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BUDJR8
05-21-2014, 06:55 PM
What has happened to our once great Air Force? Why are we now so focused on feelings and volunteering and organizations to the point that the idea of getting the mission done is often scoffed at?

Those that have been in a while, think back 10, 15, or 20 years ago...did we have so many "organizations"...it seems as if that's the latest gimmick, create an org "lead" it and get promoted, regardless of impact.

Thoughts?

OtisRNeedleman
05-21-2014, 07:05 PM
No, we didn't have quite so many organizations in my Adult Air Force (AAF). There were enough. Actually, people in the AAF were primarily rated on job performance. If you were a member of the Company Grade Officers' Council, Top-3 or whatever that was good but wasn't the primary basis of a performance report.

The AAF allowed us the luxury, compared to these days, of being able to do your job and then spend time with family/friends/yourself without worrying a whole lot about all your extracurriculars. Yeah, you had to have some but you could still have a life.

TomTom093
05-21-2014, 09:50 PM
I work as my unit's admin. As such, I see every EPR, OPR, Decoration, and Award Package that gets submitted. I also get to sit in when it comes time for SNCO and Officer stratifications. From the day I started in the position, there has been a clear focus on performance. College and volunteer work were encouraged, but they never comprised a bullet on their own unless the person walked on water (4.0 GPA or AFSA President, as two examples)-with the exception of the quarterly awards because we are required to have a bullet in each particular section.

It may just be my unit or the career field (Intel), but I have not experienced what either of you are discussing.

Airborne
05-22-2014, 12:50 AM
I work as my unit's admin. As such, I see every EPR, OPR, Decoration, and Award Package that gets submitted. I also get to sit in when it comes time for SNCO and Officer stratifications. From the day I started in the position, there has been a clear focus on performance. College and volunteer work were encouraged, but they never comprised a bullet on their own unless the person walked on water (4.0 GPA or AFSA President, as two examples)-with the exception of the quarterly awards because we are required to have a bullet in each particular section.

It may just be my unit or the career field (Intel), but I have not experienced what either of you are discussing.

Youre out of the loop then because my experience mirrors the OP. And while im not in the exec office, I have sat in many unit boards and work bullets dont get as much time spent on them as extra-curricular activities.

TomTom093
05-22-2014, 02:23 AM
Youre out of the loop then because my experience mirrors the OP. And while im not in the exec office, I have sat in many unit boards and work bullets dont get as much time spent on them as extra-curricular activities.

That's a shame in that case

akruse
05-22-2014, 06:24 PM
In my experience, I have NEVER had to justify ANY performance bullets in any EPR/1206/Dec package but have had to justify or deny someone one of the above because of a lack of "other" stuff.

Moyen Escadrille
05-23-2014, 03:06 AM
I remember an initial feedback that I received and the volunteer/off duty/education items seemed to heavily outweigh the job performance portion. Was I the best at what I did? Nope but I was pretty darn good at it and always willing to learn. I was slamming in long duty days like most of us who love our jobs but was still under the pressure and presumption that if I didn't have education, wing volunteer items, squadron volunteer items, then I wouldn't be a 5. Yet those who didn't do any of those still received 5's. I find that quite odd.

It's quite sad that something as simple as "monitored unit snack fund-raised morale" seems to top out those who excel at their job. Where I work now I am recognized by the numbers I push for the company, the business I bring in and not how many cupcakes I sell or by how many Boys and Girls Club events I organize.

Chief_KO
05-23-2014, 03:43 AM
Well, I enlisted in 82. First I heard of a booster club was 1987, first I heard of a unit advisory council was 1989. Never heard of any Airman's councils, First 6, Rising 5, Club 6, Top III etc. till around 94 or so...I was assigned to small radar sites far from a base, then in combat comm and other "special units" (not part of the wing) so my experiences may be biased.

I do remember that back in the UAC days, they did the annual picnic/Christmas Party, etc. At Osan (pre-Doc) we had ONE fundraiser a year, the Chin-Mok festival which was an open house weekend with food, games (gambling!), beer, liquor sales. Our unit partnered with another unit and dealt blackjack. One night I dropped the money bag into the night depository at the bank...$25K!! It was a great event, but was killed off around 1995.

UACs actually served a vital function in that the base had a UAC meeting (each unit represented) with the Senior Enlisted Advisor (known as Command Chief nowadays) The UAC would actually raise issues and concerns to base leadership for resolution. UACs faded away and were replaced by the multiple rank-based orgs. Sometime around 2004? it came down from CMSAF (supposedly) that those orgs were not there to "discuss, tackle, complain, etc." base or AF policies. So, they all turned into open checkbooks for whatever "cause" came soliciting their funds.

