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View Full Version : 2-star general puts wasteful 'queep' duties in crosshairs



Rusty Jones
05-04-2016, 04:26 AM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2016/05/03/2-star-general-puts-wasteful-queep-duties-crosshairs/83873648/


Queep: From the flightline to the Pentagon, airmen can be found grumbling about it.

In an April 19 memo, Maj. Gen. Michael Fortney, vice commander of Global Strike Command, told leaders that they need to get serious about identifying and rooting out queep.And now, one general officer wants to actually do something about the pointless, annoying duties that are the bane of airmen everywhere.

"We've been talking about this for too long ... let's do something!" Fortney scrawled at the bottom of the memo.

In the memo, Fortney defined queep as "mandates that exceed wing capacity, 'don't make sense,' and/or add little or no value to mission accomplishment (and possibly detract from it)."

"We are empowered to stop doing the things that don't make sense and detract from the mission as long as it does not violate law and endanger our airmen," Fortney said, citing recent guidance from Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

Fortney said he first tried to tackle the problem when he sent another memo in December, asking commanders to relay instances of queep that their own airmen had identified. But that memo only yielded one example of queep being reported, Fortney said. So Fortney is asking commanders again to try to find examples.

But in what may have been an effort to avoid creating queep while trying to end it, Fortney cautioned that his memo shouldn't result in a bunch of new busywork for airmen.

"The intent of this is not for your airmen to have to do a great deal of research/validation," Fortney wrote. "Their role is simply to identify to you things that don't make sense (queep). Then, if you agree with their assessment and you need some sort of policy relief to deal with it, you then submit the suggestion to us in the HQ for a more detailed review. We'll take it from there."

Former airman Steven Mayne posted the memo on his unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page April 30.

Global Strike Command spokeswoman Linda Frost confirmed Fortney signed the memo, but said he was unavailable for further comment.

"Queep exists throughout the Air Force," Frost said in an email Tuesday. "It's the additional duties and requirements often levied through [Air Force Instructions] and [major command] supplements that don't make sense or offer little value to the mission. They end up taking away the time, focus and energy of the airmen who are working to accomplish the mission. This is a part of Global Strike's effort, which is in its infancy, to rein in queep."

But in an aside in the memo, Fortney acknowledged that it won't be easy.

"This will take a while," Fortney wrote.

Man... I really think that this is something that needs to go to the DoD level, because it's not just the Air Force that's having this problem.

In the Navy, there's a famous saying that refers to this: "Float she may, shine she must."

Rusty Jones
05-04-2016, 03:21 PM
Bump..........

Shrike
06-08-2016, 04:16 AM
I just now saw this. I was an "original" AFGSC staff member - which contributed greatly to me retiring from the USAF - and while I'd love to believe that they're eliminating BS I'd have to see it to believe it. I was there from the beginning and the bureaucracy and accompanying BS involved in staff work was deeply ingrained in that organization, which was strange as you'd think that establishing a new MAJCOM would be the perfect time to set up a streamlined bureaucracy.
Here's one example: one of my "victories" before retirement was eliminating the need for our directorate to do a complete ESSS, signed by the Director, for taskers that had nothing to do with our mission. For example, if we had a tasker to review an AFI that had utterly, absolutlely nothing to do with our mission, we had to complete an ESSS, staff it through the directorate, and forward it for a friggin' SES's signature...simply to let the AFGSC/CC's COS know we have no input. What we should have been able to do was simply reply "This is wholly outside our directorate's mission and we have no input". One sentence, no wasted time doing an ESSS, no wasting other's time having to review document's outside their functional area.
If you're not familiar with staff work, imagine if your unit's sole mission had to do with fixing jet engines. You did nothing else but that. And out of nowhere you got a request from your higher-ups to review the procedures used by Security Forces to man the gates during exercises and real-world scenarios. You, being a rational person, push back and say "That has absolutely nothing to do with our mission of fixing jet engines and we're not qualified to comment on it." And they come back and say "Well, put that in an ESSS, make sure it's worded real pretty, get all the flight chiefs to sign off on it, and we'll get the CC to approve it, then send it up as our response". THAT was how my directorate did business.
I ultimately had to circumvent an O-5 and go to an O-6 in order to get people to realize "Hey, maybe we shouldn't be tying up SNCOs and officers with ridiculous crap that has nothing to do with our mission!"

