere about it), but following up asking about their family and having a general working knowledge of what motivates and affects them. Need someone to do something? I can send an email vs. getting up from behind my desk and walk the 10 ft to their desk to ask about it.

Who am I or anyone else (unless they have CLEARLY violated standards and our core values, and should NOT be allowed to reenlist, which should have already been handled by that point in time) to tell someone they are making a mistake by leaving or that "you don't deserve to stay in"? I don't know all of their experiences, what they have been through, etc. I've known people in the Navy who deployed over half their career. I can't think of too many career fields in the Air Force which do this, it's definitely the minority. So if they want to separate, go on and find something that provides them stability to be home every night and experience life with their family, I ask what exactly is so wrong with that???

Final thought when I finished reading that rebuttal: Don't throw stones in glass houses. I severely doubt in over a 25+ year career, you weren't out of standards on some level. Repeatedly. And no one was saying "Sorry, you can't reenlist".

Just reading his eloquent Harvard Business school response and one look at his bio left Rainmaker wondering... did this Command Chief and career First Sergeant receive his Bronze Star for his 4 months of hard Combat at Al Udeid or was it for his year on the front lines of Abu Dabi? The public exchange between these 2 assholes pretty much sum up everything that is wrong with the current state of the Air Force.

giggawatt
05-04-2014, 07:06 PM
That is a very blanket and inaccurate statement. I'll take your one unhappy ROAD sergeant and raise you three or four career airmen who are content and proud of their job.



Again, another blanket statement. I remember you writing a letter to a Congressman concerning Air Force benefits & you let us read the letter; you were lit up on this board for using such broad statements and speaking on behalf of the entire Air Force. It is bad that your career consisted of Power Points, numb meetings, and sub-par athletic workouts.

Not everyone's career is like that and not everyone is miserable.

The Air Force is by no means perfect; no service branch is, and absolutely no civilian corporation is perfect. I have been in over ten years and I have posted my dissatisfaction with several Air Force "Stupid" moments. I've even considered VSP.

I sat on my VSP decision for weeks. Eventually, I put that option in my mental trash bucket and decided to continue on in the Air Force. Not because of a retirement check, benefits, or a fear of the "outside." For all of the stupidity that I encounter in my Avatar ABUs, I encounter twice as many moments that make me happy to be in.

For some, there are probably better opportunities for them on the outside & it is their right to chase their own happiness. But you need to understand that there are people who will make a career out of the Air Force, will be proud and happy to do so, and will cherish their 20+ years of service and memories.

Just wanted to quote and emphasize the bolded text. Some times I read some stuff on here and I'm just thankful that I don't have a job or leadership that makes me hate life.

Sure, I'll do just fine in civilian life but I'm not ready to make that change voluntarily because I still like what I'm doing.

Rainmaker
05-04-2014, 07:22 PM
As I've noted before the original writer had some good points but could've stated them better and without naming names, as it were. Unprofessional, yes, but the work of a frustrated young man and leeway can and should be given.

The response, on the other hand, was from a grade/age who should've known better.

^^^^^^^^
What Techno said...Nomsayin.

OtisRNeedleman
05-04-2014, 09:53 PM
Sadly enough, I'm not even sure there is enough leadership in the organization to make this happen. Our system of promoting based on everything but actual job performance has left us with a lot of upper rank managers. I've stopped referring to my chain as leadership and given them their proper title of management when it's warranted.

Been that way for a while. Remember someone at Randolph telling me, "We don't have any leaders, just bosses." And that was about 25 years ago.

OtisRNeedleman
05-04-2014, 10:00 PM
Had a Lt Col yell at me for not having my PT shirt tucked in as I was leaving the toilet trailer. Our little piece of heaven on this huge Army camp was surrounded by 12ft T-walls.
I (40something E7) told him that while I understand the necessity of standards, people need some freedom to actually live within their space. Out in public I get it. In my house? Really?
I get where this kid is coming from, there are definitely people in leadership positions today do not belong there. Perception or performance, which is more important?

Unfortunately, looking good always comes first now. It was bad enough in my Adult Air Force. Remember the O-5 commander in my first assignment as a butter-bar. He ALWAYS wanted to look good for his two-star boss and didn't care on whose backs he looked good, either. Well, he got his eagle but that was all, happily.

I was blessed to have some bosses/commanders who still cared more about doing good than looking good. None of them got a star, sadly, but I'd still follow any of them into hell any day.

VCO
05-04-2014, 11:09 PM
Sadly enough, I'm not even sure there is enough leadership in the organization to make this happen. Our system of promoting based on everything but actual job performance has left us with a lot of upper rank managers. I've stopped referring to my chain as leadership and given them their proper title of management when it's warranted.

I think leading within a fixed set of parameters and managing within the same parameters are sometimes nearly indistinguishable. A true leader stands out when he questions some of the rules, and even bends them to protect his people and accomplish his mission. He applies common sense to a situation and attempts to interpreted and enforce the intent of the Policy, not the black and white written word. The problem with people like that is that they can be disruptive and very influential, undermining the formal command structure. People will follow them, but it may not be where they need to be led.

I love it when folks don't agree with Air Force policy, they label lower to middle unit leadership as "managers." The problem is that unit leadership didn't make the rules. They are charged with enforcing the rules that we all took an oath to obey.

As far as promotion not being based off of job performance, I disagree, at least for promotion to E8 and E9.

BURAWSKI
05-04-2014, 11:32 PM
I think leading within a fixed set of parameters and managing within the same parameters are sometimes nearly indistinguishable. A true leader stands out when he questions some of the rules, and even bends them to protect his people and accomplish his mission. He applies common sense to a situation and attempts to interpreted and enforce the intent of the Policy, not the black and white written word. The problem with people like that is that they can be disruptive and very influential, undermining the formal command structure. People will follow them, but it may not be where they need to be led.

I love it when folks don't agree with Air Force policy, they label lower to middle unit leadership as "managers." The problem is that unit leadership didn't make the rules. They are charged with enforcing the rules that we all took an oath to obey.

As far as promotion not being based off of job performance, I disagree, at least for promotion to E8 and E9.

Nothing wrong with enforcing the rules that we all took an oath to obey. The problem arises when rule enforcement turns selective, or in the case of senior leadership, not applicable and which I think was the point of the letter. I think everyone would agree that the military has a leadership crisis. BTW, I thought it unfair to give the Staff Sergeant disparaging remarks just based on his letter. He was just stating an opinion based on his experiences and observations, which after all, everyone has.

Drackore
05-05-2014, 10:00 AM
Chief Master Sgt. Martin Kent Smith (ret.) - thank you for retiring. Stay retired. Shut up while you are at it. People like you need to move on.

Rules are rules, regs are regs, and standards are standards. Even *I* get it. However, you seem like the type of stuck up fucking prick that never bothered to talk to anyone "lower" than you. Situations dictate rules, regs, and standards - not the other way around. The cancer is "bosses" like you - not Airmen you have no idea about and finally read a post that should have opened your eyes instead of closing them.

Kindly fuck off, Martin.

technomage1
05-05-2014, 10:31 AM
True story...not too long ago I was at a base who hadn't had an ORI/CUI/whatever they are calling it now for years. So, not suprisingly, the base decided to start holding exercises (which they also hadn't been doing) a few years out from the inspection. Now, putting aside the fact that the inspection system is warped and we should go back to the no notice ORI, the telling thing during these baby step exercises is the "golden children" were fish out of water. It was the neglected workhorses that knew what they were doing and did it without muss, fuss, or thought of recognition. They - and they alone - saved the day.

BBQ organization does not equal leadership. It doesn't even equal management.

VCO
05-05-2014, 11:49 AM
Nothing wrong with enforcing the rules that we all took an oath to obey. The problem arises when rule enforcement turns selective, or in the case of senior leadership, not applicable and which I think was the point of the letter. I think everyone would agree that the military has a leadership crisis. BTW, I thought it unfair to give the Staff Sergeant disparaging remarks just based on his letter. He was just stating an opinion based on his experiences and observations, which after all, everyone has.

I wouldn't disagree with any of this.

VCO
05-05-2014, 11:58 AM
BBQ organization does not equal leadership. It doesn't even equal management.

No, but a BBQ may increase esprit de corps of your folks, which is important, or benefit them in other ways.

technomage1
05-05-2014, 12:27 PM
No, but a BBQ may increase esprit de corps of your folks, which is important, or benefit them in other ways.

So does living, which job competancy equals in a war zone. Just saying.

Rusty Jones
05-05-2014, 01:35 PM
So many posts in defense of the author, and so many posts slamming the Chief.

One thing that I've gotta give the Chief is that he tried to put the shoe on the other foot in that, at some point, the author needs to take some responsibility for how things went and eventually worked out for him, which eventually led him to get out of the Air Force. I'm not saying take ALL responsibility; I'm saying SOME.

technomage1
05-05-2014, 03:07 PM
So many posts in defense of the author, and so many posts slamming the Chief.

One thing that I've gotta give the Chief is that he tried to put the shoe on the other foot in that, at some point, the author needs to take some responsibility for how things went and eventually worked out for him, which eventually led him to get out of the Air Force. I'm not saying take ALL responsibility; I'm saying SOME.

True enough, my problem with the chiefs post was exactly the same as with the SSgts. It was how it was done. One is a young man, the other a mature one who should've known better is the difference.