Sergeant eNYgma
05-23-2014, 11:04 AM
You have to "Play the Game" but the extracurricular crap is at ridiculous levels already and I've not even been in as long as most (Only 6 so far). Hopefully that time will come again where duty performance outweighs all the bullshit....when will it come? I've no idea it may never come around again. Speaking of these councils we have yet another one for the Airmen and I'm like "Isn't that what the damn JEAC is for"?

Absinthe Anecdote
05-23-2014, 11:21 AM
I work as my unit's admin. As such, I see every EPR, OPR, Decoration, and Award Package that gets submitted. I also get to sit in when it comes time for SNCO and Officer stratifications. From the day I started in the position, there has been a clear focus on performance. College and volunteer work were encouraged, but they never comprised a bullet on their own unless the person walked on water (4.0 GPA or AFSA President, as two examples)-with the exception of the quarterly awards because we are required to have a bullet in each particular section.

It may just be my unit or the career field (Intel), but I have not experienced what either of you are discussing.

Those dudes talking about AAF and the Barney Culture are exaggerating a great deal.

That extracurricular stuff has always been there to a certain extent, but it isn't as bad as they are making out.

sandsjames
05-23-2014, 11:56 AM
Those dudes talking about AAF and the Barney Culture are exaggerating a great deal.

That extracurricular stuff has always been there to a certain extent, but it isn't as bad as they are making out.

Wouldn't say always, but it's been there for awhile. I know my first 5-6 EPRs focused mainly on work bullets. There was very little extracurricular on them at all. The work bullets were 2-3 lines each (sub bullets) and the few extras had a lot of white space. They were still 5s.

Chief_KO
05-23-2014, 12:10 PM
One thing driving this is the desire to increase the "bling" given out at the various events, awards, etc.
When I made Amn of Qtr, Amn of Yr I got a congratulatory letter and 3 day pass (cost: around $0).
PCS departing gifts (if you got one) was a signed photo of the unit/shop.
PME awards...a simple wooden plaque for Levitow (cost: around $10)
Promotions...handshake, backslap, beer at the club (not purchased by the promotee) Oh, and you you only got one set of stripes
SNCO or NCO induction: Framed certificate (cost: around $10).

For some reason this has all morphed into spending a butt load of money on things that are often left behind (ever find anyone's awards after they've PCS'd?), or resigned to spend eternity in a box in the basement, garage, or worse. At the last ALS grad I went to the Levitow winner received an eagle that must have had a 4 foot wing span...must have cost at least $150.00, SNCO inductions running about $75 a head...

How about these well meaning organizations take a breath, step back and look at what better things they can do with their funds...like decrease annual dues, decrease the number of fundraisers, and put their funds to better use.

Shove_your_stupid_meeting
05-23-2014, 12:28 PM
I'll say that it definitely feels as though we preach service before self, but we reward self before service. The emphasis on the extra stuff has certainly seemed to increase in the last decade and a half. With that said, I think part of that is on all of us that have sworn those that work for us walk on water, or that we ourselves walk on water and have always walked on water. If everyone is supposedly great at their job, there's got to be something used to distinguish the really good from the great. I'm not saying I agree with it, but I understand. Unfortunately, I think this approach is sending the wrong message to some folks, and I think some of us are getting carried away in our attempts to identify who is truly exceptional. Hell, I think that's played a role in some pretty good folks applying for early retirement/separation this time around.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-23-2014, 01:33 PM
One thing driving this is the desire to increase the "bling" given out at the various events, awards, etc.
When I made Amn of Qtr, Amn of Yr I got a congratulatory letter and 3 day pass (cost: around $0).
PCS departing gifts (if you got one) was a signed photo of the unit/shop.
PME awards...a simple wooden plaque for Levitow (cost: around $10)
Promotions...handshake, backslap, beer at the club (not purchased by the promotee) Oh, and you you only got one set of stripes
SNCO or NCO induction: Framed certificate (cost: around $10).

For some reason this has all morphed into spending a butt load of money on things that are often left behind (ever find anyone's awards after they've PCS'd?), or resigned to spend eternity in a box in the basement, garage, or worse. At the last ALS grad I went to the Levitow winner received an eagle that must have had a 4 foot wing span...must have cost at least $150.00, SNCO inductions running about $75 a head...

How about these well meaning organizations take a breath, step back and look at what better things they can do with their funds...like decrease annual dues, decrease the number of fundraisers, and put their funds to better use.

