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How to elevate your concerns/problems with the MDG

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This entry is for personnel already in the Air Force, not applicants.

Frequently, you may feel that nobody in the MDG is doing what they should be doing for you.

You submitted a clearance request X days ago and got no response or you need a copy of your records but nobody is giving you a good answer on the delay or you need to complete a specialty clinic consult but it's still unapproved/unpaid.

You have a few options, but I recommend we start at the bottom. The good ol' PDG has some great wisdom to give here: "The key principle is to resolve problems and seek answers at the lowest possible level. With loyalty up and down the chain, a highly efficient and effective system is in place for getting things done."

Even though you've maybe spoken to the same office five times already, give them one last chance before you elevate the problem with someone else. You will get very little accomplished by yelling. Unless you wear E-7+ or O-5+ rank, only your boss gets to yell at us. Your cute little rank is no different than the rest of the swarming masses when you start to shout.

Next, I recommend you try to talk to their NCOIC/OIC, again, at the lowest level. Explain things patiently, slowly, and calmly. Now comes a very difficult step--wait for the next duty day. 24 hours (or 72 hours for the weekend) shouldn't break your back. If it does, you should've elevated this to your command some time ago before you reached this emergency situation.

Now, if you still don't get any resolution, ask for the Patient Advocate. This position is not in any regulation and is considered a best practice for most of the MDG's around the world. Know this person is usually pretty good at conflict resolution and generally on your side. Talk to them, and just try to play nice this last time.

Finally, if that hasn't gotten you anywhere, take the problem through your chain. Hopefully, you've been updating your supervisor/NCOIC about all the developments. By now, you'll probably just notify your supervisor/NCOIC that you're going to your OIC and the Sq/Super. Superintendents are generally really awesome at knowing the right people and getting stuff done. At this stage, the Super can triage and troubleshoot, then automatically involve the First Sergeant, Sq/CC, Gp/CC, etc., on either side of the MSG/OG/MDG/MXG as necessary. You might get some help from your OIC in coordinating time off duty to arrange everything, but usually you'll need to jump to the Superintendent (or higher) for real support.

If you think you're problem isn't hot enough for your OIC/Super to get a handle on it, then maybe you need to work within the MDG a little more first. You know your leadership better than I do, however for most people, this is the route I'd pursue.

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