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Try
01-26-2015, 03:22 PM
Our office had a discussion on this issue last week and the answers were all over the map (e.g. we’re here for the mission not the bake sales, if your work force is not happy they don’t produce as well, etc…) That said, the one thing that stopped us all from talking was when a SrA said (and I am paraphrasing)

“I mean who honestly cares nowadays… Many people come to work and don’t complain for fear of being called a whiner, don’t eat for fear of failing a PT test, only work hard enough to not be bothered/written up, can’t wait to deploy if only to get away from their coworkers, make a little extra money, and escape the family for a while, people complained about the promotion system, but wait until this first round of MSgt board results come out and watch the same folks complain about how the new system screwed them, leadership smiles and says “things are good, but we need to get better… mission first, people always… it’s all about the airmen!” All this while my plane is broke, almost 3 times my age, and my backorder parts are on backorder! He ended by saying… “Sir, I am not complaining, I just wanted to make sure that I contributed to the conversation to ensure that I was not mistaken for “not” being a team player and sir, my morale is high as it ever was, HOORAH!

Yelp, LMAO! He was speaking pretty fast and being funny (smart a$$ really), but he made some got points… So, I ask you… In your units does morale really matter, is there a sense of it by your leaders?

Thoughts welcomed…

fufu
01-26-2015, 03:36 PM
/nutshell! Thats awesome.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-26-2015, 04:34 PM
While I think it's important for leaders to listen to our airmen and take viable corrective actions to improve morale, why do many of these same unhappy airmen spend 16+ (mostly miserable) years "racing" to the front of the re-enlistment line instead of taking control of their own lives by getting out? I know, you chose to have children and automobile debt, so you can't afford to get out.

sandsjames
01-26-2015, 05:00 PM
While I think it's important for leaders to listen to our airmen and take viable corrective actions to improve morale, why do many of these same unhappy airmen spend 16+ (mostly miserable) years "racing" to the front of the re-enlistment line instead of taking control of their own lives by getting out? I know, you chose to have children and automobile debt, so you can't afford to get out.

Because every job can be miserable, and the military has the better benefits, in most cases. Plus, most other places don't claim to care about anything other than the product, while the military consistently claims to care about the people. That's the difference.

Of course the answer from some is exactly what you said..."Get out!". That's like saying that if you don't like the way things are in the U.S. that you should "Get out!". Just doesn't work that way.

The biggest problem, I believe, is that most "leaders" actually think the things they do will increase morale, but are too out of touch with everyone to realize that most of the morale "boosters" actually turn in to morale killers.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-26-2015, 05:35 PM
Because every job can be miserable, and the military has the better benefits, in most cases. Plus, most other places don't claim to care about anything other than the product, while the military consistently claims to care about the people. That's the difference.

Of course the answer from some is exactly what you said..."Get out!". That's like saying that if you don't like the way things are in the U.S. that you should "Get out!". Just doesn't work that way.

The biggest problem, I believe, is that most "leaders" actually think the things they do will increase morale, but are too out of touch with everyone to realize that most of the morale "boosters" actually turn in to morale killers.

I guess what I'm getting is, first, leaders should strive to improve morale, or at least communicate to their folks as to why they need to continue eating shit sandwiches. Second, if you're miserable with your career, then yes...GET OUT. Nobody is "stuck." There are options, perhaps not easy ones, but they exist nonetheless. However, I have no sympathy for chronic complainers who continue to re-enlist.

sandsjames
01-26-2015, 08:02 PM
However, I have no sympathy for chronic complainers who continue to re-enlist.

I think this sometimes gets in the way for the following reason: Sometimes people do complain about stupid shit, just to complain...

However, there are many times that the chronic complainers are complaining about the same things that the non-complainers are complaining about, but are dismissed because of how they are perceived.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-26-2015, 08:12 PM
I think this sometimes gets in the way for the following reason: Sometimes people do complain about stupid shit, just to complain...

However, there are many times that the chronic complainers are complaining about the same things that the non-complainers are complaining about, but are dismissed because of how they are perceived.

Right, because the chronic guys don't know how to "pick their battles."

Mata Leao
01-26-2015, 09:21 PM
I guess what I'm getting is, first, leaders should strive to improve morale, or at least communicate to their folks as to why they need to continue eating shit sandwiches. Second, if you're miserable with your career, then yes...GET OUT. Nobody is "stuck." There are options, perhaps not easy ones, but they exist nonetheless. However, I have no sympathy for chronic complainers who continue to re-enlist.