This is exactly what is driving most every TOP 3 organization, and there are repercussions that come from a portion of the SNCO corps being involved with fund raising for awards. No doubt that this activity seeps into the EPR system and carries far more prestige than it should.

It is important that the SNCO corps make a gesture of respect and support to the junior enlisted at their graduations and career achievements, but should that gesture be so elaborate?

I once voiced such a concern at a TOP 3 meeting and it pissed a lot of people off.

In a perfect world, SNCO's would not get recognition in their promotion package for doing something as basic as paying tribute to accomplishments of their troops. Such a thing is a very basic responsibility of a SNCO, and it certainly does not distinguish a good SNCO from a great one.

I also pointed out that most every troop appreciates a pass from duty for a day or two, so much more, than a plaster sculpture of an eagle. I got a few laughs from that one, but we went right on fund raising our asses off.

Kalbo607
05-23-2014, 01:47 PM
The base I am at has three Top 3 groups, if it was up to me there would be one for the entire base. I am not a member of any of those groups, but do receive the e-mails from one. What I have noticed from those e-mails is all the "volunteer" events they request help for are during duty hours.

Separately I feel if you are "volunteering" during the time you should be at work it shouldn't count.

DWWSWWD
05-23-2014, 02:49 PM
Separately I feel if you are "volunteering" during the time you should be at work it shouldn't count.I have fought this since I got in my first big boy job. My teammates are in the field busting their asses and can't get a strat because they weren't available to read a bullshit story to some schoolkid? Holy shit. Who came up with this elementary school garbage anyway? I've seen it at my last 3 bases. I always ask the good idea fairy, "What does this have to do with developing/supporting the Wing's NCO corps?"

fourdegrees11
05-23-2014, 05:28 PM
The AF has completely warped and distorted how enlisted performance is judged so badly one has to wonder if it can ever be fixed. Every E9 came up in this system, so how can they see it as being absurd enough to fix it? Actual job performance is by far the least important aspect currently for enlisted performance. What kind of twisted culture do we have where it is expected that you do not give 100% daily to your AFSC primary duties? You are expected to fill out crap on an EPR that has nothing to do with your actual job. As long as you aren't clearly and obviously skating out of work more then anyone else you will not be judged negatively.

Seriously, where else in the world do you get hired on as a SME or work supervisor and then get rated based on how many credits you earned while working full time, how many fundraisers you held while working full time, how many hours you spent volunteering while working full time. Oh yeah, you weren't actually working full time while you were doing all of that...

VCO
05-25-2014, 03:51 AM
I see a lot of confusion in this thread over the importance of primary job performance on EPRs and 1206s. Having served on countless award boards, I can tell you that performance in the primary duty is a factor. However, every award nominee is going to be doing great at his/her primary job, else they wouldn't be up for an award. So beyond that, the little bit of extra in self improvement and community involvement is going to decide the winner.

Every Wing i have been a part of requires the bulk of the bullets on the 1206 to be primary job performance. The same with EPRs. The bulk of the bullets should be primary duty performance. If they aren't, that will probably be a negative for the promotion board.

What is throwing off a lot of folks with community involvement, self improvement, and PT, is the old school way of thinking that our only job is our AFSC tasks. That isn't quite the case anymore. Nowadays, our primary job is to perform our AFSC tasks, stay fit, help out the community from time to time, and seek out ways to better ourselves. It is really simple. Keep moving forward and present a good image to the local community.

fourdegrees11
05-25-2014, 06:48 PM
I see a lot of confusion in this thread over the importance of primary job performance on EPRs and 1206s. Having served on countless award boards, I can tell you that performance in the primary duty is a factor. However, every award nominee is going to be doing great at his/her primary job, else they wouldn't be up for an award. So beyond that, the little bit of extra in self improvement and community involvement is going to decide the winner.

Every Wing i have been a part of requires the bulk of the bullets on the 1206 to be primary job performance. The same with EPRs. The bulk of the bullets should be primary duty performance. If they aren't, that will probably be a negative for the promotion board.

What is throwing off a lot of folks with community involvement, self improvement, and PT, is the old school way of thinking that our only job is our AFSC tasks. That isn't quite the case anymore. Nowadays, our primary job is to perform our AFSC tasks, stay fit, help out the community from time to time, and seek out ways to better ourselves. It is really simple. Keep moving forward and present a good image to the local community.

The problem is that filling out an EPR with top notch work bullets is easy for everyone, at least on the flightline side of the house. The problem is that you dont have to actually be good at your job to have an EPR that says you are amazing at your job. The problem is the bullets that are sent up are irrelevant to how someone actually performs, they aren't real!

