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Thread: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    I think this was a great question. Still looking for input from those that have done it to share their nuggets. I believe I did all I could on my end so am hoping to hear good news in a few months. There is definitely some bitterness amongst some regarding what it "takes" to achieve that rank. I'm sure it's true that some do it on the backs on their teammates but others, myself including, try to do it honorably. If I do get promoted I will use my bigger sphere of influence to help others in whatever way they need it. Let's not just pile on the negativity on this thread but want to heard some positives. Oh and good luck to all that tested!

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Quote Originally Posted by VCO View Post
    Doing what you are suppose to do is not bucking the system. And doing what you are suppose to normally doesn't result in EPR markdowns. Taking care of your folks is a primary responsibility in my opinion, but that has to be balanced with taking care of the Air Force. Remember, taking care of some folks is showing them the door.
    There are several unwritten rules in the AF, and they are unwritten because they make absolutely no sense. And these rules continue to perpetuated because of SNCO's and NCO's that don't want to be the one that is seen as stepping out of line. Like push letters for decorations because someone doesn't have firewall 5's, or how a SRA will ONLY receive an AFAM because he is an Airman. Or that someone must have college to max out their EPR. The guys that are questioning these stupid unwritten policies are not bucking the system. The same goes for the stupid notion that all SNCO's must attend a unit Christmas party, they can shove their party, I have no want/need to attend said parties. These sort of things have put us in the position that we are in today, all the way up to senior leadership in the AF. Congress will ask if you can accomplish the mission with less, and without skipping a beat the answer is yes. We are in dire need of folks that will give candid and honest feedback, and not just think of what answer will get them promoted. For Christ sakes, any SNCO that is willing to write their own awards package to me smacks of asskisser.
    Never. Let there be no misunderstanding...I am the master baiter around here. --BRUWIN

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponsTSGT View Post
    There are several unwritten rules in the AF, and they are unwritten because they make absolutely no sense. And these rules continue to perpetuated because of SNCO's and NCO's that don't want to be the one that is seen as stepping out of line. Like push letters for decorations because someone doesn't have firewall 5's, or how a SRA will ONLY receive an AFAM because he is an Airman. Or that someone must have college to max out their EPR. The guys that are questioning these stupid unwritten policies are not bucking the system. The same goes for the stupid notion that all SNCO's must attend a unit Christmas party, they can shove their party, I have no want/need to attend said parties. These sort of things have put us in the position that we are in today, all the way up to senior leadership in the AF. Congress will ask if you can accomplish the mission with less, and without skipping a beat the answer is yes. We are in dire need of folks that will give candid and honest feedback, and not just think of what answer will get them promoted. For Christ sakes, any SNCO that is willing to write their own awards package to me smacks of asskisser.
    I would disagree with SNCO's writing their own packages=asskisser. The majority already do or should be writing their own epr's. Nobody takes care of you better than you. Obviously, you better be writing a package on a deserving troop before on yourself. In a perfect world we could rely on our supervisors to take note of our accomplishments but they are maxed out as well. Not making excuses because they SHOULD be taking care of their troops if deserving. I'm saying that sometimes you can't wait for others and take care of your career. That way if you do get promoted into their billet YOU have the influence and power to change those things that you find wrong within your scope.

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue View Post
    I would disagree with SNCO's writing their own packages=asskisser. The majority already do or should be writing their own epr's. Nobody takes care of you better than you. Obviously, you better be writing a package on a deserving troop before on yourself. In a perfect world we could rely on our supervisors to take note of our accomplishments but they are maxed out as well. Not making excuses because they SHOULD be taking care of their troops if deserving. I'm saying that sometimes you can't wait for others and take care of your career. That way if you do get promoted into their billet YOU have the influence and power to change those things that you find wrong within your scope.
    I've had this debate before with other SNCOs/Chiefs. Mostly after being asked why I never submit a 1206 for myself... I haven't and won't write myself an award. Honestly, I just can't do it. When I write one of my folks a 1206 I can make their actions sound pretty good...but when I write my own, its like "Came to work, did my job, went home".

    I was recently forced into resiliency training and we had to take a character test. #2 on my list:

    Humility
    You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty.

