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Bos Mutus
02-05-2019, 06:11 PM
Airmen eligible for promotion to master sergeant, senior master sergeant or chief master sergeant will no longer be required to pass tests to earn those ranks. Promotion to the highest three Air Force enlisted ranks will now only include a promotion board score that looks at the last five years worth of evaluations and takes all awards and decorations under consideration, according to an Air Force statement released Monday. The changes are scheduled to take effect this September.
“We found that removing the testing portion will eliminate any possibility that Airmen without the strongest leadership potential might test into promotion, while also ensuring that our strongest performers continue to earn the promotion they deserve,” Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright said in a statement

https://www.stripes.com/news/air-force-does-away-with-promotion-test-for-senior-ncos-1.567317



Big change for the AF.

I suppose it's a good one...we spend a lot of time studying those books. To me, the tests were a way of promoting those who wanted it more (by spending hours studying)....this new change should look more to the people whose records show them deserving of promotion. OTOH, a lot of the stuff we study like control roster, epr, personnel programs, etc. are really good to have SNCOs know about...without testing, I think a lot of this stuff might just not be learned.

Like, hey, did know that you can request the commander to end a UIF early on your Airman for good behavior/performance? Stuff like that...it won't come up day-to-day, but if you remember it from studying, it could come in handy.

I've always been the book smart guy that scored high on tests...may never have made it if this were the system.

AF sgt
02-05-2019, 06:24 PM
Big change for the AF.

I suppose it's a good one...we spend a lot of time studying those books. To me, the tests were a way of promoting those who wanted it more (by spending hours studying)....this new change should look more to the people whose records show them deserving of promotion. OTOH, a lot of the stuff we study like control roster, epr, personnel programs, etc. are really good to have SNCOs know about...without testing, I think a lot of this stuff might just not be learned.

Like, hey, did know that you can request the commander to end a UIF early on your Airman for good behavior/performance? Stuff like that...it won't come up day-to-day, but if you remember it from studying, it could come in handy.

I've always been the book smart guy that scored high on tests...may never have made it if this were the system.

So now the butt kissers don't even have to be smart.

Bos Mutus
02-05-2019, 07:18 PM
So now the butt kissers don't even have to be smart.

I suppose that's another way of looking at it...

I thought that people would be happy about not having to test, but seeing online comments, they mostly seem to be in line with yours...

AF sgt
02-05-2019, 07:28 PM
I suppose that's another way of looking at it...

I thought that people would be happy about not having to test, but seeing online comments, they mostly seem to be in line with yours...

I was really just being "extreme" for the sake of it. The complaint for years, from the "top performers", is "I don't test well but I'm a great worker" so this definitely takes care of that. However, it does seem a little backwards. I would think that you would want your "managers" to be much more "book smart" when it comes to PDG type stuff (though I guess one can just look it up if a question arises) and be more tech savvy for TSgt and below, and this kind of turns that on it's head.

Bottom line is that there's no way to keep everyone happy. Let's be honest, when it goes to a board, even prior to taking away the test, the board score is what gets the person promoted. One can score 100 on the test and still not get promoted if they aren't looked upon fondly by the board members.

Bos Mutus
02-05-2019, 07:37 PM
I was really just being "extreme" for the sake of it. The complaint for years, from the "top performers", is "I don't test well but I'm a great worker" so this definitely takes care of that. However, it does seem a little backwards. I would think that you would want your "managers" to be much more "book smart" when it comes to PDG type stuff (though I guess one can just look it up if a question arises) and be more tech savvy for TSgt and below, and this kind of turns that on it's head.

yes, people only like a system that will promote them first. Anyway, I think this change has more to do with freeing up time for people rather than promoting different kinds of people....but, it will be interesting to see in a few years if some of that knowledge is lost to the SNCOs.


Bottom line is that there's no way to keep everyone happy. Let's be honest, when it goes to a board, even prior to taking away the test, the board score is what gets the person promoted. One can score 100 on the test and still not get promoted if they aren't looked upon fondly by the board members.

Yep.

FLAPS
02-05-2019, 09:38 PM
So now the butt kissers don't even have to be smart.

I've rated dozens of E-6s and above and knew the difference between a productive hard charger and a non-producing butt kisser. Whether in the mil or civ world, those favored by their bosses are usually the ones who are actually making a difference. Sure, many of these producers 'seem' to kiss up in some ways, but as far as I was concerned (as a manager), if you're kicking ass (thus making my job easier), then I am going to push you for promotion. The disadvantages come into play with poorly written vs outstanding (action, impact, result) EPRs going in front of a promotion board made up of people who don't know you or your competition. Unfortunately, this where many exceptional people may get passed over for promotion in favor of average performers.

The good thing is, exceptional performers will eventually rise to the top of their professions, either while still in uniform or after they separate.

AF sgt
02-05-2019, 10:01 PM
I've rated dozens of E-6s and above and knew the difference between a productive hard charger and a non-producing butt kisser. Whether in the mil or civ world, those favored by their bosses are usually the ones who are actually making a difference. Sure, many of these producers 'seem' to kiss up in some ways, but as far as I was concerned (as a manager), if you're kicking ass (thus making my job easier), then I am going to push you for promotion. The disadvantages come into play with poorly written vs outstanding (action, impact, result) EPRs going in front of a promotion board made up of people who don't know you or your competition. Unfortunately, this where many exceptional people may get passed over for promotion in favor of average performers.

The good thing is, exceptional performers will eventually rise to the top of their professions, either while still in uniform or after they separate.

If this is the case, why have anyone test? Sounds like you would advocate for getting rid of PDG/SKT altogether if leaders/managers are able to distinguish the hard chargers from the butt kissers.

Don't even get me started on "poorly written" vs "outstanding" EPRs. Why on earth the promotion of a subordinate would ever come down to the writing ability of the supervisor is, by far, the dumbest shit that any organization could ever rely on to determine who deserves promotion, especially since it's not up to the subordinate as to who writes the EPR (though usually it turns out to be the subordinate writing it anyway which, as we all know but continually justify, if completely against the instructions for rating. But if the subordinate brings that up, they are seen as the "whiner" and, thus, will not get pushed in front of his peer who keeps his mouth shut. Unfortunately, and undeniably, that is where the massive hypocrisy of the Air Force promotion system lies.

Rainmaker
02-05-2019, 11:50 PM
Standardized testing and objective judgments are raycis!!

AF sgt
02-06-2019, 12:53 AM
Standardized testing and objective judgments are raycis!!

I know you're being sarcastic, but you bring up a great point. When you make the entire process objective, it's going to put the spotlight on "diversity" of the SNCO Corps. It's going to end up being the same as the bitching about the number of black head coaches being hired in the NFL. I'll be looking forward to hearing the backlash.

Doesn't this change just impact MSgt? I thought they got rid of testing for SMSgt and Chief along time ago.

