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Thread: Military Mantras I hate.

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Military Mantras I hate.

    Here are military mantras that, I think, are destructive, untrue, but repeated constantly and assumed to be...add more.


    "Perception is reality"
    No. Perception is just that, a perception. Reality is reality. People can get all kinds of incorrect perceptions for many reasons...often only in the mind of the perceiver.

    Just because you perceive something, does not make is so....but, leadership has often used this mantra to fall back on their lack of supporting evidence of a situation.

    "If it ain't documented, it ain't done"
    A mantra embraced by the IG and inspection industry around the late 1990s, early 2000s as they tried to get back to a compliance-based program after the Quality Assessment years.

    This mantra causes untold hours of administrative work that is entirely self-inflicted by the military organization. It's no longer good enough to spot-check your programs as a supervisor, but you must log your spot-checks to prove you did them...then the log becomes the inspection item instead of the program.

    If a program is up to speed...assume the supervisor has been spot-checking it. If documentation is not inherently required in the task, then none should be expected.

    How can we trust him with big things if he can't even (insert little thing)"
    People can weigh the importance of things and put more effort and attention on things that are more important than others.
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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    If it ain't raining, we ain't training
    Usually heard from someone who doesn't go to the field too often, to them it is camping ... fuck that ... being in the field for a 21 day exercise and it raining 19 of those days ... sucks.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    No. Perception is just that, a perception. Reality is reality. People can get all kinds of incorrect perceptions for many reasons...often only in the mind of the perceiver.
    Ahh grasshopper, That's were you went wrong. The phrase "perception is reality" is correct. Because Thoughts Are Things! You must look deeper...



    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage...A1&version=RSV
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 12-14-2016 at 04:27 PM.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    No. Perception is just that, a perception. Reality is reality. People can get all kinds of incorrect perceptions for many reasons...often only in the mind of the perceiver.

    Just because you perceive something, does not make is so....but, leadership has often used this mantra to fall back on their lack of supporting evidence of a situation.
    I'm pretty positive that whoever coined this mantra is fully aware of the difference between what is seen and what is actually happening, and isn't trying to say that they're one and the same.

    What they're saying is that how something is perceived is going to determine how people react to it.

    With the new Air Force's EPR system, you're going to start seeing this (because it happens in the Navy, with its forced distribution EVAL/FITREP system): two different people could be on two totally different levels of performance. One is a bit more humble and modest, and tries to allow his performance to speak for itself. The other guy? His performance is mediocre at best, but he brags about what he does and how he does it. He constantly toots his own horn. He makes himself look like he walks on water. Guess what? Expect this guy to get the "Promote Now" on his EPR. This, of course, results in him getting promoted while the more humble guy does not.

    Sure, that the guy who got promoted being the superior performer was the perception. But the perceived performance had very real consequences, because of how people reacted to that perception; while the true performance levels had very little, if any. And that's why it's said that perception is reality.
    Last edited by Rusty Jones; 12-14-2016 at 05:08 PM.
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I'm pretty positive that whoever coined this mantra
    This mantra was actually coined by God. But, lots of people have taken credit for it...... Most notably Plato and Oprah Winfrey.

    http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl2..._knowledge.htm

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    I'm pretty positive that whoever coined this mantra is fully aware of the difference between what is seen and what is actually happening, and isn't trying to say that they're one and the same.

    What they're saying is that how something is perceived is going to determine how people react to it.
    The original phrase coiner probably did have that understanding, and the phrase is probably originally intended as more of a self-reflection one to pay attention to how your actions may be perceived.

    Many folks who repeat the phrase, particularly in the military, do not have that understanding...and use it more as a "if people have a wrong perception of you, then you are wrong....if not of the original thing, then of giving off the perception of it."
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 12-14-2016 at 06:12 PM.
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    Whomever came up with "Do more with less" is an idiot of epic proportions.

    At best, most organizations can continue to do the same with less but almost never do more. If anyone actually believes in that mantra they should go finance a car that costs $600/month while also taking a $200/month pay cut. When they get home, they can just explain to their wife/husband "I know money is tight around here but I really thought we should do more with less so I bought this Corvette"

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    Senior Member WILDJOKER5's Avatar
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    We have the best a brightest in the AF.

    If this was true, they would have gone to college.
    Progressivism; such great ideas, they need to force you to follow them.

    Socialism is for the people, not the socialist.

    Economic Left/Right: 7.38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    The original phrase coiner probably did have that understanding, and the phrase is probably originally intended as more of a self-reflection one to pay attention to how your actions may be perceived.

    Many folks who repeat the phrase, particularly in the military, do not have that understanding...and use it more as a "if people have a wrong perception of you, then you are wrong....if not of the original thing, then of giving off the perception of it."
    And IMO that's why it sucks. you don't NEED to be doing wrong, to be thought of as being wrong. Just someone falsely having the perception of you doing wrong, is all that's needed these days to get in trouble it seems. AND OFTEN even if you PROVE that you are NOT wrong, that's it.. NO 'oops, sorry". No "guess we need to re-educate the one who had the false perception"...

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    Just someone falsely having the perception of you doing wrong, is all that's needed these days to get in trouble it seems.
    Generally the tipping point is the 'reasonable person standard'. If a 'reasonable person' would perceive the action as wrong/inappropriate ... that is when there is a problem. Every wallflower with heightened sensitivities is not immediately catered to. Admittedly, some people take it too far, by and large that is not the case.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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