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Flaco

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Everything posted by Flaco

  1. Flaco

    Military appreciation has jumped the shark

    Spot on. I had a candidate for political office knock on my front door the other day and ask my what my concerns were. When I told him that the US public and elected officials had lost accountability of its military and almost entirely ceded control to the President (and largely, the generals) he looked at me like I had just stepped off a UFO. It was as if he wanted to say "How dare you question what our military is doing? Every man and woman who wears the uniform is a hero, and every mission he does is just and right and holy and in keeping with the best traditions this country has to offer!" Then I asked him, politely, if he could tell me some of the countries in which we had troops that were actively involved in armed conflicts. He mentioned Afghanistan, struggled to find any additional countries he could name, and began stuttering. In his mind I could see the Ma, Apple Pie, and American Flag T-Shirts give way to an overwhelming sense of embarrassment that he, a candidate for public office, had no clue what our military was doing. The fake hero worship that we have all encountered is the US public's apology for the abdication of their civic duties and not actually giving a shit what their military is up to. The pilot shortage and likely coming shortage of the other branches will probably fix this long term - people will stop volunteering for the military and/or get out when they realize there's no coherent strategy in the conflicts we are engaged in, but the disconnect is a major problem. Just ask the Romans.... http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-price-of-professionalization
  2. Flaco

    Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

    Chuck, The cynical side of me says the Air Force has already figured this out and has given up on retention. They will try to produce their way out of the hole. Pencil whip IP status, green up the slides. It's just going to be a much younger man's game. The machine will continue to function.
  3. Flaco

    Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

    If I'm reading correctly, the commander didn't ask them to do their jobs correctly. He threatened to revoke their IP status if they didn't do the job correctly, before any of them had actually screwed up. Does your chief pilot at the airlines proactively threaten you with punitive action? The supply and demand curves have shifted and the Air Force is losing the competition for talent. Commanders in need to think counterintuitively. If a commander actually cares about retaining people, the only way to do that is to ask, nicely. Even then, it is likely that macro forces outside of his control will dictate that a large number of pilots still leave. But maybe, just maybe, he can appeal to the best in his pilots and keep an additional one or two of them around that would have otherwise left.
  4. Flaco

    Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

    I grew up with fear, sarcasm, and ridicule as a tactic used by my IPs, the leadership, and the rest of the institution. It worked well, and I didn't complain. The ops tempo was reasonable, I was flying 20 sorties a month, and push-it-up, fun TDYs were plentiful. I had never heard of a CBT, SAPR, Green Dot, and there was no airline opportunity. Let me suggest that that era is gone. What this "special snowflake" is trying to say is that the Air Force doesn't have the cards to play the dickhead commander routine any longer. It's a bluff. The snowflake is gonna bail to the airlines at his first opportunity while the commander keeps wondering why he's losing pilots. Adapt, or die. The ball is in the Air Force's court.
  5. I'm in. Some spitballin': 1.) Someone internet smart needs to set up the infrastructure. I'm thinking closed forum. Need to have a way to verify legitimacy/credentials. I think it should be limited to current and retired members with a cutoff based on how long someone's been out of the AF. 2 years? 5 years? 2.) Need someone with the proper academic / research background to administer and curate responses. That way they're taken seriously by the PTB. 3.) Could be a series of surveys or free-form responses. Curator assembles and distills data into coherent format. I don't know about you guys, but I went off the top rope on a few of those "climate surveys" that get sent out. Go figure, the narrative that was put out by the AF after each one was, in effect, "slides are green!" while we all were staring at the dumpster fires. So I stopped taking them several years ago. I think there would be huge traction behind a project like this. We all want the Air Force to pull out of this nose dive, but we know the current leadership can't do it. They're too entrenched in the faulty logic that got us here in the first place. I believe the only way to fix things is to get a coherent message directly from the O-5 and below croud to congress and the American public.
  6. Thanks for point out, I haven't laughed that hard in a while. I thought this was one of the best quotes: "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools." He didn't credit the source, so I had to look it up. Go figure, a fighter pilot said it... Sir Douglas Bader, a WWII RAF ace. It is also sometimes attributed to Harry Day, also of the RAF. More importantly, I wish we had leaders who understood this quote.
  7. Many businesses will lose money and then fail after a few years. But there does seem to be a point in business where if you a doing a good job and stick with it, word of mouth reaches critical mass and that's where the business will take off. In tech they call this "hockey stick" growth. I'm not in the tech world, but that has definitely been my experience. Stick with it long enough, you'll become and expert in whichever field you're in, and the market will reward you. Best wishes to you man!
  8. Surprised no one has mentioned starting / buying a business. Military aviation is actually a very good training ground for entrepreneurial activity - whether you realize it or not, all of us have acquired skills in calculated risk taking, assessing the enemy (competition), solving problems on the fly, task prioritization, time management, etc. Pick something you're passionate about and be your own boss. I'll bet anyone posting on this board would do much better than they imagine.
  9. Shack! Can't wait for the epic thread revival....
  10. Flaco