FLAPS
02-06-2019, 01:10 AM
If this is the case, why have anyone test? Sounds like you would advocate for getting rid of PDG/SKT altogether if leaders/managers are able to distinguish the hard chargers from the butt kissers.

Don't even get me started on "poorly written" vs "outstanding" EPRs. Why on earth the promotion of a subordinate would ever come down to the writing ability of the supervisor is, by far, the dumbest shit that any organization could ever rely on to determine who deserves promotion, especially since it's not up to the subordinate as to who writes the EPR (though usually it turns out to be the subordinate writing it anyway which, as we all know but continually justify, if completely against the instructions for rating. But if the subordinate brings that up, they are seen as the "whiner" and, thus, will not get pushed in front of his peer who keeps his mouth shut. Unfortunately, and undeniably, that is where the massive hypocrisy of the Air Force promotion system lies.

Definitely not a perfect system, so I was just commenting on my personal experience when determining which one of my ratees was actually deserving vs a butt-kisser. I never gave my opinion on the test, and I have mixed feelings. Honestly, I think the only safe way to promote someone deserving is for the immediate leadership to have that ability to decide, based on feedback from the right Chiefs/officers who know the individual and who can gain an honest assessment. Unfortunately, promotions aren't decided on the local level (for various reasons). Words on a piece of paper for a board of strangers by itself isn't that fair either (bad vs good written EPR).

AF sgt
02-06-2019, 03:02 AM
Definitely not a perfect system, so I was just commenting on my personal experience when determining which one of my ratees was actually deserving vs a butt-kisser. I never gave my opinion on the test, and I have mixed feelings. Honestly, I think the only safe way to promote someone deserving is for the immediate leadership to have that ability to decide, based on feedback from the right Chiefs/officers who know the individual and who can gain an honest assessment. Unfortunately, promotions aren't decided on the local level (for various reasons). Words on a piece of paper for a board of strangers by itself isn't that fair either (bad vs good written EPR).

The sad thing is that the AF knows it's promotion system is screwy. Hell, it's been trying to fix it since the early 90s (and probably before that). I can't count how many changes there have been in the last 30 years, all supposedly improvements, yet still no closer than they were back then.

Bos Mutus
02-06-2019, 12:34 PM
The sad thing is that the AF knows it's promotion system is screwy. Hell, it's been trying to fix it since the early 90s (and probably before that). I can't count how many changes there have been in the last 30 years, all supposedly improvements, yet still no closer than they were back then.

not to mention the ungodly amount of time and effort that is put into EPRs...crafting, writing, editing, kicking back, rewriting...talking about it, angling for it, etc.

Well, I've been retired a few years, so maybe the newer once are less time, but I dunno...a good many SNCOs spent most of their time on EPRs.

AF sgt
02-06-2019, 02:47 PM
not to mention the ungodly amount of time and effort that is put into EPRs...crafting, writing, editing, kicking back, rewriting...talking about it, angling for it, etc.

Well, I've been retired a few years, so maybe the newer once are less time, but I dunno...a good many SNCOs spent most of their time on EPRs.

No doubt. I went back and looked at my first EPR from the early 90s and it was so simple, and made sense. It said what I did, no real strict format, had sub-bullets if the statement needed to be longer, there were no abbreviations, a lot of white space, and was a good EPR at the time.

LogDog
02-07-2019, 04:55 PM
Big change for the AF.

I suppose it's a good one...we spend a lot of time studying those books. To me, the tests were a way of promoting those who wanted it more (by spending hours studying)....this new change should look more to the people whose records show them deserving of promotion. OTOH, a lot of the stuff we study like control roster, epr, personnel programs, etc. are really good to have SNCOs know about...without testing, I think a lot of this stuff might just not be learned.

Like, hey, did know that you can request the commander to end a UIF early on your Airman for good behavior/performance? Stuff like that...it won't come up day-to-day, but if you remember it from studying, it could come in handy.

I've always been the book smart guy that scored high on tests...may never have made it if this were the system.
One of the problems when I was in was the AF expected you to work 40 hour plus, go to college at night, be active in sports/community, and study for promotion. That was just too many hours with little too little time for yourself, family, and friends. About knowing about control rosters, eprs, etc.., that knowledge come primarily from attending NCO Leadership School/Academies and experience. The experience is learned from SNCOs guidance to mid-level and junior NCOs.

LogDog
02-07-2019, 04:58 PM
I was really just being "extreme" for the sake of it. The complaint for years, from the "top performers", is "I don't test well but I'm a great worker" so this definitely takes care of that. However, it does seem a little backwards. I would think that you would want your "managers" to be much more "book smart" when it comes to PDG type stuff (though I guess one can just look it up if a question arises) and be more tech savvy for TSgt and below, and this kind of turns that on it's head.

Bottom line is that there's no way to keep everyone happy. Let's be honest, when it goes to a board, even prior to taking away the test, the board score is what gets the person promoted. One can score 100 on the test and still not get promoted if they aren't looked upon fondly by the board members.
The "buttkissers" will always be around so the way around it is demonstrate to the SNCOs, OICs, and commanders that you are the "go-to" person to get things done. Of course, this works if you have good commanders who are attuned to the people in their squadrons/groups.

LogDog
02-07-2019, 05:12 PM
I've rated dozens of E-6s and above and knew the difference between a productive hard charger and a non-producing butt kisser. Whether in the mil or civ world, those favored by their bosses are usually the ones who are actually making a difference. Sure, many of these producers 'seem' to kiss up in some ways, but as far as I was concerned (as a manager), if you're kicking ass (thus making my job easier), then I am going to push you for promotion. The disadvantages come into play with poorly written vs outstanding (action, impact, result) EPRs going in front of a promotion board made up of people who don't know you or your competition. Unfortunately, this where many exceptional people may get passed over for promotion in favor of average performers.

The good thing is, exceptional performers will eventually rise to the top of their professions, either while still in uniform or after they separate.
As a TSgt, I rated a SSgt a "4" on his EPR and I had to justify it. He did only his job, was a star player on the base football team (overseas base), but took no initiative. I explained to my OIC and commander and convinced them that their perception of him was superficial but he wasn't a top performer compared to others in my flight. Top performers usually rise to the top and because they do well more work and responsibilities are given to them to the point the are overloaded where others have the same or less work to do. It's easier for those with less work or responsibilities to look like they're performing well while the overloaded top performers look like they're struggling.

LogDog
02-07-2019, 05:38 PM
If this is the case, why have anyone test? Sounds like you would advocate for getting rid of PDG/SKT altogether if leaders/managers are able to distinguish the hard chargers from the butt kissers.