Shove_your_stupid_meeting
05-26-2014, 11:12 AM
The problem is that filling out an EPR with top notch work bullets is easy for everyone, at least on the flightline side of the house. The problem is that you dont have to actually be good at your job to have an EPR that says you are amazing at your job. The problem is the bullets that are sent up are irrelevant to how someone actually performs, they aren't real!

I think there's a lot of truth to what you're stating, but that fiasco is on all of us. We overrate our folks, and we don't dare fight overrating ourselves. We check our integrity at the door, we're in denial about it, and yet we wonder why our evaluations/awards are jacked-up.

Airborne
05-26-2014, 03:19 PM
I see a lot of confusion in this thread over the importance of primary job performance on EPRs and 1206s. Having served on countless award boards, I can tell you that performance in the primary duty is a factor. However, every award nominee is going to be doing great at his/her primary job, else they wouldn't be up for an award. So beyond that, the little bit of extra in self improvement and community involvement is going to decide the winner.

Every Wing i have been a part of requires the bulk of the bullets on the 1206 to be primary job performance. The same with EPRs. The bulk of the bullets should be primary duty performance. If they aren't, that will probably be a negative for the promotion board.

What is throwing off a lot of folks with community involvement, self improvement, and PT, is the old school way of thinking that our only job is our AFSC tasks. That isn't quite the case anymore. Nowadays, our primary job is to perform our AFSC tasks, stay fit, help out the community from time to time, and seek out ways to better ourselves. It is really simple. Keep moving forward and present a good image to the local community.

Yeh. So this post is what most people complain about. You are perpetuating the thought process. If the AF was designed to make money instead of spend it, we wouldnt allow people to spend half the duty day selling hockey puck burgers for the Top3 in the name of 'prodev' (hate that term. its like Kimye or brangelina)...

DannyJ
05-26-2014, 04:04 PM
Yeh. So this post is what most people complain about. You are perpetuating the thought process. If the AF was designed to make money instead of spend it, we wouldnt allow people to spend half the duty day selling hockey puck burgers for the Top3 in the name of 'prodev' (hate that term. its like Kimye or brangelina)...

Agreed. Problem is that work bullets have gotten so convoluded with accronyms and jargon that folks outside their AFSC have no f*cking clue what the Airman in question actually did. Not only that, the word smith art farce has gotten so out of control that 99% of the time, shyt the Airman actually did/does doesn't even appear on the 1206/910, they get the combined bullets from their entire team. At that point it's impossible to compare work bullets between canidates, so it comes down to the education and volunteer bullets. This pisses me off to a degree that can barely be properly articulated in the English language. It's absolutely why things are in the state they are or at least one of the majorly contributing factors. "Jerb be damned Airman, f*cking volunteer and get some classes done and you're good to go!"

Note: Not a single 1206 or EPR makes it by me without me asking if the education/volunteer stuff was done during duty hours. If it was, it cannot stay on said document. Volunteering during duty hours is the AF paying you for some good PR. It's not really volunteering when you're still getting paid.

Subsquent thought: How much more of this garbage are we going to be able to tolerate as we continue to shrink as a force? The job needing to be done certainly isn't going anywhere. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 15 Airmen/NCO/SNCOs that would be immediately seperated if their work was actually looked at v. their volunteering and education BS. It's like leadership is almost intentionally keeping them around as someone to submit for this crap.

BLOB: F*ck volunteering and education if you're shit at your job. Learn that shyt first, then maybe the other stuff when mission permits.

Capt Alfredo
05-26-2014, 06:59 PM
Note: Not a single 1206 or EPR makes it by me without me asking if the education/volunteer stuff was done during duty hours. If it was, it cannot stay on said document. Volunteering during duty hours is the AF paying you for some good PR. It's not really volunteering when you're still getting paid.

Hmm, I smell what you're cooking at this particular burger burn, and I certainly support the idea of mission first, but I don't think I buy the idea of no education/volunteer stuff being allowed on the 1206 or EPR unless it was outside duty hours. I agree there are those who attempt to abuse this (and it's incumbent on leadership to stop such abuse), but *if* there is no negative mission impact, I don't have a problem with doing education or volunteer work during duty hours. Hell, I'd be a hypocrite if I said otherwise, because I've done both, extensively, over the past 24ish years. More as an Airman, but some on the O side, too.

360BHR
05-26-2014, 07:39 PM
Volunteering during duty hours is the AF paying you for some good PR. It's not really volunteering when you're still getting paid.



