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What's wrong with the Air Force?

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...this one slipped by and shouldn't have.

This war.

Every war. Airmen that think we are a supported service need to wake up. Flat out wrong. And THAT is a main reason our service has gone wrong. No one can deliver airpower better than we can. That does not translate to 'no one can win wars better than the USAF can'. Our job is to deliver airpower as best suits the mission. Airpower is not the mission. Subtle but critical difference.

Read a book.

FF

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This shit again? Who the fuck cares...I vote all this dick measuring about "supporting" vs "supported" is killing this thread right now.

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My big takeaways:

1. You are an officer first and a pilot or AFSOC or a particular squadron second. Anecdote about how you should not feel forced to conform to a particular squadron mentality as a young officer. I.E. "this is how we've always done it around here LT" is insufficient evidence for any officer to do or not do something.

If you really want to know what he thinks about leadership then read his book. You can download the PDF from AU Press... check chapter 5 about building leaders.

http://aupress.au.af.mil/bookinfo.asp?bid=32

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Back on topic...

...this one slipped by and shouldn't have.

Every war. Airmen that think we are a supported service need to wake up. Flat out wrong. And THAT is a main reason our service has gone wrong. No one can deliver airpower better than we can. That does not translate to 'no one can win wars better than the USAF can'. Our job is to deliver airpower as best suits the mission. Airpower is not the mission. Subtle but critical difference.

Read a book.

FF

Holy shit dude, my only point originally is that airpower is fighting in some places where US ground forces are not. I'm not trying to dip into the 'supported vs. supporting' battle; obviously we are there only to support the dude on the ground in OEF/OIF and I'm proud of it. But there is no US dude on the ground in Libya and a few other spots (both historically and currently) so from a US perspective those wars are an air show and we should be proud of that too; it's cool we can help our bro's in OEF and also cool we can have an effect on our own elsewhere. The whole conversation turned towards the chaff after that, which is probably my fault and unfortunately my ignoring it didn't make it stop. Let's just leave this alone, not the point here at all and who gives a fuck anyway? Supported vs. supporting is an ego black hole, I care about killing the enemy and winning.

Back to the topic, our problem is twofold. First, leadership that cares about stuff other than the mission at the expense of the mission. I don't have an issue with uniform regs, except when they become elevated to the level of 3-1 knowledge. When the CC is coded UP on the orders but seems to know exactly how high my zipper should be zipped, he's a tool and unfit to command. Several people have expressed that essential truth in different ways. Secondly and perhaps more important, a broken promotion/evaluation system that frequently puts those types in charge; who then metastasize by promoting those who embrace their philosophy.

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This shit again? Who the fuck cares...I vote all this dick measuring about "supporting" vs "supported" is killing this thread right now.

What dick measuring are you talking about?

My impression has been that, although lacking comm brevity skills that will hopefully improve with maturity, you want to be considered a thoughtful officer who is passionate about at the technical part of his job.

So you should fucking care unless you just want to act like a teenager whining about getting the keys to the car.

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I don't know "What's wrong with Air Force", but do I know that one of the things wrong with the Air Force is all the people who have no clue how to actually do their jobs, and no desire to learn... yet are still gainfully employed/recognized/promoted.

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What dick measuring are you talking about?

My impression has been that, although lacking comm brevity skills that will hopefully improve with maturity, you want to be considered a thoughtful officer who is passionate about at the technical part of his job.

So you should fucking care unless you just want to act like a teenager whining about getting the keys to the car.

?? Comment on the circular "supporting" vs "supported" derail...it's not that I don't care how we talk about operations or don't want the AF to get credit where credit is due, but that I don't think we're helping our case with conversations like this. I thought quiet professionals meant hacking the mish and not giving a shit if the random person on the street even knew you were there let alone if you were the "supported" service or some nonsense like that.

What I do care about right now is what my senior leadership is telling me and how that flies in the face of everything I've learned up to this point and everything that I believe to be true about being an officer and an aviator. That's whats wrong with my little corner of the Air Force.

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Comment on the circular "supporting" vs "supported" derail...or some nonsense like that.

Nonsense? Ok.

I think you're missing the point and I gave you way more credit than I should've.

...my little corner of the Air Force.

Ah, I see. Thinking about what's wrong with your little corner of the USAF is how we're going to make a difference.

Send that to the CSAF.

It might help if everyone lifted themselves above 6ft AGL...unless this is just about bitching why you're unhappy with important shit like your seat on the step van. Taking a bigger picture view often makes a lot of what people are unhappy with seem trvial, especially if they see a way they can make a real impact.