Don't even get me started on "poorly written" vs "outstanding" EPRs. Why on earth the promotion of a subordinate would ever come down to the writing ability of the supervisor is, by far, the dumbest shit that any organization could ever rely on to determine who deserves promotion, especially since it's not up to the subordinate as to who writes the EPR (though usually it turns out to be the subordinate writing it anyway which, as we all know but continually justify, if completely against the instructions for rating. But if the subordinate brings that up, they are seen as the "whiner" and, thus, will not get pushed in front of his peer who keeps his mouth shut. Unfortunately, and undeniably, that is where the massive hypocrisy of the Air Force promotion system lies.
Having written EPRs as well as reviewed EPRs as a group superintendent the goal is to provide an accurate assessment of the individual. In this assessment, the reporting official should, in most cases, be able to state what the person did, the impact of what was done, and quantify what was done. I recognized not everyone is a wordsmith (I certainly wasn't) but the EPR should be written in a manner that someone outside the career field would be able to understand. As a SNCO sitting on BTZ, quarterly/yearly boards the problem I had with reading an EPR was mostly what was written was routine duties they accomplished. What I looked for was what differentiated them from their peers and others from across the base. My job reviewing EPRs was to help the supervisor communicate their thoughts on the person they're reporting on. My biggest obstacle was NCOs/officers who suffered from pride of authorship and took offense that I would correct their grammar and/or punctuation and sometimes it means explaining how grammar or punctuation works.

LogDog
02-07-2019, 05:43 PM
Definitely not a perfect system, so I was just commenting on my personal experience when determining which one of my ratees was actually deserving vs a butt-kisser. I never gave my opinion on the test, and I have mixed feelings. Honestly, I think the only safe way to promote someone deserving is for the immediate leadership to have that ability to decide, based on feedback from the right Chiefs/officers who know the individual and who can gain an honest assessment. Unfortunately, promotions aren't decided on the local level (for various reasons). Words on a piece of paper for a board of strangers by itself isn't that fair either (bad vs good written EPR).
There is no perfect system and there will never be a perfect systems. I disagree on having promotions decided on the local level because that only encourages "butt-snorkling." Unless things have changed since I retired, when a person is selected for promotion the commander is required to review the individual's PIF to ensure there is no unfavorable information in it to prevent them from being promoted. This is, although imperfect, a local check-and-balance to prevent "favorites" from being promoted over top performers.

AF sgt
02-07-2019, 06:01 PM
Having written EPRs as well as reviewed EPRs as a group superintendent the goal is to provide an accurate assessment of the individual. In this assessment, the reporting official should, in most cases, be able to state what the person did, the impact of what was done, and quantify what was done. I recognized not everyone is a wordsmith (I certainly wasn't) but the EPR should be written in a manner that someone outside the career field would be able to understand. As a SNCO sitting on BTZ, quarterly/yearly boards the problem I had with reading an EPR was mostly what was written was routine duties they accomplished. What I looked for was what differentiated them from their peers and others from across the base. My job reviewing EPRs was to help the supervisor communicate their thoughts on the person they're reporting on. My biggest obstacle was NCOs/officers who suffered from pride of authorship and took offense that I would correct their grammar and/or punctuation and sometimes it means explaining how grammar or punctuation works.

Let's be honest. "Quantifying" is completely subjective. Joe took care of a building with 100 people in it and 10 million in equipment. Bill took care of a building with 18 people and 2.5 million in equipment. Both people are doing exactly the same job, assigned randomly to the facilities, yet if you compare those 2, who wins? Obviously Joe. Doesn't matter if he did more work, just that his numbers are bigger.

Honestly, everything should be a 3, and you have to justify if it's above or below. I don't mean "justify" as in writing better bullets, I mean as in having a "push letter" as you have to have if you want to mark someone down.

Also, ridiculous that it should be the job of a SNCO to spell/grammar/abbreviation check. Didn't know that the job of the SNCO corps was to be an English teacher. Figure out the man hours on that, a frickin' military organization wasting hundreds of man-hours (per squadron) editing. That's tax payer money wasted.

There is ZERO chance that an objective observer can determine the difference between 2 people based on an EPR. They can only judge based on the EPR writer's subjective view of their subordinates.

LogDog
02-07-2019, 08:12 PM
Let's be honest. "Quantifying" is completely subjective. Joe took care of a building with 100 people in it and 10 million in equipment. Bill took care of a building with 18 people and 2.5 million in equipment. Both people are doing exactly the same job, assigned randomly to the facilities, yet if you compare those 2, who wins? Obviously Joe. Doesn't matter if he did more work, just that his numbers are bigger.
The questions, as a reviewer of the EPR, I'd have are what specifically did they do to "take care of a building," what type of equipment was there, and how did their actions postively impact their and their squadron's mission. Numbers alone are insufficient, you have to show impact. If you, as the supervisor, is writing that in an EPR then you're not doing your job nor are you helping your people.


Honestly, everything should be a 3, and you have to justify if it's above or below. I don't mean "justify" as in writing better bullets, I mean as in having a "push letter" as you have to have if you want to mark someone down.
I agree that everyone should start out with a "3" and it's up to the individual to upgrade or downgrade it. If you're going to give someone less than a "3" then you should have documentation readily available to support your evaluation.


Also, ridiculous that it should be the job of a SNCO to spell/grammar/abbreviation check. Didn't know that the job of the SNCO corps was to be an English teacher. Figure out the man hours on that, a frickin' military organization wasting hundreds of man-hours (per squadron) editing. That's tax payer money wasted.
Even a professional writer has a editor who reviews the book before it's published. In the AF, what we "publish" most often are EPRs and before they're "published" they need to be reviewed to ensure the product meets established standards. I've heard the arguments about the waste of time the review is but it's necessary because it affects the individual career. I wouldn't have want someone who's writing skills are on the 7-grade level to determine my promotion and/or possible assignments. The EPR should read like a literate, educated person wrote it.


There is ZERO chance that an objective observer can determine the difference between 2 people based on an EPR. They can only judge based on the EPR writer's subjective view of their subordinates.
All evaluations are subjective and part of the review process means different eyes see the EPR which, ideally, helps eliminates supervisor/endorser biases. Look at the EPR this way, it's a form of a resume that tells the reader what the person's responsibilities were, what they did, their achievements and their impact, and their potential for increased duties and responsibilities.

AF sgt
02-07-2019, 08:21 PM
The questions, as a reviewer of the EPR, I'd have are what specifically did they do to "take care of a building," what type of equipment was there, and how did their actions postively impact their and their squadron's mission. Numbers alone are insufficient, you have to show impact. If you, as the supervisor, is writing that in an EPR then you're not doing your job nor are you helping your people. I'm very familiar with the purpose. I just don't think it works.



I agree that everyone should start out with a "3" and it's up to the individual to upgrade or downgrade it. If you're going to give someone less than a "3" then you should have documentation readily available to support your evaluation. Should also have to do the same if you're going to give above a 3. I've known people who write 4s and 5s because it's easier and requires less justification than a 3. Turn that around and the ratings would become more accurate, IMO.