SomeRandomGuy
05-05-2014, 04:24 PM
Chief Master Sgt. Martin Kent Smith (ret.) - thank you for retiring. Stay retired. Shut up while you are at it. People like you need to move on.

Rules are rules, regs are regs, and standards are standards. Even *I* get it. However, you seem like the type of stuck up fucking prick that never bothered to talk to anyone "lower" than you. Situations dictate rules, regs, and standards - not the other way around. The cancer is "bosses" like you - not Airmen you have no idea about and finally read a post that should have opened your eyes instead of closing them.

Kindly fuck off, Martin.

I remember good old Chief Smith. He was the Command Chief at WPAFB when I was an Amn. I'm not exactly sure what he did other than escort the wing commander around. The biggest thing I remember about him was that his wife is/was an 04 (She was a doctor). Since he was the Command Chief he was directed to live on base in base housing. That meant that neither him or wis wife recieved a housing allowance. Anytime someone would complain about the privatized hosuing he would point out that he was missing out on the housing allowance for both a Major and a Chief so no matter how bad you were getting screwed he was getting it worse.

I think his biggest contribution was basically putting an off base bar out of business. There was a little hole in the wall place call "Mile high Club" just outside of privatized housing. They had beer pong tables inside and the drinks were cheap. The place was a huge military hangout because it was literally walking distance of housing. Even though people could walk some still decided to drive for whatever reason and a few got DUIs. Other than that the place was no differerent than any other bar. Still the Chief didn't like the place and the base cops started houding the place. They would stop almost every car leaving sober or not. They would even stop you if you were walking home. It was really absurd. Even though Chief Smith and the commander were unsuccessful in getting the place blacklisted the cop prescense basically drive the place out of business. That of course meant people that used to walk to the bar now had to drive. Good job Chief and the then commander.

MACHINE666
05-05-2014, 05:04 PM
The E-9 who replied to this kid was in the wrong for doing so. It's one thing to clarify and address certain perceptions, but it's another thing to kick the under-dog while he's down. Once a bully, always a bully.


A real "dick" move on the E-9's part.

MACHINE666
05-05-2014, 05:09 PM
Oh, but getting out IS for everyone. Because whether you do one term or retire, you WILL be getting out of the military at some point in your life.

The other thing... you have the RIGHT to be a civilian once your contract is up. You do NOT, however, have the right to be in the military. When you reenlist, you're only delaying the inevitable.

Last time I checked, it was an all-volunteer force. In the wake of one scandal after another, mismanagement of tax-payer dollars, and overall distrust of Congress, the Senate and the DoD by the American public, who REALLY needs who, in the grand scheme of things? Unless you bring back conscription, the powers that be should be kissing tax-payer ass and eating it with silver spoon.

Chief_KO
05-05-2014, 06:08 PM
I remember good old Chief Smith. He was the Command Chief at WPAFB when I was an Amn. I'm not exactly sure what he did other than escort the wing commander around. The biggest thing I remember about him was that his wife is/was an 04 (She was a doctor). Since he was the Command Chief he was directed to live on base in base housing. That meant that neither him or wis wife recieved a housing allowance. Anytime someone would complain about the privatized hosuing he would point out that he was missing out on the housing allowance for both a Major and a Chief so no matter how bad you were getting screwed he was getting it worse.

I think his biggest contribution was basically putting an off base bar out of business. There was a little hole in the wall place call "Mile high Club" just outside of privatized housing. They had beer pong tables inside and the drinks were cheap. The place was a huge military hangout because it was literally walking distance of housing. Even though people could walk some still decided to drive for whatever reason and a few got DUIs. Other than that the place was no differerent than any other bar. Still the Chief didn't like the place and the base cops started houding the place. They would stop almost every car leaving sober or not. They would even stop you if you were walking home. It was really absurd. Even though Chief Smith and the commander were unsuccessful in getting the place blacklisted the cop prescense basically drive the place out of business. That of course meant people that used to walk to the bar now had to drive. Good job Chief and the then commander.

Pretty much the same "positive" impacts 92.37% of all command chiefs...

Rainmaker
05-05-2014, 07:35 PM
It first became apparent to Rainmaker that the inmates were running the assulym around the end of 2003 when E-6 Rainmaker was accosted in the AL Udeid, DFAC by one of these “command” chiefs, while Passing thru on his way home after 8 months loving the suck in OIF. E-6 Rainmaker was Lickin his hangover wounds and feelin like a $1M bucks after a good night of boozing under a big Parachute and knockin’ the bottom outta 1LT Strangelove . Standing in line waiting for his omlet, E-6 Rainmaker felt a vigorous tap on his rock hard traps. He turned around half expecting to see 1LT Strangelove axin for 2nds. Instead, he was shocked to find a Very ugly and Very angry E9 softhands (complete with starched DCU’s) glaring at him. E-9 softhands barked “That’s eye wear not head wear!” E6 Rainmaker stared at him dumbfounded. To which, E-9 softhands replied “Your sunglasses TSgt!” E6 Rainmaker usually wore his GI issue oakley’s on his swollen head. E-6 Rainmaker didn’t know whether to laugh or choke slam this dude. Fortunately, E-6 Rainmaker had the Monkey off his back and chose the former. It’s all a matter of choices. Nomsayin? Rainmaker sure E-9 softhands probably won the Bronze star for his valiant efforts. But, Rainmaker would rather retire an E-7 and just have an omlet and a good time.

Rusty Jones
05-05-2014, 07:52 PM
Last time I checked, it was an all-volunteer force. In the wake of one scandal after another, mismanagement of tax-payer dollars, and overall distrust of Congress, the Senate and the DoD by the American public, who REALLY needs who, in the grand scheme of things? Unless you bring back conscription, the powers that be should be kissing tax-payer ass and eating it with silver spoon.

The fact that it's an all volunteer force is part of the overall point that I was making in response to the statement that "being a civilian isn't for everyone." Which is pure crap, because everyone in here has spent AT LEAST the first 17 years of our lives as civilians, and WILL spend the REST of our lives AS civilians once we get out of the military - whether it's on our own, or we're TOLD to leave (one of which WILL happen).

There is no draft. Civilians don't have to have the mindset that they will one day be in the military. Military personnel, however, DO need to have the mindset that they will one day be civilians - because, well, they eventually will be.

Chief_KO
05-05-2014, 08:20 PM
It first became apparent to Rainmaker that the inmates were running the assulym around the end of 2003 when E-6 Rainmaker was accosted in the AL Udeid, DFAC by one of these “command” chiefs, while Passing thru on his way home after 8 months loving the suck in OIF. E-6 Rainmaker was Lickin his hangover wounds and feelin like a $1M bucks after a good night of boozing under a big Parachute and knockin’ the bottom outta 1LT Strangelove . Standing in line waiting for his omlet, E-6 Rainmaker felt a vigorous tap on his rock hard traps. He turned around half expecting to see 1LT Strangelove axin for 2nds. Instead, he was shocked to find a Very ugly and Very angry E9 softhands (complete with starched DCU’s) glaring at him. E-9 softhands barked “That’s eye wear not head wear!” E6 Rainmaker stared at him dumbfounded. To which, E-9 softhands replied “Your sunglasses TSgt!” E6 Rainmaker usually wore his GI issue oakley’s on his swollen head. E-6 Rainmaker didn’t know whether to laugh or choke slam this dude. Fortunately, E-6 Rainmaker had the Monkey off his back and chose the former. It’s all a matter of choices. Nomsayin? Rainmaker sure E-9 softhands probably won the Bronze star for his valiant efforts. But, Rainmaker would rather retire an E-7 and just have an omlet and a good time.

For the life of me, I never understood the starched BDU, ABU or DCU (especially in theater!). Same with sewing all the pockets shut...WTFO???

Chief_KO
05-05-2014, 08:20 PM
The fact that it's an all volunteer force is part of the overall point that I was making in response to the statement that "being a civilian isn't for everyone." Which is pure crap, because everyone in here has spent AT LEAST the first 17 years of our lives as civilians, and WILL spend the REST of our lives AS civilians once we get out of the military - whether it's on our own, or we're TOLD to leave (one of which WILL happen).

There is no draft. Civilians don't have to have the mindset that they will one day be in the military. Military personnel, however, DO need to have the mindset that they will one day be civilians - because, well, they eventually will be.

Well said Rusty!

Stalwart
05-05-2014, 09:04 PM
Military personnel, however, DO need to have the mindset that they will one day be civilians - because, well, they eventually will be.

I agree with you, but I think the point made earlier was there are some people who are more suited to the security and safety nets provided by the military:

-very steady paycheck
-relatively hard to get fired, even if you are really bad at your job
-generous benefits
-supervisors whose job it is to make sure you are being 'taken care of'
-fairly good upward mobility (to a point -- to make it to a 'retirement eligible pay grade is not overly hard)

I completely agree, everyone in uniform should plan for the day they take off their uniform for the last time, unfortunately I have seen peopel who don't plan or who are too immature / irresponsible to be comfortable leaving.

Stalwart
05-05-2014, 09:07 PM
For the life of me, I never understood the starched BDU, ABU or DCU (especially in theater!). Same with sewing all the pockets shut...WTFO???

Me either, starching them just makes you sweat more, sewing pockets shut is stupid and non-functional.