Technique only.

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Man, you guys bitch back and forth with each other constantly...

It's a hell of a lot better than listening to a bunch of lemmings dive head first into a self-licking, dick sucking, everybody's right, group-think discussion.

Edited by Seriously
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Ah, I see. Thinking about what's wrong with your little corner of the USAF is how we're going to make a difference.

Yes, that's exactly what's going on here. Since I'm assigned to a particular flight in a particular squadron in a particular group in a particular wing, I'm most concerned with the problems within arms reach. I'm not aiming to "strategically fix" anything with the Air Force at this point. It's not all about bitching, but it's a little about bitching. Actually I'd say it's complaining because bitching is complaining without a solution and the solution for my particular problem is to turn back the clock policy-wise and attitude-wise like 2-3 months and go from there.

Send that to the CSAF.

I'll send him that leadership should be focused on the mission and not stupid queepy shit like uniform wear and TPS reports. That stuff inevitably has to be done, but when it's priority #2 or #3 on the boss' agenda and he spends noticeable time kicking people in the nuts not for failing to accomplish the mission, but rather for failing to play by the exact letter of both the rule book and his personal, often unknown preferences as a CC, that's a foul IMHO. We should (speaking of AFSOC here) be flexible enough to provide specialized airpower anywhere in the world on a moment's notice without having to check our sock color or roll our sleeves down or file a goddam 2407 to change a take off time by ~30 minutes. Send that to the CSAF.

Wasn't that the gist of what got pushed up to Gen. Welsh after his call for comments? It's not the endless deployments, it's not the state-side TDYs, it's not missing holidays that's making people pissed off, not me at least. Those things are mitigated by killing the enemy and doing some other good work for the nation. What's making guys pissed off is the stupid shit that's most prevalent back home or in other REMF-infested locations. That's what I'm complaining about WRT new wing policies and what others are talking about in the numerous threads on this topic I would venture.

...unless this is just about bitching why you're unhappy with important shit like your seat on the step van.

You have a step van? Man, I should bitch about having to walk...

Taking a bigger picture view often makes a lot of what people are unhappy with seem trvial, especially if they see a way they can make a real impact.

So what's the bigger picture here rainman? My BL problem is loss of mission focus. Other commands seem to be leading indicators, but my limited experiences with certain deployed locations as well as the fresh asspains new leadership have brought upon us have further solidified to me that this is the big problem. How far up AGL to I have to be to realize that a loss of mission focus really isn't the problem?

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It's not the endless deployments, it's not the state-side TDYs, it's not missing holidays that's making people pissed off, not me at least. Those things are mitigated by killing the enemy and doing some other good work for the nation. What's making guys pissed off is the stupid shit that's most prevalent back home or in other REMF-infested locations.

Shack.

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It's not all about bitching, but it's a little about bitching. Actually I'd say it's complaining...

Well, it's certainly not about brevity.

I'll send him...uniform wear and TPS reports...check our sock color or roll our sleeves down or file a goddam 2407 to change a take off time by ~30 minutes.

That's what you would send to him? Seriously?

What's making guys pissed off is the stupid shit that's most prevalent back home or in other REMF-infested locations.

So people are getting out because of queep that they could simply ignore but won't?

Roger.

You have a step van?

Had.

So what's the bigger picture here rainman?

I think you know. Take an honest look at what it takes to get things done and what your role is and that should help give you some perspective. Try to imagine yourself as a commander.

My BL problem is loss of mission focus. Other commands seem to be leading indicators, but my limited experiences with certain deployed locations as well as the fresh asspains new leadership have brought upon us have further solidified to me that this is the big problem. How far up AGL to I have to be to realize that a loss of mission focus really isn't the problem?

Are we not getting the missions accomplished? If so, I would say there is adequate mission focus. If not then people should be going to jail. I have a feeling it is the former.

I'm not saying things couldn't be better. I am saying it is nearly impossible to believe all this is really about reflective belts and tucked in t-shirts. I think you're selling yourself short if you can't see that. I'm not calling anyone a SNAP but I would if you told me you got out because of the trivial shit you're saying.

I would've thought it was the deployments and the time away from home.

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I would've thought it was the deployments and the time away from home.

