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Aviation Continuation Pay (ACP - The Bonus)


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36 minutes ago, SocialD said:

 

Meh, 10 years ago SocialD might have agreed with you.  After your initial commitment, it can all be boiled down to compensation, either the money they're paying is worth putting up with the BS, or it's not.  He would have been better off just saying, the bonus is coming out soon, whether you decide to stay or leave, thank you for your service...the end.  No need for the Dad talk.  

I disagree, with the caveat that it only matters if he's being genuine.  We need leaders that talk more from a place of genuine care for the Airmen. Someone who explains a thought process will get more respect and buy-in than a GO who has a chance to talk to people and takes the tack you just laid out.

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48 minutes ago, slackline said:

I disagree, with the caveat that it only matters if he's being genuine.  We need leaders that talk more from a place of genuine care for the Airmen. Someone who explains a thought process will get more respect and buy-in than a GO who has a chance to talk to people and takes the tack you just laid out.

I think leaders want to be genuine but the fact is they would round up your children and murder them if it guaranteed air dominance in the 21st century. Sounds wild, I know, but the truth is, the AF (as an organization) gives 0 fucks about your family. They don't care if they are happy, sad, accompanied, non-accompanied, working, not working, alive, dead, etc...

Here's the thing, they've written hundreds of books on negotiation, and found out they didnt work well for government employees working with international partners/etc.... The reason why was because the fundamentals of government negotiation are different than business. In business, you can walk away. In government, you often work in a "no-fail" environment where walking away isn't an option. The USAF can't just pack up our junk and leave Korea because the Koreans won't give us more airspace to train in. Etc...

The same thought process works with the compensation/pilot bonus/morale/retention/etc... the Air Force believes they have a "no-fail" mission. They will literally throw lines of people into cockpits to crash planes just to guarantee the mission. They have 0 fucks. Maj Craig Wells as a person may care about you and your family, but as an AF officer, he gives 0 fucks and he will not hesitate to fuck you six ways from Sunday to guarantee mission success, even if it drags your spouse and child under too. 

In this case, I'm sure they'd give you more money to stay if they could. But I think he is hinting that congress isn't going to bite in an environment where they are passing laws to keep airlines afloat. So they're going to give you what they can, and if you choose the door, your choice. In the mean time, they will fuck whoever they need to that stays to make sure the mission still happens. Once you realize this, you can really make the decision whether you want to stay or not. 

Edited by FLEA
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Patton gave zero fucks. 
 

I’m not saying some AETC general is like Patton, or that the pilot shortage is WWII. We pay our generals to win wars full stop. I don’t want some candy-ass general who cares about my feels. I want a killer with zero fucks to give when the shit hits the fan. 
 

Also, I want a $75k/year bonus. 

Edited by Homestar
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Patton gave zero s. 
 
I’m not saying some AETC general is like Patton, or that the pilot shortage is WWII. We pay our generals to win wars full stop. I don’t want some candy-ass general who cares about my feels. I want a killer with zero s to give when the shit hits the fan. 
 
Also, I want a $75k/year bonus. 


Generals can't win wars if there's no one around to fight the wars. That problem gets harder when the fighting force is all volunteer, and draft is pretty much off the table.
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“I can’t think of a worse scenario than staying because of the money.“

Isn’t...isn’t that the point of the bonus?  It’s an incentive to get people to stay who otherwise would leave?  The stay/leave pro-con scales are tipped just enough and they literally stay for the money?

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That speech is full of so many bullshit false maxims and buzzwords I want to puke.

The truth is many people think the Air Force is okay, but not the best. It’s not just awesome or soul crushing for the majority of folks. Which means there is a legitimate need to consider the entire picture when deciding on service.

Many people can also make significant money outside of the Air Force. And they wouldn’t have to put up with holier than thou generals saying that you shouldn’t consider any amount of money in your calculations for your future, when money determines what kind of future you and your family will have.