I never did and still don't spit shine my boots, since over time it clogs the pores in the leather and doesn't allow the leather to breathe and makes your feet stink and promotes athlete's foot.

Chief_KO
05-05-2014, 09:17 PM
Me either, starching them just makes you sweat more, sewing pockets shut is stupid and non-functional.

I never did and still don't spit shine my boots, since over time it clogs the pores in the leather and doesn't allow the leather to breathe and makes your feet stink and promotes athlete's foot.

That's not gonna be a problem for a command chief!

BURAWSKI
05-05-2014, 09:40 PM
Chief Master Sgt. Martin Kent Smith (ret.) - thank you for retiring. Stay retired. Shut up while you are at it. People like you need to move on.

Rules are rules, regs are regs, and standards are standards. Even *I* get it. However, you seem like the type of stuck up fucking prick that never bothered to talk to anyone "lower" than you. Situations dictate rules, regs, and standards - not the other way around. The cancer is "bosses" like you - not Airmen you have no idea about and finally read a post that should have opened your eyes instead of closing them.

Kindly fuck off, Martin.


My response to those defending the Chief's editorial is that he should have not made it personal. It's been my experience that when an idea/opinion is expressed there are those that immediately seek to attack the credibility of the messenger. I've seen it happen a lot and it just isn't necessary to do that. I've actually had that happen to me during my career as well. That would be like if someone expresses and opinion and you immediately jump on the person's credibility. No need for that. If a person is respectful about it there should be no problem. That is the point of what I saw in criticizing Chief Smith about his editorial. He could have made his point and disagreement with the Staff Sergeant without getting nasty or personal about it because I did get what he was trying to say, I just didn't like the way he went about it! Unfortunately this is an all too common occurrence in and out of the military.

B. M. Burawski
Chief Yeoman, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

ChiefB
05-05-2014, 10:26 PM
It first became apparent to Rainmaker that the inmates were running the assulym around the end of 2003 when E-6 Rainmaker was accosted in the AL Udeid, DFAC by one of these “command” chiefs, while Passing thru on his way home after 8 months loving the suck in OIF. E-6 Rainmaker was Lickin his hangover wounds and feelin like a $1M bucks after a good night of boozing under a big Parachute and knockin’ the bottom outta 1LT Strangelove . Standing in line waiting for his omlet, E-6 Rainmaker felt a vigorous tap on his rock hard traps. He turned around half expecting to see 1LT Strangelove axin for 2nds. Instead, he was shocked to find a Very ugly and Very angry E9 softhands (complete with starched DCU’s) glaring at him. E-9 softhands barked “That’s eye wear not head wear!” E6 Rainmaker stared at him dumbfounded. To which, E-9 softhands replied “Your sunglasses TSgt!” E6 Rainmaker usually wore his GI issue oakley’s on his swollen head. E-6 Rainmaker didn’t know whether to laugh or choke slam this dude. Fortunately, E-6 Rainmaker had the Monkey off his back and chose the former. It’s all a matter of choices. Nomsayin? Rainmaker sure E-9 softhands probably won the Bronze star for his valiant efforts. But, Rainmaker would rather retire an E-7 and just have an omlet and a good time.

I heard about Strangelove... didn't she have a black glove covered, mechanical, right arm?

Measure Man
05-05-2014, 11:19 PM
Airman gives his perspective.

Chief dismisses him as a bad attitude Airman with nothing valuable to offer.

Sounds about typical.

Measure Man
05-05-2014, 11:19 PM
It first became apparent to Rainmaker that the inmates were running the assulym around the end of 2003 when E-6 Rainmaker was accosted in the AL Udeid, DFAC by one of these “command” chiefs, while Passing thru on his way home after 8 months loving the suck in OIF. E-6 Rainmaker was Lickin his hangover wounds and feelin like a $1M bucks after a good night of boozing under a big Parachute and knockin’ the bottom outta 1LT Strangelove . Standing in line waiting for his omlet, E-6 Rainmaker felt a vigorous tap on his rock hard traps. He turned around half expecting to see 1LT Strangelove axin for 2nds. Instead, he was shocked to find a Very ugly and Very angry E9 softhands (complete with starched DCU’s) glaring at him. E-9 softhands barked “That’s eye wear not head wear!” E6 Rainmaker stared at him dumbfounded. To which, E-9 softhands replied “Your sunglasses TSgt!” E6 Rainmaker usually wore his GI issue oakley’s on his swollen head. E-6 Rainmaker didn’t know whether to laugh or choke slam this dude. Fortunately, E-6 Rainmaker had the Monkey off his back and chose the former. It’s all a matter of choices. Nomsayin? Rainmaker sure E-9 softhands probably won the Bronze star for his valiant efforts. But, Rainmaker would rather retire an E-7 and just have an omlet and a good time.

This was fun to read.

DWWSWWD
05-06-2014, 01:59 AM
This was fun to read. Yes it was, but shit son, take your glasses off your head.

VCO
05-06-2014, 11:26 AM
So does living, which job competancy equals in a war zone. Just saying.

So to connect the dots on your butthurt logic, if a SNCO BBQs for his folks, he sucks at his primary job (which is leading those same Airmen). Got it.

Stalwart
05-06-2014, 12:00 PM
In the Marine Corps, at the E8 mark a SNCO takes one of two distinct paths: First Sergeant or Master Sergeant. First Sergeant being the 'leadership' / enlisted advisor route (at the Company level). Becoming a First Sergeant changes their MOS to 9999 (First Sergeant / Sergeant Major) while a Master Sergeant will remain in their 'occupational field' (0300 - infantry for example). Now, Master Sergeants are still leaders and sometimes fill the 1stSgt role, but their job is to remain proficient in their field of expertise. The Navy does a similar thing with their Command Master Chief program. Does the AF do the same thing with SNCO's that become First Sergeants?

Leadership (both officer & enlisted) has two goals: mission accomplishment and welfare of your personnel. It is a fine balance between pushing people and breaking them as well as between looking out for your people and not holding them accountable. I am sure there are some people (in all branches) that over-do being the mission-oriented hard charger as well as people who over-do the BBQ and fundraiser route. My observation is that most find a decent balance, there is a small percentage that don't who draw a disproportionate amount of attention to them & their methods.

VCO
05-06-2014, 12:21 PM
In the Marine Corps, at the E8 mark a SNCO takes one of two distinct paths: First Sergeant or Master Sergeant. First Sergeant being the 'leadership' / enlisted advisor route (at the Company level). Becoming a First Sergeant changes their MOS to 9999 (First Sergeant / Sergeant Major) while a Master Sergeant will remain in their 'occupational field' (0300 - infantry for example). Now, Master Sergeants are still leaders and sometimes fill the 1stSgt role, but their job is to remain proficient in their field of expertise. The Navy does a similar thing with their Command Master Chief program. Does the AF do the same thing with SNCO's that become First Sergeants?


The Air Force doesn't operate quite the same way. First Sergeant is an esteemed title that is separate from rank. A 1st shirt can be an E7-E9; however, you can only become one as an E7. After doing your time, you can go back to your primary job and stop being a Shirt. A Marine Corp equivalent (IMO) would be your company gunny. From what I have seen, company gunny's do pretty much the same job as an AF Shirt.

technomage1
05-06-2014, 12:38 PM
So to connect the dots on your butthurt logic, if a SNCO BBQs for his folks, he sucks at his primary job (which is leading those same Airmen). Got it.

If that's all he does, then yes. Balance.

MACHINE666
05-06-2014, 12:58 PM
The fact that it's an all volunteer force is part of the overall point that I was making in response to the statement that "being a civilian isn't for everyone." Which is pure crap, because everyone in here has spent AT LEAST the first 17 years of our lives as civilians, and WILL spend the REST of our lives AS civilians once we get out of the military - whether it's on our own, or we're TOLD to leave (one of which WILL happen).

There is no draft. Civilians don't have to have the mindset that they will one day be in the military. Military personnel, however, DO need to have the mindset that they will one day be civilians - because, well, they eventually will be.

Dude, for the most part I gloss over your remarks because you have valid points and I really don't feel like going tit for tat over small disagreements you and I may have. This is where I have to differ.

The Air Force spends more time worrying about public perception than they do worrying about trying to solver internal problems. You know what? The same concern this kid has today is the same exact thing I remember hearing 14 years ago when I was deployed to PSAB. Some Senior Airman I gave a ride to was just as frustrated with the Air Force's inability to correct its leadership issues, just as much as this current kid is frustrated. The Air Force will always have its head up its ass no matter if it's 1985, 2000, or 2014. E-9's and people who support his way of thinking keep morale at a perpetual all-time-low, choosing flash over substance. I even worked with a buddy who was a total "Yes Man" when it came to toeing the company line. Guess what? Thankfully it back-fired on him when he applied for commission. Our OIC saw what a tool he was and denied him the recommendation.

So yes, the military attracts civilians to fill its ranks, and people become brain-washed in the process. After a while the brain-washing wears off and people return to normalcy once again. Does that make them any less deserving of respect when they say the Emperor has no clothes? I hope you're different in real life, because I certainly would not want to work for you or with you.

