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Thread: Top enlisted to-do

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    Top enlisted to-do

    Top enlisted to-do


    James Roy took over last week as chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the enlisted adviser to Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. His job: to look out for the best interests of 262,000 enlisted airmen throughout the Air Force.

    Over the next four years, any number of issues will arise to grab his attention. Here are six he can — and should — tackle right away:

    • End grade inflation. Enlisted performance reports have lost touch with reality. Not every airman can be “outstanding.” This may require a new EPR or at least a new scoring system, which would be costly, but a meaningless system is even more costly. Fix this, quickly.

    • Stop fiddling with the uniform. Drop the green boots, and go back to black. They’re fine. Drop the heritage coat, and keep the existing uniform. Time to move on.

    • Extend day-care center hours. The Air Force doesn’t operate on a strict 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. schedule. Neither should on-base day care. Extend closing time to 7 p.m. on every base.

    • Fix the first sergeant shortage. Not enough airmen volunteer for the duty. So establish incentives to get their attention — extra credit toward promotion is one incentive. Special duty assignment pay is another.

    • De-stigmatize “special needs.” Airmen who have disabled or ill dependents — those with special needs — are marked by an assignment limitation code, “Q,” that bars them from certain jobs. That’s meant to help, but can actually hurt careers. It shouldn’t.

    • Make deployments fair. War tours aren’t spread evenly across the force, and that’s driving too many E-5s and E-6s to quit the force, wasting talent. Close the loopholes so no one can skate by without carrying his share of the load. No more excuses.

    There are, no doubt, more things Roy can add to his list over time. But if he can solve these in his tour of office, he will have had a very successful tour indeed.
    Whoever wrote this commentary is pretty much a man after my own heart.

    My only disagreement is with the "special needs" point. If having a "special needs" dependent, resulted in a member having primarily stateside assignments, or kept at the same assignment for most of their career...and having those assignments resulted in him/her being less fully developed than their counterparts...then it should affect their promotion potential. Sorry, but that's life...the AF bends over backwards to accomodate special needs,and we do pretty well at it. But, we shouldn't promote somewho hasn't served in "the certain jobs" necessary to develop them, regardless of the reason.

    All other points, I agree 100%

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    All very good points. I think I see both sides of that "special needs" problem, and its a doozy. Imagine that would almost be the most difficult one to impliment fairly.
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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    As the parent of a child who is considered special needs I have not been kept out of deployments at all. There are a few places she might not be able to go with me but so far it hasn't gotten me out of anything. That is what my Family Care Plan is for. Why should I be punished for having a special needs child? My daughter was born with a heart condition. I sitll do my job. I still deploy. It doesn't affect my job. I have to take her to her doctor once every few months. But what parent doesn't take a kid to the doctor every few months.

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaken1976 View Post
    As the parent of a child who is considered special needs I have not been kept out of deployments at all. There are a few places she might not be able to go with me but so far it hasn't gotten me out of anything. That is what my Family Care Plan is for. Why should I be punished for having a special needs child? My daughter was born with a heart condition. I sitll do my job. I still deploy. It doesn't affect my job. I have to take her to her doctor once every few months. But what parent doesn't take a kid to the doctor every few months.
    If it hasn't affected your job...how have you been punished?

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    I was referring to the comment in the original post about promotions not being the same if you have a special needs child. Maybe not in those exact words. If I read it wrong then I apologize.

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaken1976 View Post
    I was referring to the comment in the original post about promotions not being the same if you have a special needs child. Maybe not in those exact words. If I read it wrong then I apologize.
    Well...I guess we're sort of commenting on a hypothetical...BUT.

    The article stated that having a "special needs" dependent often prevents a service member from getting "a certain job"...and implied that not having that "certain job" should not be used against the service member for promotion.

    I think it should be used against them...if that "certain job" is required to fully qualify the person for promotion.

    Let's TRY and make it more concrete...

    Let's say...the person is in Public Affairs, okay.

    Let's say that a large portion of the public affairs career field, only takes place overseas (running an AFN television and radio program).

    Now, let's say MSgt A has a special needs child...as a result of that special need, he was only able to be assigned to stateside locations...where he primarily worked on the base newspaper...but he did that very well.

    MSgt B does not have a special needs dependent...and served both overseas and stateside on a variety of assignments, including the base paper, AFN TV and radio...and did that equally as well as MSgt A.

    IMO, MSgt B is more qualified for promotion...and should be promoted over MSgt A...through no fault of MSgt A. Nothing against MSgt A, but due to his special needs situation, he has not been as well developed professionally as MSgt B. Why should he be promoted...just to be "fair"?

    If someone has a "Q" code that prevents him/her from taking assignments...it should be expected that it will affect his/her career progression.

    Disclaimer: I am not a PA expert and do not really know the dynamics of this particular career field...this is just an example of where it may apply.

