Posted on Dec 8, 2013
MSgt Superintendent
3.76K
8
6
4
4
0
While my perspective is largely that of an enlisted airman, I've worked enough in joint capacities to see that wastefulness is a branch agnostic phenomena. We're all guilty of it. Where I see this waste stemming from is that there's no real incentive in place, from a career standpoint, to reward efficiency.

At least in the AF, the ratings systems for both enlisted and commissioned personnel seem to favor big numbers; more people managed, larger, more expensive projects, and of course, being able to flash more digits after the dollar sign.

As far I can tell, the ratings system actually punishes efficiency. Without context or a means of measuring effectiveness, peers are vying for a limited number of promotions and the only way to stand out is demonstrate an ever increasing span of control and influence. Again, more money, more people, more projects.

While the means exist in a business landscape to analyze and encourage efficiency, there aren't really any measurement tools in place for the ratings system (arguably what determines the course of our careers) to reward the shrinking of figures; less money, less people, less projects. Worse yet, without incentive to be good resource stewards and effective managers, the skills required for both are first left to wither and die on the vine but then are never replaced.

Speaking from an enlisted airman perspective, we spend more and more time divesting our experience into the rating system itself, writing for the sake of writing, rather than mentoring our subordinates or honing our managerial craft. Good people, who are educated and could be so much more effective, are squandered by relegating them to full time OPR/EPR administrators and the effect this has on training and readiness is enormous. But this behavior is expected of our SNCOs in particular, and to spend any less time hacking away on EPRs would only be detrimental to their own rating.

Of course this is just one of many, many examples of systemic wastefulness that is entirely within our control.

Ultimately, waste is being allowed to flourish even to this day, in a post-sequestration environment that threatens our very jobs and benefits, because there's every career incentive to be wasteful, and little to no career incentive to be efficient. So how can we fix it? Change the rating system by emphasizing and incentivizing efficiency. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a few ideas how to go about doing this, but just to get the ball rolling I’ll share a few of them later today.

Sincerly,

John
Posted in these groups: 8669b1a7 Sequestration702767d5 Downsizing
Avatar_feed
Responses: 4
MAJ Program Manager
2
2
0
Well said, I've had similar ideas in the past. There is no real motivation to save money in the military. In fact most commanders don't even have a consept of cost when conducting operations. I'm not saying we should tie their hands but some weapons cost more to employ and I think the Army will use the biggest one available when there are several less expensive options at hand. (Dropping a bomb on a target 20min after indirect fire has been dropped and no enemy observed)
(2)
Comment
(0)
MSgt Superintendent
MSgt (Join to see)
6 y
I think one of the unfortunate side effects of being at war for well over a decade is that its provided a well over a decades worth of wartime spending mentality. I think we've all seen the most rediculous stuff purchased in the name of "necessity" for so long that our ability to purchase discerningly or conserve resources has all but been lost. We have an entire generation of military personnel who can get bullets, beans, and bombs to the battle field in no time flat, but can balance a check book to save their life. Can you imagine if we all handled our personnel finances like we handled our military finances?
(2)
Reply
(0)
SFC James Baber
SFC James Baber
6 y
I agree whole heartedly Sir
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
MSgt Timothy Johnson
0
0
0
I was in the Air Force from 1979 - 2000. In my career I saw the Airman Performance Report change to the EPR because the old system was inflated. Even before it changed we laughed because we knew the day we changed to the new system it was already inflated. We had many of the same terms like "Single-handedly ensured the entire fleet of vehicles were combat ready". Cant be true if team work is preached. When the EPR came out it was immediately said there was a quota for straight 5s and so on down the line. Sure the theory was every great person cant be a 5. There has to be, logically, some 4s in the mix. Well we all know a 4 will pretty much can a person or at least delay promotions. We were told that we MUST look at how the actual job was performed. That was supposed to guid the ratings. This is a quagmire to get into. How about a group of NCOs and SNCOs convene a board and add the "Good old boy" perspective to decide who is a 5 or not. We tried doing that and man the squabbling!!!

Oh well. I totally agree about no incentive to save funds. Each October I worked with one officer in our squadron. We compiled a list of items needed by each flight. Prioritized it and bought what we could to deplete our funds. It was explained to me that during the year we were able to save money by working smarter. So at the end of the year what we saved allowed us to improve our equipment etc. BS I know.

We, each service, must have a way to save money. Currently if you do not use your operating budget they figure you dont need it. So the next budget request should be equal or less then the year prior. I know this can be fixed but it will be difficult. I do see differences in the way things are done. Slightly! I cant put a total finger on it But I believe it is because my airman didn't like something and now they are the E8 and E9s. Each new wave of airman can only change so much in their career. I would love to be on a working group trying to solve the way funds are handled. And that's my 3 cents gentlemen! DONT GIVE UP! Kick the shoot out of them Bass*****. Go get em.
(0)
Comment
(0)
Avatar_small
SGT Michael Glenn
0
0
0
Make a stand on NOT allowing any illegal aliens into the ranks, makes no sense to down size and then then up size with non US citizens. Are we building a new army to stand against America??? Just curious.
(0)
Comment
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close
Seg?add=7750261&t=2