Rusty Jones
05-06-2014, 01:07 PM
In the Marine Corps, at the E8 mark a SNCO takes one of two distinct paths: First Sergeant or Master Sergeant. First Sergeant being the 'leadership' / enlisted advisor route (at the Company level). Becoming a First Sergeant changes their MOS to 9999 (First Sergeant / Sergeant Major) while a Master Sergeant will remain in their 'occupational field' (0300 - infantry for example). Now, Master Sergeants are still leaders and sometimes fill the 1stSgt role, but their job is to remain proficient in their field of expertise. The Navy does a similar thing with their Command Master Chief program. Does the AF do the same thing with SNCO's that become First Sergeants?

Leadership (both officer & enlisted) has two goals: mission accomplishment and welfare of your personnel. It is a fine balance between pushing people and breaking them as well as between looking out for your people and not holding them accountable. I am sure there are some people (in all branches) that over-do being the mission-oriented hard charger as well as people who over-do the BBQ and fundraiser route. My observation is that most find a decent balance, there is a small percentage that don't who draw a disproportionate amount of attention to them & their methods.

What separates the Marine Corps from the other services, is that once you make E8 in the Marine Corps, you're stuck with whatever path they put you on. In other words, once promoted to First Sergeant, you can never become a Master Sergeant, and you can only be promoted to Sergeant Major. Never Master Gunnery Sergeant. Same for the other path. You make Master Sergeant, you can only be promoted to Master Gunnery Sergeant.

In the other services, you can toggle between the two depending on what billet you're filling, and can be promoted to either E9 rank.

Giant Voice
05-06-2014, 01:58 PM
This is my exp in the aircraft mx world. Once you make E-7 in the AF, you get asked straight away "do you want to make E-8?" If you say yes, then you get pushed to start that path. God help you if you say no. You will get put on a ROAD job and will become one of the following for the rest of your career(flight chief(which is not bad), facility manager, UDM, UTM, debrief, BBQ guy, etc...). I went for the path of "I'll just have to see how it goes, nothing is off the table". Which is the safest option IMO, and I ended up getting a great job that will give me plenty of options post retirement.

Stalwart
05-06-2014, 02:36 PM
you're stuck with whatever path they put you on.

"They" do not put GySgts on that path, it is indicated by the individual on the FITREP if they want to be considered for 1stSgt or MSgt; but it is the choice of the individual Marine. Promotion percentages are generally better for 1stSgt and subsequently SgtMaj.

It used to be possible to promote to 1stSgt (which was about 1 - 2 years faster than competing for MSgt) then converting to be a MSgt once you had done a tour as a 1stSgt. It is almost impossible now since people would convert, then leave the 9999 MOS undermanned and overmanning the MSgt occupancy for their original career fields.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-06-2014, 03:05 PM
Yes it was, but shit son, take your glasses off your head.

Kind of reminds me of the Chaplin that told me to remove my hat in the building. Said hat was a helmet and we were in MOPP.

Rusty Jones
05-06-2014, 03:10 PM
So yes, the military attracts civilians to fill its ranks, and people become brain-washed in the process. After a while the brain-washing wears off and people return to normalcy once again. Does that make them any less deserving of respect when they say the Emperor has no clothes? I hope you're different in real life, because I certainly would not want to work for you or with you.

What he did is no different from a high school dropout writing a letter saying that he left school because they give students homework.

He said that there was poor leadership, but only elaborated by bringing up the fact that he's been corrected more times than he would like on his uniform and appearance.

If he doesn't want to be held to a standard and wants to leave an organization that would hold him to one, then it's his life... he needs to do whatever he's gotta do.

But, on that same token, he needs to realize that just because it wasn't a good fit for him doesn't mean that it's not a good fit for others. He brought up other things wrong with the Air Force outside of enforcement of uniform standards, but they're not things that affect him personally (i.e., scandals, budgets, etc) - so I chalk that up to him taking whatever shots he can at the Air Force. It really looks as if he's almost blatantly stating that he's speaking for all enlisted, when he said this:


I think it is important to tell it from the perspective of the enlisted member. If the Air Force plans on maintaining an enlisted force, leaders would be wise to listen to the enlisted perspective. They successfully chased me away, and I know I am not the only one.

Not only does it look like he's taking it upon himself to speak for all enlisted, but he's suggesting that leadership stop enforcing the standard on uniforms and appearance. For the sake of recruiting and retention. Of people like him... who aren't cut out for the military anyway! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's been stated many times in this thread already: the military isn't for everyone.

BURAWSKI
05-06-2014, 04:32 PM
He didn't do a good job of explaining the specifics of why he is not reenlisting, but he did get his point across to most people. I understood exactly where he was coming from though. Criticisms are fine so long as it doesn't get personal, and I think some got carried away with judging the guy. I suppose there is a lot of irony in that I sure as heck judged Chief Smith on his editorial!

SomeRandomGuy
05-06-2014, 04:46 PM
What he did is no different from a high school dropout writing a letter saying that he left school because they give students homework.

He said that there was poor leadership, but only elaborated by bringing up the fact that he's been corrected more times than he would like on his uniform and appearance.

If he doesn't want to be held to a standard and wants to leave an organization that would hold him to one, then it's his life... he needs to do whatever he's gotta do.

But, on that same token, he needs to realize that just because it wasn't a good fit for him doesn't mean that it's not a good fit for others. He brought up other things wrong with the Air Force outside of enforcement of uniform standards, but they're not things that affect him personally (i.e., scandals, budgets, etc) - so I chalk that up to him taking whatever shots he can at the Air Force. It really looks as if he's almost blatantly stating that he's speaking for all enlisted, when he said this:



Not only does it look like he's taking it upon himself to speak for all enlisted, but he's suggesting that leadership stop enforcing the standard on uniforms and appearance. For the sake of recruiting and retention. Of people like him... who aren't cut out for the military anyway! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's been stated many times in this thread already: the military isn't for everyone.

I think he does have a point and so do you and the Chief who responded. He is basically saying, "If the Air Force wants to keep people like me they need to change some things". The Chief is saying, "The Air Force has no interest in keeping people like you".

Both viewpoints are correct. If you don't want to stay you are free to leave but you can and will be replaced by someone else who wants to be there. This whole situation is like a nasty breakup happeneing on Facebook.

First the kid changed his status from "In a relationship" to "Single". After that a bunch of people started commenting on it so the ex (Chief) jumped in to explain her side of the story.

retiredAFcivvy
05-06-2014, 04:50 PM
The Air Force doesn't operate quite the same way. First Sergeant is an esteemed title that is separate from rank. A 1st shirt can be an E7-E9; however, you can only become one as an E7. After doing your time, you can go back to your primary job and stop being a Shirt. A Marine Corp equivalent (IMO) would be your company gunny. From what I have seen, company gunny's do pretty much the same job as an AF Shirt.
At one time, I think the Air Force did have an AFSC for First Sergeant.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-06-2014, 04:58 PM
What he did is no different from a high school dropout writing a letter saying that he left school because they give students homework.

He said that there was poor leadership, but only elaborated by bringing up the fact that he's been corrected more times than he would like on his uniform and appearance.

If he doesn't want to be held to a standard and wants to leave an organization that would hold him to one, then it's his life... he needs to do whatever he's gotta do.

But, on that same token, he needs to realize that just because it wasn't a good fit for him doesn't mean that it's not a good fit for others. He brought up other things wrong with the Air Force outside of enforcement of uniform standards, but they're not things that affect him personally (i.e., scandals, budgets, etc) - so I chalk that up to him taking whatever shots he can at the Air Force. It really looks as if he's almost blatantly stating that he's speaking for all enlisted, when he said this:



Not only does it look like he's taking it upon himself to speak for all enlisted, but he's suggesting that leadership stop enforcing the standard on uniforms and appearance. For the sake of recruiting and retention. Of people like him... who aren't cut out for the military anyway! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's been stated many times in this thread already: the military isn't for everyone.

This is a very accurate assessment and I totally agree. Heck, if that young man had put his mind to it, he could have flourished in the military.

I got away with so much mischief, just by playing the part of the golden boy. I too, secretly wanted a 1970's porno actor mustache, but did I complain, or grow the approved Adolph variant?

No sir! I was clean shaven an always sported an immaculate uniform. I was always the darling of the SNCOs and officers of my unit, just by being happy and positive.

If I was having a bad day; I would just keep smiling, then I would sprinkle a thin layer of graphite powder over some lieutenant's chair, they always thought it was a rival company grade officer doing it.

They never suspected it was the golden boy.

Measure Man
05-06-2014, 05:42 PM
At one time, I think the Air Force did have an AFSC for First Sergeant.

There still is 8F000

It is a special duty AFSC...once your term is up you can go back to your career field. Similar to recruiting, MTI, CCM, all those are special duties as well. While many people stay in them for the rest of their career, there are a few who go back to their original real job.

Measure Man
05-06-2014, 05:49 PM
I think he does have a point and so do you and the Chief who responded. He is basically saying, "If the Air Force wants to keep people like me they need to change some things". The Chief is saying, "The Air Force has no interest in keeping people like you".

Nailed it!

DWWSWWD
05-06-2014, 09:25 PM
I got away with so much mischief, just by playing the part of the golden boy. I too, secretly wanted a 1970's porno actor mustache, but did I complain, or grow the approved Adolph variant?

No sir! I was clean shaven an always sported an immaculate uniform. I was always the darling of the SNCOs and officers of my unit, just by being happy and positive.

If I was having a bad day; I would just keep smiling, then I would sprinkle a think layer of graphite powder over some lieutenant's chair, they always thought it was a rival company grade officer doing it.