Isn't everyone still getting paid when they're off duty?

DannyJ
05-26-2014, 08:12 PM
Isn't everyone still getting paid when they're off duty?

Technically, yes, however it doesn't change they aren't at the job during the prescribed hours while others are and still collecting the same check.

DannyJ
05-26-2014, 08:18 PM
Hmm, I smell what you're cooking at this particular burger burn, and I certainly support the idea of mission first, but I don't think I buy the idea of no education/volunteer stuff being allowed on the 1206 or EPR unless it was outside duty hours. I agree there are those who attempt to abuse this (and it's incumbent on leadership to stop such abuse), but *if* there is no negative mission impact, I don't have a problem with doing education or volunteer work during duty hours. Hell, I'd be a hypocrite if I said otherwise, because I've done both, extensively, over the past 24ish years. More as an Airman, but some on the O side, too.

I'm certainly not saying I don't allow either during duty hours, because I do, I'm simply saying that I won't allow it to be used on EPRs or 1206s 99% of the time (there are some exceptions, particularly when people offer to make up the time they missed). Most of the volunteer and education stuff that is during duty hours should be professionally based anyway. Stuff like Booster Club meetings, unit picnics, etc. 36-2618 says we need to be doing those things anyway, so why mention meeting the standard if not giving a 3?

TomTom093
05-26-2014, 08:20 PM
Isn't everyone still getting paid when they're off duty?

Technically we're on duty 24/7, so ANY volunteer work/schooling is a no-no.

In all seriousness, I work at a computer. When I'm all caught up with work, what is the harm if I use my spare time get schooling done? If I see a volunteer opportunity that I'm interested in doing, what is the harm in doing so if my work section is okay with it, and the mission still gets done? If I want to take a CLEP, what's wrong with taking a longer lunch break to take the test? My mission is still getting done, why should I feel bad about wanting to better myself? Before you say, "Because someone else is picking up the slack.", I always check with my section to ask if I can go. And I have no problem with them going either.

DannyJ
05-26-2014, 08:25 PM
Technically we're on duty 24/7, so ANY volunteer work/schooling is a no-no.

In all seriousness, I work at a computer. When I'm all caught up with work, what is the harm if I use my spare time get schooling done? If I see a volunteer opportunity that I'm interested in doing, what is the harm in doing so if my work section is okay with it, and the mission still gets done? If I want to take a CLEP, what's wrong with taking a longer lunch break to take the test? My mission is still getting done, why should I feel bad about wanting to better myself? Before you say, "Because someone else is picking up the slack.", I always check with my section to ask if I can go. And I have no problem with them going either.

To me, this is shortsighted, but, again, I'm not saying I don't allow it. It's for the same reasons that I try to make my appointments at the beginning or end of the day and ask others do the same. All of us, in one way or another, respond to someone else's need. If were not present to meet immediate needs, we really aren't doing the job, so I minimize that as much as possible. I'll allow it to happen, just don't expect a huge slap on the back for doing it.

sandsjames
05-26-2014, 09:40 PM
I'm certainly not saying I don't allow either during duty hours, because I do, I'm simply saying that I won't allow it to be used on EPRs or 1206s 99% of the time (there are some exceptions, particularly when people offer to make up the time they missed). Most of the volunteer and education stuff that is during duty hours should be professionally based anyway. Stuff like Booster Club meetings, unit picnics, etc. 36-2618 says we need to be doing those things anyway, so why mention meeting the standard if not giving a 3?

Why mention job stuff at all? Isn't that what you are supposed to be doing on duty hours? Shouldn't any NCO leading anything get a 3, since that is their job? Shouldn't any technician get a 3 for completing all of their duties, getting excellent on inspections? Isn't that the job?

To answer the question...those SHOULD be the 3s. 100% of the time. 4s/5s, should be for something extraordinary.

However, I have a feeling that you aren't rating the majority of your people at 3s.

VCO
05-26-2014, 09:57 PM
Yeh. So this post is what most people complain about. You are perpetuating the thought process. If the AF was designed to make money instead of spend it, we wouldnt allow people to spend half the duty day selling hockey puck burgers for the Top3 in the name of 'prodev' (hate that term. its like Kimye or brangelina)...

This is where you are getting confused. The Air Force isn't a business. Our job is defense. 90% of defense is deterrence. Which means we need to look the part. And have no doubt, when the shit hits the fan we will get the job done. The other piece is keeping a positive image with the public. they pay taxes for us to provide defense. We need to stand out and be above reproach. Part of that is doing what we do and then going out and doing good in the community.