It's not. I signed up to deploy and be away from home, knowing that that was part of the gig. It's about spending every free moment when you're not deployed working on shit that just doesn't matter... family be damned. Masters. Christmas parties. "Warrior" runs. ORIs that evaluate our deployment readiness... even though we've been deployed nonstop since 1991. It's about being treated like a child by people whose sole purpose in the AF seems to be to treat people like children. It's about the constant catering to the lowest common denominator, the prized leadership tool of, well, your friends and peers who decided to stay in.

You say that these things are all ignorable and that we should do just that- ignore them. Ok, fine. I've seen what happens to the folks who refuse to wear Blues on Monday, who do their best to stiff-arm the bullshit masters, who never show up at the "Warrior" runs and other mandatory squadron/wing "fun" events, who tell the Chief to shove it when he has an aneurism over a patch or your sleeves, who focus solely on flying and being the best damn pilot in the squadron. They end up on the short list for a non-vol 365 or a one-way trip to Cannon.

It's all good. I can play this game. But I don't have to like it, I don't have to agree with it, and I certainly don't have to try to spin it in a way that justifies the stupidity I see on a daily basis... and I'll take my services elsewhere when and if that opportunity presents itself.

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Masters. -Sorry but that's part of the gig. I didn't like it when I did mine either but I'm glad I did it now that I'm out

Christmas parties. -Really? You're going to quit for this? Is there no way to make this fun anymore?

"Warrior" runs. -Show up and go for a jog, right? Am I missing something?

ORIs that evaluate our deployment readiness... even though we've been deployed nonstop since 1991. Agreed, it seems like practice bleeding. However, you also signed up for these.

It's about being treated like a child by people whose sole purpose in the AF seems to be to treat people like children.

This is not acceptable and is exactly what I say to ignore.

You say that these things are all ignorable and that we should do just that- ignore them. Ok, fine.

I'm not saying you should be stupid about this.

I've seen what happens to the folks who refuse to wear Blues on Monday, -Just do it. I think its stupid but why let it get you so worked up? I really don't think this will last.

who do their best to stiff-arm the bullshit masters,-Career suicide. Just do it.

who never show up at the "Warrior" runs and other mandatory squadron/wing "fun" events, - Can you show and blow? Or maybe even try to make them fun?

who tell the Chief to shove it when he has an aneurism over a patch or your sleeves,-Difference between ignoring something and telling a Chief to shove it. You know that, right?

who focus solely on flying and being the best damn pilot in the squadron. - This does work. Technique only.

They end up on the short list for a non-vol 365 or a one-way trip to Cannon.

Someone has to do those things. If you think ball walking the queep will get you shacked why wouldn't you try to avoid that threat?

It's all good. I can play this game. But I don't have to like it, I don't have to agree with it, and I certainly don't have to try to spin it in a way that justifies the stupidity I see on a daily basis... and I'll take my services elsewhere when and if that opportunity presents itself.

That's actually a great attitude.

Play the game and reap the benefits of the parts you really like to do. BFM the rules because it's fun to outsmart the people making the rules but don't be stupid and wag your cock in their face. Be honest about what shit needs to be done/put up with and resolve yourself not to engage in the negative. Don't be a victim. Vote with your feet (and that means stay or go).

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Masters. -Sorry but that's part of the gig. I didn't like it when I did mine either but I'm glad I did it now that I'm out

...It isn't DOING the Masters, but rather the fact that the Air Force uses it as the ONLY thing that matters these days. For promotion to Lt Col, sure, I get it, but we shouldn't be forcing Lts and Capts to finish a Masters to make Major. Let them focus on the tactical level of employment...save the Masters for the operational and strategic levels where they could actually use them if everyone at the tactical level wasn't getting some BS basket weaving Masters just to fill a square. I like the Jumper mentality...we'll send you to get a Masters if we think you need one. Lts and Capts don't need them. We waste a lot of money getting our Lts and Capts BS Masters degrees they'll never use just to make them look good and so we as a service can brag about 96.69% of the officer corps having advanced degrees. Education is important, and I believe there is a time and place during career development for it. A new LT at a squadron trying to learn his/her primary job is NOT the time. We've been doing it that way for about 8 years now. We look f*cking awesome when it comes to AAD stats, but we aren't as good at our jobs as we could be. We will soon see the negative consequences of the misguided focus in failed ORIs, lowered standards, and (God forbid) mishaps. I hope I'm wrong on this one. By the way, when did you finish your Masters? As a LT or senior Capt/Major (back when senior Capts had 11-12 years of service).

Christmas parties. -Really? You're going to quit for this? Is there no way to make this fun anymore?