They never suspected it was the golden boy. This resonated with me. My roommate at my first assignment was probably a better technician than I was. He was slopy in his uniform and a little overweight. We each got in trouble for a few things. I was Teflon Don and he was a shit magnet. I had a great attitude, a desire to please and my uniform was always exceptional. I think the two situations presented themselves as my growing up and his being a perpetual shit bag. He ended up getting kicked out as an A1C and I'm retiring in a few months as a Chief. Huh. Here, try this hypothetical as to how I might have dealt with something:

Chief - Hey Airman, come here! Get your sunglasses off of your head!
A1C DW - Oh my gosh. I'm sorry, Chief. Not sure what I was thinking. Thanks for letting me know.

I've never felt entitled to wear the uniform. I really always believed that I was fortunate to serve. The opposite of that is - I may let the AF have the privilege of retaining me if they would let me wear my sunglasses on my head. Why do we have to wear hats? Don't Chiefs have anything better to do than be douches?

It's truly been a pleasure, my brothers and sisters. If this deal isn't working out for you, your porn staches or your sunglasses, go ahead and roll out. Thanks for your service.

OtisRNeedleman
05-07-2014, 12:24 AM
In the Marine Corps, at the E8 mark a SNCO takes one of two distinct paths: First Sergeant or Master Sergeant. First Sergeant being the 'leadership' / enlisted advisor route (at the Company level). Becoming a First Sergeant changes their MOS to 9999 (First Sergeant / Sergeant Major) while a Master Sergeant will remain in their 'occupational field' (0300 - infantry for example). Now, Master Sergeants are still leaders and sometimes fill the 1stSgt role, but their job is to remain proficient in their field of expertise. The Navy does a similar thing with their Command Master Chief program. Does the AF do the same thing with SNCO's that become First Sergeants?

Leadership (both officer & enlisted) has two goals: mission accomplishment and welfare of your personnel. It is a fine balance between pushing people and breaking them as well as between looking out for your people and not holding them accountable. I am sure there are some people (in all branches) that over-do being the mission-oriented hard charger as well as people who over-do the BBQ and fundraiser route. My observation is that most find a decent balance, there is a small percentage that don't who draw a disproportionate amount of attention to them & their methods.

Does the SNCO get to choose his/her path?

Stalwart
05-07-2014, 01:32 AM
Does the SNCO get to choose his/her path?

Yes, as a GySgt there is a spot to put F or M, which is up to the Marine being reported on to decide. Before I left (2003) promotion to 1stSgt was usually 1 to 2 years faster than MSgt and there were a lot fewer MSgt's than 1stSgt's.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-07-2014, 12:20 PM
This resonated with me. My roommate at my first assignment was probably a better technician than I was. He was slopy in his uniform and a little overweight. We each got in trouble for a few things. I was Teflon Don and he was a shit magnet. I had a great attitude, a desire to please and my uniform was always exceptional. I think the two situations presented themselves as my growing up and his being a perpetual shit bag. He ended up getting kicked out as an A1C and I'm retiring in a few months as a Chief. Huh. Here, try this hypothetical as to how I might have dealt with something:

Chief - Hey Airman, come here! Get your sunglasses off of your head!
A1C DW - Oh my gosh. I'm sorry, Chief. Not sure what I was thinking. Thanks for letting me know.

I've never felt entitled to wear the uniform. I really always believed that I was fortunate to serve. The opposite of that is - I may let the AF have the privilege of retaining me if they would let me wear my sunglasses on my head. Why do we have to wear hats? Don't Chiefs have anything better to do than be douches?

It's truly been a pleasure, my brothers and sisters. If this deal isn't working out for you, your porn staches or your sunglasses, go ahead and roll out. Thanks for your service.

Agree 100 percent.

If by the end of basic training if you haven't figured that being in the military puts special demands on you, well, then you are a dolt. It seems like it took this guy 7 years to come to grips with that fact. WTF?

So, the petty bullshit standards drove him away from the military? LOL!

This guy doesn't strike me as a fast learner. If he wanted out fine, if he wanted to write a drama queen letter about not being able to conform to simple grooming standards, that's fine too.

However, I have the right to laugh at his cry baby ass on his way out the gate.

Keeping yourself well groomed and keeping your uniform looking good is part of the culture in the military. That was abundantly clear to me before I even stepped on the fucking bus to go to the MEPs station.

BRUWIN
05-13-2014, 11:02 PM
This resonated with me. My roommate at my first assignment was probably a better technician than I was. He was slopy in his uniform and a little overweight. We each got in trouble for a few things. I was Teflon Don and he was a shit magnet. I had a great attitude, a desire to please and my uniform was always exceptional. I think the two situations presented themselves as my growing up and his being a perpetual shit bag. He ended up getting kicked out as an A1C and I'm retiring in a few months as a Chief. Huh. Here, try this hypothetical as to how I might have dealt with something:

Chief - Hey Airman, come here! Get your sunglasses off of your head!
A1C DW - Oh my gosh. I'm sorry, Chief. Not sure what I was thinking. Thanks for letting me know.

I've never felt entitled to wear the uniform. I really always believed that I was fortunate to serve. The opposite of that is - I may let the AF have the privilege of retaining me if they would let me wear my sunglasses on my head. Why do we have to wear hats? Don't Chiefs have anything better to do than be douches?

It's truly been a pleasure, my brothers and sisters. If this deal isn't working out for you, your porn staches or your sunglasses, go ahead and roll out. Thanks for your service.

Why did we have to wear hats though? 30 years and I never did get used to wearing a hat. I hate hats...and haircuts too. I hated getting a haircut. Now keep in mind, after my first enlistment i stopped bitching about it because i didn't have to reenlist...but I never stopped hating it.

DWWSWWD
05-14-2014, 03:01 AM
Why did we have to wear hats though? 30 years and I never did get used to wearing a hat. I hate hats...and haircuts too. I hated getting a haircut. Now keep in mind, after my first enlistment i stopped bitching about it because i didn't have to reenlist...but I never stopped hating it.Well obviously it finally got to you and you quit, same as anyone else is free to do when I inform them of their sock height discrepancy, as Chiefs do.

TJMAC77SP
05-14-2014, 03:50 AM
Seems like everyone only read the part of the letter that mentioned the 'stache.

MACHINE666
05-14-2014, 11:48 AM
Seems like everyone only read the part of the letter that mentioned the 'stache.

That's because the majority of people here have tunnel vision and see things only in smaller terms. Either they're too blind and too dumb to see that they're being passively abused by an archaic standard, or they don't want to admit that grooming standards are (and have been) flexible throughout military history.

Honestly, it makes me shudder to think that so many people miss the bigger picture of what this kid is trying to bring to light.

DWWSWWD
05-14-2014, 02:40 PM
You know, from a leadership perspective, it doesn't matter why this guy is getting out. Noone is listening because we have more than enough people and recruiters are hitting their marks. People tell me they're getting out all the time. I try to help them with a plan, give them a pat on the butt at the Chinese buffet and thank them for their service. I happen to think things are crazy right now and am trying to keep an objective view. I wonder if my retiring soon is affecting my assessment. When we did something similar in '90ish, it was much worse. We cut 300,000 people, got rid of our MAJCOMs, our AFRs, our EPRs and uniforms. What must that have looked like to old guys like me at the end of their careers? Do you think the CSAF would have given a shit about 1 Airman's letter saying how much he loved his green fatigues and SAC patch so he's going to bail? Not so much. I get the guy's points, I really do. I am getting out in 2 months though I could stay another 4 years or so. People are encouraging me to stay for a CCM gig. That's not for me right now. Whoopty doo. For every tired and disgusted Airman right now, there are 20 trying to sign up.

sandsjames
05-14-2014, 04:15 PM
You know, from a leadership perspective, it doesn't matter why this guy is getting out. Noone is listening because we have more than enough people and recruiters are hitting their marks. People tell me they're getting out all the time. I try to help them with a plan, give them a pat on the butt at the Chinese buffet and thank them for their service. I happen to think things are crazy right now and am trying to keep an objective view. I wonder if my retiring soon is affecting my assessment. When we did something similar in '90ish, it was much worse. We cut 300,000 people, got rid of our MAJCOMs, our AFRs, our EPRs and uniforms. What must that have looked like to old guys like me at the end of their careers? Do you think the CSAF would have given a shit about 1 Airman's letter saying how much he loved his green fatigues and SAC patch so he's going to bail? Not so much. I get the guy's points, I really do. I am getting out in 2 months though I could stay another 4 years or so. People are encouraging me to stay for a CCM gig. That's not for me right now. Whoopty doo. For every tired and disgusted Airman right now, there are 20 trying to sign up.

Unfortunately, this is the problem. Nobody in leadership cares about the individual. Even though they preach to us on a daily basis how important we are and how much they care about us as individuals, it's all lip service. Better to just quit lying about it and tell people they are easily replacable.

hustonj
05-14-2014, 04:58 PM
Actually, local leadership does tend to care about individuals. That's really the nature of their positions.

The problem is that people think the local leadership caring about them as individuals means that the USAF does, too. The USAF never has and really can't afford to.