Even a professional writer has a editor who reviews the book before it's published. In the AF, what we "publish" most often are EPRs and before they're "published" they need to be reviewed to ensure the product meets established standards. I've heard the arguments about the waste of time the review is but it's necessary because it affects the individual career. I wouldn't have want someone who's writing skills are on the 7-grade level to determine my promotion and/or possible assignments. The EPR should read like a literate, educated person wrote it. You're joking, right? A literate, educated person doesn't use 8 abbreviations on one line of writing just to fit the space. There is nothing literate about an EPR. EPRs in the early 90s were far more literate and far more to the point. Unfortunately, the Air Force is more worried about format than substance.



All evaluations are subjective and part of the review process means different eyes see the EPR which, ideally, helps eliminates supervisor/endorser biases. Look at the EPR this way, it's a form of a resume that tells the reader what the person's responsibilities were, what they did, their achievements and their impact, and their potential for increased duties and responsibilities. If the endorser doesn't trust the supervisor, the supervisor shouldn't be in that position. Be honest with yourself, it's easy as hell to tell those who are ready for increased duties and responsibilities without an EPR.

FLAPS
02-07-2019, 09:53 PM
There is no perfect system and there will never be a perfect systems. I disagree on having promotions decided on the local level because that only encourages "butt-snorkling." Unless things have changed since I retired, when a person is selected for promotion the commander is required to review the individual's PIF to ensure there is no unfavorable information in it to prevent them from being promoted. This is, although imperfect, a local check-and-balance to prevent "favorites" from being promoted over top performers.


I think the local level decision would be great, if possible. Of course, you have to see through the butt-snorkeling, know your people, etc. Easier for the rater to do that (if they are worth anything themselves), but not so much the rater's rater. That said, that is why they have (or had) a non concur block the rater's rater could check if they didn't agree with the rater's rating. For promotions in general, it's simply human nature to promote "favorites," especially in the civilian world. As a supervisor/manager, I've never had a "favorite" workerbee who wasn't actually outstanding in their job.

LogDog
02-08-2019, 06:28 AM
I'm very familiar with the purpose. I just don't think it works.
Why, in your opinion, doesn't it work and where does the fault lie?



Should also have to do the same if you're going to give above a 3. I've known people who write 4s and 5s because it's easier and requires less justification than a 3. Turn that around and the ratings would become more accurate, IMO.
A good supervisor will have documentation or have documents/records to support their ratings above a "3."


You're joking, right? A literate, educated person doesn't use 8 abbreviations on one line of writing just to fit the space. There is nothing literate about an EPR. EPRs in the early 90s were far more literate and far more to the point. Unfortunately, the Air Force is more worried about format than substance.
I'm not familiar with the writing style of EPRs today but I am familiar with the styles from the late 70s to the early 2000s. We went from a narrative paragraph in the 70s to bullet statements with no white spaces (hated that policy). I recognize that not everyone is good at writing which is why someone needs to review the EPR before it is finalized. When I wrote an EPR I wanted to make sure anyone reading it knew exactly what I was saying so there wouldn't be any ambiguity about it and the information was backed up with documentation rather than just my say-so. So when one of my EPRs came back with corrections I'd either agree with the correction(s) discuss it with the reviewer to understand their reasoning. Sometimes I'd convince then and sometimes I didn't but in the end I made sure the substance and meaning of what I wrote remained intact.


If the endorser doesn't trust the supervisor, the supervisor shouldn't be in that position. Be honest with yourself, it's easy as hell to tell those who are ready for increased duties and responsibilities without an EPR.
Who makes the decision to promote someone? If the person is new to the unit and they don't know the history of their people how are they to determine who to promote? Local decision authority only encourages a "Good Old Boy" system which was how the AF operated 50 years ago. Let's be realistic, the AF isn't a local company in which the employees are going to live and work there for decades so you'll be aware, over time, who should be promoted and who shouldn't. AF people move around the world so you have people entering/exiting your unit and you have to have some standardize process to fairly promote people. I doubt you'd like it if you had been a top performer at your old base and you had been denied promotion at your new base because you hadn't been there long enough to prove yourself and your supervisor/commander don't know anything about you.

I've advocated for a radical change with the EPR for years. That change is to drop the EPR entirely from the WAPS and use it for what it should be used for; an administrative tool for supervisors/commanders to honestly evaluate their people for promotion and assignments. The problem with the current system (and has been for many years) is rating inflation which comes from two sources: laziness on the part of the supervisor and the supervisor/commanders not wanting to hurt the ratee's chance for promotion by giving them anything less than a "5" EPR. As long as rating inflation continues it will only encourage ratee's not to do more than what they're currently doing and it won't develop them into good/better NCOs.

Bos Mutus
02-08-2019, 12:52 PM
I've advocated for a radical change with the EPR for years. That change is to drop the EPR entirely from the WAPS and use it for what it should be used for; an administrative tool for supervisors/commanders to honestly evaluate their people for promotion and assignments.

How would they be used for promotion if they are removed from WAPS?


The problem with the current system (and has been for many years) is rating inflation which comes from two sources: laziness on the part of the supervisor and the supervisor/commanders not wanting to hurt the ratee's chance for promotion by giving them anything less than a "5" EPR. As long as rating inflation continues it will only encourage ratee's not to do more than what they're currently doing and it won't develop them into good/better NCOs.

I'm not current on EPRs right now, but my understanding is the top scores are limited now, the commander can only give a small percentage of "Must Promotes" in order to control inflation.

AF sgt
02-08-2019, 03:10 PM
Why, in your opinion, doesn't it work and where does the fault lie? It doesn't work because the numbers (I don't want to say false here) don't always accurately describe the impact, but those reviewing put so much weight on the impact (which is always made to sound like it's world changing, even though most times it's just part of the day to day job). The fault lies with the rater, the ratee, and the system, as well as everyone else who reviews it.




A good supervisor will have documentation or have documents/records to support their ratings above a "3." They should, for sure, but right now all you need is documentation if it's not a 4 or 5.



I'm not familiar with the writing style of EPRs today but I am familiar with the styles from the late 70s to the early 2000s. We went from a narrative paragraph in the 70s to bullet statements with no white spaces (hated that policy). I recognize that not everyone is good at writing which is why someone needs to review the EPR before it is finalized. When I wrote an EPR I wanted to make sure anyone reading it knew exactly what I was saying so there wouldn't be any ambiguity about it and the information was backed up with documentation rather than just my say-so. So when one of my EPRs came back with corrections I'd either agree with the correction(s) discuss it with the reviewer to understand their reasoning. Sometimes I'd convince then and sometimes I didn't but in the end I made sure the substance and meaning of what I wrote remained intact. EPRs today are full of abbreviations that are pulled of on an approved abbreviation list (AF wide and usually Wing wide, so two lists) and the entire EPR is full of the in order to allow more (useless) information to be written just to make sure it's jam packed with as many words as possible, because I guess more words equals a better job was done.