    What's wrong with the Air Force?

    That is rapidly changing. After 10+ years of NGB and NGAUS leadership yelling from the rooftops, "We're just like active duty! Give us money! Give us equipment!", the guard has truly become the "operational reserve" that our senior leaders begged for. Of course they never considered the consequences. Most Guard babies that are airline eligible will be out of the Guard in the next 5 years, leaving only recently separated active duty and a few deployment-avoiding lifers who crave the opportunity created by the vacuum to make General at NGB or state staff. The culture will continue to shift toward an active duty-lite mindset - "90 day TSPs are nothing compared to the 180's I did on active duty!" The younger guard babies will be sorely disappointed by the few stories they remember hearing of how good the Guard used to be, and they too will punch at their earliest opportunity for the airlines. Federalization complete, the Guard will no longer be a proud collection of state militias comprised of local citizen soldiers, but rather a stopping point for those separating active duty, who have little knowledge of unit history or interaction with the local community. The active duty's culture and retention problems have already become the Guard's culture and retention problems, merely lagging by a few years.
  11. The only thing that will fix the Air Force is a no-shit shooting match. Within a very short period of time, the weenies will be fired because they can't lead in combat, and the warriors will rise back to their rightful place at the top. The American public has become fat, dumb, and happy and that's why the Air Force is in the state it's in. Excellence is borne of strife, not prosperity.
  12. Doing a little research. Can you guys give me examples of what your WG/CC has defined as the "local area" for leave purposes? If you could point me to where I can download your wing supp to AFI36-3003 or the written policy letter that would be even mo betta. Thanks all.
  13. Flaco

    "Local Area" Definition

    Right, forgot about that. Ok, thanks all. I think I've got what I need.
  14. Flaco

    "Local Area" Definition

    OK, I think I'm getting it. Commander says local area is 4 hours drive time. Member 1 takes family on short weekend trip 3 hours from home. Leaves on a Friday evening after work, returns on Sunday evening. No leave required. Member 2 leaves on a Saturday for a destination 3 hours from home. Returns on Tuesday evening. Leave required Saturday - Tuesday. Member 3 leaves on Saturday morning and drives 7 hours to destination. Returns Sunday evening. Leave required Saturday-Sunday because outside local area. Do I have this right?
  15. Flaco

    "Local Area" Definition

    Thanks for the info everyone. I've looked on AF portal for a link to the supps but couldn't find any. Anyone have a link to where I can get these policies in writing?
  16. Flaco

    Questions on the GI Bill (Tuition Aid)

    You're gonna be a blast on a 4 day trip. Butters: "Meet at the bar for a cold one?" Captain: "No thanks man, I've got some 'stuff' to take care of, gonna call it a night."
  17. Flaco

    Panetta to Lift Ban on Women in Combat

    Argo, are you going to provide any counter-argument, or just lurk in the shadows and down vote every post that doesn't fit the desired narrative? Standard SJW response is to yell and act offended while offering no logical reason for doing so. Our country has created a generation of retards. http://youtu.be/9IEFD_JVYd0
  18. Flaco