As I've said for years: Enlisting is signing an indentured servitude contract. You specifically give somebody else control over the details of your life for a set period of time in exchange for contractual compensation. The local slavehandler needs to know how to get the most from you for his own benefit, to maximize production in his field. The plantation owner just cares if the various slavehandlers have the right number of slaves, not who goes where, or why.

Rainmaker
05-14-2014, 05:29 PM
I heard about Strangelove... didn't she have a black glove covered, mechanical, right arm?

Yeah. but, There's a rose in her fisted glove...

Stalwart
05-14-2014, 06:06 PM
Actually, local leadership does tend to care about individuals. That's really the nature of their positions.

The problem is that people think the local leadership caring about them as individuals means that the USAF does, too. The USAF never has and really can't afford to.

Good point. My best tours as an officer (from the perspective of leadership / edification of actually helping my fellow Sailors, Marines etc.) were as a Division Officer (Company Grade leadership.) The more echelons up the chain of command one gets, the realization that you are no longer having the direct impact on people and you are more developing policy ... policy that on some level is going to be hard on people is a bit desensitizing.

Keep going up, and what I learned as a Congressional aide was that at the very highest levels of government it is the same way (the exceptions being when someone makes a really good case, becomes the poster-child for a cause or has an issue that is really media worthy.)

Flag officers drive the business of the military, senior officers are developing and implementing policy, junior officers are making that policy work at the individual unit level.

crwchf16
05-15-2014, 07:01 AM
You know, from a leadership perspective, it doesn't matter why this guy is getting out. Noone is listening because we have more than enough people and recruiters are hitting their marks. People tell me they're getting out all the time. I try to help them with a plan, give them a pat on the butt at the Chinese buffet and thank them for their service. I happen to think things are crazy right now and am trying to keep an objective view. I wonder if my retiring soon is affecting my assessment. When we did something similar in '90ish, it was much worse. We cut 300,000 people, got rid of our MAJCOMs, our AFRs, our EPRs and uniforms. What must that have looked like to old guys like me at the end of their careers? Do you think the CSAF would have given a shit about 1 Airman's letter saying how much he loved his green fatigues and SAC patch so he's going to bail? Not so much. I get the guy's points, I really do. I am getting out in 2 months though I could stay another 4 years or so. People are encouraging me to stay for a CCM gig. That's not for me right now. Whoopty doo. For every tired and disgusted Airman right now, there are 20 trying to sign up.

The problem with this approach is for every airman lost, you've also lost that many years of experience and that is something that 20 new recruits simply cannot replace overnight. Our numbers are bad enough for the workload. What compounds that is just how many of that number actually know what they are doing and can pass that experience along.

GeoDude
05-19-2014, 05:56 AM
The best part about being a reservist is that, other than AGR or a deployment, there is no commitment to any full time employment - I can come and go as I please - I sometimes miss active duty, but realize that I was pretty miserable there too.

Rusty Jones
05-19-2014, 05:13 PM
Looks like Air Force Times decided to take a shot at the guy:

http://blogs.militarytimes.com/flightlines/files/2014/05/0338-copy.jpg

sandsjames
05-19-2014, 05:26 PM
Looks like Air Force Times decided to take a shot at the guy:

http://blogs.militarytimes.com/flightlines/files/2014/05/0338-copy.jpg

What a self-serving propoganda filled "Toon". First, they chose to publish the letter, then they make fun of it. Second, the presumption that the only job someone like this will get is a fast food job is typical of what the Air Force tries to make younger troops who don't conform think is their only option.

I also love how they try to pander to all the responses they got from this guys letter. And, as everyone else did, they focus on the mustache comment instead of the important parts of the letter. I'm sure there are some die-hard kool-aide drinkers sharing this on their facebook pages with a good ol' "ROFLMAO".

GeoDude
05-19-2014, 06:06 PM
What a self-serving propoganda filled "Toon". First, they chose to publish the letter, then they make fun of it. Second, the presumption that the only job someone like this will get is a fast food job is typical of what the Air Force tries to make younger troops who don't conform think is their only option.

I also love how they try to pander to all the responses they got from this guys letter. And, as everyone else did, they focus on the mustache comment instead of the important parts of the letter. I'm sure there are some die-hard kool-aide drinkers sharing this on their facebook pages with a good ol' "ROFLMAO".

Hence why the military is full of old timers who tell younger troops that ETS is a guaranteed ticket to McDonalds... but deep down these senior NCOs themselves are afraid that they couldn't hack it either if they ventured out into the real world.

Rusty Jones
05-19-2014, 07:38 PM
This really doesn't make Air Force Times look good, either. If you didn't know the story behind this comic strip, you might take it as if they're trying to say that work experience in the military is worthless and will only get you a fast food job.

TJMAC77SP
05-19-2014, 09:23 PM
What a self-serving propoganda filled "Toon". First, they chose to publish the letter, then they make fun of it. Second, the presumption that the only job someone like this will get is a fast food job is typical of what the Air Force tries to make younger troops who don't conform think is their only option.

I also love how they try to pander to all the responses they got from this guys letter. And, as everyone else did, they focus on the mustache comment instead of the important parts of the letter. I'm sure there are some die-hard kool-aide drinkers sharing this on their facebook pages with a good ol' "ROFLMAO".

I repeat that it seems many are focusing on a minute part of the NCOs letter on his reasons for not reenlisting. I suppose some are just ignorant of what he was saying and I would say some are promoting an agenda. In the case of the AF Times cartoon, it would seem to be the latter.

Rusty Jones
05-19-2014, 09:40 PM
I repeat that it seems many are focusing on a minute part of the NCOs letter on his reasons for not reenlisting. I suppose some are just ignorant of what he was saying and I would say some are promoting an agenda. In the case of the AF Times cartoon, it would seem to be the latter.

I do understand why the focus is on the moustache. I've said this before - his complaints are general in nature, and are about "big" Air Force things that don't affect him personally - like wasteful spending and "scandals."

He only mentioned one thing that does affect him personally, and that's poor leadership. The one example he gave to demonstrate why leadership is so poor? Because they enforce the standards on uniforms and appearance.

The problem is this: unless someone can give some real reasons for why leadership is so poor (i.e., not for doing their JOB), I equate such complaints with screams of "you guys cheated" from the losing kickball team in elementary school gym class.

He may have some valid reasons for why his local leadership is poor, but he didn't state them. Someone with valid reason will often state that they have poor leadership in their chain of command, correct?

But so will someone who is constantly getting a foot put in their ass by their chain of command.

Stalwart
05-19-2014, 10:13 PM
Rusty brings up a really good point that made me go back and re-read the letter.

The writer brings up some very good / valid criticisms of the service that make him less inclined to reenlist - that takes up about 2 paragraphs of his letter.

His talking about the mustache incident with the First Sergeant is very specific and much longer discussion; understanding that the mustache is really more about conformity to a group standard vs the need to be able to express his individuality and his realization that he can support his family with his skill set outside and not have to deal with the military nature of being in the military. It isn't just the mustache, but the standards that make the military more than a job, and at this point in his life (after he has served honorably, deployed and done what was asked of him) he wants a job; nothing wrong with that.

I don't think the user really wants the Air Force to change their standards, but is pointing out that the standards probably do drive people away. As I have said, I won't disparage him for choosing to do something different that edifies him and supports him and his family. It is really too bad that so many people (the comic included) have focused on the mustache.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-19-2014, 11:24 PM
Rusty brings up a really good point that made me go back and re-read the letter.

The writer brings up some very good / valid criticisms of the service that make him less inclined to reenlist - that takes up about 2 paragraphs of his letter.

His talking about the mustache incident with the First Sergeant is very specific and much longer discussion; understanding that the mustache is really more about conformity to a group standard vs the need to be able to express his individuality and his realization that he can support his family with his skill set outside and not have to deal with the military nature of being in the military. It isn't just the mustache, but the standards that make the military more than a job, and at this point in his life (after he has served honorably, deployed and done what was asked of him) he wants a job; nothing wrong with that.

I don't think the user really wants the Air Force to change their standards, but is pointing out that the standards probably do drive people away. As I have said, I won't disparage him for choosing to do something different that edifies him and supports him and his family. It is really too bad that so many people (the comic included) have focused on the mustache.

I agree, but we really should include the author of the letter in that group of people.

Heck, if he didn't focus on it, he would not be open to all the criticism.

Besides, there are many societal and cultural standards for personal grooming and hygiene. In the military, they are written and you get called on them (usually).

In the civilian job market, they are often unwritten. He isn't escaping being judged by his personal appearance by going civilian, especially when it comes to job interviews. If anything, he is open to being judged by a much wider spectrum of biases and opinions, from facial hair to the type of clothes he wears.

Sure, some employers may not care if he grows a Magnum PI mustache, or a 1911 waxed handle-bar mustache, after he is hired, but if he goes on job interviews with some funky mustache, he is putting himself at a disadvantage with a lot of people.

Even after a person lands a job, and then, they let their hygiene and grooming go to shit, they are being judged by everyone they work with, despite the fact no one says a word about it to them.

Shove_your_stupid_meeting
05-20-2014, 01:17 AM
This really doesn't make Air Force Times look good, either. If you didn't know the story behind this comic strip, you might take it as if they're trying to say that work experience in the military is worthless and will only get you a fast food job.

Well it's not like the older guys haven't said crap like that for years to young guys wanting to get out. I always thought it was funny how we're highly trained airmen until we want to leave, and then we're no more than fry cooks. Looks like someone at the AF Times has the same mentality. Disappointing, but not uncommon.