    So, I'm with @WeaponsTSGT and feel like people who write their own awards packages are asskissers and "look at me" people. I understand the necessary evil of the "wood" to get promoted, but when your personal values collide with the AF values then you have to make a decision...either put aside your values and accept the AFs or the opposite. I chose to stay true to myself and most likely remain a MSgt until retirement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Alfredo View Post
    Rules for the sake of rules makes for mindless policy and engenders a lack of respect for those who enact and enforce them.

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Live within your own personal integrity and you'll at least feel a lot better about yourself. After making Master I was tossed into the world of backstabbing, self-promoting peers. After getting burned a few times I started playing the game myself--but felt incredibly dirty doing this. After a while I stopped writing my own 1206s and doing things solely to look good on a records board. I eventually made Senior but the aforementioned decision likely delayed this promotion a bit. In the end I felt a lot better about how I made it, and that still means a lot to me.

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Well lots of opinions. I have mine...ya'll have yours. Kool aid drinkers will always have their blue lips and brown noses. Keep it. Enjoy your stripe - I don't need it.

    What I need are real leaders, and the AF is lacking that. 25K gone in the next few years. Why? Because we can't manage ourselves. Still trading people for planes, even though we aren't advertising it as such. We didn't hold our contractors to task, let them go past deadlines and overbudget (Raptor...helllllooooo?) and viola...kick out Amn. Generals? How many? Why? Civilians? How many? WHY?!?! Contribute WHAT? Yea yea...blue kool aid answer - shove it. For every one civilian worth their weight in gold I can point out 10 worth their weight in shit.

    Bitter? Fuck yes I am bitter. More than half my career has been spent in war time. That entire time we've been force shaping AND tossing Airmen to the Army because THEY ALSO can't fucking manage their personnel. I lost count on the number of times we changed the PT test to make it easier to use it as a means to force shape (oh wait, "save health care costs", no...it was "warrior mindset", no..it was, whatever the new cliche is).

    Do you realize that these past four years is the longest in my entire career we've gone without a significant uniform change? Stop the presses...we actually have tradition now? We're catching up to the Marines! (note to the stupid - this is dripping with sarcasm)

    Bake sales, checking blocks on EPRs that mean nothing about the job (sure we're supposedly changing this - how long did that take?), decs and awards. AWARDS. Let's talk about awards. Yes it's true - if *I* don't submit a 1206 guess what, no one will submit me....ever. And I do win, often. Yes I am quite capable of playing the game and keeping my mouth shut for a quarter here and there - but I play it on my terms. I don't do the bake sales or Booster Club bull...I do my own thing. Those bullets - mine. I had direct involvement. But if I don't write and submit, it never-ever happens. Sad, ain't it? Know what else is sad? When you see Amn and NCOs win from the same section time and time and time again. You younger folks wanna know why that happens? Because those folks winning goes on that SNCO's EPR. That pads their board score. THAT is why. Most deserving award winner? LOL...fuck no. We call that "grooming" in the SNCO biz. That is leadership grooming that particular MSgt/SMSgt for a high board score...so their EPR can say "Mentored X Amn/NCO sq/gp award winners - SMSgt board a must!" Did I just blow that wide open or what?

    For you blue kool aid drinkers on this post - if you haven't experienced this, I envy you either for your luck of being assigned to bases that actually have integrity (doubt it) or your pure, sheer ignorance. Most likely you just turn a blind eye and jump on board and "play along". You're "on board" with your E9. Kissy kiss, eh?

    And you're bullshit about "just get out" - fuck the hell off. That's YOUR easy way out, asshole. The AF needs bitter, crusty system buckers like me. I'm the mean fucking thorn in your goddamn side. I'm the guy taking that Amn and NCO to the IG when you break the AFI or the law. I'm the one that tap dances on the CC's desk yelling and screaming that you are unfit to lead because you are too busy looking out for yourself and not taking care of your people because they keep coming to ME. There is a god damn reason I get sent to the worst shops after they fire dirtbag SNCOs to fix them up. I might not be liked because of my "attitude", but I pride myself on getting results. When shit needs fix, they come to me every god damn time. Honestly, for once I'd love to go to a section that isn't broke just so I can enjoy myself.

