Skip to main content

Smoke doesn't always mean fire Part I

Why this blog?


Last Saturday I posted a factual account of an incident that I believed was unethical treatment by a commander against personnel I was responsible for.

I removed the blog because I was concerned the information would pile onto someone who could be already stressed the their limits. I  wasn't willing to kick someone while they are down. I might re-post it in the future, but some names might be removed or changed. I haven't decided yet.

However, that decision led me to a greater discussion with my significant other about what exactly is the purpose of this blog.

So let me start by explaining what it is, and why I am doing it. I'd also like to address things I don't want this blog to be. More on that later.

This blog is a weekly [so far, I might run out of stories] event where I tell a story from my career. I try to explain it as objectively as possible but I might include some humor or take a shot and people here or there [assume I'll take a shot at Fraley whenever I can]. In these stories I will explain my reasoning or moral dilemma and what I did to resolve it.

My hope is that decisions I've made that were difficult will provide someone else a frame of reference if they find themselves in a similar situation. It may be 'he really screwed that up' or 'he should've handled it more low-key', or it could be 'I understand why this is important, and I've seen what will happen if I stick to my guns.'

The reason these stories couldn't be told until now is that I lacked the freedom to tell them candidly. Being under the scrutiny of the military precluded me from being forthright.

My career has been rocky over the years. But never worse than my last 3 spent at Holloman. I imagine many wondered what happened? I see this blog as a chance to fill-in the gaps for those that saw my chaotic duty title changes, especially in the last 2 years.

It's not going to be all doom and gloom or shit talking. I plan to write about the positive influences I've experienced.

If anything this will give my kids an idea of what I was going through when I was at work or in another state. A poor man's shitty memoir as it were.

What I don't want is a virtue signalling ego stroke. It's difficult to articulate how I came to decisions in these moral scenarios without virtue signalling. The best I can do is objectively explain why I chose a path and hope I'm not too full of myself.

I've allowed anonymous comments on all of my blogs. If you would like to discuss or counter any points I've made in the blog absolutely feel free. I've never been afraid of a good discussion.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

So what's with the 7 levels?

I recently asked in a  Facebook post what are some subjects you the readers wanted me to write about. I received quite a few great suggestions, but one stood out as a topic that I haven't quite addressed and I believe its time is due: inexperienced 7 levels. [I will apologize in advance, this one has quite a bit of acronyms.] Before I dive into the topic I think it's important to explain my own journey to a 7 level, and it goes all the way back to MEPS. You see, like many aspiring Airmen I didn't know what job I would get when I joined the Air Force; I came in open mechanical. Which to me seemed strange, because mechanical was my lowest ASVAB score. My recruiter assured me that my score would allow me many mechanical jobs to pick from. I tried to explain that the ASVAB was an aptitude test, and I should be selected for a job that matched my highest category. He seemed apathetic, obviously meeting his quota was his motivator, not me aligning my career to my aptitude.

We failed to quantify quality Airmen

A couple weeks ago I wrote about a FOIA request I submitted in July 2019. The intent of the request was to bring clarity to the career fields impacted by the ongoing suicide epidemic in the Air Force. If you remember, the response was flaccid. I went on to show how the current AF/A1 Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly was dishonest when he gave an interview in 2015 suggesting that critical career fields were somehow shielded from the Force Reduction measures, colloquially called " The Air Force Hunger Games ." But to simply say certain career fields were cut is insufficient to explain how the cuts were determined and, moreover, which discriminators were used. And for that, we need to go back a ways... In early 2011 the Air Force had transferred many SSgts and TSgts from fighter maintenance to heavy aircraft in an effort to shore up their issues in the heavy world. In effect, robbing Peter to pay Paul. This left us with a slightly lopsided organization: thick in the SNCO ranks,

The crisis in aircraft maintenance

Recently the Secretary of Defense James Mattis sent a memorandum to the service secretaries directing certain fighter airframes meet a readiness standard of 80%. It's a good goal to set and I think it's achievable. However Mattis went on to direct this goal to be achieved by the end of FY19 [Oct 2019]. To reach this goal in a year will have catastrophic effects on the aircraft maintenance community. First, fighter MC rates have been declining for more than a decade. There is a natural, inevitable decline as a fleet gets older.  On top of fleet age, Graphic courtesy of the Air Force Times avionics upgrades increase system complexity in 4th generation airframes. Those upgrades, while useful for combat capability, also increase time spent in maintenance. Additionally, sequestration and the 'across the board' cuts to all budgets created a ripple effect manifested as a shortage of parts, experience, personnel and sorties. It seems fairly evident that as operat