It's been nearly 10 years and I am at my breaking point. Please for the love of god, please stop harassing me with daily emails about volunteering every day weekend. I am so sick and tired of losing my weekends. If I want to volunteer I will do it when I want too, but I am not going to be forced to give up every day weekend. Is anyone sick and tired of this as much as I am? Volunteering once a quarter should be plenty and if you are lucky enough to be able to 'volunteer' during duty hours well then luck you, but I can't so please leave me the f*ck alone on my weekends!
Command Chief, 97 Air Mobility Wing
10/29/2011 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Have you ever heard someone say, "It shouldn't matter if I volunteer for stuff? What's important is that I do my job instead of running around volunteering for everything."
This past week, I had the opportunity to talk to some of our outstanding young Airmen. We found ourselves in a discussion about how some Airmen spend time away from their duty sections volunteering for projects and organizations. A couple of the Airmen said they resented this because it left them with more of a workload to cover. It was also apparent that some had an issue with the emphasis put on volunteer work for quarterly awards and below the zone promotions. Well of course they hold resentment, their co workers get to go fill blocks while they get stuck picking up their slack and they get looked down upon when they don't want to volunteer during their off duty time. Why should they, there co workers can volunteer during their duty day, why can't they?
So, why is volunteering important? Should volunteering be encouraged at all? Many things happen on Air Force bases because of volunteers. Event planners rely on volunteers to help coordinate, setup and run functions. Honor Guard volunteers allow ceremonial honors to be given when appropriate. Not sure what he is talking about, base honor guard is a year long job where you work one month with your job, then one month honor guard. For most, the time with the honor guard is a break from their hectic workplace. Professional organizations afford opportunities for networking and improving conditions thanks to involved volunteers.You mean the top three? top four? AFSA? The same volunteers who leave work after lunch for a 'meeting' and never return? The same ones who have burger burns during their duty day, or have BBQs on Fridays after lunch? I'll bet you will never see them doing this on one of their weekends. Roads, parks and playgrounds are kept clean because of volunteers.Sorry, but I refuse to pay another second picking up some ones trash on adopt a street, just leave the damn streets a mess, trust me they will never stay clean. Many youth activities and sports exist solely because of volunteer Airmen.I disagree, these activities and sports exist because of the kids parents who leave work early to go coach their kids baseball game.
Additionally, volunteers help build relationships with local communities.Yes, because otherwise these same local communities would hate the military I'm sure most of you have heard of Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics. Both are extremely worthwhile organizations and are dependent upon volunteer support. I have done both several times, these are perfect examples of volunteer work that can be done ONCE PER QUARTER, not every damn weekend. Air Force members generally donate hundreds of hours to assist with these and other causes.Whats the divorce rate again? Air Force members are often involved in their local communities through school boards, cleanup projects and coaching sports. Of course, as long as its during duty hours.
Because of this relationship, numerous local communities offer various programs for military personnel. I have been to several bases where the downtown community actively supported, appreciated and welcomed Airmen.Have you ever been overseas? They hate us. Various gifts and prizes are donated by local businesses to military awards programs. Really, please tell me where...Discount tickets and special appreciation days are standard fare in some areas. Has nothing to do with volunteering, its the companies trying to look good and bring customers in during down periods or slow days.
Granted, we are not in the military to be professional volunteers, we have a mission to do.Really, because I forgot about that mission, I get ten times the amount of emails about volunteering then I do any sort of mission. But there are many organizations, functions and relationships that would not exist if Airmen didn't volunteer.Well maybe they are not meant to exist then? Hopefully, our supervisors are doing what they can to support those Airmen who desire to volunteer.You mean voluntelling them? Forcing them? Threatening a 3 or 4 EPR? Even if you don't have time to break away from your demanding work schedule, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities on the weekends.Or I can use this time to...relax? Recharge my battery? Watch tv or a movie? Actually I can do whatever I want... If you're concerned about your family time when you are away from work, find an avenue to volunteer where your family can participate as well.Sorry my family doesn't want to volunteer every weekend either. For me, it is all about finding an opportunity to volunteer to fulfill the desire to serve others. It is a passion of mine and if you were to find your passion, volunteering becomes easy. As long as its part of the duty right?
When you understand the value of volunteering, the excuses don't seem to hold water. So, the next time you hear someone say that it doesn't matter if they volunteer, just reply "Don't hate...participate. are you serious?"
It's not as if they take roll call at those events, just say you were there and keep your weekends.
Never. Let there be no misunderstanding...I am the master baiter around here. --BRUWIN
I'm pretty much in agreement. I was looking at my APR/EPRs through the years and see that I had no vol activity in the 80's and most of the 90's. Volunteerism has been pushed from the top I think to fill in the white spaces on perfomance reports. My last 22 years in the AF I was in flying units that were over half staffed with officers. You almost never saw them in any appreciable numbers at vol events pushed from above.
I co-sign the bill.
I told my supervisor the same exact thing when I was an A1C back in th day. He then left me alone.
It is really pathetic that the good bullets on an EPR are he ones that are spent away from doing your actual job.
So glad to rid my life of the utter non-sense I dealt with in the AF. Volunteerism is something you choose to do to help others, and it's a great feeling to do so. That said, you gain employment to make a living for you and your family (yes, it's true). A civilian employer hires you to perform a job that will impact the bottom line, period. If the AF expected commanders to use squadron funds to pay your salary for on-duty time spent volunteering, then any expectations to do so would come to a screeching halt. I guess it's easy to waste someone else's money (taxpayer) when it doesn't impact you, but not so much when it's your own (so to speak)!
As for companies that "support" the troops, they typically do so with the expectation to have their company name highlighted in some form or fashion. This to them is refered to as a Return on Investment, with a tangible return (ie, more business/more money). This shouldn't be confused with the AF's definition of return on investment, commonly using fantasy statements such as "Served funnel cakes at the airshow--reinstilled sense of patriotism for 150k attendees."
Last edited by FLAPS, USAF (ret); 06-25-2013 at 01:09 PM.
This is so simple. Either volunteer on don't. It is up to each individual to make the decision. Never in my 30-year career did I see anyone forced to go to the local VA Cemetery and place flags on graves.
Come on...pull you head out and take a look at reality. Education and volunteerism is OPTIONAL. Accomplishing the mission is not.
For those who are Active Duty Enlisted: If you want to position yourself for success in todays AF you must be more than average. The average Amn/NCOs are striving to become a professional in their primary duties. Those professionals can compete for awards within their AFSC without off-duty education/volunteering. If those same Amn/NCOs want to position themselves for recognition for Quarterly/Annual awards at the Sq/Gp/Wg level and above...they have to do more than their primary duty. It has always been that way and always will be. Take a look at last years 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Those professionals were more than just good at their jobs. They were great at their jobs, involved with education and they volunteer. Funny how that works out?
The AF has guidelines to be able to compete for recognition. Not my rules...they are the AF rules. It was my job to position my Airmen to be successful using the rules provided.
For those who are against education/volunteering: You are setting the example for your Airmen to follow. One way or another...they will follow you.
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