    Don't like what I typed, I don't like what some of you typed. Mine is cold hard truth. Your is most likely ate up bullshit fluff that I even question if you believe. Either way - we can agree on this: We're not going to change each other's minds over the internet. So accept it. I accept that you're full of shit. Maybe you just need to leave your cushy carpeted office and go get some *real talk* on with the boots on the ground and see what's up. Get back to your roots. 25K less people with the same fucking mission and responsibilities and ops tempo? You really think this isn't stressing people out? Are you even TALKING to people, or are you just forwarding/reciting those idiot emails that they've seen a dozen times? Edit: It's not just freaking out people that think they will get the boot. It's freaking out the people that believe they can actually stay in and have to do this job with so much less! What are you telling them? If your first thought in your head was "suck it up and deal with it" - YOU are the problem and YOU need to go because YOU fucking suck. That's biblical.

    Be a leader, not a voicebox idiot. We've got enough of those from the very top down. The AF can NOT keep going the way it has been the past decade. This status quo, "it's always been this way" bullshit has failed. Wake up and see it before it truly slaps you in the face so hard you'll get a concussion. You don't have to be a bitter asshole like me to deal with it - but ya gotta deal with it eventually.

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie Monster View Post
    Live within your own personal integrity and you'll at least feel a lot better about yourself. After making Master I was tossed into the world of backstabbing, self-promoting peers. After getting burned a few times I started playing the game myself--but felt incredibly dirty doing this. After a while I stopped writing my own 1206s and doing things solely to look good on a records board. I eventually made Senior but the aforementioned decision likely delayed this promotion a bit. In the end I felt a lot better about how I made it, and that still means a lot to me.
    I've been in the same situation as you. I never thought I had to make someone else look bad to make myself look good. I recognized long ago that most people do a good job of making themselves look bad without my having to help them. The best course of action I took and advocated was to do the job the best you can within the time limits given and let your work speak for itself. Give credit to those who did it and don't try to pass off their work/ideas as yours. Your reward is for you to recognize the good work/ideas.

    Old war story. Our shop OIC was a Capt in the Medical Service Corps (MSC), which is very political, and he was PCSing to a medical recruiting position for doctors and nurses. He told us the medical recruiting field was very political and that he had to play the political game. A SMSgt and myself told him to ignore the political game and let his work do his talking for him. When his fellow MSC officers are talking bad about him behind his back to their commander all he had to do when confronted by the commander was to ask "How is my work?"; "Is it on-time?"; and "Does it meet the standards you expect of me?" If the commander answers yes to all the questions then all the Capt had to do is ask him "Then what is the problem you have with me?"

    The Capt said that wouldn't work and he could play the political game better. A year later we found out he was fired from his job because he wasn't good a playing the political game. He visited our shop and admitted our advice was what he should have followed.

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    I reported this post....for being so fucking awesome...full of truth!!! :-)

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Quote Originally Posted by Drackore View Post
    Well lots of opinions. I have mine...ya'll have yours. Kool aid drinkers will always have their blue lips and brown noses. Keep it. Enjoy your stripe - I don't need it.

    What I need are real leaders, and the AF is lacking that. 25K gone in the next few years. Why? Because we can't manage ourselves. Still trading people for planes, even though we aren't advertising it as such. We didn't hold our contractors to task, let them go past deadlines and overbudget (Raptor...helllllooooo?) and viola...kick out Amn. Generals? How many? Why? Civilians? How many? WHY?!?! Contribute WHAT? Yea yea...blue kool aid answer - shove it. For every one civilian worth their weight in gold I can point out 10 worth their weight in shit.

    Bitter? Fuck yes I am bitter. More than half my career has been spent in war time. That entire time we've been force shaping AND tossing Airmen to the Army because THEY ALSO can't fucking manage their personnel. I lost count on the number of times we changed the PT test to make it easier to use it as a means to force shape (oh wait, "save health care costs", no...it was "warrior mindset", no..it was, whatever the new cliche is).