No, they aren't fun anymore. Not sure how long you've been out but drinking is frowned upon these days (not that you have to drink to have fun). We even used to have play money casinos at our Christmas parties before leadership frowned on it saying it promoted gambling. If I were to make it my kind of "fun" it would certainly get me in trouble. I wouldn't quit for it though...

"Warrior" runs. -Show up and go for a jog, right? Am I missing something?

I don't think we do these often enough for it to matter. Agree...show up and run. You were probably going to go to the gym anyway.

Rainman, I agree with what you say most of the time. You bring a "big picture" perspective to a lot of the gripes on here and I like that. I only disagree with your assertion that the gripes of these younger officers are something they can ignore without consequences. Sure, bringing gripes like Christmas parties and warrior runs from the tactical level directly to the CSAF doesn't make sense, but the message isn't getting past our leadership and there isn't much anyone at our level can do about it. Ignoring it or just conforming isn't the answer. The focus and the culture has to change. I just hope that these same young officers complaining about these things aren't the same ones 10 years from now dishing it out.

Edited for format

Edited by BitteEinBit
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That's what you would send to him? Seriously?

Yes. Things that make it harder to accomplish the mission should be eliminated or reduced. Actions/programs/people who enable the mission to be done more easily should be taken/implemented/praised & promoted.

So people are getting out because of queep that they could simply ignore but won't?

I am in no position to get out right now, so ask some of the people who are on the fence. Catbox had a thread specific to his decision. There are many others right here and now, ask them, I don't think I'm saying anything that hasn't been said before. I'm actually late-coming to this whole being bitter over queep deal...I've been really happy in my assignment so far and have a reserve well of good will towards the AF built up from the last few good years.

I think you know. Take an honest look at what it takes to get things done and what your role is and that should help give you some perspective. Try to imagine yourself as a commander.

The point is not that I cannot do what needs to be done, it's that some of those things are unnecessary in the first place and therefore I resent having to do them. I still wear my blues and do my SOS practice bleeding and am almost done with my masters and etc. etc. but it's the fact that none of those things (and many more) are actually required to accomplish my unit's mission. In fact they detract from either A) the mission or B) dwell time at home that should be spent either training or with families.

So when the boss says his #1 and #2 priorities are the mission and the people, yet his #3-#69 priorities are things that negatively impact the first two, I cannot take seriously the organizational commitment to the top priorities. I'd have to imagine myself as a pretty damn senior commander to be able to fix this stuff because it's not squadron-generated, at least where I'm at.

Are we not getting the missions accomplished? If so, I would say there is adequate mission focus.

You can't really believe this do you? Because the people in the squadrons and on the line are making it work that means the leadership is sufficiently "focused" on the mission? So the only way we can possibly communicate that there is a lack of mission focus is to fail? I didn't say there was a lack of mission accomplishment, I said there was a lack of focus which is different and has to do with the f-ed up priorities scheme I mentioned above.

I would've thought it was the deployments and the time away from home.

Nope, it's really not. That wears on you after a while and I've seen dudes pretty burned out and bitter, but what drives the nail in the coffin is when you come home and on your dwell time you're spinning up for inspections, practice inspections for future inspections, mobility processes that conform to Big Blue but not to logic or common sense, senseless paperwork to accomplish what used to be routine scheduling changes, briefing the OG in person every time anyone sets foot off home station for an OST/TDY/exercise, etc. That's what makes guys really lose it from what I've seen.

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what drives the nail in the coffin is when you come home and on your dwell time you're spinning up for inspections, practice inspections for future inspections, mobility processes that conform to Big Blue but not to logic or common sense, senseless paperwork to accomplish what used to be routine scheduling changes, briefing the OG in person every time anyone sets foot off home station for an OST/TDY/exercise, etc. That's what makes guys really lose it from what I've seen.

Yup. Getting 0-6 OG/CC approval to add an extra copilot to a line or another 150 lbs of gas if one person drops off, then being lectured about what a poor planner you are when these things happen, those are reasons people leave the job.

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Rainman, there is definitely a problem with mission focus/capability. However I would argue the capability piece is largely driven by the ops tempo, the focus is probably a result of queep that was always there but becomes an unbearable thorn due to the ops tempo. I guess for some, it's become a death by a thousand cuts sort of thing.

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About Christmas parties...

No, they aren't fun anymore. Not sure how long you've been out but drinking is frowned upon these days (not that you have to drink to have fun). We even used to have play money casinos at our Christmas parties before leadership frowned on it saying it promoted gambling. If I were to make it my kind of "fun" it would certainly get me in trouble. I wouldn't quit for it though...