    VA Claims

    Enormous entitlement programs also became the norm in old Rome. At its height, the largest state expenditure was an army of 300,000–600,000 legionaries. The soldiers realized their role and necessity in Roman politics, and consequently their demands increased. They required exorbitant retirement packages in the form of free tracts of farmland or large bonuses of gold equal to more than a decade’s worth of their salary. They also expected enormous and periodic bonuses in order to prevent uprisings. The Roman experience teaches important lessons. As the 20th-century economist Howard Kershner put it, “When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take from some and give to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare.” Putting one’s livelihood in the hands of vote-buying politicians compromises not just one’s personal independence, but the financial integrity of society as well. The welfare state, once begun, is difficult to reverse and never ends well. Rome fell to invaders in 476 AD, but who the real barbarians were is an open question. The Roman people who supported the welfare state and the politicians who administered it so weakened society that the Western Roman Empire fell like a ripe plum that year. Maybe the real barbarians were those Romans who had effectively committed a slow-motion financial suicide. http://fee.org/freeman/the-slow-motion-financial-suicide-of-the-roman-empire/ Whether we (servicemen and women) will take part in the collapse of the treasury is a choice. But if you choose to watch Rome burn, please don't use the excuse that you are just "playing the game." That is beneath us.
  19. Flaco

    VA Claims

    Shack brother.
  20. Flaco

    VA Claims

    “Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right.” - Theodore Roosevelt
  21. Flaco

    VA Claims

    Because neck, back, and hearing issues does not make one disabled, even though good 'ol progressive Uncle Sam might say so. One only becomes "disabled" once they accept the label. And if I refuse the label, yet accept the payment, what does that make me? Every dollar that goes toward mandatory VA entitlements is likely to be taken away from military O&M budgets, further straining the force. This is a zero sum game. "PerCapitaInflationAdjustedDefenseSpending" by Johnpseudo - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PerCapitaInflationAdjustedDefenseSpending.PNG#/media/File:PerCapitaInflationAdjustedDefenseSpending.PNG See that swell in the VA budget? There are a lot of folks in there in the sleep apnea / PTSD check of the month club. Want to do something great for your country? Resist the urge to reach in Uncle Sam's pocket, even when he practically begs you to.
  22. Flaco

    VA Claims

    You dismissed an article published in a peer reviewed professional journal written by a psychologist experienced in dealing with VA claims as speculative? That's convenient. Do you find it difficult to imagine that along with the thousands of actually disabled service members deserving of VA benefits, there are also a large number claiming disability fraudulently? Or that it has become increasingly easy to receive a VA disability rating as a result of political pressure and a lowering of the definition of "disability"? Here's the full-text article if anyone is interested: http://www.veteranslawlibrary.com/files/Veterans_Symptom_Validity_Russo.pdf
  23. Flaco

    VA Claims

    Agreed, but you missed this part: Media reporting has raised serious questions about how much of the increase in disability cases is due to worse health among veterans versus more lenient agency decision making.[6] A 2014 paper in Psychological Injury and Law identified “collusive lying” between disability-benefits applicants and VA staff as one possible problem.[7] I have overheard several officers and enlisted openly discussing how the VA has instructed them on how to increase their disability rating to get more money for their "disabilities". That these individuals would freely discuss defrauding the US Government and the American people to me indicates the practice is widespread and is part of a larger cultural problem and increasingly entitled mindset. Although 10+ years of flying fighters has left its scars, I would find it terribly difficult to carry a VA disability rating as a functional man who is capable of providing for my family, regardless of the difficulty or pain I face in doing so.
  24. Flaco

    VA Claims

    Incentives and Swelling Disability Rolls Disability rolls have swelled steeply over the past decade. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the number of veterans receiving disability payments rose by almost 55 percent from 2000 to 2013, despite a 17 percent decline in the total population of living veterans. Federal spending on the VA’s disability program has nearly tripled over that same period.[5] Media reporting has raised serious questions about how much of the increase in disability cases is due to worse health among veterans versus more lenient agency decision making.[6] A 2014 paper in Psychological Injury and Law identified “collusive lying” between disability-benefits applicants and VA staff as one possible problem.[7] http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/11/triple-dipping-thousands-of-veterans-receive-more-than-100000-in-benefits-every-year Thoughts?
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