Who makes the decision to promote someone? There still needs to be a rating system, it just needs to make sense, and be about substance, not format.

LogDog
02-08-2019, 05:16 PM
How would they be used for promotion if they are removed from WAPS?
As a final review, upon receipt of the promotion list the commander would review the EPRs, along with the individual's PIFs, to ensure the selectee should be promoted.




I'm not current on EPRs right now, but my understanding is the top scores are limited now, the commander can only give a small percentage of "Must Promotes" in order to control inflation.
Sounds like a quota system to me. I've been in flights where there were a couple of people of the same rank who were outstanding and to choose which one of them should be a "Must Promote" would hurt morale.

AF sgt
02-08-2019, 05:39 PM
Sounds like a quota system to me. I've been in flights where there were a couple of people of the same rank who were outstanding and to choose which one of them should be a "Must Promote" would hurt morale.It's tough, especially in a squadron like CE where, just by description of the job, the Fire Department has the advantage. An objective person looking at an EPR from a Fire Dog vs an EPR for a Structures guy is a no-contest, almost every time. A fire dog gives CPR to a 70 year old at the gym and he's already light years ahead of a Structures guy who maintained 100 buildings on base. The system, with a quota or not, is broken (again, simply because of the "impact" statement).

LogDog
02-08-2019, 05:50 PM
It doesn't work because the numbers (I don't want to say false here) don't always accurately describe the impact, but those reviewing put so much weight on the impact (which is always made to sound like it's world changing, even though most times it's just part of the day to day job). The fault lies with the rater, the ratee, and the system, as well as everyone else who reviews it.
It sounds like you want to put only what they do/did which sounds like a the portion of their job description. Are you advocating using just the job description and eliminating rater's comments?


They should, for sure, but right now all you need is documentation if it's not a 4 or 5.
I can understand that.



EPRs today are full of abbreviations that are pulled of on an approved abbreviation list (AF wide and usually Wing wide, so two lists) and the entire EPR is full of the in order to allow more (useless) information to be written just to make sure it's jam packed with as many words as possible, because I guess more words equals a better job was done.
I can see abbreviations used AF-wide being included but I balk at the idea of not leaving any white space. A bullet statement should take up a least 75% of the line even if there is white space left.



There still needs to be a rating system, it just needs to make sense, and be about substance, not format.
The system isn't perfect and never will be. I think everyone wants a rating system that is fair, honest, and substantive. There also has to be a system to standardize how to document the ratings. Any standardized system will have rules on how format the information and that's what we've had for decades. There will always be rules on how to write the comments so everyone at every base will be doing it the same way. That way, a wordsmith's comments doesn't weigh higher than someone who isn't as adept at writing.

AF sgt
02-08-2019, 06:02 PM
It sounds like you want to put only what they do/did which sounds like a the portion of their job description. Are you advocating using just the job description and eliminating rater's comments? No, actually I think the rater's comments are far more important than the job description. And if leadership doesn't think they can trust the rater's comments, then they should change the rater.




I can see abbreviations used AF-wide being included but I balk at the idea of not leaving any white space. A bullet statement should take up a least 75% of the line even if there is white space left. I think that sub-bullets should be allowed. Having 5 bullets that require sub-bullets (because of everything that was done) is far better, IMO, then having 15 (or however many it is) jammed onto the form just because. It's quality over quantity.




The system isn't perfect and never will be. I think everyone wants a rating system that is fair, honest, and substantive. There also has to be a system to standardize how to document the ratings. Any standardized system will have rules on how format the information and that's what we've had for decades. There will always be rules on how to write the comments so everyone at every base will be doing it the same way. That way, a wordsmith's comments doesn't weigh higher than someone who isn't as adept at writing.I see it the opposite. The standardized system makes it much harder to show the difference between the 3 rating and the 5 rating. Plus, leadership really doesn't want to see a 3 anyway. Here's an example of something I've been through, and I'm sure many others have, as well:

I write a 3 EPR, and I write it like a 3 should be written, not showing a whole lot of impact for the tasks completed, etc. Comes back from the head shed with red ink saying "need stronger bullets", so I write a couple stronger bullets; comes back from the head shed with red ink saying "these bullets make the EPR sound like at least a 4". Well, no shit! That's why it was written the way it was in the first place, so as not to confuse the ratee with a top performer.

LogDog
02-08-2019, 06:38 PM
No, actually I think the rater's comments are far more important than the job description. And if leadership doesn't think they can trust the rater's comments, then they should change the rater.
Both are important. The rater's comments should reflect the duties/responsibilities in the job description. You have the rater's comments and the endorser's comments and the endorser acts as a check-and-balance to ensure the rater is fairly rating the individual. If the leadership can't trust the rater's comments then chances are there's a problem in either the leadership, the rater, or both.




I think that sub-bullets should be allowed. Having 5 bullets that require sub-bullets (because of everything that was done) is far better, IMO, then having 15 (or however many it is) jammed onto the form just because. It's quality over quantity.
Sub-bullets have been used in the past to expand upon the impact of an accomplishment. I'd limit sub-bullets to one per bullet statement.



I see it the opposite. The standardized system makes it much harder to show the difference between the 3 rating and the 5 rating. Plus, leadership really doesn't want to see a 3 anyway. Here's an example of something I've been through, and I'm sure many others have, as well:
The rating system depends upon the individual rater and those above him to ensure integrity. Too often, the raters don't want to harm the ratee's chance of promotion and that's where the system fails. If leadership doesn't want to see a "3" then that's their problem. When I reviewed EPRs at the squadron/group level I didn't push anyone to change a rating. The only thing I did was to make sure their comments properly reflected the rating.



I write a 3 EPR, and I write it like a 3 should be written, not showing a whole lot of impact for the tasks completed, etc. Comes back from the head shed with red ink saying "need stronger bullets", so I write a couple stronger bullets; comes back from the head shed with red ink saying "these bullets make the EPR sound like at least a 4". Well, no shit! That's why it was written the way it was in the first place, so as not to confuse the ratee with a top performer.
I hope you stood your ground and not inflate the accomplishments. As a TSgt, I wrote an EPR for an airman and I was told to downgrade it by my superintendent (an E-8) because he disagreed with it. I stood my ground and told him I felt it was an honest evaluation and that if he wanted it changed he had his section to write his comments and mark his rating. My comments/ratings remained unchanged and he did a non-concur on the EPR.

Bos Mutus
02-08-2019, 08:51 PM
Sounds like a quota system to me. I've been in flights where there were a couple of people of the same rank who were outstanding and to choose which one of them should be a "Must Promote" would hurt morale.

Yes, it is a quota system, more or less.

Not everyone gets to be #1...shouldn't hurt morale, I don't think. The inflated system hurt morale for the best performers.

It's true someone could get 'screwed' a year or two if they are in a shop of hotshots...but, I think as this system continues for a few years, it will be easy to see who consistently rises to the top over time. You don't need a MP every year to be outstanding if over the course of your career you get them more often than not, you are clearly and outstanding performer.