The talk about no amount of money being worth your life is also bullshit. Most of us will not come into actual significant physical danger during our jobs. And everyone knows that. When you sign the bonus, the vast majority of folks aren’t worried about being shot down or crashing, because, truth be told, those are extremely improbable. I’ve been on multiple fighter deployments, and, truth be told, I was often more worried about missing out on time with my family than the threats.

His post, when broken down, says that you should not be worried about compensation whatsoever, because the job is so much more important.

His post, when broken down, is such a poor argument that it could just as easily be applied to say that flight pay shouldn’t exist. That tricare shouldn’t exist. That BAH tax status shouldn’t exist. Why should the military provide any benefits whatsoever to career military officers other than job stability? Why don’t we stop paying doctors bonuses as well? Why should anyone actually ever make more than basic needs?

His post, when broken down, debases the very pragmatic fact that, while almost all of us serve with a large amount of patriotism and nationalism in our hearts, we have to also simultaneously be preparing ourselves and our families for retirement. Because serving our country realistically means we are giving up the other high-performing lives we could live.

Im predicting a short sighted decision that will backfire laughably when the dynamic reverses in 2 years.

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10 hours ago, slackline said:

Someone who explains a thought process will get more respect and buy-in than a GO who has a chance to talk to people and takes the tack you just laid out.

 

His "chance to talk," was a random, unannounced FB post.  None of this impacts me, I'm just calling like I've seen it go down so many times over my career.  His post reads like he knows (or thinks) it's not going to be well received and is trying to get ahead of it.  Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised. 

 

9 hours ago, Homestar said:

Patton gave zero fucks.

 

We pay our generals to win wars full stop.

 

Patton would be fired 10x over in todays overly PC military, likely after he told his bosses we're fighting this war like a bunch of idiots.  If we're paying our generals to win wars, we should probably take some of that money back. 

 

 

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Quote
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, great questions! Some thoughts below. If I have to say 3 words, it’s “Airmen are awesome”. Three paragraphs disguised as bullets:
- Airmen are amazing. The longer you stay, the more you get to meet and the more impressed you’ll be. There are some flat out incredible humans in our force, and they will inspire you.
- Flying airplanes is hard, but it’s not the hardest or most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Learning more about what it takes to accomplish the mission, developing skills beyond the cockpit, harnessing the efforts of bigger or more diverse teams engaged in complex undertakings..it’s really cool. It’s way more satisfying to see one of your Airmen achieve something than it is to achieve a personal milestone. I was a Sq/CC once upon a time in a strange land at 0300 watching a brand new MR Lieutenant rolling down the runway in the dark with a 3-bag, 8 missile jet (that’s heavyweight for small jet people). He was the alert spare and was going single ship at night to find the tanker, get gas and rejoin with his flight lead in a strange country on a real world mission. I knew he was well trained and knew what to do. It was cool to see all of the efforts of our squadron rolled up in that one dude. You may think it corny but I’ll never forget how it felt to watch it and know I had a part in it.
- The country needs us. It’s a hard mission and I’ve seen enough to know that victory and prosperity is not assured. It is personally and professionally satisfying for me to be engaged in a career that is based on public service. If my framework was “I am a pilot” I probably would have left a long time ago. My framework is “I am an officer trained as a pilot.” Maybe old fashioned but it makes me happy. Equally important, my family finds value in our service too.
My WHY has changed a lot in some ways and not much in others. I sometimes say “I came for the airplanes and I stayed because of the Airmen”. It’s not totally accurate, but it’s close. When you’re young, the hardware occupies a lot of your attention...the longer you’re around you tend to see more of the picture. Along the way, every time I was about to get out, some new opportunity or fresh perspective came along. Once it was just my DO telling me he thought I had potential...it totally changed my perspective. Make no mistake, we’re all constantly weighing the cost/benefit. This may be a life of service, but we all have to make sure our lives are in some sort of harmony. I’ve had moments of frustration like all of you, and there are still things that happen that drive me nuts. When I was a Colonel, my 2-star boss told me “this is only about service at this point. You need to decide whether you want to continue to serve. Once you figure that out, it will get easier.” He was right. That doesn’t mean we all need to be AirPower monks....the end of the line is out there for all of us and my day isn’t far off. Frankly, this isn’t a good fit for everyone, and that’s plenty ok. I’m still in because I still find value in the proposition..and am lucky that the AF still sees value in my continued service

Some more of his exposition. He was responding to these two questions: 

Quote
1) Can you give me 3 words or bullets that describe the rewards after the 10 year commitment point?
2) What is your WHY for staying? Did your why change at any point of service?