giggawatt
09-19-2016, 02:13 PM
I just now saw this. I was an "original" AFGSC staff member - which contributed greatly to me retiring from the USAF - and while I'd love to believe that they're eliminating BS I'd have to see it to believe it. I was there from the beginning and the bureaucracy and accompanying BS involved in staff work was deeply ingrained in that organization, which was strange as you'd think that establishing a new MAJCOM would be the perfect time to set up a streamlined bureaucracy.
Here's one example: one of my "victories" before retirement was eliminating the need for our directorate to do a complete ESSS, signed by the Director, for taskers that had nothing to do with our mission. For example, if we had a tasker to review an AFI that had utterly, absolutlely nothing to do with our mission, we had to complete an ESSS, staff it through the directorate, and forward it for a friggin' SES's signature...simply to let the AFGSC/CC's COS know we have no input. What we should have been able to do was simply reply "This is wholly outside our directorate's mission and we have no input". One sentence, no wasted time doing an ESSS, no wasting other's time having to review document's outside their functional area.
If you're not familiar with staff work, imagine if your unit's sole mission had to do with fixing jet engines. You did nothing else but that. And out of nowhere you got a request from your higher-ups to review the procedures used by Security Forces to man the gates during exercises and real-world scenarios. You, being a rational person, push back and say "That has absolutely nothing to do with our mission of fixing jet engines and we're not qualified to comment on it." And they come back and say "Well, put that in an ESSS, make sure it's worded real pretty, get all the flight chiefs to sign off on it, and we'll get the CC to approve it, then send it up as our response". THAT was how my directorate did business.
I ultimately had to circumvent an O-5 and go to an O-6 in order to get people to realize "Hey, maybe we shouldn't be tying up SNCOs and officers with ridiculous crap that has nothing to do with our mission!"

I wish this victory would have found it's way to USAFE. I hated being the TMT bitch for the week. Oh well. I'm no longer that staff weenie.

sparks82
09-19-2016, 03:48 PM
Good luck. No one in any branch is going to get rid of the bullshit. Bullshit tasks have existed from the beginning of the military I'm sure and will continue until there is no longer a military.

sandsjames
09-19-2016, 04:13 PM
What this sounds like to me is that they are looking at going back to having orderly rooms, or something similar. I'm all for that. It was always a nice one stop shop. Plus, for some squadrons, it was the only chance you had of having an attractive female in the squadron.

garhkal
09-19-2016, 06:27 PM
In the Navy, there's a famous saying that refers to this: "Float she may, shine she must."

I remember on all 3 ships i served on, during our 'monthy all hands field days, we went for time, even if all the areas were cleaned top to bottom.. So that saying of yours holds true!

Bos Mutus
09-19-2016, 06:47 PM
I've seen several attempts at this over the years...and it usually amounts to maybe moving where the duties are done, but does not eliminate the duties.

Unless leadership is willing to just stop doing certain things, then this is just a shell game.

Rollyn01
09-20-2016, 08:26 PM
Unless leadership is willing to just stop doing certain things, then this is just a shell game.

But isn't that the main problem? Most of this is because of those who are in command trying to make it look like they are actually having an effect on their subordinates using busywork. There's very little problem solving actually going on to address any of the major issues due to the added work that is meant to mitigate the problem rather than directly solve it. It's almost as if the solution to the problems, in their minds, is to keep servicemembers too busy to cause any problems. And it's a crying shame.