TJMAC77SP
05-20-2014, 01:25 AM
I do understand why the focus is on the moustache. I've said this before - his complaints are general in nature, and are about "big" Air Force things that don't affect him personally - like wasteful spending and "scandals."

He only mentioned one thing that does affect him personally, and that's poor leadership. The one example he gave to demonstrate why leadership is so poor? Because they enforce the standards on uniforms and appearance.

The problem is this: unless someone can give some real reasons for why leadership is so poor (i.e., not for doing their JOB), I equate such complaints with screams of "you guys cheated" from the losing kickball team in elementary school gym class.

He may have some valid reasons for why his local leadership is poor, but he didn't state them. Someone with valid reason will often state that they have poor leadership in their chain of command, correct?

But so will someone who is constantly getting a foot put in their ass by their chain of command.

I fully understand why the focus on the mustache remark. That is not a mystery.

He certainly listed a litany of things that led to his decision.........all before mentioning 'the mustache'.

“….We managed to stay together through the year and a half of basic and technical school, only for me to get home and be activated for a six-month deployment…..”

“…..Six years, multiple deployments and several mental breakdowns later, I am ready to put the Air Force in my past forever….”

“…..I am not trying to paint a negative picture of the Air Force — I am simply telling it as it is. The Air Force has given me a lot, but what it took in return was more valuable. With so much in the news about the military, from the scandals to the budget, I think it is important to tell it from the perspective of the enlisted member. If the Air Force plans on maintaining an enlisted force, leaders would be wise to listen to the enlisted perspective. They successfully chased me away, and I know I am not the only one…..”

“…..That unsinkable plan started taking on water pretty quickly. My wife and I had talked about kids, but we were going to wait until the deployments slowed down, if ever that would be. My good pension was becoming more of a dream every day as the financial situation in Washington got worse. The separation from my wife caused problems but was a reality that we accepted as necessary to live comfortably…..”

“……The doubt grew stronger during a recent six-month tour to Southwest Asia. The deployment was no different than any other one before it: My wife and I missed each other, but we were handling it well. The work was mind-numbing and joyless. The leadership was terrible and went out of its way to make everything difficult. The news constantly reported on budget cuts and shrinking military benefits, which really cheers you up while you’re deployed. Emails came in daily assuring us everything was OK and reminding us the mission always comes first. All of it very ordinary, casual and expected, and it was the life I accepted…..”

“……Then I had a moment of clarity I will never forget; I was sacrificing my life for money. I had been lured in with promises of money and support and was trapped. I had lost sight of what was truly important for the feeling of security. I had come to accept, without question, my reality because of fear. Fear that was constantly strengthened with every news report about the economy and entrenched with every thought of being poor. I had settled for unhappiness…….”

“………..Even worse, I had made that decision for my wife. She was living a married life without a husband. Our life was more depressing than I had allowed myself to see……….”

Would you have really been happy if he had decided to name the specific faults of his leadership, calling them out by name? I for one would have found that unprofessional.

We can all certainly agree or disagree with this NCO's career decision. He seems to have chosen family over career. An oversimplified statement to be sure and time will tell if he made the right choice. I just don't see why we can't either agree or disagree with him without vilifying him (as some have done).

BURAWSKI
05-20-2014, 01:35 AM
Air Force Times seems to be making a negative statement about enlisted members in publishing that cartoon, but that is just my opinion. A couple of things I have noticed about all this: For one, he seems to have gotten his point across somewhat, as evidenced by the amount of feedback it has generated in response. Also, I think everyone is aware that the guy is right about the problem with leadership. There is a problem and I think that is embarrassing for the Air Force to admit, including Air Force Times.

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 02:27 AM
I agree, but we really should include the author of the letter in that group of people.

Heck, if he didn't focus on it, he would not be open to all the criticism.

Besides, there are many societal and cultural standards for personal grooming and hygiene. In the military, they are written and you get called on them (usually).

In the civilian job market, they are often unwritten. He isn't escaping being judged by his personal appearance by going civilian, especially when it comes to job interviews. If anything, he is open to being judged by a much wider spectrum of biases and opinions, from facial hair to the type of clothes he wears.

Sure, some employers may not care if he grows a Magnum PI mustache, or a 1911 waxed handle-bar mustache, after he is hired, but if he goes on job interviews with some funky mustache, he is putting himself at a disadvantage with a lot of people.

Even after a person lands a job, and then, they let their hygiene and grooming go to shit, they are being judged by everyone they work with, despite the fact no one says a word about it to them.

I don't think anyone is defending his mustache comments, or his focus on it. It is obviously the thing that sent him over the edge. He obviously didn't want to follow the standards so he dug himself this hole. However, no matter what his intentions were, the cartoon is pretty derogatory. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be that way, but just as the writers letter came across as whiney about the mustache, the cartoon made it sound like, even with the training provided by the Air Force, the only path once your out (assuming you leave because you don't like the standards) is a low paying go nowhere job. Pretty pathetic point they made.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-20-2014, 02:56 AM
I don't think anyone is defending his mustache comments, or his focus on it. It is obviously the thing that sent him over the edge. He obviously didn't want to follow the standards so he dug himself this hole. However, no matter what his intentions were, the cartoon is pretty derogatory. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be that way, but just as the writers letter came across as whiney about the mustache, the cartoon made it sound like, even with the training provided by the Air Force, the only path once your out (assuming you leave because you don't like the standards) is a low paying go nowhere job. Pretty pathetic point they made.

I don't read that as being the joke that the cartoon was making. The point of it was that there is no escaping standards, even as a lowly fry cook.

That was also the point I was making; no matter where you find yourself, there will always be some level of conformity that you have to adhere to.

Stalwart
05-20-2014, 11:26 AM
Air Force Times seems to be making a negative statement about enlisted members in publishing that cartoon, but that is just my opinion.

Why just enlisted members vice the whole force? I didn't see anything in the comic that singled out enlisted members.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-20-2014, 12:09 PM
I can understand why some people get upset over cartoons.

The reason?

They are easily upset by insignificant and silly things.

I suggest they should draw their own cartoons and try to upset others, pay-it-forward, so to speak.

Either that, or take your frustrations out by screaming at other cars in a fit of road rage.

SomeRandomGuy
05-20-2014, 03:08 PM
Well it's not like the older guys haven't said crap like that for years to young guys wanting to get out. I always thought it was funny how we're highly trained airmen until we want to leave, and then we're no more than fry cooks. Looks like someone at the AF Times has the same mentality. Disappointing, but not uncommon.

The part I bolded is possible. Several years ago my family went to visit my brother at Ft. Hood texas. We drove our motorhome down there. For about the last 50 miles before we arrived the motorhome started running like shit. It was sputtering and didn't seem like it was getting enough gas (very obviously the carburetor). My brother says, "No problem my buddy is a mechanic in the Army." He calls, up his buddy who says, "Man, I work on Humvees that's it. I have no idea how to work on anything else" The point here is that this kid was a dedent Army mechanic but he really only knows how to work on very basic vehicles. You could say he is highly trained but it's not like the cadillac shop down the street is lineing up to hire him when he gets out. He knows how to do basically one thing. So do many people in the military.

OtisRNeedleman
05-20-2014, 03:13 PM
Well it's not like the older guys haven't said crap like that for years to young guys wanting to get out. I always thought it was funny how we're highly trained airmen until we want to leave, and then we're no more than fry cooks. Looks like someone at the AF Times has the same mentality. Disappointing, but not uncommon.

Ding,ding,ding! Remember being treated like crap sometimes as a Korean linguist, especially after they learned I wanted to get out after my four years. But a couple of months after separating got a letter from some Chief asking me to re-enlist. You can imagine what I did with that letter. But in the end, I came back to the unit...as a second lieutenant.

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 04:10 PM
Well it's not like the older guys haven't said crap like that for years to young guys wanting to get out. I always thought it was funny how we're highly trained airmen until we want to leave, and then we're no more than fry cooks. Looks like someone at the AF Times has the same mentality. Disappointing, but not uncommon.

Very true and, as you say, disappointing. It's almost like it's used as a fear tactic..."If you don't do this right you'll be flippin' burgers at Mickey Ds". Glad that everyone separated from the military before retirement have no skills they can carry over.

Stalwart
05-20-2014, 04:16 PM
The part I bolded is possible. Several years ago my family went to visit my brother at Ft. Hood texas. We drove our motorhome down there. For about the last 50 miles before we arrived the motorhome started running like shit. It was sputtering and didn't seem like it was getting enough gas (very obviously the carburetor). My brother says, "No problem my buddy is a mechanic in the Army." He calls, up his buddy who says, "Man, I work on Humvees that's it. I have no idea how to work on anything else" The point here is that this kid was a dedent Army mechanic but he really only knows how to work on very basic vehicles. You could say he is highly trained but it's not like the cadillac shop down the street is lineing up to hire him when he gets out. He knows how to do basically one thing. So do many people in the military.

When I left the Marine Corps, I had few skills that would have translated well to the general civilian world unless I went into law enforcement or some sort of security/protection field. EDIT: I think I have a lot more after having had my particular job in the Navy.