AF sgt
02-08-2019, 09:21 PM
Yes, it is a quota system, more or less.

Not everyone gets to be #1...shouldn't hurt morale, I don't think. The inflated system hurt morale for the best performers.

It's true someone could get 'screwed' a year or two if they are in a shop of hotshots...but, I think as this system continues for a few years, it will be easy to see who consistently rises to the top over time. You don't need a MP every year to be outstanding if over the course of your career you get them more often than not, you are clearly and outstanding performer.

And actually with fewer people getting 5s, the 4s aren't going to "hurt" like they did in the previous system. The majority of those promoted will be 4s.

Mjölnir
02-08-2019, 10:47 PM
Not everyone gets to be #1...shouldn't hurt morale, I don't think. The inflated system hurt morale for the best performers.

I have only been an evaluator on a couple of USAF EPRs. I completely agree, you can only have 1 #1. The Navy also has a 'forced distribution' system where I can only have 25% of those evaluated as an 'Early Promote', 25% as a 'Must Promote" and the rest are 'Promotable', no quotas on 'Progressing' (after someone has had a documented disciplinary issue / NJP etc. which would result in) 'Significant Problems'. Eseentially, an EP highly increases the liklihood of promotion.

Mjölnir
02-08-2019, 10:48 PM
I have only been an evaluator on a couple of USAF EPRs; I do think the USAF system is confusing.


Not everyone gets to be #1...shouldn't hurt morale, I don't think. The inflated system hurt morale for the best performers.

I completely agree, you can only have 1 #1. The Navy also has a 'forced distribution' system where I can only have 25% of those evaluated as an 'Early Promote', 25% as a 'Must Promote" and the rest are 'Promotable', no quotas on 'Progressing' (after someone has had a documented disciplinary issue / NJP etc. which would result in) 'Significant Problems'. Essentially, an EP highly increases the likelihood of promotion.

AF sgt
02-08-2019, 11:05 PM
I have only been an evaluator on a couple of USAF EPRs. I completely agree, you can only have 1 #1. Not in a squadron with 8 different career fields. I can see only having 1 #1 when you get into senior NCOs, because there are much fewer of those, but in a squadron with 50 or 60 NCOs, 10 or so per career field, you can easily have several "#1s". There is no possible way for a senior leader to discern between the top guy in each shop, because the senior leader doesn't have the day to day interaction, and of course each shop lead is going to have his/her #1 guy. After that it's all subjective which, again, leads us back to the original problem trying to be fixed.

Mjölnir
02-09-2019, 12:17 AM
Not in a squadron with 8 different career fields. I can see only having 1 #1 when you get into senior NCOs, because there are much fewer of those, but in a squadron with 50 or 60 NCOs, 10 or so per career field, you can easily have several "#1s". There is no possible way for a senior leader to discern between the top guy in each shop, because the senior leader doesn't have the day to day interaction, and of course each shop lead is going to have his/her #1 guy. After that it's all subjective which, again, leads us back to the original problem trying to be fixed.

If you have a unit with 8 different career fields, you can do a soft break out ("My #1 of 10 [insert career field] and #3 of 60 NCO's", but yes, I do believe if asked to rank people, you can only have 1 #1 ... is kind of how ranking works. I think where a lot of people get heartburn is that when you start evaluating people for more senior positions (officer and enlisted), being a superstar in your MOS, AFSC or rating is great but may not translate into being a good senior NCO, Chief Petty Officer, Field Grade Officer etc. Things like leadership & management become a factor, working all the bake sales in the world do not overcome being incompetent ... but at the point where everyone is good at their job ... you have to look at their ability to do things beyond just their job and be adaptable ... promotion is not about what you have done in the past, but what you need to be doing at the next level.

That said, you are right, no Reporting Senior can have day to day interaction with all the people in their unit; you have to rely on whatever ranking system that Reporting Senior delegates to the mid & junior leaders and hold them accountable for good recommendations. Frankly, it would be really hard to establish some sort of rating system that doesn't have some level of subjectivity unless the task evaluated is a simple or binary type task; the Reporting Senior has a responsibility to disseminate what they use / include in their decision making.

AF sgt
02-09-2019, 02:20 AM
If you have a unit with 8 different career fields, you can do a soft break out ("My #1 of 10 [insert career field] and #3 of 60 NCO's", but yes, I do believe if asked to rank people, you can only have 1 #1 ... is kind of how ranking works. I think where a lot of people get heartburn is that when you start evaluating people for more senior positions (officer and enlisted), being a superstar in your MOS, AFSC or rating is great but may not translate into being a good senior NCO, Chief Petty Officer, Field Grade Officer etc. Things like leadership & management become a factor, working all the bake sales in the world do not overcome being incompetent ... but at the point where everyone is good at their job ... you have to look at their ability to do things beyond just their job and be adaptable ... promotion is not about what you have done in the past, but what you need to be doing at the next level.

That said, you are right, no Reporting Senior can have day to day interaction with all the people in their unit; you have to rely on whatever ranking system that Reporting Senior delegates to the mid & junior leaders and hold them accountable for good recommendations. Frankly, it would be really hard to establish some sort of rating system that doesn't have some level of subjectivity unless the task evaluated is a simple or binary type task; the Reporting Senior has a responsibility to disseminate what they use / include in their decision making.

Unfortunately, there's a difference between ideal and reality. I've found there are 3 ways to be the #1. Be a PTL, be visible/cook at all squadron BBQs, and be good at softball (or bowling, if the 1st Sgt is on the bowling team). If you can do those 3 things, and be average at your job, you've got the keys to the kingdom, especially if you respond to a fire alarm at the base Burger King.

This is where the SKT/PDG testing gives everyone a chance, even if they aren't "visible" in the squadron. Unfortunately, though (back to the main topic), it looks as though that won't even play a part in becoming a SNCO.

FLAPS
02-09-2019, 12:33 PM
Unfortunately, there's a difference between ideal and reality. I've found there are 3 ways to be the #1. Be a PTL, be visible/cook at all squadron BBQs, and be good at softball (or bowling, if the 1st Sgt is on the bowling team). If you can do those 3 things, and be average at your job, you've got the keys to the kingdom, especially if you respond to a fire alarm at the base Burger King.

This is where the SKT/PDG testing gives everyone a chance, even if they aren't "visible" in the squadron. Unfortunately, though (back to the main topic), it looks as though that won't even play a part in becoming a SNCO.


So basically, when it comes down to getting a good stratification (my #1 guy), as a bare minimum your rater and senior rater should both a) Know you, and b) Like you. Assuming a & b had anything to do with being a good workerbee, you then choose to give the strat to the one who also is the PTL, cooks at the BBQ, and participates in Sq sports. Pretty straight forward process!