    Do you realize that these past four years is the longest in my entire career we've gone without a significant uniform change? Stop the presses...we actually have tradition now? We're catching up to the Marines! (note to the stupid - this is dripping with sarcasm)

    Bake sales, checking blocks on EPRs that mean nothing about the job (sure we're supposedly changing this - how long did that take?), decs and awards. AWARDS. Let's talk about awards. Yes it's true - if *I* don't submit a 1206 guess what, no one will submit me....ever. And I do win, often. Yes I am quite capable of playing the game and keeping my mouth shut for a quarter here and there - but I play it on my terms. I don't do the bake sales or Booster Club bull...I do my own thing. Those bullets - mine. I had direct involvement. But if I don't write and submit, it never-ever happens. Sad, ain't it? Know what else is sad? When you see Amn and NCOs win from the same section time and time and time again. You younger folks wanna know why that happens? Because those folks winning goes on that SNCO's EPR. That pads their board score. THAT is why. Most deserving award winner? LOL...fuck no. We call that "grooming" in the SNCO biz. That is leadership grooming that particular MSgt/SMSgt for a high board score...so their EPR can say "Mentored X Amn/NCO sq/gp award winners - SMSgt board a must!" Did I just blow that wide open or what?

    For you blue kool aid drinkers on this post - if you haven't experienced this, I envy you either for your luck of being assigned to bases that actually have integrity (doubt it) or your pure, sheer ignorance. Most likely you just turn a blind eye and jump on board and "play along". You're "on board" with your E9. Kissy kiss, eh?

    And you're bullshit about "just get out" - fuck the hell off. That's YOUR easy way out, asshole. The AF needs bitter, crusty system buckers like me. I'm the mean fucking thorn in your goddamn side. I'm the guy taking that Amn and NCO to the IG when you break the AFI or the law. I'm the one that tap dances on the CC's desk yelling and screaming that you are unfit to lead because you are too busy looking out for yourself and not taking care of your people because they keep coming to ME. There is a god damn reason I get sent to the worst shops after they fire dirtbag SNCOs to fix them up. I might not be liked because of my "attitude", but I pride myself on getting results. When shit needs fix, they come to me every god damn time. Honestly, for once I'd love to go to a section that isn't broke just so I can enjoy myself.

    Don't like what I typed, I don't like what some of you typed. Mine is cold hard truth. Your is most likely ate up bullshit fluff that I even question if you believe. Either way - we can agree on this: We're not going to change each other's minds over the internet. So accept it. I accept that you're full of shit. Maybe you just need to leave your cushy carpeted office and go get some *real talk* on with the boots on the ground and see what's up. Get back to your roots. 25K less people with the same fucking mission and responsibilities and ops tempo? You really think this isn't stressing people out? Are you even TALKING to people, or are you just forwarding/reciting those idiot emails that they've seen a dozen times? Edit: It's not just freaking out people that think they will get the boot. It's freaking out the people that believe they can actually stay in and have to do this job with so much less! What are you telling them? If your first thought in your head was "suck it up and deal with it" - YOU are the problem and YOU need to go because YOU fucking suck. That's biblical.

    Be a leader, not a voicebox idiot. We've got enough of those from the very top down. The AF can NOT keep going the way it has been the past decade. This status quo, "it's always been this way" bullshit has failed. Wake up and see it before it truly slaps you in the face so hard you'll get a concussion. You don't have to be a bitter asshole like me to deal with it - but ya gotta deal with it eventually.
    I reported this post....for being so fucking awesome...full of truth!!! :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Alfredo View Post
    Rules for the sake of rules makes for mindless policy and engenders a lack of respect for those who enact and enforce them.

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    Re: Why I did/didn't make SMSgt....

    Quote Originally Posted by Drackore View Post
    Well lots of opinions. I have mine...ya'll have yours. Kool aid drinkers will always have their blue lips and brown noses. Keep it. Enjoy your stripe - I don't need it.

    What I need are real leaders, and the AF is lacking that. 25K gone in the next few years. Why? Because we can't manage ourselves. Still trading people for planes, even though we aren't advertising it as such. We didn't hold our contractors to task, let them go past deadlines and overbudget (Raptor...helllllooooo?) and viola...kick out Amn. Generals? How many? Why? Civilians? How many? WHY?!?! Contribute WHAT? Yea yea...blue kool aid answer - shove it. For every one civilian worth their weight in gold I can point out 10 worth their weight in shit.