DannyJ
05-26-2014, 10:45 PM
This is where you are getting confused. The Air Force isn't a business. Our job is defense. 90% of defense is deterrence. Which means we need to look the part. And have no doubt, when the shit hits the fan we will get the job done. The other piece is keeping a positive image with the public. they pay taxes for us to provide defense. We need to stand out and be above reproach. Part of that is doing what we do and then going out and doing good in the community.

Personally, I'm not arguing that it's not important to volunteer, however it isn't listed in an AFI that we must do it, at least to my knowledge. 36-2618 does make mention of being involved but nowhere states mandated volunteerism. On top of that, most of the volunteering that gets the best kudos is shyt on base any how, which I'm not sure how all that figures in to your "doing good in the community". F*cking Top III Bake Sales = firewall five.

Moyen Escadrille
05-27-2014, 12:10 PM
This is where you are getting confused. The Air Force isn't a business. Our job is defense. 90% of defense is deterrence. Which means we need to look the part. And have no doubt, when the shit hits the fan we will get the job done. The other piece is keeping a positive image with the public. they pay taxes for us to provide defense. We need to stand out and be above reproach. Part of that is doing what we do and then going out and doing good in the community.

The military is not a traditional business like one would consider Sams Club. However the military and a business like Sams Club have so many moving parts that rely on each other for things to get accomplished. We are failing oursevles if we don't look at it that way. Do we have product like Sams Club? No we are not transporting frozen bags of chicken across the country in 18 wheelers but we are transfering humanitarian aid worldwide. What if the mechanic of that 18 wheeler decided that today was a good day to cut out early to ref his local laser tag tournament and not fulfill his full inspection? What if the maintainer on the flight line decided it was a good day to cut corners because he has to paint faces at a school carnival downtown? Yes the severity of the potential outcome differs but the cause of it all was due to a shifted focus on things that don't really matter.

My point being is that those in leadership positions are falling short if they do not look at there units mission as the "product". If a cop unit isn't having their training section cover all the flights during all hours then their product is going to be subpar due to poorly trained troops. If the supply section isn't getting all the tools to the maintainers then the product is going to be delayed. Many senior leaders, both enlisted and commissioned, would benefit from taking business leader/management courses. Look at the Trumps, Zuckerburgs, and Mark Cubans in this world. They take needed risk and their multi-billion dollar business prospers but yet we have college educated officers loosing their jobs because a cold war era nuclear log and those surrounding it had a bad day. Oversight and accountability need to be spread evenly on the things that matter and not on a council for Mexican-American-Hebrew-Islander-Pride Month.

Now onto the service to the community. Yes, a certain level of that is needed however it seems that for every bake sale we do a nuke inspection is failed. We can even get on a lower level than that. We all know that when a military member (active, discharged or retired) screws the somthing up the news title always reads "U.S. *INSERT BRANCH HERE* VET nabbed on midget tossing charges." Well, there goes all the rapport with the community that we built through bake sales. Too much focus has been vested into the community, the balance is no longer there and as stated before the Wing volunteer bullets are the kickers that win. While involvement needs to be there we also need to bring focus back to unit level operations. Amn Snuffy shouldn't have to have 3 different jobs in 2 different sections because SrA Knuckles coaches youth badmitten at the YMCA 3 times a week and cannot stay past 1500. Like it or not, at the core of the AF and other branches we are a business but the product we deliver often cannot be seen. It's when something bad happens that we realize our product has failed.

*I realized after I wrote this that I had stepped BACK into the AF for a short time...I say we like I'm still in...oops!*

TomTom093
05-29-2014, 02:26 AM
The military is not a traditional business like one would consider Sams Club. However the military and a business like Sams Club have so many moving parts that rely on each other for things to get accomplished. We are failing oursevles if we don't look at it that way. Do we have product like Sams Club? No we are not transporting frozen bags of chicken across the country in 18 wheelers but we are transfering humanitarian aid worldwide.

I love that people complain about the AF being too PC/corporate, then at the same time say it should be ran like a business.


What if the mechanic of that 18 wheeler decided that today was a good day to cut out early to ref his local laser tag tournament and not fulfill his full inspection? What if the maintainer on the flight line decided it was a good day to cut corners because he has to paint faces at a school carnival downtown? Yes the severity of the potential outcome differs but the cause of it all was due to a shifted focus on things that don't really matter.

What if a giant laser shot from the sun destroyed the tarmac and the runway? Until you can point to an instance of these events happening, they are just hypothetical. And if a commander/NCOIC is letting people go while the mission deteriorates, they need to be fired.