Mjölnir
02-09-2019, 12:57 PM
Unfortunately, there's a difference between ideal and reality. I've found there are 3 ways to be the #1. Be a PTL, be visible/cook at all squadron BBQs, and be good at softball (or bowling, if the 1st Sgt is on the bowling team). If you can do those 3 things, and be average at your job, you've got the keys to the kingdom, especially if you respond to a fire alarm at the base Burger King.

This is where the SKT/PDG testing gives everyone a chance, even if they aren't "visible" in the squadron. Unfortunately, though (back to the main topic), it looks as though that won't even play a part in becoming a SNCO.

-Doing well on a test does not correlate to being a top performer, it isn’t exclusive of that ... but the smartest people are not always the best at the practical application and again ... being a SNCO / senior enlisted is more than what is in the study guide.

-If the boss is using being a PT Leader, cooking at picnics etc. to choose the #1 while ignoring performance, I don’t agree with that. At the same time, if two people are performing equally / near equally than collateral duties are a factor, something that honestly I have never seen that. More often than not, even going back to when I was an NCO and SNCO, people used the “collaterals override job performance” as an excuse for wanting to do the bare minimum or an inability to accept someone was a better performer than themselves.

AF sgt
02-09-2019, 03:07 PM
-Doing well on a test does not correlate to being a top performer, it isn’t exclusive of that ... but the smartest people are not always the best at the practical application and again ... being a SNCO / senior enlisted is more than what is in the study guide.

-If the boss is using being a PT Leader, cooking at picnics etc. to choose the #1 while ignoring performance, I don’t agree with that. At the same time, if two people are performing equally / near equally than collateral duties are a factor, something that honestly I have never seen that. More often than not, even going back to when I was an NCO and SNCO, people used the “collaterals override job performance” as an excuse for wanting to do the bare minimum or an inability to accept someone was a better performer than themselves.

You're absolutely right. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the Air Force would rather have SNCOs who are more willing to give up time with their families in order to do more of those "collateral's". It is the military. "If they wanted you to have a (happy) family, they would have issued you one".

Of course, being retired, I'm soooooo happy I didn't make those "sacrifices" to climb the ladder. It's funny how once you're done with it, you realize how petty all of those little things actually are, and how un-mission related those things actually are.

AF sgt
02-09-2019, 03:12 PM
-Doing well on a test does not correlate to being a top performer, it isn’t exclusive of that ... but the smartest people are not always the best at the practical application and again ... being a SNCO / senior enlisted is more than what is in the study guide.

Now replace "test" with "PT test". I'd rather have my SNCOs know what's in the PDG than be able to run 1 1/2 miles, especially when the SNCOs aren't going to be the one's doing any of the physical work at home or down range. So if they are getting rid of the written test, how can the PT test be justified (for SNCOs)? But the same people who tell you the written test isn't needed will preach about the importance of doing 40 crunches.

AF sgt
02-09-2019, 03:15 PM
So basically, when it comes down to getting a good stratification (my #1 guy), as a bare minimum your rater and senior rater should both a) Know you, and b) Like you. Assuming a & b had anything to do with being a good workerbee, you then choose to give the strat to the one who also is the PTL, cooks at the BBQ, and participates in Sq sports. Pretty straight forward process!

The part missed, though, is the amount of time given to those extras, taking away from actually being on the job. That's what creates tension in the shop. Even if guy A is a good worker, if he's not around to do the work, guy B is going to have to pick up the slack.

Mjölnir
02-11-2019, 02:23 AM
Now replace "test" with "PT test". I'd rather have my SNCOs know what's in the PDG than be able to run 1 1/2 miles, especially when the SNCOs aren't going to be the one's doing any of the physical work at home or down range. So if they are getting rid of the written test, how can the PT test be justified (for SNCOs)? But the same people who tell you the written test isn't needed will preach about the importance of doing 40 crunches.

I am not saying that being technically proficient isn't important, and that testing should be thrown out. Using an academic test absent a performance evaluation only tells you what someone could be doing, not how they are doing. I have known several highly intelligent people not willing to work hard, period. Subjectively, I rather promote the one who scores a bit worse on a paper test but performs better.

I don't think a PT test should be preeminent above all else, but I do believe in having one, and failing one having consequences. None of the services basic physical fitness tests are that hard, maxing one may be harder as we get older ... just passing it / taking it should be simple. As far as why senior enlisted or officers should still take it, they may have to drag, carry or pull someone out of a bad situation, space engulfed in smoke & fumes etc. Also, anecdotally ... over 27 years of service I have stood a lot of watches and worked a lot of shift work; people in better physical shape seem to do better with the rotational watches and when the work / OPTEMPO does not permit periods of normal rest.

retiredAFcivvy
02-11-2019, 03:03 AM
First (a little off topic) it's great to see the forum have these kind of discussions again. Looking at all the discussions of the posters, with some having over 40 years of experience, it's obvious that EPRs (in my day AD it was an APR) have always been a bone of contention and probably will never get to the point everyone is satisfied. One thing I didn't see a lot of discussion about was Senior Endorsements. I'm not sure if that had any bearing on promotion but I always tried to get one for an excellent performer.

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 03:05 AM
I am not saying that being technically proficient isn't important, and that testing should be thrown out. Using an academic test absent a performance evaluation only tells you what someone could be doing, not how they are doing. I have known several highly intelligent people not willing to work hard, period. Subjectively, I rather promote the one who scores a bit worse on a paper test but performs better. 100% agree. The (mission related work) performer should always have the advantage.


I don't think a PT test should be preeminent above all else, but I do believe in having one, and failing one having consequences. None of the services basic physical fitness tests are that hard, maxing one may be harder as we get older ... just passing it / taking it should be simple. As far as why senior enlisted or officers should still take it, they may have to drag, carry or pull someone out of a bad situation, space engulfed in smoke & fumes etc. Also, anecdotally ... over 27 years of service I have stood a lot of watches and worked a lot of shift work; people in better physical shape seem to do better with the rotational watches and when the work / OPTEMPO does not permit periods of normal rest.Not saying fitness isn't important. However, the AF test has nothing to do with fitness, does not improve fitness, etc. But that's a completely different topic that's been beat to death.

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 03:06 AM
First (a little off topic) it's great to see the forum have these kind of discussions again. Looking at all the discussions of the posters, with some having over 40 years of experience, it's obvious that EPRs (in my day AD it was an APR) have always been a bone of contention and probably will never get to the point everyone is satisfied. One thing I didn't see a lot of discussion about was Senior Endorsements. I'm not sure if that had any bearing on promotion but I always tried to get one for an excellent performer.

Yeah, this place has definitely picked up since I got here. :-)

Mjölnir
02-11-2019, 10:00 AM
Yeah, this place has definitely picked up since I got here. :-)

tshirt is in the mail ;)

Mjölnir
02-11-2019, 10:00 AM
Yeah, this place has definitely picked up since I got here. :-)

tshirt is in the mail ;)

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 03:15 PM
tshirt is in the mail ;)

2XL please. I've haven't recovered from being retired.

