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Thread: Image, fitness and EPRs

  1. #1
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    Default Image, fitness and EPRs

    Got this in my email today. Apparently this was sent base-wide from a command chief at a base overseas. Good stuff.

    CARNIVORE
    LEADERSHIP
    PROFESSIONAL
    DEVELOPMENT
    Silver Bullets for Effective Leadership
    Volume 5: Through the Weapon’s Scope: "Scoping Out Image and Fitness"

    5 Aug 2013

    OVERVIEW
    When writing EPRs, the one standard that is often overlooked is military image, under
    the assumption that a ‘pass’ on the Air Force PT test is sufficient to earn a ‘Clearly
    Exceeds’ marking under section titled “Standards: … Consider Dress and Appearance.”
    Such assumption is negligent and must be addressed and corrected. Think back to
    when you arrived at Basic Military Training and met your Military Training Instructor
    (MTI) for the very first time. Their uniform was sharp, pressed and crisp. Their haircut
    and grooming were impeccable. Their military bearing was flawless. They were lean
    and fit role models. The Air Force saw it important enough to put the best in front of
    new recruits in order to make a good and lasting impression. They did not choose
    sloppy, unshaven, obese, or lackadaisical personnel for a reason: It is unacceptable
    and it clearly goes against our core values.

    That was then, but what about now? Do you have the same positive image when you
    look at your supervisor, peers or subordinates? Are they modeled after our strict
    standards? When you look in the mirror, do you see a professional military man or
    woman? These questions should all be answered with a loud and thunderous “Yes!”
    The reality is that, for some Airmen, this would not be the case. We need to take control
    of the situation by enforcing the rules. If we do not, we will continue to waste funds
    training personnel who get separated because of a lack of discipline.

    It is time to draw our weapons in tight to our shoulders, place our eagle eye next to the
    scope aperture, gaze through the lens, and fix our sights upon the target. Are we the
    ‘ready warriors’ the Air Force expects us to be? Are we the capable force according to
    Air Force standards, and not to our personal arbitrary rules? Have we come to accept
    out-of-shape military members while others pick up their slack? Many personnel have a
    fogged lens and we must help them see the problem they are failing to engage.
    Let's truly scope the issue: Our image and fitness.

    SCOPING OUT OUR IMAGE AND FITNESS
    THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL, EXTRACTED FROM AFI 1-1, CH. 3, STATES THE
    IMPORTANCE OF IMAGE AND FITNESS:
    3.1. Overview. First impressions are often drawn based upon appearance. ...
    Projecting a good military image reflects not only on you personally, but also on the Air
    Force. Appearance matters both on and off-duty and involves more than just the
    clothes you wear. Projecting a professional image is paramount.
    3.2. Dress and Personal Appearance. Pride in one’s personal appearance ... [is]
    essential to an effective military force. All Air Force members must maintain a high
    standard of dress and personal appearance ... neatness, cleanliness, safety, uniformity,
    and military image. ... it is critical because other people, both military and civilian, draw
    certain conclusions about individual Airmen and the Air Force based on what they see.
    3.5. Physical Fitness. Air Force members must be physically fit to support the Air Force
    mission. ... by maintaining a lean and fit appearance, Air Force members project the
    proper military image. ... The fitness assessment [is the] tool [for commanders] in
    determining ... fitness. ... each Air Force member is ... responsible for keeping himself
    or herself in good physical condition.

    SCOPING THE TARGET WITHOUT DUST COVERS OR FOG
    When we purge AFI 1-1 of fluff (like we did in the above paragraphs) and extract the key
    points and intent of the letter, it reads like an operational checklist: "must" means must,
    not "may" or "can" or "It's up to you." It means that the subject is a matter of policy, that
    it is 'carved in stone' and not up for debate or discussion. What is 'lean and fit'? For
    starters, it could be a way of living by developing a habit to exercise daily or change
    your diet. ‘Lean and fit’ requires change, a self-initiated change.

    How many times do we see personnel taking elevators or escalators instead of the
    stairs? Why do we carry size 46 trousers and size 50 blouses outside of maternity
    clothes in our clothing sales when the max acceptable waist circumference is 39.5
    inches? How many personnel do we see circling the parking lot at the BX or
    Commissary looking for the parking spot closest to the door when there are many
    available just 25 meters away? How many times do we see personnel outside of the
    “mandatory PT sessions” taking care of themselves by being active? How about the
    amount of Airmen that can’t run 1.5 miles without nearly having a seizure?
    The truth of the matter is that we are not doing enough to get these standard violators
    on track by continuing to ignore them and letting them reap the same rewards as our
    best Airmen. The shame of it all is that very few have valid medical issues, most are
    just allies of laziness. Enough is enough. They are your target, they are in your crosshairs, and you need to engage by taking action.

    WHO OWNS THE SIGHT PICTURE?
    All of us. Commanders do by incorporating a good, strong fitness program into their
    organizations and ensuring accountability at all levels. Supervisors do by ensuring the
    commander's programs--to include the EPR--are maintained and their Airmen remain fit,
    healthy, and in good readiness to execute the mission. As individual Airmen, we have a
    duty and responsibility to be ready at all times to perform our assigned mission--which is
    anything the Air Force asks us to do--and to be a positive representative of our service.
    Peer pressure to be the absolute best must be present at all levels, but most importantly
    in the duty section. We have to pull our own weight; when you have too much of it or
    lack the strength to hold your own, that task becomes harder and someone else would
    have to pull your slack. If that sight picture we see in the mirror, in the duty center, or in
    our community is not in accordance with the intent of what we know to be the Air Force
    standard, then we are failing. Lack of action implies acceptance of lack of standards.
    Lack of standards hinders our credibility. Lack of credibility hinders trust. All because of
    failing to correct a simple issue.