Back to my prior post though, a key theme in his responses is this is not a negotiation. You are either going to take the commitment, or you or not. The AF is going to truck on with or without you, but he personally will be sorry to see you go. 

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The AF has done a poor job messaging that we are valued and needed to accomplish the AF mission.

The message went from "go ahead and leave, someone will be there to replace you" to "make the best choice for you and your family, the service will find a way to continue, and thanks for your service."

I posit that essentially, the AF message hasn't changed, just the language got kinder. They both resign the service to not having to tell us they want or need us to stay ("I'm not going to try and convince you to stay"), which points directly to us not being valued by the service.

I don't remember at any point the AF saying during the pilot manning crisis "we need you. We need you to stay because we value your experience and your ideas. Our country needs you. But my words don't mean anything without actions, so here's what we are going to do to show you the service values you." Of course, that also has to be followed up with actual action, or it undercuts the credibility of the GOs, and pushes people out.

That's not to say there's been no improvements to show the AF might care about our value you as an individual. Probably the biggest improvements are the MyVector assignment bidding process (better communication of assignment desires and visibility on what is available your vml cycle), and the ability to turn down school without prejudice. Both do give individuals more say in their careers, which may help them decide to stay in. The bonus is still there, though it seems to lag by 2+ years to what's needed, and probably is too low to push people over the fence, so partial credit there (I'd give it a D-).

Yes, a military career will probably net you less money than going to the airlines. But it's a similar problem with other fields out in the civilian sector.

For example, someone working at a non-profit versus at a for-profit organization where they could make more money. What drives them to take the lower paying job? Likely, a sense of purpose and mission gets them there, and a sense of accomplishment and the organization valuing their efforts keeps them there.

Another example at the extreme is volunteering (like Habitat for Humanity): here there's no pay, yet people participate, sometimes with large chunks of their time? So what motivated them to work for free, and continue to do so? Again, my guess is a sense of mission, pride in that mission, and the organizers valuing and encouraging their participation.

That's not to say pay doesn't matter. It's much easier to stay when you can pay your mortgage, take care of your family, and have money leftover to pursue what you want (hobbies, travel, toys, side businesses/investments, opportunities for your kids, etc).

This article was posted somewhere here several years ago, but it's still relevant today and I think with reposting. It's a blog by a former RAF fighter pilot turned motivational speaker/consultant and it's his take on pilot shortage in the RAF, and his take on why pilots leave the RAF.
https://www.fastjetperformance.com/blog/when-pilots-quit-why-we-must-stop-telling-people-they-are-valued-unless-we-truly-value-them

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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

The AF has done a poor job messaging that we are valued and needed to accomplish the AF mission.

The message went from "go ahead and leave, someone will be there to replace you" to "make the best choice for you and your family, the service will find a way to continue, and thanks for your service."

I posit that essentially, the AF message hasn't changed, just the language got kinder. They both resign the service to not having to tell us they want or need us to stay ("I'm not going to try and convince you to stay"), which points directly to us not being valued by the service.

I don't remember at any point the AF saying during the pilot manning crisis "we need you. We need you to stay because we value your experience and your ideas. Our country needs you. But my words don't mean anything without actions, so here's what we are going to do to show you the service values you." Of course, that also has to be followed up with actual action, or it undercuts the credibility of the GOs, and pushes people out.

That's not to say there's been no improvements to show the AF might care about our value you as an individual. Probably the biggest improvements are the MyVector assignment bidding process (better communication of assignment desires and visibility on what is available your vml cycle), and the ability to turn down school without prejudice. Both do give individuals more say in their careers, which may help them decide to stay in. The bonus is still there, though it seems to lag by 2+ years to what's needed, and probably is too low to push people over the fence, so partial credit there (I'd give it a D-).