LogDog
02-11-2019, 05:32 PM
I am not saying that being technically proficient isn't important, and that testing should be thrown out. Using an academic test absent a performance evaluation only tells you what someone could be doing, not how they are doing. I have known several highly intelligent people not willing to work hard, period. Subjectively, I rather promote the one who scores a bit worse on a paper test but performs better.
The SKT test tells you what a person knows, not how well they can or wjill do the job. I found it isn't the intelligence of the person to work hard but their motivation. Like you, I've seen people proudly doing the bare minimum and expecting to be promoted. One person, a TSgt, stated to the rest of us SSgts the reason he has the smallest desk is because you can put much work on it. His mistake was the flight superintendent overheard him say this and brought out a bunch of computer listings and gave him extra work. I'd rather work with someone who was motivated but lacking book knowledge than someone with book knowledge and unmotivitated.



I don't think a PT test should be preeminent above all else, but I do believe in having one, and failing one having consequences. None of the services basic physical fitness tests are that hard, maxing one may be harder as we get older ... just passing it / taking it should be simple. As far as why senior enlisted or officers should still take it, they may have to drag, carry or pull someone out of a bad situation, space engulfed in smoke & fumes etc. Also, anecdotally ... over 27 years of service I have stood a lot of watches and worked a lot of shift work; people in better physical shape seem to do better with the rotational watches and when the work / OPTEMPO does not permit periods of normal rest.
When I was in, the PT test was a joke. Running, walking, or doing the bike test didn't mean I was fit. What I learned, by experience, was whether people could work in the field for a couple of hours without taking a break was a better indication of fitness and than anything else. I agree, officers and SNCOs need to take the test if for nothing else to demonstrate to NCO and junior enlisted the need to be able to perform physical activities applies to everyone.

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 06:05 PM
The SKT test tells you what a person knowsAcually, it tells you what a person can recall. Many people can't tell you, a week after testing, what they read or remember.

retiredAFcivvy
02-11-2019, 06:12 PM
The SKT test tells you what a person knows, not how well they can or wjill do the job. I found it isn't the intelligence of the person to work hard but their motivation. Like you, I've seen people proudly doing the bare minimum and expecting to be promoted. One person, a TSgt, stated to the rest of us SSgts the reason he has the smallest desk is because you can put much work on it. His mistake was the flight superintendent overheard him say this and brought out a bunch of computer listings and gave him extra work. I'd rather work with someone who was motivated but lacking book knowledge than someone with book knowledge and unmotivitated.



When I was in, the PT test was a joke. Running, walking, or doing the bike test didn't mean I was fit. What I learned, by experience, was whether people could work in the field for a couple of hours without taking a break was a better indication of fitness and than anything else. I agree, officers and SNCOs need to take the test if for nothing else to demonstrate to NCO and junior enlisted the need to be able to perform physical activities applies to everyone.

This issue came up on this forum several years back. I think I got some disagreement on it, but one reason the AF got serious about PT was that other services were complaining that in certain situations the AF personal weren't keeping up.

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 06:36 PM
This issue came up on this forum several years back. I think I got some disagreement on it, but one reason the AF got serious about PT was that other services were complaining that in certain situations the AF personal weren't keeping up.

Right. Because instead of recruiting more Soldiers, they DOD decided it was a smart idea to start the ILO (in lieu of) tasking, sticking untrained, unskilled Airmen in the field with the Army. Of course the Airmen weren't going to keep up. The PT test didn't/doesn't change that, but it gave some General somewhere the opportunity to feel good about himself by pretending that the Air Force was capable of performing at the physical level of people who train every single day to perform at those levels. Hell, it was even called "fit to fight". Joke of all jokes.

retiredAFcivvy
02-11-2019, 07:26 PM
Right. Because instead of recruiting more Soldiers, they DOD decided it was a smart idea to start the ILO (in lieu of) tasking, sticking untrained, unskilled Airmen in the field with the Army. Of course the Airmen weren't going to keep up. The PT test didn't/doesn't change that, but it gave some General somewhere the opportunity to feel good about himself by pretending that the Air Force was capable of performing at the physical level of people who train every single day to perform at those levels. Hell, it was even called "fit to fight". Joke of all jokes.

Thanks for remembering that!

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 08:14 PM
Thanks for remembering that!

Yeah, I was one of those who got screwed over by it. In the mean time, the shop back at the base suffers because now they are 2 guys short in an 8 man shop. It just made no sense. What it did was show everyone that got shorthanded back at main base that the job they've been preached to is so important really isn't that important at all, because now it's OK if all the work doesn't get done. It's like telling your kid "You really need to get your room cleaned up before you do anything else but, if you run out of time, meh! No biggy!"

Bos Mutus
02-11-2019, 08:44 PM
Right. Because instead of recruiting more Soldiers, they DOD decided it was a smart idea to start the ILO (in lieu of) tasking, sticking untrained, unskilled Airmen in the field with the Army. Of course the Airmen weren't going to keep up. The PT test didn't/doesn't change that, but it gave some General somewhere the opportunity to feel good about himself by pretending that the Air Force was capable of performing at the physical level of people who train every single day to perform at those levels. Hell, it was even called "fit to fight". Joke of all jokes.

The PT program has always been about image.

All the anecdotal stories about being able to keep up in the AOR or decreasing health care costs, etc. are just rationalizations, the real reason is we just don't like seeing fat people in uniform.

AF sgt
02-11-2019, 08:51 PM
The PT program has always been about image.

All the anecdotal stories about being able to keep up in the AOR or decreasing health care costs, etc. are just rationalizations, the real reason is we just don't like seeing fat people in uniform.


You're right that it's about image. It's about the image the senior officers in the Air Force felt the senior officers in the Army and Marines had of Airmen.

It's almost like the guy who's offended because he thinks that others might be offended. There's only an issue because someone makes it an issue.

Rainmaker
02-12-2019, 01:28 AM
yet another thing that the USAF had gotten right before... and has now F'd up.........

Paul Airey on WAPS (from a 1981 interview)...

https://static.dma.mil/usaf/cmsaf50/Airey.html

" the end result was they came out with a weighted Airman promotion system [WAPS], which today is still in effect and is by far the fairest, best, most equitable promotion system of any of the armed forces for the enlisted men. It was a year or two ago, and I was over in the House, and there is a man by the name of John Ford. He is a counselor to the House Armed Forces Committee. I said, “Mr. Ford, you remember how L. Mendel Rivers was getting 15,000 to 20,000 letters a year on enlisted promotions?” He said, “I sure do, Paul.” I said, “How many are you getting now from Air Force enlisted people?” He said, “We don’t get half dozen or so a year.” Now this is success that the Airman can see. In other words, the biggest problem I faced was the promotion problem. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force job remains the same. Problems change. This is one problem none of them have had to face."