My point being is that those in leadership positions are falling short if they do not look at there units mission as the "product". If a cop unit isn't having their training section cover all the flights during all hours then their product is going to be subpar due to poorly trained troops. If the supply section isn't getting all the tools to the maintainers then the product is going to be delayed. Many senior leaders, both enlisted and commissioned, would benefit from taking business leader/management courses. Look at the Trumps, Zuckerburgs, and Mark Cubans in this world. They take needed risk and their multi-billion dollar business prospers but yet we have college educated officers loosing their jobs because a cold war era nuclear log and those surrounding it had a bad day.

Again, this may just be a reflection of the world I live in, but most of the units I interact with DO look at their mission as a "product"...that doesn't mean they turn it in on time or its without mistakes though. Those errors seem to be a problem stemming from the CCs and CVs micromanaging, which (in my mind) seems to be a larger problem in the AF than SrA Snuffy leaving work to go volunteer for a few hours.


Oversight and accountability need to be spread evenly on the things that matter and not on a council for Mexican-American-Hebrew-Islander-Pride Month.

I 100% agree, though see my earlier comment about micromanagement. And I have yet to see the Heritage Months make a negative impact towards the mission.


Now onto the service to the community. Yes, a certain level of that is needed however it seems that for every bake sale we do a nuke inspection is failed.
Are the same Airmen that fail those tests the ones running the bake sales?


We can even get on a lower level than that. We all know that when a military member (active, discharged or retired) screws the somthing up the news title always reads "U.S. *INSERT BRANCH HERE* VET nabbed on midget tossing charges." Well, there goes all the rapport with the community that we built through bake sales. Too much focus has been vested into the community, the balance is no longer there and as stated before the Wing volunteer bullets are the kickers that win. While involvement needs to be there we also need to bring focus back to unit level operations. Amn Snuffy shouldn't have to have 3 different jobs in 2 different sections because SrA Knuckles coaches youth badmitten at the YMCA 3 times a week and cannot stay past 1500. Like it or not, at the core of the AF and other branches we are a business but the product we deliver often cannot be seen. It's when something bad happens that we realize our product has failed.

*I realized after I wrote this that I had stepped BACK into the AF for a short time...I say we like I'm still in...oops!*

I'd like to point out that "community" doesn't necessarily "off-base." I know an Airman that worked the Fisher House almost every night, set up events for single Airmen living in the dorms, tutored children at the base school, etc. I think the only "off-base" program she was involved with was AFSA, which is still within the military community. I'll also add that the only time she left early was some nights for the Fisher House-everything else she either did during her lunch break (visiting the kids in school), after work (helping the kids with homework, cooking for the Fisher House folks), or on weekends (Habitat for Humanity). Talking with her coworkers, she is one of the best in her section. It is possible for folks to give to their community while at the same time making sure the mission gets taken care of. There's a balance, and local leadership's priority always needs to be the mission. As long as the mission is getting taken care of, and individual Airmen are pulling their weight, what's the problem?

Zxc
05-29-2014, 05:51 PM
How is it possible that these events don't detract from the mission? Time away is time wasted on the mission; we're never "caught up," there's always more to do. Its just where we draw the line and let people go do the extra stuff, since we know how it looks when they don't.

And then there's the extra stuff we have no choice in. Lets say, Airshows. We had one in 2011 that I personally put in between 200 to 250 manhours on, and my whole section (and much of my squadron) felt it the same. We have another one coming up and though we're still beyond the point of ever catching up, we'll be setting ourselves back to neglect the base mission once more for an elaborate dog and pony show.

TomTom093
05-29-2014, 09:40 PM
How is it possible that these events don't detract from the mission? Time away is time wasted on the mission; we're never "caught up," there's always more to do. Its just where we draw the line and let people go do the extra stuff, since we know how it looks when they don't.

The same way that deployments, leave, medical appointments, etc. don't detract. You make sure everyone on the team is trained to complete the mission whether or not the full team is present.


And then there's the extra stuff we have no choice in. Lets say, Airshows. We had one in 2011 that I personally put in between 200 to 250 manhours on, and my whole section (and much of my squadron) felt it the same. We have another one coming up and though we're still beyond the point of ever catching up, we'll be setting ourselves back to neglect the base mission once more for an elaborate dog and pony show.

Your leadership failed in this instance, and it needs reported up the chain.

Airborne
05-30-2014, 12:04 AM
I love that people complain about the AF being too PC/corporate, then at the same time say it should be ran like a business.