Yes, a military career will probably net you less money than going to the airlines. But it's a similar problem with other fields out in the civilian sector.

For example, someone working at a non-profit versus at a for-profit organization where they could make more money. What drives them to take the lower paying job? Likely, a sense of purpose and mission gets them there, and a sense of accomplishment and the organization valuing their efforts keeps them there.

Another example at the extreme is volunteering (like Habitat for Humanity): here there's no pay, yet people participate, sometimes with large chunks of their time? So what motivated them to work for free, and continue to do so? Again, my guess is a sense of mission, pride in that mission, and the organizers valuing and encouraging their participation.

That's not to say pay doesn't matter. It's much easier to stay when you can pay your mortgage, take care of your family, and have money leftover to pursue what you want (hobbies, travel, toys, side businesses/investments, opportunities for your kids, etc).

This article was posted somewhere here several years ago, but it's still relevant today and I think with reposting. It's a blog by a former RAF fighter pilot turned motivational speaker/consultant and it's his take on pilot shortage in the RAF, and his take on why pilots leave the RAF.
https://www.fastjetperformance.com/blog/when-pilots-quit-why-we-must-stop-telling-people-they-are-valued-unless-we-truly-value-them

You nailed it man. I'm all about serving my country. But when you communicate to me that you do not value me, I don't believe I'm actually contributing any service, because I am not providing any value. Hence, I will leave, and go find a position that either pays better or offers higher quality service. When the AF tells us they don't value us, you are doing exactly what noone wants you to do, you are sticking around for the money (which isn't great). And thats a problem. 

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Wills is a fraud. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. Listened to him speak about a year and a half ago, talking to a room full of majors and senior captains. Here are some things he said. (if not verbatim, pretty damn close).

1. “If the grass is greener on the other side, go ahead and jump over the fence.” He went on to basically question our patriotism.

2. “I’m not going to ask you what I could do or what the Air Force could do to keep you.”

3. When questioned about going to a professional pay system like doctors, he first acted as if he had never heard of pro pay and then he asked “can any of you perform surgery?”

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25 minutes ago, youdontknowthis said:

Wills is a fraud. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. 

Shack. His other fb post from earlier seemed worthwhile at face value, especially the phrase about not saying “our punks suck” but actually trying to find the solution to make them not suck. Sounds great, I’m on board (I mean, I’ll still tell them they suck, but also have the resources to make them better.)  Then he comes to visit the viper FTU and continually pushes the 6 month syllabus, fully acknowledging that it shortchanges our wingmen and puts more of a training burden on the CAF (overall reducing our tactical ability as a fighting force), but that is overlooked because we MUST produce our way out of this shortage. 
 

  When all the pieces are put together, it’s the same message that all GOs are pushing, “We value you, but not enough to pay you more, listen to your suggestions to improve, or make any large changes to your quality of life. But we will publicly say we value you!  That and your sense of duty should be enough.”

To me, it seems like the conversation goes like this:

AF: “Please stay, Major Instructor Pilot!  We need your experience and IPness!  You and your millions of dollars of training are really valuable to us!”

Aircrew: “Well, okay, but can you maybe fix this one thing? (Insert your instructional fix here - pay, promotion, ops tempo, etc). Because I like serving, but this one thing is making it difficult for me and/or my family.”

AF: “No. Stay or go, we don’t care.” 

?????? 

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 Then he comes to visit the viper FTU and continually pushes the 6 month syllabus, fully acknowledging that it shortchanges our wingmen and puts more of a training burden on the CAF (overall reducing our tactical ability as a fighting force), but that is overlooked because we MUST produce our way out of this shortage. 

This right here is the strongest message the AF has sent in years regarding pilot retention: it's unsolvable, so we are focusing on increasing production.

Even the napkin math works out:

1000 pilots per year x 60% retention = 600 pilots retained

Ramp up production and you get:

1500 pilots per year x 40% retention = 600 pilots retained

Sure, I had to make assumptions (take rate staying the same for starters). More pilots per year produced may help ops tempo issues, but in return makes training and seasoning more difficult (FHP probably isn't going to increase significantly to allow for better training of more pilots).