What I think the military does a good job of for the most part is teaching a good work ethic, discipline and such. Granted that there are jobs and employers who are going to want a particular skill set to a particular degree of proficiency but there are also employers who are willing to teach you the skills they need if you have drive and determination, but again ... some aren't. I don't think everyone who leaves the military does so without marketable skills but for those that do s-- some drive & determination mixed with the determination to make themselves marketable will likely find them something. There is an aspect of personal responsibility to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and to find a way to either have the skills you need or to make yourself competitive and able to provide for yourself and your family.

Rusty Jones
05-20-2014, 04:51 PM
I agree with Stalwart. I personally don't know anyone who was in the military working fast food because they couldn't get anything else. I know some who do as second jobs, and some retirees who do - just to have something to do, with as little responsibility as possible - but none who do, simply because they couldn't get something else.

The other thing to think about is that most military occupations, such as the one that SSgt had, require clearances... and he may very well have a TS clearance. That TS clearance alone can get him high paying jobs on the outside that he has zero experience in, because with the work and costs associated with obtaining clearances for employees; the ROI tends to greater on training someone with a clearance but no experience, than getting a clearance for someone who doesn't have one but has experience.

Stalwart
05-20-2014, 05:08 PM
Very true and, as you say, disappointing. It's almost like it's used as a fear tactic..."If you don't do this right you'll be flippin' burgers at Mickey Ds".

No 'like' about it ... it is a fear tactic. While the intent of the tactic may be to get someone to reenlist or to get them to better themselves through education, training etc. there are better ways to word the argument than with that example.

Rainmaker
05-20-2014, 05:11 PM
Unfortunately, this is the problem. Nobody in leadership cares about the individual. Even though they preach to us on a daily basis how important we are and how much they care about us as individuals, it's all lip service. Better to just quit lying about it and tell people they are easily replacable.

That's because we have a bunch of square filling Managers and very few actual Leaders left. This promotion system does not lend itself to risk taking. Anyone who doesn't go along with the party line gets hit with the "not a team-player, not well rounded" label. Career progression stops. Couple that with a PC ethos (that prevents making value judgements about actual job performance) and this what you get. Real leaders would not stand by and have faggot and feminist policy shoved up their asses to the detriment of their unit's morale and readiness . We're living through a generation long, nation-wide crisis of Leadership that starts at the top and like stale piss has trickled all the way down to the lowest levels of the military. This Fish stinks from the head. Meet the new boss. same as the old boss. NomSayin?

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 05:14 PM
No 'like' about it ... it is a fear tactic. While the intent of the tactic may be to get someone to reenlist or to get them to better themselves through education, training etc. there are better ways to word the argument than with that example.

Especially since, from day 1, we teach that after completion of Tech School and a few good years of OJT they will be relatively marketable in the civilian world.

Stalwart
05-20-2014, 05:21 PM
Especially since, from day 1, we teach that after completion of Tech School and a few good years of OJT they will be relatively marketable in the civilian world.

Which may be true, depending on the job. For an IT professional ... sure. For an infantryman ... not so sure.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-20-2014, 05:33 PM
It's not like the "burger flipping" line is part of any institutional policy set in place to improve retention.

It's just dumb shit that some people say; besides, if any troop is dumb enough to believe that, well, those are the kind of troops that I'd rather see get out.

I heard that kind of crap a lot when I was a cop, but never when I got into intel. The job market for TS/SCI jobs has shrunk quite a bit, but a TS/SCI, plus a BA degree and few years experience easily gets you a 120k per year.

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 05:33 PM
Which may be true, depending on the job. For an IT professional ... sure. For an infantryman ... not so sure.

I may be wrong, but wasn't the guy who posted the letter and is catching all the flack in the Air Force?

Rusty Jones
05-20-2014, 05:48 PM
I may be wrong, but wasn't the guy who posted the letter and is catching all the flack in the Air Force?

Yes. I believe he worked on radar equipment, too. If you're on the Air Force Times page on Facebook, SSgt Driver and the guy who made the comic strip actually got into it. Look for the comic strip, and read the comments. He said what he did in the Air Force.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-20-2014, 05:57 PM
I may be wrong, but wasn't the guy who posted the letter and is catching all the flack in the Air Force?

You are frequently wrong about many things, but that isn't one of them.

However, there are a few AFSCs that would be challenging to write a resume for. I would put security forces in the same job market as an infantryman.

That said, there are plenty of opportunities for those willing, shit, use the GI Bill and make something happen.

No one should ever feel trapped in the military, don't like it? Get out and make something better happen.

What I can't figure out is why in the hell you stuck around for 20 years if you thought it was so horrible.

For as much as you shit all over everything Air Force, I am equally astonished that you took a civilian job with the Air Force.

That kid who wrote that letter should be your hero, at least he had the balls to make a change.

Stalwart
05-20-2014, 06:07 PM
I may be wrong, but wasn't the guy who posted the letter and is catching all the flack in the Air Force?

I was talking more in generalities.

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 06:19 PM
You are frequently wrong about many things, but that isn't one of them.

However, there are a few AFSCs that would be challenging to write a resume for. I would put security forces in the same job market as an infantryman.

That said, there are plenty of opportunities for those willing, shit, use the GI Bill and make something happen.

No one should ever feel trapped in the military, don't like it? Get out and make something better happen.

What I can't figure out is why in the hell you stuck around for 20 years if you thought it was so horrible.
For as much as you shit all over everything Air Force, I am equally astonished that you took a civilian job with the Air Force.

That kid who wrote that letter should be your hero, at least he had the balls to make a change.

I stayed in for 20 years because there are few easier jobs out there with the benefits and a retirement check for the next 40 years. Thanks for paying your taxes!

I don't shit all over the Air Force. I shit all over the people who decided to make the Air Force as miserable as possible.

And why would you be astonished that I took a civilian job with the AF? The cake walk of an Air Force job without all the military bull shit going along with it? Hell, that's right down my alley. I've pointed out several times that I enjoyed my Air Force job. I just didn't enjoy the things that went along with it. I'd assume that a great leader of your stature would easily realize why I took the job I did.

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 06:20 PM
I was talking more in generalities.

Ahhh, ok. I was talking specifically about the Air Force guy who wrote a letter to the Air Force Times and the response given by the guys, through the cartoon, employed by the Air Force Times.

I am unable to know what people in the other services might be qualified to do once they get out.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-20-2014, 08:23 PM
I stayed in for 20 years because there are few easier jobs out there with the benefits and a retirement check for the next 40 years. Thanks for paying your taxes!

I don't shit all over the Air Force. I shit all over the people who decided to make the Air Force as miserable as possible.

And why would you be astonished that I took a civilian job with the AF? The cake walk of an Air Force job without all the military bull shit going along with it? Hell, that's right down my alley. I've pointed out several times that I enjoyed my Air Force job. I just didn't enjoy the things that went along with it. I'd assume that a great leader of your stature would easily realize why I took the job I did.

You are absolutely right, I did know, I just saw another opportunity to call you a complainer and I couldn't let it pass.

Excellent choice on your part, might as well stick with what you know. Besides, I hear the managers at McDonald's can be real pricks if they catch you not wearing a hair net.

sandsjames
05-20-2014, 08:30 PM
You are absolutely right, I did know, I just saw another opportunity to call you a complainer and I couldn't let it pass.

Excellent choice on your part, might as well stick with what you know. Besides, I hear the managers at McDonald's can be real pricks if they catch you not wearing a hair net.


Very happy to stick with what I know. Not sure why people always feel the need to "advance" their careers or do something different. I think if more people stuck with what they're good at we'd all be doing just fine.

socal1200r
05-21-2014, 01:44 PM
Very happy to stick with what I know. Not sure why people always feel the need to "advance" their careers or do something different. I think if more people stuck with what they're good at we'd all be doing just fine.

And therein lies the big problem with officer PME. There should be a separate track for those that want to remain in their career fields, as opposed to being "groomed" for command slots. Some don't want all the headaches of being in a command billet, and would rather do an internship or something similar to enhance their chosen career field. I'm glad I did my command billet in Iraq, so I wouldn't have to deal with a lot of the CONUS-based command nonsense (GPC, AFPT, schools, delinquent GCCs, OREs/ORIs/SAVs, etc). And given a choice, I'd rather spend PME time getting better at logistics, as opposed to doing a war college of some kind.

Moyen Escadrille
05-22-2014, 01:00 PM
Unfortunately, this is the problem. Nobody in leadership cares about the individual. Even though they preach to us on a daily basis how important we are and how much they care about us as individuals, it's all lip service. Better to just quit lying about it and tell people they are easily replacable.

The lip service has created a sense of entitlement. Everyone thinks they are special when they are not. There are very few people in the military that honestly bring a very hard to replace skill set to the table. Those who came in already fluent in foreign language, specifically Arabic dialects and Chinese, but can still be done.

People need to realize that we are just numbers. Hell, I was just a number and my position was filled before I was out the door. When I out-processed I had to have that same guy sign off on my stuff for the very program I ran. The unit didn't and doesn't miss me, neither does the AF.

Now I'm not bitter at all, just decided to depart on my own terms a few years ago.

Trainman95630
05-24-2014, 05:05 PM
These resignation letters are becoming all the rage . I've seen them from teachers etc. I guess this guy just wanted to get in on the fun.

To anyone who thinks the Air Force cares why you are not re-enlisting I can only quote you Charles Degaulle. :

"the cemeteries are full of indispensable men"