    HERE’S SOME ADVICE FROM YOUR COMMAND CHIEF:
    For every Airman:
    Take care of yourself both physically and mentally; be the example and the professional
    you are expected to be. Do not seek medical waivers in order to dodge the fitness
    assessment. These so-called "timely convenient" waivers are a dangerous habit that
    will only make matters worse and affect your progress in attaining a proper image and
    fitness level. Always seek improvement and show progression on your PT scores; do
    not be stagnant. When donning the Air Force uniform, take pride instead of taking
    shortcuts. Proper wear of the uniform--to include the PTU--is an indicator of your loyalty
    and commitment to service. Do not accept ratings and rewards you have not earned. If
    your supervisor lacks the guts to identify that you are falling short of the mark, ask them
    why they are not holding you accountable. Be open to constructive criticism, own your
    failures and learn from them. Also, share your successes with others in similar
    situations in order to prevent failure. Develop two-way communications with your
    supervisor and ask for frequent feedback. Lastly, correct up and down the chain when
    the standards are violated--rank does not exempt anyone from being corrected.

    For supervisors:
    If your personnel do not measure up, hold them accountable. Failure to enforce any
    standard reflects poorly on your leadership and accountability--your EPR has a block on
    how well you enforce standards, it is your duty. Do not compromise for obesity by
    saying, “they are just thick,” or “big-boned,” or “large and in charge.” The same goes for
    those who meet body composition but fail to wear the uniform properly or are weak and
    lazy due to lack of motivation. Instead of justifying their shortcomings, have the moral
    courage to look them in the eye, address the issue, and correct the problem. An Airman
    can be a great technician, but that does not earn them a pass to be exempt from all the
    other Air Force requirements. An Airman can be great at PT and look great in uniform,
    but that would not earn them a pass to not perform their assigned mission. In life,
    nothing of worth comes easy; it requires hard work from individuals and help and
    guidance from those who lead them. Be good to them, tell them the truth, and help
    them overcome their weaknesses while sharpening their strengths.

    For senior leaders:
    Be a filter for excellence, pushing up only the most deserving for rewards to include
    decorations, endorsements, and stellar reports. Properly advise your commander and
    maintain the integrity of the system by verifying the data. Hold personnel accountable
    at all levels, including those in your staff. Not doing so indicates a tolerance for
    substandard behavior and individuals that could--and most likely--diminish the credibility
    of your organization. The tone gets set at the top and, in the end, you deserve what you
    tolerate. Also, get in the habit of 'rating the rater' on their ability to enforce the
    standards, they have the first-hand look and have a responsibility to do so. This is
    about more than just a PT test: It is about the readiness, image, and health of our force.
    Let your expectations be known, all while leading from the front and setting the pace.

    Bottom line, clear the fogged lens: Let’s not turn the blind eye to the issue of
    disregarding a proper military image and fitness. Some people need a wake up
    call, and I know of no better alarm clock than the honest truth. Whether it comes
    from others or from within, the desired result is clear: Excellence in All We Do.
    Our mission is to “Fly, Fight, and Win”, not to “Sit, Get Beat, and Lose.” When
    mediocrity gets in your cross-hairs, eliminate it at first sight. Care for what you
    own: the mission and the people.
    Last edited by StandardsAMust; 08-23-2013 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    HOLY SHIT

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    TL;DR version: Crease your uniform and look like a marathoner.

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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    Style over substance. Got it. Disregarding and moving on.

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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    Sorry, What's this "Overview" thing about? Surely this chief has seen Blutarsky's writing (mis)guide and should know better -- it's a BLUF, dammit!!! And only one bottom line??? Disgraceful. Heck, he wrote enough for at least a bottom line, rock-bottom line, and a final bottom-rock-bottom line.

    And when did everyone get a scope? What happened to good old iron sights? And if we're giving everyone scopes to be this precise and perfect, why not red-dot shooting lazer scopes?

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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    This looks like it might have come out of the Pacific. Kadena, perhaps? If so, that Command Chief is anything but style over substance.

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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    Quote Originally Posted by voyager56 View Post
    This looks like it might have come out of the Pacific. Kadena, perhaps? If so, that Command Chief is anything but style over substance.
    Appears to be Kadena. Maybe someone from Kadena can verify for us. Anyway, regardless of where it originated, I think the message is appropriate. Yes, hard for most to swallow, but it speaks lots of truths.

    Also, I think this is just part of the messages being sent to the base...there might be more vectoring that I am unaware of from this Chief.

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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    A few of his messages have hit a bit close to home for me and I had to reevaluate how I do some things. If you're able to take an objective and critical look at yourself and your leadership style, they're good messages. I need to touch base with him again and see if he's got anything new.

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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    I liked it! Much of what he said mirrors my little rant from yesterday.

    Especially this part:

    Do not compromise for obesity by saying, “they are just thick,” or “big-boned,” or “large and in charge.”

    I think the Chief makes some valid points and this is very different than the Blutaurski email.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Image, fitness and EPRs

    Quote Originally Posted by CJSmith View Post
    TL;DR version: Crease your uniform and look like a marathoner.
    What is wrong with that?

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