You know as well as I do, as soon as someone makes it known they are getting out or sometimes even retiring, they are seen as not caring, not a team player, scum, etc, etc, et-fuckin-cetera.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-26-2015, 10:44 PM
You know as well as I do, as soon as someone makes it known they are getting out or sometimes even retiring, they are seen as not caring, not a team player, scum, etc, etc, et-fuckin-cetera.

I know the feeling. According to a staff division chief, I was labeled as not "all in" by a two-star director after he found out I dropped my paperwork. Whatever...

sandsjames
01-26-2015, 11:50 PM
Right, because the chronic guys don't know how to "pick their battles."

Not always true. Just because the guy at the top doesn't feel that the battle is worth picking doesn't mean it's not important to the guy trying to fight it. Unfortunately, the guy at the top tends to hold a grudge.

If one knows that one of the guys is a chronic complainer, and one doesn't take care of it, then the continuous complaining is on them.

But with a good leader it wouldn't matter, because they'd already have their finger on the issue before having to hear about it from everyone in the squadron.

OtisRNeedleman
01-27-2015, 12:09 AM
I know the feeling. According to a staff division chief, I was labeled as not "all in" by a two-star director after he found out I dropped my paperwork. Whatever...

That two-star was a tool and a fool. Apparently he will never retire? Anyway, looks like nothing he said or did affected you, so why worry?

When I think back to my active duty years, as an enlisted man my buddies and I made our own morale. We didn't believe our commanders gave a shit about us, just considered us hired help. So we did our jobs, to greater and lesser extents, and counted the days until we could get out of the AF.

As an officer I always liked to think I gave my best effort at all times. But some times it was much easier to give my best effort than at other times. Supportive upper echelons made things easy. Having commanders who would walk over your dead body to get that eagle made things tougher. As a leader and commander I worked to maintain and improve morale by running interference for my folks, and serving as the designated shit-taker.

Yes, while outside factors influence morale, in the end you are responsible for your morale. If you are going to complain then have a solution or alternative ready to present. Sometimes there are reasons why things are the way they are. But no need to complain just to complain. Whiners feed off themselves and then you have a vicious circle. Try to be bigger than that.

Drackore
01-27-2015, 04:46 PM
I had always said that the people I will listen to the most if I made Chief would be the chronic complainers. We have enough E9 "yes men" out there. I had an E9 in Japan tell me I complain too much. I told him that I do it because no one else speaks up or fixes the problem to begin with (problems that I myself couldn't fix...had to get that in there with this crowd). Then I was told to "pick my battles"...I said I did - every battle is a battle I will fight. Then he said I'd lose credibility, of which I replied "Not with the guy in the mirror". This AF is overflowing with assholes like him. The bottom line - your SrA is spot on, and no one cares. The best morale events were the flight calls at 1400 on Friday and designated drivers ready to take you home. The worst morale events are Wingman Days, bake sales, and "Sports Days".

Gonzo432
01-27-2015, 06:44 PM
I know the feeling. According to a staff division chief, I was labeled as not "all in" by a two-star director after he found out I dropped my paperwork. Whatever...

All in = leave feet first? WTF?

efmbman
01-27-2015, 07:10 PM
Of course morale matters. However, there is something about morale in a military organization that is unique: once you rise to a certain rank, you have much more control over the things that are important to you - thus you can control your own morale (in a sense). At junior ranks, morale is affected by those in high-ranking positions. The inability is have the control over your own morale factors in exponentially.

giggawatt
01-27-2015, 07:45 PM
The best morale events were the flight calls at 1400 on Friday and designated drivers ready to take you home. The worst morale events are Wingman Days, bake sales, and "Sports Days".

QFT. So much fucking this. My last I was a staff weenie. Every Friday around 2 or 3 o'clock, the bell would ring and we'd crack open a beer and finish work. Also, the heritage room would open. Those were always funs times.

At this assignment, I'm back at base level but most Friday's we open up our hooch and all get together and have a beer or two. I think the reason a lot of commanders these days are afraid to do that is because they feel like they're glamorizing alcohol and that's baaaaddddd.

Now morale is still no where near perfect in my unit, especially when half the unit is deployed and they're still pulling people but it's not in the tank either.

Mata Leao
01-27-2015, 08:08 PM
QFT. So much fucking this. My last I was a staff weenie. Every Friday around 2 or 3 o'clock, the bell would ring and we'd crack open a beer and finish work. Also, the heritage room would open. Those were always funs times.