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Well...I guess we're sort of commenting on a hypothetical...BUT.

    The article stated that having a "special needs" dependent often prevents a service member from getting "a certain job"...and implied that not having that "certain job" should not be used against the service member for promotion.

    I think it should be used against them...if that "certain job" is required to fully qualify the person for promotion.

    Let's TRY and make it more concrete...

    Let's say...the person is in Public Affairs, okay.

    Let's say that a large portion of the public affairs career field, only takes place overseas (running an AFN television and radio program).

    Now, let's say MSgt A has a special needs child...as a result of that special need, he was only able to be assigned to stateside locations...where he primarily worked on the base newspaper...but he did that very well.

    MSgt B does not have a special needs dependent...and served both overseas and stateside on a variety of assignments, including the base paper, AFN TV and radio...and did that equally as well as MSgt A.

    IMO, MSgt B is more qualified for promotion...and should be promoted over MSgt A...through no fault of MSgt A. Nothing against MSgt A, but due to his special needs situation, he has not been as well developed professionally as MSgt B. Why should he be promoted...just to be "fair"?

    If someone has a "Q" code that prevents him/her from taking assignments...it should be expected that it will affect his/her career progression.

    Disclaimer: I am not a PA expert and do not really know the dynamics of this particular career field...this is just an example of where it may apply.
    I think the example spells out your point just fine. I have a special needs child also, and haven't seen that limit the type or number of my assignments or deployments. To be fair, I think there are many people out there with EFMP members who require much more care and much more specialized locations -- and those folks might have their careers impacted by their need to be with their family member. It would also suck to be a single parent with custody of a special needs child. Since my wife can handle things well when I'm gone, I still deploy when called upon and I still seek a variety of jobs as I've mapped my career path.

    If I was in a situation where I had to make a choice between taking the best care of my family and making the most stripes, I would not think twice nor feel any regret about retiring as a TSgt or MSgt because I took care of my family. I would think most people feel the same. The bottom line is that the AF didn't issue us families and taking care of them is our responsibility -- and it is a responsibility that should factor into each decision about whether to stay in or get out.

    I also agree with you, MM, that whoever wrote that commentary definitely got it right on all the other points.

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    as a new officer in the air force i PROMISE im going to give ppl the grade they DESERVE on their EPR.

    i'll counsel them straight up and be brutally honest and tell them i will grade on performance. if they aren't a 5 i'm going to tell them throughout their eval. period. and if they dont fix it then boom they're going to get a 3 or 4 or whatever they deserve.

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Well...I guess we're sort of commenting on a hypothetical...BUT.

    The article stated that having a "special needs" dependent often prevents a service member from getting "a certain job"...and implied that not having that "certain job" should not be used against the service member for promotion.

    I think it should be used against them...if that "certain job" is required to fully qualify the person for promotion.

    Let's TRY and make it more concrete...

    Let's say...the person is in Public Affairs, okay.

    Let's say that a large portion of the public affairs career field, only takes place overseas (running an AFN television and radio program).

    Now, let's say MSgt A has a special needs child...as a result of that special need, he was only able to be assigned to stateside locations...where he primarily worked on the base newspaper...but he did that very well.

    MSgt B does not have a special needs dependent...and served both overseas and stateside on a variety of assignments, including the base paper, AFN TV and radio...and did that equally as well as MSgt A.

    IMO, MSgt B is more qualified for promotion...and should be promoted over MSgt A...through no fault of MSgt A. Nothing against MSgt A, but due to his special needs situation, he has not been as well developed professionally as MSgt B. Why should he be promoted...just to be "fair"?

    If someone has a "Q" code that prevents him/her from taking assignments...it should be expected that it will affect his/her career progression.

    Disclaimer: I am not a PA expert and do not really know the dynamics of this particular career field...this is just an example of where it may apply.
    Good example and right on point... The idea they should be catered to is no different than affirmative action; you want a particular job or position, you should be QUALIFIED for it, period. Standards and Qualifications should not be waivered, changed, or lowered just because the events of life changed your priorities in life or you are of any particular status or group.

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    Re: Top enlisted to-do

    Quote Originally Posted by Slap View Post
    as a new officer in the air force i PROMISE im going to give ppl the grade they DESERVE on their EPR.

    i'll counsel them straight up and be brutally honest and tell them i will grade on performance. if they aren't a 5 i'm going to tell them throughout their eval. period. and if they dont fix it then boom they're going to get a 3 or 4 or whatever they deserve.
    That is awesome.

    If the system does not change however...expect that your ppl to be recognized, decorated and promoted at a rate far slower than their peers...

    As your an officer, I assume you will be rating SNCOs...so expect that you will stop their career dead in it's tracks...which is fine, if you given them necessary expectations and feedback. Just know up front, that the troop you may have molded into a superior SNCO, will likely not be promotable.

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