This is low-hanging fruit, and maybe the only common complaint that can be fixed entirely at the Sq level. I've been to Sq parties that were actually fun...nobody above the Sq was there, people brought their kids, other people enjoyed a few drinks, and it was put together in a couple hours by people who volunteered to do it (not voluntold). If your Sq parties suck, there's a good chance it's at least partially your fault.

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No, Rainman, it isn't the deployments and ops tempo. While I don't like to be away from my family, I enjoy deploying because it eliminates much of the queep from homestation (granted, it substitutes other queep...but that queep is generally the easily ignored type) and allows me to focus on mission accomplishment...flying, mission planning, or pre-flighting for other people to go flying.

No, what really wears on me is practice OREs, going TDY right after a six-month deployment, doing SOS online so I can do it in person, spending more time away from home doing something that doesn't matter. Squadron Christmas parties can be fun, until the SQ/CC or OG/CC's wife gets a hold of the planning and you're all showing up in mess dress, so you have the added bonus of buying new medals from the last time you had to wear it. Not to mention the several hundred dollars for a formal dress so the wife can come. Woo, fun!

No, Rainman, it really is the queep. And it isn't even the individual pieces of queep, although they are incredibly annoying. It is the persistent and total lack of mission focus by the people who implement these pieces of queep. Only tan shirts? Really, missions were not being accomplished due to black shirts? Planes were falling out of the sky due to morale patches?

So for me, at least...it is the queep, not the deployments.

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Rainman, there is definitely a problem with mission focus/capability. However I would argue the capability piece is largely driven by the ops tempo, the focus is probably a result of queep that was always there but becomes an unbearable thorn due to the ops tempo. I guess for some, it's become a death by a thousand cuts sort of thing.

Yeah, that's kind of what I thought.

You have to know when to notch but you can't let the enemy use their acquisition radar as a weapon.

I get what most of you guys are saying, I absolutely loved any chance I got to go donwrange and did whatever it took to make that happen (and extend) whenever I could. The difference is probably that I also didn't mind proceeding direct to Nellis for RF/FWIC support/AW w/in 7 days of returning home from a long deployment. I was fucked up and my family eventually let me know that. Luckily I was able to regain 3/9 with my priorities and not lose the most important thing in my life...which wasn't the USAF.

It wasn't that long ago that I made the transition from being one of the defenders to being one of the defended. It has proven to be one of most difficult thing I have ever done. I hate not being able to hammer down on behalf of the rest of America that is unwilling to, incapable of and/or uninterested in doing so for themselves. I am totally in support of and thankful to all you guys who are defending me and my family today.

That said, I'm trying to think of meaningful ways I can support you guys today. I have made some pretty decent connections in my civilian life and I am trying to figure out how to leverage them on your behalf. For example, we have the wife of a Hogdriver who is a full-up US Senator. The important thing is to separate what is a legit cause of real pain and what is simply bitching about shit that could just as well be ignored. You don't want to waste weapons on decoys, especially when there is an abundance of legitimate targets.

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Yeah, that's kind of what I thought.

You have to know when to notch but you can't let the enemy use their acquisition radar as a weapon.

I get what most of you guys are saying, I absolutely loved any chance I got to go donwrange and did whatever it took to make that happen (and extend) whenever I could. The difference is probably that I also didn't mind proceeding direct to Nellis for RF/FWIC support/AW w/in 7 days of returning home from a long deployment. I was ######ed up and my family eventually let me know that. Luckily I was able to regain 3/9 with my priorities and not lose the most important thing in my life...which wasn't the USAF.

It wasn't that long ago that I made the transition from being one of the defenders to being one of the defended. It has proven to be one of most difficult thing I have ever done. I hate not being able to hammer down on behalf of the rest of America that is unwilling to, incapable of and/or uninterested in doing so for themselves. I am totally in support of and thankful to all you guys who are defending me and my family today.

That said, I'm trying to think of meaningful ways I can support you guys today. I have made some pretty decent connections in my civilian life and I am trying to figure out how to leverage them on your behalf. For example, we have the wife of a Hogdriver who is a full-up US Senator. The important thing is to separate what is a legit cause of real pain and what is simply bitching about shit that could just as well be ignored. You don't want to waste weapons on decoys, especially when there is an abundance of legitimate targets.

Understood and interesting stuff from everyone...can we just close this thread and go back to watching you battle with Masshole in the bar?

Edited by Catbox

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