At this assignment, I'm back at base level but most Friday's we open up our hooch and all get together and have a beer or two. I think the reason a lot of commanders these days are afraid to do that is because they feel like they're glamorizing alcohol and that's baaaaddddd.

Now morale is still no where near perfect in my unit, especially when half the unit is deployed and they're still pulling people but it's not in the tank either.

No, you could be doing group PT or a fun run rather than drinking beer. Beer makes you fat and less likely to pass your PT test.

Airborne
01-28-2015, 01:21 AM
While I think it's important for leaders to listen to our airmen and take viable corrective actions to improve morale, why do many of these same unhappy airmen spend 16+ (mostly miserable) years "racing" to the front of the re-enlistment line instead of taking control of their own lives by getting out? I know, you chose to have children and automobile debt, so you can't afford to get out.

With the military being so transient things might suck and you wait till you get a new superintendent, then you wait a couple of more years until you get a commander, then you pcs to base youve always wanted, then you get a 6 month deployment. Before you know it 15 years has passed and you know the next five will go by quick so you suck it up and work 12s to fix the aircraft from 1973, all while still having to do the MICT checklist, and plan the AF ball so people think youre a team player. The DoD is set up that to a certain point that it becomes foolish to get out and get absolutely nothing just because morale sucks.

Shove_your_stupid_meeting
01-28-2015, 11:48 AM
In regards to the OP, yeah, I think morale is important. With that said, I never really looked at it from the perspective that it was everyone else's responsibility to make morale better for me, and possibly for my peers. I always thought good morale was a team effort, granted leadership can make it very difficult at times.

Rainmaker
01-28-2015, 07:37 PM
No, you could be doing group PT or a fun run rather than drinking beer. Beer makes you fat and less likely to pass your PT test.

Why not do both? You hard chargers out there need to organize some Hash Runs... What the AF really needs now are Drinkers with a running problem....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers

Rainmaker
01-28-2015, 07:48 PM
While I think it's important for leaders to listen to our airmen and take viable corrective actions to improve morale, why do many of these same unhappy airmen spend 16+ (mostly miserable) years "racing" to the front of the re-enlistment line instead of taking control of their own lives by getting out? I know, you chose to have children and automobile debt, so you can't afford to get out.

Rainmaker didn't actually chose it. The Bitch trapped him!

giggawatt
01-28-2015, 07:54 PM
Why not do both? You hard chargers out there need to organize some Hash Runs... What the AF really needs are Drinkers with a running problem....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers

This too. I wasn't an avid hasher but I've done a few hashes. They are pretty fun. Not sure why his post was disliked twice. I'm sure he wasn't serious.

Rainmaker
01-28-2015, 08:00 PM
This too. I wasn't an avid hasher but I've done a few hashes. They are pretty fun. Not sure why his post was disliked twice. I'm sure he wasn't serious.

Do a Muhfugga have to use a /sarc tag? Nomsayin.

Mata Leao
01-28-2015, 09:02 PM
Why not do both? You hard chargers out there need to organize some Hash Runs... What the AF really needs now are Drinkers with a running problem....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers


I always thought hashing looked fun but I've never tried it. CCs today are to weak to try something fun like that.
I had a CC at Kunsan a few years ago who had the PT fails work out with him on Saturday morning. The "moral" part of this was supervisors were encouraged to participate. I did not participate and my moral stayed the same.

Measure Man
01-28-2015, 09:52 PM
In regards to the OP, yeah, I think morale is important. With that said, I never really looked at it from the perspective that it was everyone else's responsibility to make morale better for me, and possibly for my peers. I always thought good morale was a team effort, granted leadership can make it very difficult at times.

Shitty leaders are often great for morale...few things bring a team together like having a common enemy.

OtisRNeedleman
01-29-2015, 01:03 AM
Shitty leaders are often great for morale...few things bring a team together like having a common enemy.


How very true.

BRUWIN
01-30-2015, 05:34 PM
Shitty leaders are often great for morale...few things bring a team together like having a common enemy.

Herb Brooks, coach of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team actually put that theory to the test and damn if it didn't work. He wasn't a shitty leader, but he made his players hate him so they could not hate each other. It was perfect for the lofty goal he had set for his team.

Rainmaker
02-18-2015, 02:32 AM
Herb Brooks, coach of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team actually put that theory to the test and damn if it didn't work. He wasn't a shitty leader, but he made his players hate him so they could not hate each other. It was perfect for the lofty goal he had set for his team.

“Great moments are born from great opportunities.”- Kurt Russell in Miracle. IMO, It Don't get no better than that...