    Bitter? Fuck yes I am bitter. More than half my career has been spent in war time. That entire time we've been force shaping AND tossing Airmen to the Army because THEY ALSO can't fucking manage their personnel. I lost count on the number of times we changed the PT test to make it easier to use it as a means to force shape (oh wait, "save health care costs", no...it was "warrior mindset", no..it was, whatever the new cliche is).

    Do you realize that these past four years is the longest in my entire career we've gone without a significant uniform change? Stop the presses...we actually have tradition now? We're catching up to the Marines! (note to the stupid - this is dripping with sarcasm)

    Bake sales, checking blocks on EPRs that mean nothing about the job (sure we're supposedly changing this - how long did that take?), decs and awards. AWARDS. Let's talk about awards. Yes it's true - if *I* don't submit a 1206 guess what, no one will submit me....ever. And I do win, often. Yes I am quite capable of playing the game and keeping my mouth shut for a quarter here and there - but I play it on my terms. I don't do the bake sales or Booster Club bull...I do my own thing. Those bullets - mine. I had direct involvement. But if I don't write and submit, it never-ever happens. Sad, ain't it? Know what else is sad? When you see Amn and NCOs win from the same section time and time and time again. You younger folks wanna know why that happens? Because those folks winning goes on that SNCO's EPR. That pads their board score. THAT is why. Most deserving award winner? LOL...fuck no. We call that "grooming" in the SNCO biz. That is leadership grooming that particular MSgt/SMSgt for a high board score...so their EPR can say "Mentored X Amn/NCO sq/gp award winners - SMSgt board a must!" Did I just blow that wide open or what?

    For you blue kool aid drinkers on this post - if you haven't experienced this, I envy you either for your luck of being assigned to bases that actually have integrity (doubt it) or your pure, sheer ignorance. Most likely you just turn a blind eye and jump on board and "play along". You're "on board" with your E9. Kissy kiss, eh?

    And you're bullshit about "just get out" - fuck the hell off. That's YOUR easy way out, asshole. The AF needs bitter, crusty system buckers like me. I'm the mean fucking thorn in your goddamn side. I'm the guy taking that Amn and NCO to the IG when you break the AFI or the law. I'm the one that tap dances on the CC's desk yelling and screaming that you are unfit to lead because you are too busy looking out for yourself and not taking care of your people because they keep coming to ME. There is a god damn reason I get sent to the worst shops after they fire dirtbag SNCOs to fix them up. I might not be liked because of my "attitude", but I pride myself on getting results. When shit needs fix, they come to me every god damn time. Honestly, for once I'd love to go to a section that isn't broke just so I can enjoy myself.

    Don't like what I typed, I don't like what some of you typed. Mine is cold hard truth. Your is most likely ate up bullshit fluff that I even question if you believe. Either way - we can agree on this: We're not going to change each other's minds over the internet. So accept it. I accept that you're full of shit. Maybe you just need to leave your cushy carpeted office and go get some *real talk* on with the boots on the ground and see what's up. Get back to your roots. 25K less people with the same fucking mission and responsibilities and ops tempo? You really think this isn't stressing people out? Are you even TALKING to people, or are you just forwarding/reciting those idiot emails that they've seen a dozen times? Edit: It's not just freaking out people that think they will get the boot. It's freaking out the people that believe they can actually stay in and have to do this job with so much less! What are you telling them? If your first thought in your head was "suck it up and deal with it" - YOU are the problem and YOU need to go because YOU fucking suck. That's biblical.

    Be a leader, not a voicebox idiot. We've got enough of those from the very top down. The AF can NOT keep going the way it has been the past decade. This status quo, "it's always been this way" bullshit has failed. Wake up and see it before it truly slaps you in the face so hard you'll get a concussion. You don't have to be a bitter asshole like me to deal with it - but ya gotta deal with it eventually.
    Nice to see there is actually a few good ones left out there....Well put, sir.

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