---

I will caveat all this with the fact I did take the bonus. Though probably the biggest change for me was not caring what the AF thinks anymore after I got passed over for major the first time, and focusing on the things I felt were important in my small corner of the AF better. Had a good string of sq/CCs who've helped me overcome some bad luck in my career, and helped me get to jobs working on what I felt was important/interesting work. So it ended up being a win-win for both me and the AF (I wouldn't say the least couple jobs I've had were necessarily "desirable" to most, and me, and in that sense I've been lucky in the latter half of my career.

I will give Goldfein credit for his emphasis on the squadrons-a good squadron climate and command would work wonders for retention. But where the AF failed is consistent messaging from CSAF to staffs to AFPC to Sq/CC about an individual's value to the organization, and making individuals feel like their concerns were at least heard. I think things have gotten better, but we still have a long ways to go to fixing the problem.



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These leaders act like money is the devil and we shouldn’t be making any decisions based on it. Completely disagree. The money is a huge reason whether I’m going to stay or not. But not the main one. 
 

Every time I move my wife loses 2-6 months of work which causes a pay cut. A bonus helps with this. 
 

There are some assignments or a 365 that I never want to do. But I would if the bonus was 60-75k. That money Maybe pays for my child’s tuition or funds 3-4 vacations in having to take a less than idea assignment. 
 

Are we all patriots ?  Yes. We signed up to do the job. But once they commitment is up I’ve paid my dues and it’s up to the military to entice me to stay. Not the other way around. 

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5 hours ago, youdontknowthis said:

3. When questioned about going to a professional pay system like doctors, he first acted as if he had never heard of pro pay and then he asked “can any of you perform surgery?

In fact I can! Especially if the operation you’re looking to receive is rapid, unplanned, extreme body modification.

image.thumb.jpeg.686dedb9ebd0a37e6061a692e62312fc.jpeg

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9 hours ago, jazzdude said:

I don't remember at any point the AF saying during the pilot manning crisis "we need you. We need you to stay because we value your experience and your ideas. Our country needs you. But my words don't mean anything without actions, so here's what we are going to do to show you the service values you." Of course, that also has to be followed up with actual action, or it undercuts the credibility of the GOs, and pushes people out.

One of the better GO speeches that I’ve heard was Gen Everhart at the 2017 A/TA convention.  He was AMC/CC at the time.  At the end of the speech he pulls out a chair and talks about retention and flat out says we need you to stay and we need people of your experience level to stay.  He then talks about why he has served for almost 30 years.  It was pretty refreshing to hear that from a GO.  
 

Fast forward to 44:30 for the end of the speech and then 49:30 for the we need you to stay part 

 

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I have not heard of anyone that has really enjoyed staff under Gen Wills. Seems if you disagree with him, you will only suffer more

Just ask the dude who connected an increase in class A’s to a lack of training/experience 

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7 hours ago, go_cubbies22 said:

One of the better GO speeches that I’ve heard was Gen Everhart at the 2017 A/TA convention.  He was AMC/CC at the time.  At the end of the speech he pulls out a chair and talks about retention and flat out says we need you to stay and we need people of your experience level to stay.  He then talks about why he has served for almost 30 years.  It was pretty refreshing to hear that from a GO.  
 

Fast forward to 44:30 for the end of the speech and then 49:30 for the we need you to stay part 

 

Surprising because I heard Everheart speak  about the same time and didn't get that vibe at all. 

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1 hour ago, Homestar said:

Spoiler: Airlines gonna rebound this year!

 

Nah man, during his speach about how you shouldn't do this for the money, the good general let us know the airlines aren't recovering any time soon.  In unrelated news, anyone seen any them bonuses around here?  

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Southwest is planning on being almost 70% of normal schedule in April. Saw some weird message online about a hiring webinar or something too. I doubt we hire anytime soon, but I could see where they would hire and leave the guys on leave off property just to keep the pool fresh.


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