What if a giant laser shot from the sun destroyed the tarmac and the runway? Until you can point to an instance of these events happening, they are just hypothetical. And if a commander/NCOIC is letting people go while the mission deteriorates, they need to be fired.



Again, this may just be a reflection of the world I live in, but most of the units I interact with DO look at their mission as a "product"...that doesn't mean they turn it in on time or its without mistakes though. Those errors seem to be a problem stemming from the CCs and CVs micromanaging, which (in my mind) seems to be a larger problem in the AF than SrA Snuffy leaving work to go volunteer for a few hours.



I 100% agree, though see my earlier comment about micromanagement. And I have yet to see the Heritage Months make a negative impact towards the mission.


Are the same Airmen that fail those tests the ones running the bake sales?



I'd like to point out that "community" doesn't necessarily "off-base." I know an Airman that worked the Fisher House almost every night, set up events for single Airmen living in the dorms, tutored children at the base school, etc. I think the only "off-base" program she was involved with was AFSA, which is still within the military community. I'll also add that the only time she left early was some nights for the Fisher House-everything else she either did during her lunch break (visiting the kids in school), after work (helping the kids with homework, cooking for the Fisher House folks), or on weekends (Habitat for Humanity). Talking with her coworkers, she is one of the best in her section. It is possible for folks to give to their community while at the same time making sure the mission gets taken care of. There's a balance, and local leadership's priority always needs to be the mission. As long as the mission is getting taken care of, and individual Airmen are pulling their weight, what's the problem?

This whole website is based on anectdotal evidence, but I find it hard to believe that an individual doing that much wasnt using work time or the work computer to send emails. And I find it hard to believe that her mind was on her job when it needed to be with that much going on. Of course you can write anything on this site and some gopher will pop up and say "not at my base!" or "But I know someone!"...

sandsjames
05-30-2014, 12:19 AM
This whole website is based on anectdotal evidence...

You're part right. This website is based on anectdotal evidence AND those who assume that such experience can't be common.

Airborne
05-30-2014, 04:08 AM
You're part right. This website is based on anectdotal evidence AND those who assume that such experience can't be common.

I see what you did there......

TomTom093
05-30-2014, 12:42 PM
This whole website is based on anectdotal evidence, but I find it hard to believe that an individual doing that much wasnt using work time or the work computer to send emails. And I find it hard to believe that her mind was on her job when it needed to be with that much going on. Of course you can write anything on this site and some gopher will pop up and say "not at my base!" or "But I know someone!"...

Like my earlier example of doing online classes during duty time, if someone is already working at a computer as part of their assigned duties, how much extra time is he or she using to send those emails? I've been in charge of a few off base events that required a lot of coordination, and I was able to get the entire event planned via email without cutting into my core tasks.

As far as the gopher comments, it's just a counter argument based on my experiences. Everyone is posting that volunteerism is the end of the Air Force, is becoming more important than job proficiency, etc, and I'm providing (multiple) examples to counter that. It's called healthy debate.

Zxc
05-30-2014, 02:22 PM
The same way that deployments, leave, medical appointments, etc. don't detract. You make sure everyone on the team is trained to complete the mission whether or not the full team is present.



I don't see how those don't detract as well. My section has one 7 level, one 5 level, and four 3 levels. The mission is in tight balance of getting things done and training new guys. Yes, small things such as bay orderly, additional duties, medical appointments, and even leave can detract. We have two people who can train, and the massive ammount of intermittent absences coming from all directions force training to be repeated continually, rather than running the full group through at once. The chain, they understand... Everyone will happily smile and nod, but at the end of the day most of the Commander's, SNCOs, and First Sergeants will still push the bake sales and hammer on the pressure when you resist in the name of actually working.




Your leadership failed in this instance, and it needs reported up the chain.

Mission Support Group. We get signed up to put on the show and there's nothing really we can do about it. We either put in the hours or the show doesn't go on; which do you think the chain will choose?

wxjumper
05-30-2014, 11:04 PM
What has happened to our once great Air Force? Why are we now so focused on feelings and volunteering and organizations to the point that the idea of getting the mission done is often scoffed at?

Those that have been in a while, think back 10, 15, or 20 years ago...did we have so many "organizations"...it seems as if that's the latest gimmick, create an org "lead" it and get promoted, regardless of impact.

Thoughts?
Blame it on the exponential increase in awards over the last 10 years combined with the expansion of EPRs to include "Community" and "Improvement" sections. A lot more organization had to be created in order to create enough positions for every Airman to get those "bullets" they needed.